Congratulations to Allison Shannon & 37MMG for being finalists this year for the 25th Anniversary of the Loudoun Small Business Awards! View the full list of finalists here. These awards will be held on November 8, 2019 at The National Conference Center. Register Here!
Allison Shannon is a finalist for Loudoun’s Top Entrepreneur of the Year and her business, 37MMG is a finalist for Superior Service Business of the Year. Post submitted by Allison Shannon.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
37MMG started out as a side-hustle that I created while I was managing Tysons Corner Center. I really loved working with the individual owners in the mall, because I could truly see the difference we were making for a “mom and pop” as opposed to a national brand. So, I started working directly, but indirectly, with those operators and found a true passion in that.
When I decided to retire from shopping centers, I felt confident in my sweet little businesses and started working on them full time. I was building 2 businesses at once – one that made money and one that made me smile. The one that made money helped me build the one that made me smile. Still to this day I have both, however now I understand that smiles are so much more important than making money.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
I grew up in Loudoun County – literally, my whole life. I was born at Leesburg Hospital, attended Leesburg Elementary School and graduated from Loudoun County High School – GO RAIDERS!
Owning a successful business in my hometown and giving back to the community who raised me means the world to me. Winning an award for doing what we love would honestly be a dream come true.
I have an amazing team who have COMPLETELY bought into this crazy 37MMG culture of brilliant kindness and hard work. They are creative and smart, tactical and strategic, hardworking and tough. They give more than 100% every single day to our clients, they always go above and beyond. They deserve every single award and it would mean the world to me for them to see that the hard work, leadership and energy they devote to 37 MMG and our clients is being noticed and appreciated.
3. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
There are 4 small “things” that make the biggest impact on our business. They are 5, 12, 13 and 16 and they are my children. Everything I do, every decision I make – is for them. For their future, for their benefit and for their livelihood. I want to lead by example and to demonstrate for them how hard work pays off and that we are not owed or entitled to anything at all. We are here to serve, to help others and to stand up for others. They, along with my awesome husband are my inspiration.
4. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
My dad, Pat Fischer. My company is named in his honor, he was a football player for the Washington Redskins and wore the number 37. He is my hero. I grew up idolizing my dad and I wanted to be exactly like him. My dad is amazing and inspiring, he is funny and fun, he is smart and logical, he is a mentor and a hero, and he taught me hard work and life lessons by watching him. He was the ultimate leader by example.
My dad played football in the NFL; he was a cornerback. He is not a big man by any stretch of the imagination, so to be successful he had to fight the odds, work his ass off and never let anyone tell him no. He beat all of the odds and played for 17 years, crushing men who were twice his size. My dad was truly an example to us growing up.
Once he retired, he started a horse farm – Raspberry Plain – which is now Raspberry Falls, he did EVERYTHING himself, breaking horses, feeding all of the animals (we had 75 Thoroughbred racehorses alone!), baling hay, mowing, he worked sun up to sun down without complaint and when he was done; he volunteered and did for others and the community.
The only way to be successful is to work hard, always be honest and kind and to give back to the community through service…every minute of every hour of every day. There was (and is) no exception to that rule. Our core values directly reflect the core values and lifetime lessons my dad taught me.
Even now, as he struggles sometimes to remember things; he does everything with dignity and pride, with all that he has – 100% effort; well-intended, no cutting corners with integrity and grit. He is the best.
5. What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?
Our clients. Our Clients. Our Clients. We have the BEST CLIENTS!! They trust us with their dreams…and we take that responsibility very seriously. Our clients are truly our family and that makes them absolutely our favorite part of running our business; building the relationships. Getting to know our clients and watching them realize their successes and dreams- it is so amazing. We are very fortunate to get to do what we do!
6. How do you see your business evolving in the next 10 years?
We will continue to educate ourselves, to be innovative, to be prepared for what is next in our industry and to try to get ahead of those pesky algorithm changes. I hope we will inspire others and compel other businesses to be relationship builders and to lift up the community. We will continue to give back – to give more and to impact other people’s lives and our community for the better in even bigger ways!
7. If you’re not in the office where can we find you/what is another passion you have?
If I am not in the office, I am most certainly with my family. Probably on a field or a court or a diamond – screaming at the top of my lungs. I am their biggest cheerleader and the loudest in the stand. Always.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
I wanted to be a few things; I wanted to be an NFL Quarterback, a teacher or a rock star if you look at the books my mom wrote in as I grew through the years. I remember most that I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. More than ANYTHING I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. My mom absolutely said no and refused to pay for any type of college that would point me in the direction of that particular dream, so I went to school with no idea what I wanted to really do. I landed on communications and marketing with a Spanish concentration and started working in malls😊 far from the dolphins.
9. If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
If my family was out of town and I was alone, I would for sure work, however that would NEVER happen because I would never let them leave me alone. I am obsessed with my family and I cherish my family time so, if we were going away, we would ALL go away!
When I have to travel for work and I am alone, I adore my huge fuzzy sweater, glasses on the face, a glass of wine, messy ponytail and the sound of my keyboard – creating cool stuff for our clients.
10. What is one book that you would recommend everyone read?
The Littlest Leaguer…I just read it to my 5-year old as he fell asleep. It was riveting.
11. Have you always had an entrepreneurial spririt?
I have always love to push others to be their best selves and to help others achieve success. I have always been passionate about anything I have decided to do, whether that was to clean a horse stall (it would literally be the cleanest on the farm) or have a family (we have 4 kids and 2 dogs). I always try to do my best and to embrace every step with kindness and humility.
As I write this, I am describing an entrepreneur–a humble, hopeful, creative, competitive, compassionate leader who is passionate about what they do and how they do it. However, I don’t think I ever really thought of myself that way until you made me write it!
Congratulations to the team at 37MMG! Good luck at the Small Business Awards this year.