From Broken Bones to Breaking Boundaries: My Unconventional Journey to Entrepreneurship

Hey there, I’m Sean McKay, the founder, and CEO of Site Hub. I founded Site Hub in 2012, and since then we’ve grown a strong team, focusing primarily on helping small to medium-sized businesses in diverse industries from Government agencies to manufacturers, SaaS companies, and more. Today, I want to take you through my life’s journey—a story of resilience, self-reliance, and the pursuit of an entrepreneurial dream.

The Early Years: Finding Strength in Fragility

Living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a rare bone condition, has been a challenging experience, to say the least. With well over 20 instances of broken bones, fractures, and dislocations throughout my life—excluding fingers and toes—it’s been a tough ride. Fortunately, the condition isn’t life-threatening, and as I’ve grown older, the frequency of these breaks has significantly reduced.

Diagnosis was a hurdle in itself. Given the rarity of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, medical professionals didn’t pinpoint my condition until I reached my teenage years. Until then, most people—including some doctors—believed that my fragile bones could be remedied by simply “drinking more milk” or other equally uninformed solutions. This misunderstanding didn’t just affect me medically; it made me the target of teasing and exclusion as a child.

In response to being singled out, I developed a tendency to distance myself, becoming highly observant and analytical when it came to identifying people’s true motives and pay close attention to my surroundings. I was also on a quest for meaningful connections where I could be understood and accepted. The path to understanding my condition opened when an ears/nose/throat doctor, whom my father was seeing, noticed my blue sclera—a characteristic symptom of OI—and asked, “Does Sean have OI?” From that point on, a newfound comprehension of my condition set in.

This upbringing instilled in me not just a desire but a necessity for self-reliance, observant behavior, and an unyielding drive to succeed.

The Catalyst: An Irreplaceable Loss

I’ve come to realize that people aren’t fond of people who talk about their loved ones who passed, and in fact, most people don’t want to hear about other people’s parents in general. That said, my dad was my role model with so much wisdom to share, and he is so very important to me. In January 2012, I lost my father. This was the catalyst that pushed me to clarify my purpose and goals. My father was an entrepreneur, a man whose values and work ethic became the cornerstone of my own approach to business. It was at this crossroads that the idea of Site Hub crystallized into a real endeavor.

Trial by Fire: Learning the Ropes

Starting a business without investors, and as a college dropout, was like jumping off a cliff and building a parachute on the way down. I faced an uphill battle in every aspect of the business, from finding and retaining clients to managing employees. A notable challenge came when one client decided not to honor our agreement. I found myself in a legal loophole because my contract didn’t cover lawyer’s fees.. That harsh lesson led me to include lawyer’s fees and arbitration clauses in every subsequent contract.

Hitting Milestones: Success with the CDC

It’s not all been hurdles, though. A crowning achievement for Site Hub was getting onto the GSA Schedule and winning a contract from the CDC. This wasn’t just a contract; it was a validation of the quality and reliability we bring to our clients. We not only met but exceeded our contractual obligations, creating a strong, ongoing relationship with the Department of Health. This has opened doors to new opportunities, proving that a small, dedicated team can accomplish big things.

Further, we’ve been awarded national recognition for our work with our nonprofit, B2B, and Gov-Con clients such as our 2023 Hermes Awards platinum award for our work with the CDC.

The Wisdom of Listening

Early in life, my goal was to make myself heard, to make my mark in a world that seemed eager to overlook me. Yet, as I moved into a leadership role at Site Hub, I came to appreciate the tremendous value in listening to others. It’s essential for me that everyone from digital advertising specialists to UX/UI designers feels heard and valued. This approach has helped build a strong, collaborative environment that drives us toward collective success.

The Road Ahead

Today, Site Hub stands as a testament to resilience and self-reliance. We adapt, we grow, and we continually find new avenues to excel. We’re more than a marketing agency; we’re a team that transforms challenges into stepping stones. As we look to the future, the aim is not just to survive but to thrive, breaking boundaries and setting new standards in the marketing world.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope it serves as a testament to the power of self-belief and determination. We each have our obstacles, but with the right mindset, they become the catalysts for our greatest achievements.

  • Sean McKay, Founder and CMO, Site Hub