March 2009

You Buy the Peanut Butter, I’ll Get the Bread

"The Absolute True Adventures of Best Friends in Business"


To run a small business is to have a schizophrenic existence of highs and lows – of believing in yourself one minute, doubting yourself the next.  Always having to put a smile on your face even as you face failure, madness and possible financial devastation – always having to push through it for the sake of the client and to prevent a mass exodus of the few employees you have.

It’s all about trying to survive and if you’re lucky enough - thrive, all while maintaining a sense of dignity (when you feel desperate) and grace (when you really want to freak out).

 To run a business is to always have someone calling your name – the client, the employee, the intern, the solicitor, the phone company, the electricity company, past due vendors, the IRS – not to mention your friends vying for any free time you have. 

Everybody wants something from you yesterday. 

As the requestors turn to vultures and your body and spirit into the symbolic meat they are plucking from, you fight to stay conscience, to stay aware, to believe that you are here for a purpose and for a reason.

And at the point of giving up, the sun appears – the new account is signed; the bills are paid on time; the perfect employee walks through the door; the intern who actually wants to learn can do five a days a week, 9 to 5 – and life looks good – and you know exactly why you are here – you love what you do and tears, fears, or cheers – you are in it for the long haul. 

You realize that obstacles and difficulties aside, it was so worth it; that there is a higher joy and a sense of accomplishment to working for yourself.  That through it all you have fought to control your own destiny, make your own rules and define your own sense of freedom.  When you work for yourself, you are a survivor, a warrior - you have succeeded in the “road not taken” and have etched out your own independence, your own self-direction and your own wealth.  Yet what you’ve built can’t be put into just dollar amounts, but in quality of life amounts – the joy of working on what interests you, the joy of being able to take time for yourselves and structure your business around your beliefs and attitudes. We can look back and see that we were wise enough and brave enough to capitalize off of one opportunity that turned our lives around.  And isn’t that what life is all about? Finding what fits and who fits with you and making the most of it?

We opened Noelle-Elaine Media, a New York City-based event management, media relations and production firm in 1993.  No one could call us “green” when we opened our doors, having both worked in the media industry for nearly a dozen years prior with companies such as CNBC, WNBC-TV, Dow Jones and Time Warner Cable.  We worked as producers, journalists, publicists, and sales administrators, among other industry professions before starting our company.