10,958! That’s how many days there are in 30 years.

I love it when people ask me where I work. You know the casual question someone asks when you’re meeting them for the first time.

So where do you work? A company called Eaglecom.

I’ve never heard of them, what do they do? It’s a television fundraising and monthly donor acquisition company specializing in creative and production as well as media buying and analytics for some really awesome charitable organizations helping abused and abandoned animals, helping children fighting cancer, helping children and families in developing countries and helping endangered animals and conservation.

Wow, that sounds really cool. Ya, it is.

So, how long have you been there? Oh, about 30 years.

What… 30 years… that’s a really long time. Ya, but it’s a really amazing place to work. And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

What a privilege this past 30 years has been.

As we were starting, all those years ago, I thought long and hard about my vision:

First, I had a vision for creating an agency that was different – how we hire, treat and compensate our people, how we nurture relationships and build friendships and create family. How we work together, support, encourage, lift up and help each other. A place where we looked forward to going on Monday mornings so we could spend time with our friends.

Second, I had a vision about how we would care (truly care) about our clients and their missions and how we would treat our clients like partners and friends, with respect and trust. How we would joyfully work to exceed their expectations. How we would never overcharge, but look to charge less and give back. How we would strive to make their lives easier, better, maybe even a little happier.

And third, I had a vision about how we would conduct our business – with integrity, honesty, transparency and authenticity.

I have never deviated from that vision.

But… I also didn’t achieve that vision – WE DID.

I didn’t acquire more than 1.5 million monthly donors on TV – WE DID.

I didn’t raise $2 billion dollars to help those in need – WE DID.

I didn’t produce the best creative, media buys, analytics, reports and by far the best client service experience ever – WE DID.

I didn’t create the family we have at Eaglecom – WE DID.

I didn’t create a business of trust, integrity, transparency – WE DID.

And I couldn’t be more proud of the entire Eaglecom family and our amazing clients we call partners and friends.

But in the end it really isn’t about us at Eaglecom is it? Or even the money we’ve raised. It’s about Lily and David and Jerry who are fighting cancer right now and depend on Eaglecom for their next treatment. It’s about Mandy – rescued from the streets of New York and from two abusive homes. Or Carly – rescued from a tiny, filthy, rusty cage in North Carolina where she lived the first year of her life. Or Beatha with a sad face and a leg she dragged behind her living in a poverty stricken village in Rwanda. Or Baby George who I held in an orphanage in Zambia. Or about the 750,000 Rohingya refugees living in tents who are about to be flooded and swept away by imminent monsoon rains and are desperate for some basic help.

That is why we do what we do. Not for us. Or budgets. Or even beating targets. Or CPMDs, CPRGs, CPPIHs, CPDs, CPLs, CPMs, gross revenues, gross margins or net profits.

Sure – all those are important and push us each day, but we never lose sight of the vision. Relieving suffering and saving lives.

Five Lessons Learned

Ok, so after 30 years, I’ve hopefully learned a few lessons. Here are 5 that stand out for me:

  1. Dare to dream big, realistic, purpose-filled dreams.
  2. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people – they will help you and guide you and you will help and guide them. Like begets like.
  3. Perseverance matters. It took 10,958 days to get here. Don’t ever give up.
  4. Stick to your values – you are building your brand every day.
  5. Look forward to the future with great anticipation and enthusiasm. There is so much more ahead and others who need you.

One Last Thought

I started 2018 with an African proverb:

If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.

After 30 years of Eaglecom, we have gone far. Very far. Well done.

And now it is time to go farther. And going together is the only way to get there.

Onward we go.