Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Quinn McLennan.
Tracy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After 20 years in corporate America, I decided to start my own business. I am the owner of TQM Communications, LLC (http://www.tqmcommunications.com/), a consulting company that provides editorial and marketing services to book publishing, marketing/advertising, and corporations. I live in Central Massachusetts with my husband, son, and a menagerie of animals.
Part of running your own company means you are constantly working. There isn’t much time for reflection. There’s a joke that entrepreneurs have freedom . . . so they can choose whichever 23 hours a day they wish to work. But I’ve been practicing yoga regularly this year, and I recently found myself in the final resting pose, Savasana, contemplating this milestone and what led to my saying goodbye to corporate America and hello to entrepreneurship.
My last position was actually a very good job, with fair compensation and benefits, regular hours, and a great location. It had some drawbacks, including a four-hour, round-trip commute by train every day and work that was mind-numbingly dull and repetitive. In my weekly meeting with my manager she asked me if I was aware that I had worked from home one day a week for the last 11 weeks. (The company disapproved of employees working out of the office).
That was a wake-up call. I knew I needed more flexibility to be available for my then-seven-year-old son, I was bored silly of the work, and I hated the commute. I could have looked for another position that was closer to home, allowed for a flex schedule, offered me more interesting assignments, or any other of the many variables that could have made a new job “better.”
The position I had before my last one was even worse. When my son was between the ages of three and five, I worked an hour’s drive away, 10 to 12 hours a day, at a highly stressful managerial role. It was the best salary I’d ever received — and the worst job I’d ever had. And time wasn’t on my side. As any parent knows, children age quickly, especially when they’re very young, and I was missing out on entire days of his life. I would leave home before he was awake in the morning and return when he was already in bed for the night. I was a “weekend mom,” experiencing the life of my only child just two out of seven days a week.
I was tired. Tired of working so many hours. Tired of office politics and performance evaluations. Tired of the daily grind of an office job. Tired of missing my son’s childhood. Tired of missing family dinners. Tired of switching jobs every couple of years looking for the elusive “right fit” — the perfect coworkers, fulfilling work, a solid paycheck, and more.
With the support of my husband, I decided I’d leave my job without having another one and with no plan to look for one. I thought I’d give it six months to a year to see if I could make my business a success. (Little did I know that it takes years to be able to accurately measure if a small business is viable.) I could always return to a full-time position, I figured. In anticipation of giving my resignation, I had secured two clients — a book project with a set due date and an ongoing daily proofreading gig — that would pay my “salary” for the first three months, and I planned on looking for additional freelance work in the meantime.
Now, more than four years later, my business is thriving, and I am crafting the work/life balance I’ve been seeking in 20 years of working. Some days are great, others are not, much like life itself. But overall, I’m happier, and life is more balanced and filled with more opportunities.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with TQM Communications, LLC – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
TQM Communications offers a wide variety of editorial services across marketing/advertising, book publishing, corporations, nonprofits, and academia.
Here is a short summary of the services TQM Communications offers—from the big picture to the smallest detail.
Consulting: brand building, content strategy, website development, marketing communications, and more
Book editing and writing: copy, line, and development editing from proposal development to final manuscript
Copyediting: proofreading, rewriting, and style guide adherence
Copywriting: online and offline collateral
What sets TQM Communications apart is that we value old-school rules of grammar and ensure that copy generated for our clients is always perfect. There is a proliferation of incorrect copy these days and we ensure accuracy and that high levels of copy directives are achieved.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that Boston is a walkable city. You can take in so much in so few steps. I love that it is diverse in its people an interests (sports, etc.). I love that we have a strong hometown support in our fandom. I love that it’s a large city but still small enough to feel like a small city.
I don’t like how expensive it is to live in Boston and attend college here.
- Address: 115 Boston Circle
- Website: www.tqmcommunications.com
- Phone: 5083612072
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org