photo (29)I originally wrote this blog back in 2011 but thought it would be a great way to kick off this new blog series as well.  Although I’ve had many more professional achievements since then this one sure kicked it off.  Enjoy!

Today I get to write a blog that I had always dreamed of writing. I have the privilege of announcing that BrightBox is ranked number 230 on the Inc. 500 list of the 500 fastest growing private company in the US. Yeah, I’m pumped!

You see, Inc Magazine and I go way back. I first started reading this publication when I was in high school. Flipping through the pages and reading about entrepreneurs’ stories was just fascinating to me. During my junior year in high school, I remember for the first time really taking note of the annual Inc.500 list. Wow, this was a list of America’s top business development gurus. If I read every page maybe I could figure out what the secret was to growing a business so quickly. I also remember thinking how proud those business owners and employees must be to have their names printed in this magazine and be considered some of America’s most successful business leaders.

Later in life, as a young business development professional, I would still read my Inc magazine every month, but with different eye. Now, more than just flipping through the pages and being mesmerized by the stories, I actually found those articles to be educational and practical. They provided motivation at times to keep me going, as well as tips and ideas to take back to my boss and co-workers. In the back of my mind, I was thinking how awesome it would be if I could be part of a team some day that drove their company to the top of that Inc 500 list.

As time and many different jobs flew by, I still faithfully read my Inc magazine every month. However the idea and fascination of making the Inc. 500 slowly faded into a “some day down the road” goal. I was caught up building a family and trying to make it through another week at a job that once again didn’t support my aggressive business growth strategies. Until finally, I’d had enough. I could no longer settle for mediocrity. Even though I didn’t have my own company, I just couldn’t help but see the potential for greater growth opportunity. So with the support of my wife and family, I quit my job and started BrightBox. Keep in mind that this “support” I’m talking about was only a big smile and an occasionally pat on the back followed by “you can do it Jay”. My business partner, Patrick McDonough, and I scraped up $2,000 to start this company, so support didn’t come in the form of dollars. In the beginning it was tough…real tough. I knocked on every door and spent countless hours on the phone cold calling companies looking for opportunity. I remember sharing my goal of making the Inc. 500 with Patrick in the beginning, he would smile and say “that would be cool” and then we’d both put our heads back down and feverishly work to get things done so we could hopefully collect enough money to keep the doors open another week. Well those weeks flew by and months got easier and easier to stay afloat. Three years later, we’ve acquired two companies, started a printing group and have over 30 employees. The dream of making that list was becoming a reality. So when I received that Inc branded packet in the mail yesterday, it truly was an awesome moment. I had finally made the pages of the very magazine that from the beginning helped support my passion for business and mold my aggressive drive to build a strong and memorable company.

This has been a long time coming for me. I’ve had my eye on this list for many years and it was no accident that we finally made it. I want to say Thank You to my business partner Patrick McDonough, my amazing staff and all my friends and family.

I couldn’t be prouder!! Now its time to set a new goal….