Webinar (Replay) – 5 Insider Tips For Cultivating Relationships That Yield Humongous Results

(Original date: April 28, 2016)

Relationships make the world go round but few of us were ever taught HOW to maximize our net worth through our network.

In just 60 minutes, I’ll share my 5-tips on how to cultivate relationships that yield humongous results. Brimming with examples from my own personal success, this “serial asker” spills my  insider secrets about how to catapult relationships into dollar in your bank account.

Discover How To…

  1. Test if your relationships are helping or hurting your bank account
  2. Avoid the #1 professional mistake that most women make and they don’t even know!
  3. Cultivate relationships you haven’t even made yet!
  4. Create your own revenue and media generating opportunities!
  5. Master the easy techniques to authentically ask for help!

If you feel like you are on the treadmill of life, not getting ahead or achieving what you want, you’ll want to treat yourself to these 60 minutes of learning, inspiration and action plans. Life begins with the permission you give yourself to succeed!

 

Hosted By: Nicole Matthews

As an in-demand speaker on entrepreneurship and personal development, I have presented across the globe, including Scotland and Mexico. I am also the author of Permission: Stop Competing and Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, and owner of The Henley Co, a global event, travel and lifestyle management firm. In all aspects of my work, I champion the importance of designing an authentic and prosperous life!

Manage the Crazy—5 Tips For Wedding Planners to Keep Their Sanity!

Article originally appeared in Wedding Planner Magazine – March 4, 2016: http://weddingplannermag.com/2016/03/manage-the-crazy-5-tips-for-wedding-planners-to-keep-their-sanity/

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No doubt about it, wedding planning is hectic and harried. How can you keep your cool and carry on? Read on.

The rose pedals have been scattered, the music has been cued, and the groom stands ready to receive his beloved as she slowly walks down the aisle. The guests are watching through the screens of their cell phones and trying to get a selfie with the bride as she comes down the aisle—signs of a modern wedding! You take a breath at the back of the church as you watch your clients profess their undying love to each other in front of their friends and family. While the vows and rings are exchanged, your team has already scattered and your assistant is flying across town to make sure the reception site is flawless for the announcement of the newly minted Mr. & Mrs. If even one leaf is out of place or a crumb has fallen from the cake, your overstuffed event kit will allow your assistant to MacGyver a solution out of the mobile tool box you have on wheels. You are wearing your superhero cape—you are Super Wedding Planner!

Having been in the event industry for 18 years, I applaud myself for keeping my sanity. During my tenure I have produced events as small as an intimate cocktail party to as large as Olympic programs. Sprinkled amongst the pages of my portfolio are a handful of weddings. Why so few, you might ask? The brash answer is that I don’t take on projects that I think will come with a big bag of crazy. I screen hardcore when I meet a couple. If, for a minute, I sniff out any loony in the room, I end the meeting without apology. My schedule suddenly “fills up,” and I’m not able to take on the project. With an apology for my overbooked schedule, I’m happy to let the couple go back out to fish in the planner pool.

For the couples who make it through my screening process, I implement five tips for keeping my sanity and keeping the couple from losing it.

1. Have the couple complete a thorough questionnaire. As part of the introduction and orientation to working with me and my team, I request all couples complete a comprehensive form, which tells me their vision for the wedding, the budget, any red flags, and helps me to get to know their personality. The questionnaire also identifies who will be involved with the planning and, more importantly, who will be writing the checks. Finally, I ask the couple to provide their expectations for their wedding planner. I want to hear, from them, what they believe my role is and how they believes we will interact. Tweet me @henleyco if you would like a copy of my form or click here:

Client Intake Form (Wedding)

2. Bring them back to reality. As we know, Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse. Little does the couple realize, when they are pinning away that the wedding they are creating will really cost $1.2 million. An experienced planner will take the vision from Pinterest and turn it into something the couple can afford. Educating couples about what items, services and products really cost is crucial. We have a very direct conversation early in the planning so we can manage expectations on both sides.

3. Get the details on everyone involved. In an attempt to herd the wedding party and family, I ask all couples to complete a spreadsheet with the names, role, and contact information for all VIPs. This allows me to communicate directly with the wedding party, key family members, and friends, which has eliminated any confusion, and the “I didn’t realize we had a rehearsal” comments. Everyone on this spreadsheet receives a timeline and production schedule, which starts with his or her arrival into town and continues until the wheels are up on their airplane ride home. The couple has enough to think about; we see it as our role to be the portal for communication. This has been a game changer!

4. Set boundaries—it will make all the difference to your business! Just because the client wants to email, text, or call you every five minutes, doesn’t mean you have to respond immediately. We train clients on how we want them to treat us. If we jump every time they wail, we are going to become a pogo stick. I set an appointment time for each of my brides, once per month (by phone or in-person), which then increases as the wedding day nears. I explain to the couple that I am happy to receive their emails when they have a thought or question but that I will respond during their dedicated appointment. It’s amazing how productive this has made the relationship.

5. Don’t leave money on the table. Regardless of whether you charge a flat rate or a combined rate (flat rate and mark-up), it’s important to look for ways to increase your profit. The decision to add concierge services to our business has allowed us to have a more comprehensive relationship with our clients long after their wedding is over. They come back to us for their travel coordination, household management, and in-home entertaining. Weddings should be the opening for you to manage other projects for the client—not just a one and done experience.

Clients look to us for guidance and expertise. We won’t be good at our craft if we let Bridezilla run the show. Setting boundaries is key for your own state of mind—which, in turn, attracts the clients we really want to serve. I now pronounce you a wedding planner with sanity intact. Go wear your Super Planner cape with pride! WPM

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Nicole Matthews, The Henley Company, San Diego, Calif.

Win a Copy!

Email editor@weddingplannermag.com, with your name, business, and complete address, by Thursday, March 31, for your chance to win a copy of Nicole Matthews’ book, Permission – Stop Competing & Start Creating The Life You Want to Live, published by Archway Publishing. Be sure to put “Book Contest” in the subject line. The book champions the power of “leaning on” others to help create the life you want to live. Simon T. Baily, CEO of the Brilliance Institute, says about the book: “WOW…this book is brilliant! Nicole walks next to us as a personal concierge who woos us with her riveting storytelling and painful truth.” The book is also available on Amazon.

Thank you, Veterans!

Thank You, Veterans!-1

On this day, November 11, 2015, we salute the veterans! As a woman, I feel very blessed to live in a country where I can own a business, create my own opportunities, and travel independently around the world!

Take a minute to say thanks to anyone who has served, and for the freedoms we are lucky to have!

Playground Chatter with Anthony Bollotta, Owner of Bollotta Entertainment

Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our new blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!

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Your Name:    Anthony Bollotta

Your nickname?   Admittedly some friends call me Princess, which I suppose is only slightly more impressive than Tony Bologny, the nickname I grew up with; which BTW, was sung and included the tag… Fat Macaroni.

What is your grown up job? I’m the proprietor of Bollotta Entertainment, but I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing WHEN I grow up.

How can we find you?
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/anthony.bollotta.1
Twitter:  @AllottaB
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/abollotta/
© 2014 Daniel Scherl

Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I was raised in North Miami Beach, Florida, in a quiet middle class neighborhood. We were the only Italians on a street comprised of Jewish families, so I’ve suffered an identity crises my entire life. I still want to be Bar Mitzvah’d! I recall my happiest days being those BEFORE I entered grade school. I didn’t know I was fat then.

Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? The living room with the TV and my board games.

Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch?  50/50. I usually bought lunch, and boy I can still taste that salisbury stake. Our grade school offered a little incentive… if there was a red line drawn in with a marker, on the bottom of your lunch tray, you would get free dessert. I considered that much more fun than the PBJ or bologna (no relation to the NN) my mother would pack. Especially if it didn’t include (as it often did NOT) that tasty Little Debbie treat, I loved so!

What would be your ideal recess today? Anything not related to my hairline!!!!

Does your company encourage recess for their employees? No, my boss is a tyrant! Although he does advocate for life balance.

If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in?  We’d play Jacks. Why? It’s fun, and requires no physical strength whatsoever!!!!

What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? Fairness. Team play. Being last comes with absolutely no perks, so try not to be last.

When does time disappear for you? Talk about your hobbies. Other than answering emails? Playing Words with Friends or Scramble with Friends, listening to a Broadway score or sleeping. Time seems to slip by fastest when I’m engaged in the latter.

What is one area of your life where you need more recess? I need recess from my brain, which goes nonstop! It’s exhausting!!!

What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? I guess to make people laugh. It’s my love and I continue to find ways to do it, albeit on or off stage! Are YOU laughing yet?

What can you do to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear).  I could stop working earlier in the evening, and stop taking responsibilities on that which should belong to others.

30 Days of Unique Experiences

One of the highlights I will take away from 2014 is my personal 30-day challenge of doing something new and unique every day. I loved committed to taking time for recess every day for 30-days straight! I was able to learn, explore and create memories.

Here’s the final list of my 30-day journey:

1. Jumped high at a trampoline park

2. Played 18-holes of soccer golf

3. Learned to knit

4. Took a tour of the new San Diego Central Library

5. Explore Leo Carillo Historic Park

6. Took an aerial silk class

7. Took a new hike in Scripps Ranch

8. Learned archery

9. Visited the Butterfly Garden at the Water Conservation

10. Learned the business of flowers at Organic Elementa

11. Attended a domestic violence fundraiser

12. Learned how to ride a dirt bike

13. Visited the Meditation Garden at the Self-Reflection Center

14. Had a head massage

15. Hiked to the top of Canyon Hills Open Space

16. Took at pizza making class at Great News Cooking School

17. Volunteered at Homecoming at USD

18. Took a swing dancing class

19. Attended the Little Italy Festa

20. Walked over the suspension bridges in Banker’s Hill

21. Took time out to meditate

22. Attended the Pit Bull & Enrique Iglesias concert

23. Took at boxing class

24. Attended a single’s event by Match.com

25. Staffed the Vista Hill Gala

26. Visited a bird sanctuary

27. Took a fall cooking class at Pirch

28. Had lunch with my prom date

29. Attended a Court Appointed Special Advocate Informational Meeting

30. Took a police ride along – 10 hour shift

I can’t recommend enough committing to a 30-day challenge – it shakes life up in a fun and exciting way!

Day #17: Living the Good Life – 30 Day Challenge (A New Hike)

As part of this 30-day challenge, I wanted to concentrate on not only trying new things, but also to stop wondering about places that I’ve always driven past but never had previously explored. Today, my Dad, Simon (the golden retriever) and I took a hike at Canyon Hills Open Space. If you are a Scripps Ranch kid, you’ve driven past it a million times. It sits on the corner of Mercy Road and the I-15. You can see the long trail carved into the side of the mountain from the freeway. I’ve always wondered what the view must look like from the top of the hill, so today we found out.

Hike is probably a more adventurous word to describe our experience than is really necessary. It’s more of a meandering walk that starts out completely up hill. The fire road is closed to traffic but offers a wide path for walkers, bike riders and the brave runner. At the top of the summit, you find a handful of picnic tables (who knew!) and a view to the ocean, the border and beyond. We commented what a perfect spot this would be to watch the air show.

Simon loved exploring new territory, with all the new smells. The walk took us about 40 minutes and according to my app was about 1.8 miles.

Now we can say, we know what the view from the top looks like! It was worth the walk straight up hill!

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Back to School = Back to the Grind!

Back to school

The school bells are ringing again. Welcome to a new school year. Whether you are sending off your little one for the first time, are lamenting over the fact you now have a high school senior, or anything in between, with a new school year comes a new rhythm. If you are like most families, getting kids up and out the door is now as challenging as the schedule shuffle that takes place after school with all of the extracurricular activities kids participate in every week. Do any kids just come home after school and get time to play? No kids we know!

To help manage the craziness of the back to school grind, we offer these helpful tips:

1. It’s all about the schedule – get organized! Make sure everyone in the family has access to the same family schedule and you note every practice, game, performance, rehearsal, school nights, test dates and major projects. Don’t forget to add Mom and Dad’s schedules too. This will highlight any transportation challenges that might arise.

2. Get organized in the kitchen – after a long day at work, followed by the after-school shuffle of activities, the last thing you want to do is come home to the burden of deciding what you want to cook for dinner. Plan ahead with weekly menu planning and go old school – bring out your Crock Pot and let the cooking happen while you are away.

3. The dinner table is sacred space – put away your cell phones, turn off the tv and engage as a family. As a child, my parents created an environment where the time around the dinner table was the most memorable. It was a place where we could talk about our days, laugh at memories and talk about family issues. To this day, the whole family comes home to my parents house on Sunday nights for family dinner. It is a cherished tradition and provides a safe space where after all the running around and juggling of balls we do all week long, we know all is right with the world around the dinner table.

4.  The Rapid 15!  Make a game about getting organized for the next day. Set a timer for 15 minutes before bed time and challenge everyone in the family to get organized — all backpacks by the door, school clothes laid out for the next day, all sports bags and school lunches packed. You could make it a family competition and give points to the family member who can get organized in the rapid 15 the fastest.

5. Take time for you! I remember the days when my parents would actually drop us off at soccer practice and come back 2-hours later to pick us up. There was never a line of parents lined up on the sidelines just to watch our practice. Hello helicopter parents! I know my mom cherished that 2-hours she had while we were at practice; whether she ran to do errands, went home for free time or jammed to the gym to get in a workout, my mom took the time for herself. It’s perfectly fine to be the parent that just does the drop off and actually takes practice time to focus on you! Go for a run, take a yoga class, grab a coffee with a friend or just go home and enjoy the peace and quiet. We promise your soccer star is going to be just fine at practice without you watching every shot on goal!

What other tips have worked for you? We want to know! Share your tips in the comment box below!