Happy Birthday JPeterson Marketing – How It All Began

Note: This is a longer and fairly unedited post. Just some words from my heart today.

Happy BirthdayIt’s my birthday. Well, by the time I actually post this, my birthday will have passed, but I am writing it on my birthday. It is also JPeterson Marketing’s birthday. So, I thought it would be a good time to share just how this venture came to be.


Five Years Ago

On my birthday five years ago, I was very pregnant and trying to will our son to finally come into the world (he waited another two weeks). I was working for a pair of radio stations here in Chicago and I was lucky enough to have a boss who let me work from home during the end of my pregnancy.


On the day after my birthday, which was also the day before our son was due, that same boss called me with a choked up voice. My initial thought was that someone we both knew was ill or worse. It turns out that I was the first of about a dozen people who he had to let go that day. I knew this was a possibility because a new company recently purchased our stations, but when it did not happen right after the purchase, I figured it would happen after I returned to work. Nope.


After I hung up the phone, I was a mix of emotions (thanks, pregnancy hormones!). I was scared out of my mind about how this would affect giving birth. Did I have to sign up for COBRA right away? Could I get on my husband’s insurance plan? What was the stress doing to the baby (making him want to come out hopefully!)?


I wondered how this would affect life after the baby was born. Should I start looking for a new job right away? I had no idea what life with a newborn was like so I did not know what to expect. And I was angry! How could they do this when they knew I was due any day (it didn’t matter that I really didn’t like my job)!?!? It turns out that they were a crappy company and they just didn’t care.


Fast forward a few weeks, and I found myself at home with a newborn scouring job posts. Oh, and wading through insurance paperwork. In the big picture, this was definitely the worst part of the experience!
When our son was about three months old, I got a call from a friend wondering if I’d be up for a freelance project. “Of course!” I practically shouted into the phone. Never mind that I had no idea about the company or the project. That project led to another project and so on. All the while, I kept checking job posts for a “real job”.


Three Years Ago

After two years of freelancing/looking for a job, I actually pitched my services to my very first client (I am forever grateful to him!) but I did not fully commit to creating JPeterson Marketing until I was introduced to someone looking for long-term marketing and public relations help (another forever grateful!). Having those two clients, combined with my newfound love of flexibility in my schedule, made me turn my freelancing into an actual business. Oh, and that my husband was fully supportive of all of this made it possible, too (another forever grateful!).



Now, five years later, I am forever grateful, too, that I was let go when I was. Any earlier or later, I would have jumped at the first job that came along and I would not have started this adventure.


On my birthday five years ago, I gave birth to a baby and a business. On my birthday five years before that, I took a chance and went on an amazing trip with the man who would become my husband. Five years before that – um, I have no idea! I wonder what this birthday will bring that will give me joy five years from now!


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