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Here it is… my feelings over the last three days that lead up to the launch of Event Heroes! Boy what a rollercoaster ride it has been.

See the first four days of the Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

Day 3

A mixture of nausea and butterflies, my stomach won’t settle today. You know that feeling when you’re about to do something really exciting and your stomach seems to be doing flips while your mind loops in doubts and fears all at the same time?  That’s how I’m feeling right about now. Hope I can sleep tonight with only 3 days left until we expose ourselves to the world.

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Day 2

Ok, one day to go! – I’m fired up and calling everyone on our list to let them know we will be launching. We are watching Facebook posts and LinkedIn notifications and all the other social media outlets. Lots of work today to get things ready for tomorrow…. nerves are running high and butterflies abound.

Wow, what a day, we have really been running fast to get everything ready for the big day. One more check of Social media, links on the website and talking to friends and family to keep up the excitement. We are finally ready to go!

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Launch Day

2:30 AM – can’t sleep! All the doubt is coming back and I feel sick! – Hard to believe it’s finally here….now if I can just get a few more hours of sleep, that would be great. I just need to get just a few more winks!

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5:30 AM –My team will be online and watching the launch countdown clock and we can’t wait to see what happens.

Three years ago, I had an idea. I stewed about it and during that first year, I was riddled with excitement and doubt. I asked myself was it even a good idea? Are people really looking for what I want to offer? Who am I to be trusted as the “go to” expert in this industry?

Now, if this was my first business venture, these thoughts and feelings I had would make sense. Anything new is scary as you enter the zone of the unknown. But I’d already established an event planning business that had grown to a 7-figure business over thirty years’ time. I wasn’t a newbie by any means, and yet a flood of doubt and fear washed over me when I decided to let my entrepreneur side out once again.

“Anything new is scary as you enter the zone of the unknown”

Here’s what no one tells you about being a successful creative entrepreneur: No matter how much success you’ve had, no matter how your efforts impact the industry, you never outgrow doubt or fear. You can be Donald Trump or Richard Branson and still have these same fears and doubts (but maybe not as visible to the naked eye).  These feelings are all just part of the roller coaster ride of someone determined to design their own path in business and in life.

Follow along as I share my journey of what it feels during the week leading up to launching my new business, Event Heroes.

Day 7

Seven days away from our Event Heroes website launch and I am a nervous wreck! We have worked 3 years on this project and it is now finally time for us to release it to the world. Ugh – talk about exposing yourself!

The one thing I know for sure is that creating a business and bringing it to the world is like birthing a baby!

We’ve grown it, coddled it, thought about it, and changed it based on others suggestions or books from “experts.” So today, I’m on the top of the roller coaster, waiting to crest and then free fall down into the unknown, full of hopes and aspirations, fears and concerns, but all the while, really excited about the ride.

I’m preparing for the big day by spending time resting and thinking positive thoughts. At least that’s what I’m trying to do…but then the doubts flood my mind.  I’m obsessing about all the ways we could improve the product or figure out how to make sure the clients understand how to use the product, even though our team has been over this a thousand times!

We’ve tested our offerings with a small group to make sure our clients’ needs are met.  And yet, I still question everything! I keep reminding myself this is all a normal part of the entrepreneur roller coaster ride.

Day 6

Is Event Heroes what my clients really need or want?  Did we do a good job of explaining the product? Does the website make sense? Will it be successful? Did I just spend the last three years consumed with an idea only to find it never goes anywhere? Will this venture completely bankrupt me? Oh my gosh, now I’ve talked myself into a headache.

Still so many things to do and I am overwhelmed trying to keep up with two businesses.  Sometimes a glass of wine sounds great but then I remember that I need to be as sober and as productive as possible for the next few days. Definitely spiraling down on the roller coaster!

Day 5

Do I really have to get out of bed this morning? I was awake all night and thought about our upcoming launch.  I stared at the ceiling and watched the shadows play on the wall and listened to the wind howl. I’ve played this thing out over and over 100 times and broke into a cold sweat a time or two. Okay, so maybe those were hot flashes, but either way, the launch is coming.

It’s hard to decide when to hire a business coach because there is no objective way to assess when it is time to hire one.   The other part of the equation is more often than not when it is time to hire one; you are too busy to do your homework to determine if it is a going to be a good fit.

This is a big decision.  Do not take it lightly.

This is because business coaches will help you:  focus, make more money, experience less stress, have better relationships with employees and loved ones, help you keep your sanity while your business expands,  give you peace of mind and help you learn to trust yourself to make the right decisions at every turn.

Who doesn’t want to experience all of that?

Key #1:  Find a business coach who is the right fit for you personally and professionally.

When you hire a business coach, it has been proven in case studies that you will get the best results when you like & respect your coach (Manchester, 2001).  In addition, it will help tremendously if they have the expertise in the area of development that you need or want to address.   In other words, you must be both objective and subjective when choosing who you want to hire as your business coach.

Key #2:    Timing is everything.

If you are experiencing any of the following, it is time to consider the bottom-line impact that hiring a coach will have on the following:

  • Overcoming burn-out for you and/or your employees
  • Overcoming the lack of growth (or worse decrease in revenue)
  • Learning how to effectively deal with rapid growth
  • Taking the time to effectively prepare and plan to intentionally grow your business.
  • Overcoming and ultimately avoiding low performance from staff members
  • Creating hierarchy and/or structure
  • Creating clear job descriptions
  • Creating a culture on purpose vs. by default
  • Creating a more effective sales process: branding, marketing, pitch, onboarding customers, management of customer relationship,  etc.

With that being said, it is equally important (if not more important) to assess whether you are coachable and willing to invest the necessary time in your development to get the results you seek.If not, do not throw money at your problem.It will be a waste.

Key #3:   Give it time!

The results you want to experience are going to come if you hired the right professional.  With that being said, they don’t have a magic wand.  If you expect magic, hire a magician NOT a coach.

Key #4:  Spending more money on coaching doesn’t equate to better or faster results.

This doesn’t mean that you are going to get to hire someone who is cheap either.   In order to make this make sense financially, you need to assess the financial impact that your developmental gaps will have on the bottom-line.  After you do this, logically decide how much you are willing to spend and then commit to spending it.

This is important because if you hire a coach, you need to commit to the relationship for at least 6 months.  If you are financially strapped due to hiring a coach, it can create the opposite of what you want to achieve.  This is not what you want!

You need to get your creative juices flowing to plan your next event, but you just can’t think of a good theme and time is running out. You need to get down to the planning phase quickly! What to do? What to do?

Oh, yes, you forgot that little step of Brainstorming!   We told you it was important!  Who has time to brainstorm you may ask? You do!  Unless you are happy repeating the same event over and over again, you can skip this step. But, if you take pride in producing unique, customized events that fit your client’s individual needs, brainstorming is an extremely important step. It can make the difference between a good event and a great event that your attendees are talking about for years!

So what are the best ways to get a brainstorming session started?  We’ve created a list of our top 10 ways that we like to hold our sessions.  The key ideas we always keep in mind, no matter how or where we hold our sessions are:  have fun and no idea is off limits!

Brainstorming Tips

1. Create a place that is comfortable – get rid of the office chairs and desks, those are for the serious thinking and planning!

Imagine walking into a room filled with beanbags in bright colors for seating arrangements. This will take your brainstorming to a whole new level. It’s all about getting out of the BOX and in this instance about creating a creative space.

Have a pajama party. Ask guests to wear their PJ’s (with strict restrictions) to the planning session. Just being comfortable can release the creative thinking gene.

2. Include your whole team, not just the creative /planning staff

Include the drivers, set dressers, assistants, secretaries, etc – everyone has a unique viewpoint that will add value to your session

You’ll find that by having the same people to brainstorm with over and over will end up in the same ideas resurfacing. Adding in a member to your team that doesn’t think like the rest of the group will give you different perspectives immediately. You never know who has that next WOW idea and it might not be the creatives!

3. Establish the RULE – no idea is a bad idea

Create a judgement free zone for your session. No one has a bad idea, everyone takes a turn and everyone has input. Set up the ground rules in the beginning of the session and stick to them.

Decide who will be in charge as a group, this takes away any of the animosity that can occur in groups where the leader is appointed in advance. This is not a competition or a hierarchy like the office. It’s a free flowing, save and fun environment.

4. Have a large area to record ideas so everyone can easily read and add their own comments

Cover the walls in brown butcher paper, have plenty of writing tools available and encourage picture drawing to get the creative juices flowing.

Allow everyone a moment in the front of the room writing on the wall or create spaces for each individual and let them draw or write in their space at any time during the session. They might need the space to write a thought down when the ideas start popping! – Brainstorming can be kind of like popcorn…Once the first kernel starts to pop the whole bag explodes!

5. Everyone’s ideas are equal – nobody should feel shy or reserved

Give everyone free reign to express their ideas. Brainstorming is about free associating and ideas that caused laughter should not be exploited in the office. You are building comradery and teamwork while gaining all sorts of ideas. Make sure this is one of the rules you set up in the beginning.

6. Collect and save all ideas – you never know when something mentioned in one brainstorming session will spark an idea for another event

OK, so the crazy idea of flying the CEO in on an airplane cable didn’t work for this event but it might work for another. Keeping all those ideas in a folder of ideas will help you create this event and many more in the future.

7. NEVER criticize anyone’s ideas – this will lead to self-censorship which squashes creativity

Be respectful of other’s ideas, you never know when one silly idea might lead to a brilliant invention.

8. Take turns being the leader – giving others the chance to lead empowers and expands thinking

Make sure when doing this that you only have one leader at a time. Otherwise, you could have conflicting power interests.

Changing up leaders will open up different areas of conversation.

9. Work in teams and mix teams up.  Have the owner of the company team up with the part-time driver to come up with a theme.  You might be surprised what they create together!

Have team competitions for the craziest ideas, the most fun ideas and the ‘are you kidding me’ Ideas. You might be surprised what they create together!

10. HAVE FUN!  Brainstorming is the least stressful and the most fun part of event planning!

The most important item is to have fun. More ideas come out of relaxed conversation, laughing and giggles, harebrained ideas and drawings on napkins than any other way of communication. Have fun, build relationships with others and great ideas will flow that will translate into great events for your attendees!

Finally!

We find brainstorming one of the most fun elements of our job. Just letting our hair down for a few hours, laughing at ourselves and our ideas and usually coming up with some ideas to WOW our audience is what it’s all about for us.

We love finding those unique ways to thrill our audience and this is one of the ways we find works best for our team. Need some quick inspiration? Check out five of our favorite themes to get you started. 

What techniques do you use to stir up creative juices? We’d love to know!