In honor of our One Year Anniversary (August 20, 2012) of Empowering Pumps, LLC., I decided now would be a good time to write my story. I can’t tell you how many times in my 9 years in the pump industry I have been asked, “How did you get into PUMPS?”
I would likely respond, I was an administrative assistant for Pumps & Systems Magazine during college where I fell in love with sales and the pump industry. When I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Finance, I quickly discovered that the banking industry was not going to make me happy. The sales side of publishing was intriguing and so I asked for a job. What 24 year old doesn’t want to travel! 🙂
But my story is different now… My story of Empowering Pumps starts with my customer…
Last year on May 19th I was let go from P&S unexpectedly… I had no plan for what I would do next. It was one of my most disappointing moments. So, I took a couple days to be sad, read Dealing with Disappointment (which I strongly recommend for any disappointing times), and then it was time to figure my next move.
I knew I wanted to stay in the Pump Industry because I had made so many friends, some I even think of as family. I also felt I had unfinished promises to my customers and associations. I started looking into selling pumps, pump software, or selling advertising in other media companies.
I remember the day my mind changed from job to business. One of my industry friends sent me a note checking in and said, “You just let me know when you start your own pump digest.” That was all I needed…
The wheel started turning and I realized:
- I had the skills and connections to become a Publisher.
- I knew social media and I saw a need to use my skills to help others in the pump industry grow their business.
- I had the confidence I could build a successful start-up from my recent experience of creating Upstream Pumping Solutions. (I learned that with ONE relationship built on trust, something great could be made)
- I had the determination because someone told me CAN’T (a word I don’t believe in)… And I wanted to prove I could.
I decided the best ways to use all these was to design a website that would be an online community for the global pump industry. I identified the growth markets for pumps and the industries that were neglected by other industry trade publications, and I then set out to use my site to fill those gaps.
After creating a draft of my plan, I called a dear friend, Richard Baron. I knew Richard for several years but I was only fortunate to dine with him once before he passed this year. He is the one that gave me confirmation that Empowering Pumps would be understood industry. My original idea was “Powering Pumps” but I feared it would limit us to discussing the power source. He agreed that Empowering Pumps would be a great name and it would allow me to discuss all aspects of Pumps and Pump Systems, which was my goal.
I designed the website to be divided into Pump Topics. Because each industry is different, I wanted our readers to be able to only focus on the areas that were important to them. Knowing there are specialists in areas such as energy efficiency andreliability, I made sure these were easily grouped as well.
Another very important and unique part of the site is the Business Support section. Understanding that many of my OEM customers actually sell through pump distributors and reps, I decided this section could be used to inform them on Market Updates, Planning, Sales, Marketing, Industry Standards, and other Tools.
Lastly, I focused on Social Media. It is my passion and I included it on every page of the site. It is constantly changing and it is my goal to help our industry connect using these very helpful tools! I am constantly in touch with OEMs, Associations, and Events about the use of social media. I can’t wait to see how it grows this year!
Now that you know how and why we started, I would like to share a story that is very important to me…
Let’s talk about the first Empowering Pumps customer. The sale was actually made by accident. I remember it was my client’s birthday, so I called him. For some reason, I didn’t start the conversation with Happy Birthday, as I usually would. We talked about the site and he basically said, “ok send me an insertion order.” I was so happy! As we were hanging up, I remembered why I even made the call. So I said, “BTW, Happy Birthday.” I could tell the surprise in his voice when he said, “And that is why we love you…”
Now, I didn’t tell you that story to stress the importance of remembering birthdays, rather a story about how really caring about your customers is something they will remember.
As President and Publisher of EmpoweringPumps.com my mission is to help connect the global pump industry. By sharing great content along with helpful tools we can strive to help our friends, our customers, and our customer’s customers. This is why I created it. With your help we can make it even better!
Thank you for your continued support and participation!
Your Publisher, Partner, and Friend, Charli