What I learned from our clients in 2021

Lori Stutsman By Lori Stutsman, President & Chief Customer Service Officer, Extra Mile Marketing

Typically, we write about what we can teach others when it comes to marketing and sales. In fact, over the course of my career, I have taught hundreds of classes and thousands of participants. But what we don’t normally talk about is how much our team learns from our clients.

The year 2021 was, again, another tumultuous year for the world, the country, the EMM team, and me. I learned a lot about the art of perseverance, the inescapability of change, the surprise of disappointment, and the incredible value of teamwork. 

In the perseverance category, I have to hand it to our client, Raaja (dba BoxerSix). They are a California-based cannabis start-up with brilliant new products. It was just their luck that they decided to build a company in the middle of a pandemic, with delay after delay in manufacturing equipment, extensive scientific testing, and ever-rising costs. They have needed to operate on a shoestring budget all while trying to get a manufacturing and growing operation up and running, locking in store leases, and building a brand. With the “never say die” mindset of its CEO, Ron Glantz, along with the rest of the executive team, they are poised to launch mid-2022 with a bang! From this client, I was reminded how hard it was founding EMM back in 2003, and how much work it as taken to reach our 19th year in business.

Our Microsoft clients also experienced major changes in 2021. An entire program that was set up for Microsoft partners was disbanded, leaving many looking for work in other areas of the company and beyond. Watching our client, Diana Ishak, move through the changes with grace and positivity, taught me the importance of accepting the inevitability of change and looking for ways to not only survive change, but to thrive during its impact.

On another front, our client, China Telecom Americas, faced extreme adversity as the United States took steps to minimize trade to China. A trade war is something I have never directly experienced in all my years in business, and I have to admire the determination of CTA’s Chairman, Xu (Steven) Tan. CTA hosted an internal conference designed to bolster morale, share customer success stories, and strengthen the team. They honored us by inviting EMM to lead the opening session where we were able to talk about adapting to changing environments and staying motivated. 

Throughout the year, I felt so fortunate to be associated with each of our clients, who really taught me so much and reminded me to be thankful for the wonderful team with whom I am surrounded. 

As Socrates once said, “Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers.”   

Here’s to a great 2022!

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