Relationships are Everything

For PRISM’s 25th anniversary, founder Michelle Adams looks back through the years with stories, tips, and lessons to help new businesses grow and industry veterans thrive. Keep up with all of our posts on LinkedIn.

I’ve always been a people person. I see this about myself more and more every day. I used to be embarrassed that my dad would talk to anyone and everyone, even though I was doing the exact same thing.

I thrive with other people and live on their positive energy. Yet, it took me a decade in marketing to truly understand what a gift that is.

I met Rich Wartel in 2000, though it wasn’t until 2003 that we really began to work together. He was starting a consulting business and asked if I would help. Of course, I said yes, doing whatever I could to help get his business off the ground. Today, the business has over 150 employees and is one of our largest clients.

Cathy Lyttle became a part of my life in 1999. She’s been supporting us from Worthington Industries for years, sending us business as recently as last month.

But the relationships we build aren’t just about work and growth. Cathy has been a mentor to me and so many others, living her life as an amazing role model, mother, and friend.

Paula Spence I met as she was retiring from Hameroff, Milenthal, Spence in 2002. She was leaving the marketing business as I was trying to figure out how to break in. We began talking over phone calls, notes, and even the occasional fax.

Years later, she mentioned that I should “call more often,” which was all that I needed to hear. Paula is now one of my dearest friends. We talk daily, and her advice, counsel, and love has meant more to me than she’ll ever know.

Starting from nothing is an incredibly humbling experience. I think the servant-like attitude you adopt starting out has made me very grateful. Grateful for every project. Grateful for every referral. Grateful for every good person I met.

I vigilantly stay in touch. I sent thank-you notes and holiday gifts. I meet friends, new and old, for lunch, catching up on loved ones and life. This vigilance stems from a genuine love of people and interest in their lives.

As the saying goes, it is the people who make this journey of life worthwhile and I couldn’t agree more.