365 days, 188 of which I spent on the road

8,760 hours, 8,759 I’m pretty sure I worked

31,536,000 seconds, of which every single one I am grateful for

The idea of starting my own business began much longer ago than one year. I remember sitting at The Special Event Show in Florida and having some real conversations with industry friends about what the framework would look like…. What would I do? Would I have “stuff”? Or would I be just me?

After many ideas and many glasses of champagne, I decided to just be me – no gimmicks, no stuff, just a straight shooting professional that knows how to run a business and run it well. I had the experience, the knowledge, the network, but I also had one other thing…

FEAR. Fear of the unknown, fear of stepping outside of my comfort zone, etc. I chose to let that fear propel me forward though…as anyone that knows me knows I run straight into burning fires at every turn (just ask Vincent Dreffs!)

Here is a perfect example of why FEAR should never stop you from creating forward momentum in any aspect of your life:

Every year my husband and I unplug and go camping at this gorgeous lake in the Sierra Buttes that you can only reach via a treacherous 4×4 path, followed by taking your canoe across to the only spot that is flat enough to hold a tent for two people and a couple of lounge chairs…and my fires, which are epic. Betcha didn’t know I build a mean fire! That is a whole different story though.

Anyways…. the fear. The fear came when we were gazing out across this serene lake and spotted a giant lake lizard/dragon/monster sent straight from the River Styx. We both stared at it swimming across our lake – our happy place! I would never get in that water again if this were true! So I took one look at my husband and without a word we jumped into the canoe and started paddling toward this lake serpent at full bore. I think we actually got that Lazy River canoe up on plane! We raced towards this beast so we could see for ourselves and we could conquer this fear one way or another – we had each other’s back, as well as two solid wood paddles.

This ferocious beast turned out to be a mama duck and 8 little babies gently undulating behind her on the soft waves, which appeared from a distance to be a swimming sea serpent. We had the wits scared out of us by ducks. True story.

The moral of that story though is we’d always wonder “what if” and be a little disappointed and a little scared if we hadn’t investigated. I raced towards that fear as fast as my red canoe could take me, just like I raced towards the next move in my career, which is why you are reading this. Granted, I started my website and the groundwork of this company over 9 months before launching, so there was a little fear, but there were a lot of people – colleagues, family, friends, strangers I met after speaking – they all had my back and gave me the boost to do this.

So now I stand here today (ok, I’m sitting, not standing….I can’t get used to standing and typing yet), but I sit here today with more contracts than I could ever dream of having in year one, an amazing intern helping me to track all of the small details, brilliant sub-contractors I can call on to bring my vision for my clients to life when it’s out of my scope, and a stack of plane tickets and invites to some of the most prestigious events around the world…. I HAVE MY DUCKS IN A ROW!

I did it. I jumped. I had no net besides my wonderful husband to say, “it’s ok to try – I believe in you.” I leapt and I was caught by this industry…you’ve embraced my new venture, you’ve come to me for advice and guidance, you’ve reminded me that it was my hard work that built a solid reputation to be able to do this, and you’ve cheered me on at every turn. I appreciate you, I am grateful for you, and I love what we collectively do….you are my people.

Cheers to an amazing first year of business and many more to come….for all of us!