As I reflect on these last ten years, I owe a lot of our fortitude to my family. Seriously, without their love and support I would have likely given up on our dream to help end extreme poverty around the globe. My husband, Mark, has always believed in what we are doing and has been a rock of encouragement. My daughter, Natalie Fabbiani, is helping to create and fortify this business into the cutting-edge powerhouse of truth it will undoubtedly become. My parents are always involved and supportive and recently my father, Lt. Col (retired) Darrel Allen, joined as the non-profit liaison. They have always helped me to “keep it real” by getting my eyes off what I was doing, not doing, and onto the bigger picture – the kids we help serve around the world!
Ten years ago, around this time, we attended a networking event in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. I was standing in the center of a crowded – very crowded – reception hall at Gold Eagle Distributors helping a new dental office prepare for their grand opening. The two women owners were meeting and greeting everyone in attendance. They handed out invitations to the opening and business cards with dental floss inside – my idea. One of my colleagues, Ruth Anderson, walked up and said to them, “Oh, you know Michelle Grunberg? She’s the networking queen!” Just then the lightbulb was lit – I could get paid to “connect people” with more business. Hmmm… Fast forward ten years, thousands of clients, at least one million dollars in connections and an award-winning team of professionals I work alongside – and we are well on our way!!
I wanted to really look at what we have accomplished. If you are going to celebrate a decade, you should see what you did, right and wrong. Shortly after that networking event, I left my job at Paychex and went into business development mode. We registered the business on Sun Biz on July 4th 2009. I spent the next few months cleaning up my contacts and performing a task which is now called, ICUGrow. This is the way to leverage the wonderful people you know and turn them and their contacts into revenue. In September 2009, we officially launched with a handful of resources and over 2,000 connections. We made over 100 connections that year and began to fine tune what Iconnectu would stand for: building better businesses for the Greater Good.
Each year for the first five years we donated the top 10% of our revenue to causes we believed in. We served thousands of entrepreneurs and small companies to build relationships, create revenue, and tell their story. In 2015, with the help and guidance of Dani Johnson, we grew 1000%. Her valuable teachings opened up the intentionality of specific prayer and favor into our business. We organized our giving by opening a Trust Account called Iconnectu2Life within the National Christian Foundation and we began to sponsor children alongside World Vision.
Expanding Our Offerings – And Giving!
That same year, iconnectu began the ICUCare division with the help of Aqua Plumbing and Air. We began making Customer Experience Follow-Up live calls for clients around the United States. We hired stay at home professionals to make 100-150 calls a day and this allowed tremendous growth and favor. Since then, we have made over 500,000 calls. iconnectu committed to bringing one new child out of extreme poverty for every new client we brought on. What does this entail? The top 10% of every single dollar we earn goes to the Iconnectu2Life account and we have reserved over $25,000 since its inception!! We have seven children around the globe that receive our monthly sponsorship and prayers. Each month we hear from them and watch them grow. We are committed to the work World Vision is doing in each of their communities and know that for every dollar we send to them they stretch it to $1.30 – not many not-for-profits can say that! Best of all, when we meet with our ICUCare clients we talk first – and foremost – about the impact the work we are doing is having in their child’s life. Kejda in Albania just sent us a new video thanking us for all our love and support. I sent this on to Munn’s Sales and Service out of Leesburg, Florida and their entire team celebrated. It’s amazing!
Vision for the Future
What does the future hold for this amazing company? Only God knows. We know that we want to continue to grow ICUCare and provide these beautiful calls for the very best companies who choose to separate themselves from the others by showing sincere gratitude for their customers and learn from the truth we receive. We want to have 1,000 children saved from extreme poverty by 2030 – 10 years from now. That would mean we have 1,000 clients making 100 calls a day. 100,000 calls a day would require us to work alongside 1000 Customer Experience Representatives who would perform these tasks while being moms and dads and creating balance in their home life. We know this vision is achievable – in fact we have over 20 people ready and trained to begin making calls tomorrow.
How can you help? Find us the very best businesses out there who want to say, “Thank you, and how can we improve?” to their esteemed customers. Tell them about our mission. Let them know we are committed to excellence and trained in customer care by the best – Walt Disney World, Marriott, and Hilton. There is no risk to working with us – we love our attorney but hate contracts and legalese. Instead we have an agreement, and we can begin and stop making calls in just one day – that’s AWESOME!
Happy Birthday, iconnectu. Your logo is two “u’s” connected to make the Eye of God. Your team is made up of the very best customer experience professionals in the world. Your clients love what you bring to them every day in the form of truth and a celebration of a job well done. Your client’s customers love leaving their stories on Social Media each and every day. The children you help are healthy, they have clean water, they are going to school, they receive much needed medicine and housing, and they are taught life skills to get them through this adventure called life. It’s an honor to serve as your Leader and I hope that the next ten years, and the transition of bringing Natalie Fabbiani onto the helm, will be fruitful. May God bless iconnectu, America, and each and every one of you!