April 2019

It's been a Minute,  Ask for it and you will get it

Ok...it's been a minute I know.  As I thought about what to share this time around it became somewhat overwhelming.  It's been a year and a half and SO MUCH has happened.  Lots of changes, success, failure, gains, loss, birth and death it happens so quickly.  In each season it may feel as if it dragging on.  But yes my friends in a blink of an eye it all changes.  We laugh about the weather in Memphis, you don't like it....wait about four hours and you will experience another season.  I remember teasing my mom...how did you ever have us prepared when the weather channel wasn't even invented yet? 

So that's my question today...what are you doing to prepare for the inevitable changes to come? 

Can you think of one time in your own life that you looked at a situation saying to yourself you thought this might happen?  And you probably had thought about a possible solution or direction if it did...that's a much less scary way to fail right?

Of course knowledge is a big key, but I believe that wisdom includes life experience too.  In that experience we are connected to other people, no matter if we trying or not.  If we dare think to access the wisdom of those in our paths, it's then we can really grasp what can be accomplished beyond our own capabilities!  I get to spend a lot of time with others that want to connect on purpose and the accomplishments of those connections happens before my eyes daily. I don't share my perspective from the "front of the room" very often.  But maybe I should....

Each one of us is a leader in something somewhere in our lives.  Part of being prepared to take that role includes being prepared to fail in that role.  If you are writing a business plan, it's called an exit strategy.  If you are getting married or committing to a relationship it's called building blocks.  If you are building a winning team, it's conditioning, practice and the cohesive talents of many to sustain.  While each of these tools may be fundamentally correct and the surest path to success they all cannot predict the unpredictability of life.   Because change no doubt will come to each of us. During those seasons of change(that wasn't in the plan), we may not realize, but we speak out into the universe the things we pursue from our very being.  On purpose or not others hear what you are asking for and you will get it.   It's human nature.....but remember this applies to your desire to build or destroy(end) the very situation you are asking to change.  Your desire will attract the right or wrong people...leaving choices to be made.  As sure as the river continues to flow, you will get results from those choices and the processes start over again with the experience to progress and grow..... or repeat the results until you do.

From the front of the room I see those that are bold and ask for others to have input on current situations they are trusted to manage.  I also see those that are looking for a way to bring their needs to others without seeming weak or vulnerable.  I see those still struggling with life to be fair.  I see people that are in the room, but disconnected to what's going on.  I see people that are overly engaged and disconnected to what's going on.  Some have lives that are pretty open books, while others prefer to keep the relationship within the confines of the weekly meeting.  What's amazing is it works....all of it. 

Some of the notable highlights: 

A kickball game changed the course of a financial planners life and he is devoted to helping others live a healthy life both physically and financially and doing it successfully

Lost a huge client due to lack of access to facilities chosen by the client, on assured all the equipment that was needed was available and in working order it wasn't, huge fail,  won't ever make that mistake again....still trying to win that one back 

In my own home I have watched my husbands idea on whiteboard become a celebration and ribbon cutting for a second retail location.  One of those real life it started in the garage stories..

A dear friend and referral partners life was spared in a car accident that we still are amazed she is with us, fighting, believing and inspiring others with her sheer will to make a come back

Watched a scared determine woman not only step out to be a strong entrepreneur and build a business that supports the life she wants with her children, but find true love to continue that to increase that dream and more

Watched two ladies make decisions to step back in their passions pursuit to provide consistently for their children both in time and finances.  There's two comeback stories waiting to happen.....

Welcomed a new real estate team to one of our chapters and they are not only headed to the world championship cook off later this year (in separate categories), they opened their own office.

Watched a chef go from managing a small business meat store to overseeing and million dollar kitchen and a dream changing leap of faith to make it happen.

Seen a friend finally admit they lost control of the use of the pain meds the doctor so freely made available, say no more on their own.  Out of rehab now and making a comeback each day

Inspiring...yes... all of them.  But what is missing is your story...are you really ready to ask for it?  I watched each of these situations change to amazing outcomes because they asked for it to happen that way. Passionately working, connecting and believing as they asked it became their desired outcome. 

As I walked away from the ribbon cutting of a new business supporting my best friend, my lover and my husband..               I realized I left my cupcake...

I am beginning to think it inspires me to write.

                                                                              September 2017

When it's your event...perspective changes

It all starts with a thought.  You know the one you just can't get out of your head?  Out of no where it seems, it becomes a dream.  Now depending on who you are, you may scribble a thought on a tablet or napkin.  Then you find the courage to talk with someone about it.  You have just given that thought life. 

In the mind of an event planner or caterer, this is our daily opportunity.  We get to spend time and energy in imaginations of our own and others!  It may only seem like a training class of 20, a family reunion of 150, a wedding reception of 200, a fundraiser of 700 or a holiday meal for 1200 factory workers.... until it becomes yours.  I have been the answer to every detail of these events, conquered and fed the masses, hit the mark on every detail of the most intimate events and can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

Then this happened to me recently and I thought I had just about seen it all.  Four years ago was the first step...I was mother of the groom.  It was hard for me to not be involved in every little detail and for the first time it wasn't my place.  His bride-to-be was lovely, confident, has a strong mother at her side along with her entire family.  The women of her hometown seemed to live for just this occasion. She had been dreaming of this day her whole life and she stole my sons heart.   I had a place of honor in this celebration, again new territory.  I can't tell you how many times I was told to relax and take it all in.  I didn't know how!  Somehow some part of me seemed to watch it all happen from the sidelines, but her day was perfect and I didn't loose anything in this experience....trust me I gained. 

This year, 2017, rolled in with a ton of changes in my life. Venturing into new avenues as an entrepreneur and consulting.  Anyone that knows me, knows I love network marketing.  Connecting people on purpose!  This year it happened to me..big...and I have been blessed!  I knew my daughter was set to graduate from college in the spring and I was prepared.  But the phone rang and a much anticipated engagement was announced.  For the first time I was going to be mother of the bride.  That one took a minute to sink in and when it hit me, I realized I had been training my whole life for this. From the first moment my mother said " Come on Laura I am going to need your help in the kitchen".  I will admit, I immediately prayed for the caterer because this celebration would be taking place in Texas and not her hometown in Memphis.  Prayers answered and proposals submitted, I connected with Heather Rose with Black Eye Pea Catering in Arlington Texas.  I connected with another life long, I am never gonna be rich, but I love what I do lady!  If you were with us please take time to give them a review at this link:                  https://www.facebook.com/BEPCatering

My daughter was in full control of her dream and I found that I negotiate things with myself very well.  Indoor wedding, outdoor reception and I learned that the grass cut low under the tent was a poplar flooring solution in Texas.  In Tennessee we worry about the soft clay ground and opt for more solid flooring for these type of events. Two days before the wedding I was on the phone coordinating the set of of the tent from my remote office at the Quality Inn.    Juan with the set up team called and went way out of his way to meet my needs. BAM..blow away customer service.  We rented a u haul to secure the tables, chairs and linens.  Off to the pick up the u haul we rolled, some day my husband will need to share the GPS night mares of this adventure..but not today.  My reservation was for noon, I called spoke with Chris and he told me she was ready anytime for pick up.  I once again experienced customer service that blew me away.   Since I was only driving it 8 miles round trip he gave me the truck that was full and turned off the haul package.  I really only paid $19.95, 8 miles and tax...one for the record books.

I only had to put on my planner/caterer hat two more times.  The morning of to meet the coordinator and re-work the floor plan for the tent.  As my imagination bounced and my memory fed all the details my daughter and I had dreamed, the shift of each table was important.  Calculating the space needs for the other vendors, where the sun will be at the time of the event and creating space to allow the bride and groom to visit with their guests with ease.  I felt like an orchestra leader as the direction came out guiding the flow of the hands that were there to make it all happen and I disappeared to finally be mother of the bride. 

I did say two more times and that is after the last guest said good bye, it was time to break down, sort out all the decorations, gifts, cards, lights and yes properly breakdown and store the rental items. Amazing how months of details become a pile in the middle of the room at the end of the evening.  I had the honor of driving the brides car back to their new home full of gifts and yes, properly decorated.  The sounds of the horns honking after a long day still tickles me.

I realized after I locked their apartment door walking back down the steps that I didn't even get a piece of cake.  I heard it was delicious.  But the sweetness of memory that unfolded that day, in the exhaustion that overcame me as I came down those stairs that, this was once a dream. It was a perfect day and it could never be matched in only a bite of cake.  Yeah, to the vendors and workers it was just another wedding for 200 guests, that required an rfp (request for proposal) but started with a dream.  Some days it may seem like just another event.....but this one was mine.