Once we’ve done the work to achieve the results our clients need, we can all get back to the most important thing in life.John Schultz, CEO
2:38am October 27, 2006
Wrapped in a blanket, I had an infant girl in my arms who wouldn’t sleep. Since August when we brought the baby home, we were used to interrupted sleep and our schedules turned upside down. There were days and nights that when the baby slept, we crashed wherever we could for however long she would sleep. Like any infant, she slept for a few hours at a time, but that night was different. She would drift off, then I would drift off, then in a few minutes she would wake up fussing. This went on for three hours and I was desperate to sleep. I was tired from the work week. I was exhausted from the infant routine, and I was out of ideas on how to turn this restless night into sleep time.
Then, I thought to myself:
“This is so stupid. Why am I doing this? This isn’t even my kid…”
Technically, she wasn’t my kid. She was a foster baby. Abandoned at birth at a local hospital, she had spent two months in the neonatal intensive care unit. With a long list of nearly unpronounceable medical problems, she also had no family who would take her in. She was motherless, homeless, and wasn’t doing well. Her doctors and nurses has stabilized her to the point where she could leave the hospital, but to where would she go?
That’s when my wife and I got the call from the local foster care agency. We had just finished training, and they said they had a special case for us. We had a week to get ready for a newborn and when we took her home on a Friday in August, our lives changed forever.
Fast-forward to today, and our adopted 11-year-old is thriving in spite of her medical problems. She loves dressing up, cuddling, and swimming in the summer. And she’s taught me one of the most important lessons of my life, the kind of lesson you don’t learn until you know the people around you are relying on you, and that is, family matters most of all. Everything we do needs to take care of our families, to help them be secure, safe, and happy.
That led me to a radically simple idea – we should have one corporate value that drives everything: Family First.
What does this mean for our clients?
The bottom line is our clients need results. We can’t waste time or money on ineffective campaigns. We have to craft brand messaging that connects with best-fit buyers. We have to execute quickly and efficiently, so our clients can enjoy the reward our performance delivers: that people can thrive in their jobs, businesses can grow, their cash flow can be healthy, and they can go home at night with fewer worries. When our clients thrive, they have more time and energy for their families.
For our team members,
This means we balance schedules, commutes, and vacation time with the hard work needed to make marketing campaigns work. Our office is metro-accessible in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and we also allow telecommuting every week that saves them time and the headaches of traffic. We’re flexible about start and end times of the work day, as long as clients are getting what we promise and what they need from us. Our clients pay us to listen to what they need, then lead their marketing campaigns, so we work as a team, leveraging our collective training and experience to get results. True, we have long days when needed, but we balance that out so most of the time, we’re home in time for dinner or to put the kids to bed. We’re not grinding through a project past midnight for days on end because we’re overworked or understaffed.
In short, we do our jobs so that when clients get the results they need, we can all get back to what matters most: the joys of family, of spending time with your kids and spouse, of being able to unplug sometimes and remember why we are doing this.
My girl is thriving now in spite of her medical challenges. My wife and I will always be grateful for being in the right place at the right time to adopt our little munchkin. Like any family, we need each other, and when we give our time and love we get much more back in return.
For NetStrategies, that’s why our core value is Family First.
We hope to help you put your family first, too.
— John Schultz, President