Are you ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship? Are you looking for the signs to get started? Starting a business is an exciting journey that comes with its own set of challenges, but you have to remember that nothing is impossible!
I met today’s podcast guest recently at a 2 day workshop in Chelsea, Michigan at The Collins Off Main. Brennan Stanford is the owner of Premier Pour Bartending, the ultimate mobile bar and bartending service. He’s sharing how he made the decision to change paths and start a business and the journey that has gotten his business to where it is today.
*The turning point in business
*The importance of having policies and procedures
*How to identify life changing health factors
*How to get started when building a business
*How to know when it is time to bring on team members to help
*How to make your business unique and set apart from others in your space
More About Our Guest:
Brennan is the Owner, Founder, and CEO of Premier Pour Bartending. While bartending in college at Bowling Green State University, he had the bright idea ???? to start this company! Outside of bartending, Brennan spends his time hot air ballooning, traveling, sailing, and playing with his super cute goldendoodle, Kona.
Favorite Travel Destination: British Virgin Islands and León, Guanajuato, Mexico
Favorite Color: Cerulean Blue
Favorite Holiday: 4th of July
Favorite Cocktail: Kentucky Mule with fresh grated ginger
We’ve all probably gone through a time when we feel like we want to change careers. The challenge is, how do you know if it's really time for a change? Change can be intimidating, and making a career switch can be daunting. However, if what you are doing isn't fulfilling your needs or providing value in your life, that just might be your sign that it’s time to jump into something new!
I’m so excited to share today’s podcast guests, Maddison Husted and Mallory Vredeveld, Owners of The Five Forks located in Jackson, MI. I recently met them at our two day GSD event at The Collins Off Main in Chelsea, MI and their story is amazing! After some unforeseen career shifts, Maddison and Mallory have grown a business, while utilizing their strongest personality traits to ensure growth and efficiency in their business. Listen in to learn more about their journey!
*Remember to have fun while building a business from your passion
*The best results sometimes come out of the biggest challenges
*Defining what you have to do in your business and delegating the rest
*Remember that change can be good
*Set boundaries, they work!
*Don’t be afraid to ask for help
More About Our Guest:
We are two sisters, Mallory and Maddison, who for different reasons both ended up becoming stay at home moms during COVID and wanted something we could do for ourselves!
We love making special treats for all different occasions and do most of our baking and creating after our five kids (the five forks!) go to bed! The oldest was born in 2014 and the youngest in 2020 - so we always have something going on!
The kids are our best taste testers and take their jobs very seriously!
Baking has always been a creative outlet for both of us - even as kids! Being able to create cakes for such special occasions inspires us every time to make our newest favorite design. From flavor testing, to design and color mixing then finishing with perfectly paired sprinkles or a custom topper - we love every step! Except maybe the dishes.
Mallory is the older sister and is definitely the planner and task oriented one. With a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling, she spent 14 years in clinical and leadership positions in the mental health field before becoming a Stay at Home Mom and Small Business Owner. Mallory brings lots of creativity and outside of the box thinking to the business (and is also a strong advocate for family balance). Mallory and her husband Dan have three of the Five Forks, Emelia, Eloise and Elliot. Outside of cakes, Mallory enjoys other creative hobbies, traveling and spending time with her family and friends!
Maddison is the perfectionist. With a Masters degree in Chemistry and a little over eight years working in biochemistry. Every single one of our recipes are written out with measurements down to the gram and baking times measured depending on the season all because of her left brain approach to the world. Maddison and her husband Keir have two of the Five Forks, Thea and Posey. While Keir doesn’t enjoy cake (who knows) Thea and Posey are happy to pick up the slack! Maddison loves trying new recipes and keeping up with current trends to always bring unique yet personal touches to all of our cakes!
Have you ever met someone who you immediately just click with? Well, that’s exactly how it went when today’s guest, Amy Collins, and I met at Wedding MBA in November 2022. Amy is the owner of Collins Off Main, a beautiful and unique venue in Chelsea, Michigan which is a city in the greater Detroit area. Since meeting we’ve planned and hosted a 2 day workshop at her venue where we shared the GSD Framework business owners from all over the country!
Opening a venue was definitely a shift for Amy and her family. Amy is an industry leader in event design with over two decades of experience. She and her family moved from California to Chelsea, MI and Amy was spending many hours traveling back and forth to continue working with her clients in the Santa Barbara area, however after months of this she decided there had to be a change. That’s when she and her husband decided to create something different, something new for the city of Chelsea, they brought their talent and knowledge together to create a space for everyone, The Collins Off Main, as well as, soon to open The Collins at the Clock Tower.
By embracing change Amy has grown an amazing business and space that leaves a lasting impression on the guests who walk through its doors. Listen in to hear more about Amy’s journey!
*Many times change is the pathway to growth, don’t let fear rule your path
*Time is precious, spend your time doing what matters most to you
*Growing a business is never easy, build a team who wants to see the vision through
*Sometimes we don’t always know how to communicate with others until we dive deeper into their personality
*Learn from change and grow from it
*Knowing how to communicate with your team and vendors is key to success!
More About Our Guest:
Amy Collins is a nationally recognized and award-winning wedding expert who has been featured in US News & World Report, Bloomberg, Value Penguin and the National Association of Women Business Owners along with other leading news agencies.
She is an industry leader on event design and build-from-scratch weddings, events and festivals. With over two decades of experience her knowledge is sought heavily by industry peers and colleagues alike.
Over the last two years Amy has been opening two of Detroit’s hottest wedding venues, The Collins off Main & The Collins at the Clocktower; urban, chic, industrial venues for today's trendy client.
Amy is an avid volunteer and spends her time working to end human trafficking through legislative advocacy in Junior League along with helping to propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social, and political spheres of power worldwide by volunteering on two National committees for NAWBO.
As busy business owners and entrepreneurs we are running constantly. Am I right? We have our eye on the prize but sometimes our focus can be a little foggy. There are certain steps to the process when it comes to success, so are you focusing on the right things at the right time?
A common myth we hear from business owners is that “word of mouth is the only way to grow your business” or “all of my business comes from word of mouth, my website/digital presence doesn’t matter”. Well, we’re going to crush that myth RIGHT NOW.
Your digital brand is so much more than throwing up a pretty website, and today’s guest Julie Novack is here to share with you all about her journey to growing a digital brand, and how you can too! Julie is CEO & Co-Founder of PartySlate, a platform that inspires people planning all types of events and connects them with the leading event professionals, vendors, and venues across the country and the world. She is going to share with us her top tips on how event professionals should prioritize their time to build a strong digital marketing program, while also saving time doing it. And y’all know what I say, time is precious and valuable, so make sure you are spending it the way YOU want to spend it!
*How event professionals should prioritize their time to build a strong digital marketing program
*How companies can save time on digital marketing
*How small businesses can balance investing in social media vs. SEO
*Breaking through the digital world requires great content
*How to leverage marketing assets to improve your digital footprint
*Breaking down the key areas of your digital footprint
Time moves fast and so do milestones. When was the last time you celebrated a milestone in your business? It’s so important to take note and take TIME to celebrate the journey. If you’ve been a listener for some time you may remember a very special guest, my brother, Robert Young, Owner of Covert Results.
This year Covert Results celebrates 5 years! Most businesses don’t make it to five years. Going from an undercover drug dealer listening in on wiretaps to an entrepreneur is a little different. You can’t do this alone. When something “bad” happens, there is always a silver lining. Something better waiting for you. If there is a situation where you are forced to sit “still” there is a bigger reason. Could be you need the time (knocked on your ass) to reflect to make a bigger impact on your life and others lives. If you want to go fast, get really clear. And if you want to go faster, go together. Speed is Clarity.
YEAR 1: Founded Covert Results, private investigations, armed security, cyber security company
YEAR 2: Became a first time author with “The Good Line”
YEAR 3: Launched Online Course (online gun trainers) we didn’t mention this, but want to note it on the blog (this is more for me to document for future way to track years)
YEAR 4: Founded Operation Rose, non-profit to combat Human Trafficking
Passed a resolution (politics will play out)
YEAR 5: Follow along on the journey!
How valuable is your time? Many may say that their time is priceless, but have you broken down the real numbers to determine your ROT (Return on Time)? Time blocking is a process that has saved my business time and time again. It keeps me and my team organized and productive.
Setting aside intentional time to Get Shit Done has fueled me in my life and business to prioritize tasks and have time to do the things I want to do and spend time with people I love. Time is precious. Listen in as I share how time blocking saved my business.
*Having a process and time blocking opens up space for growth
*How to time block to increase productivity
*How time blocking can increase your ROI
*Prioritize time based on tasks
*Make time for the things you want to do
*Time is precious
Timing is everything. We all have a plan right? The way we think things are going to go. Whether it’s personal or professional, we all have a journey we are on and a path we have planned to take. But life is unpredictable and many times our path takes turns that we do not expect. How we respond to the unexpected is what determines our success in reaching our goals.
Today I am so excited to share guest, Holly Carpenter, Owner and “Sales Queen” of Carpenter Hospitality Consulting. We’re talking all about Holly’s journey both within her business and personally and how she prioritizes her time to create the life she wants.
*Why building relationships in & outside of your industry is so important
*What CEO day is and why to do it every week
*What a consultant really does
*Remember a Consultant is also your cheerleader
*Drink Wine (Holly’s Favorite!)
More About Our Guest:
Holly Carpenter is a purpose driven relationship builder with a deep history in the hospitality industry. She got her start at 16 when her Dad drove to the local IHOP and told her to get a job. With over two decades experience in all facets of hospitality, Holly is well known for her incredible sales and management skills in her adopted hometown of Nashville, TN and beyond.
Holly has held a range of positions including Wedding Sales Manager for the historic Hotel Northampton and Catering Manager at Gaylord Opryland where she served on the evaluation and reopening team during the 2010 Nashville Flood.
Most recently she was Senior Catering and Sales Manager for A. Marshall Hospitality, opening their upscale steakhouse Deacon’s New South while also managing a team of four sales managers for the family-friendly Puckett’s Grocery.
In February 2022 Holly took the leap close friends and family had encouraged and launched Carpenter Hospitality Consulting. CHC focuses on supporting companies in the hospitality industry, increasing their sales through process and systems consulting. Whether finding the right CRM, creating customer friendly packages or menus, automating tasks or creating attainable goals, CHC offers the opportunity to uplevel all aspects of the sales and customer experience.
When Holly isn’t serving as Sales Queen for her clients she is traveling with her son Jameson. She and Jamo share their Nashville home with pups Smudge and Maggie.
What is your bigger purpose? Have you really thought about it? I’ve noticed throughout my travels and experiences, that many times people tell me I’m their “first”. The first person who made them feel special and included.
Yes, I put pressure on people to step out of their comfort zones, but that’s where growth happens! When you get uncomfortable you give yourself the room to grow. And I love seeing how people take the opportunity to give themselves that room, they just need a little push and a sprinkle of confidence.
What do you think about when someone says, “Do you remember your first time”? The first memory or the first meaningful thing you can remember as a child? Sad, angry, mad? How would you feel? I want people to feel FUN. I want them to understand you can have fun while being present, productive and profitable.
*How getting uncomfortable helps you grow
*Finding your bigger purpose (through life experience)
*How are you making others feel?
*Make sleep a priority
*Knowing how to manage emotions like stress
*Connection starts with stepping out of your comfort zone
Do you remember your first time? Haha… I know what you’re thinking… that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about the first time you did something new! And what you learned from your experience. I recently traveled to the Atlanta Market to shop for a client and it brought back all the memories of the first time I went and let me tell you, I had no clue what I was doing!
So that made me think… If I am feeling overwhelmed my first time… someone else has to be feeling this way too! Ya know!?
Maybe if I shared my experience, it could help someone else when they experience market for the first time. So tune in because I’m going to share all my “Top tips for shopping at market”.
And if you never plan to go to market, these tips can apply to any trip, conference, travels and more! Think outside of the box!
And oh by the way, there’s a super fun story (LIKE WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME!) about how I was followed! Yes, (YEP!) I’m talking followed through market… they thought I was a spy, make sure to listen and I’ll give you all the deets!
I’ll share insight on the communication tool we use in PHASE 1 of the GSD Framework and how I personally used it to confidently tell these undercover security people I was NOT working for another country!!!
*Avoid the unneeded stress in your life and PLAN ahead; use my TOP TIPS to plan ahead for a market, a conference or even a trip
*Save a TON of time, stress and MONEY by knowing THE right questions to ask UP FRONT to pre quality so you don’t waste your time
*How to use our GSD communication tool to stay calm under pressure, and I will show you how you can, put it into play…. real time
Now I got ya thinking’! I hope! Read more on the blog and get my top 10 MUST have items for market or a conference so you can plan ahead and avoid the stress!
TOP 10 ITEMS TO PACK:
*Phone stabilizer tripod
*Download the App - AmericasMart
*Physical or digital business cards
*Portable powerbank and cords
VISIT THE GSD AMAZON STORE FOR MANY OF THE ITEMS LISTED ABOVE
Tips & Preparation:
*Register online ahead of time
*Make sure your budget is set for wha you are shopping ofr
*Ask if vendors have:
- order minimums
- deadlines for shipping and show specials
- ALLOW photo/video in the showroom
*Make sure your phone has enough storage space to hold the photos and video that you take
*Understand the flow and directions of the buildings for example:
*B1.F17.A23 = Building 1, Floor 17
*Elevators can take FOREVER so find escalator and/or steps
*Consider booking a spa appointment in advance, especially for reflexology on your feet
If you will be going to market in Atlanta next time, reach out and let’s have a reunion (if there is TIME!!).
Happy Shopping! Now go GSD!
Have you noticed how every day is full of surprises? Even though I live by my calendar, there is always something unexpected and new that happens! The universe brings us together in amazing ways. We’ve been focusing on lifelines lately (if you’ve listened to the past few episodes) and if you are a business owner, your brand story is a huge part of your lifeline.
Recently I traveled to the Atlanta market to shop for a client, and also I just love to go to see what's new! It’s hours of walking up and down stairs in multiple buildings with many many floors… and yes, you guessed it, I’m tracking ALL my steps along the way!
It wasn’t on my to do list for the day but I walked by this world art gallery with maps everywhere (I’m obsessed with traveling and seeing the world and learning geography because I’m SO not good at it.). I had to stop and go in!
I spent hours in there!
Ya know when you see something and you have that inspiration and you just have to stop and get it out! This was one of those moments!
I quickly started to lay things out on the floor and designed away with one of their team members. Then one of the owners came over to answers some questions.
When asking him about his story it’s the way he responded where I couldn't help myself…and asked “can I video you” (I’ve learned to ask, thank you to my sweet travel husband)!
There was an amazing brand story there and we recorded this podcast right on the spot! No mics (even though I had them in my bag, didn’t want to kill the vibe), I was so excited to hear how the company was founded and what they do, that we jumped right into conversation.
Let me introduce you to Ryan Martz of Fire & Pine. Grown from passion, this business’s mission is to provide meaningful home decor that gives memories a sense of place through their unique burning process that creates decorative wall maps, intricate U.S. patents and custom-designed wood artwork for customers in all 50 states and internationally.
I’m so excited for you to listen in to (watch) hear his story and I would highly recommend you watch so you can catch a glimpse of their creativity at work!
*Taking a passion and turning it into a real business
*How to lead with relationships
*How to create a company culture that includes your team
*Some of the best ideas and inventions come from last minute thinking
*Creative ways to involve sustainability in your business
*How to be productive as a creative
More About Our Guest:
When we started Fire and Pine in 2016, there were only a handful of us working out of a small part of a warehouse. Today, we are a team of 24 artisans working from a full-scale production facility in a small town in South Carolina. Our unique burning process creates decorative wall maps, intricate U.S. patents and custom-designed wood artwork for customers in all 50 states and internationally. We’ve grown rapidly, continually adding new products to the Fire and Pine brand and increasing production output.
None of this would be possible without a fantastic team of creative professionals who take pride in the art of woodworking. Thanks to the support of our local community — and you! — our team is continuously innovating. The fact that we get to have fun while we work is an added bonus.
If you’ve been a listener over the years you may have heard me mention the 4 Ps. These are the Phases of GSD, the pieces that every business needs to achieve success! This episode highlights a keynote that I delivered last year in Turkey that sums up the GSD phase of Processes and organizing your business into what I like to call “Time Pots”. Using a time blocking, color code, priority exercise we do helps people actually “see” where their time is going and as an owner focusing on growth is your full time job.
Building internal and external processes that are paperless, are essential to our business world today. Get everything out of your head and in the cloud quickly. Video your screen to show others how to do what you do. Consider an internal process and a communication plan for you and your team. Delegating to the right people is essential. And consider an external process that you and your team will follow with your clients. Do not deviate from your process, meaning, if you allow your clients and your business to run you, you basically have another job. Learn from your process and make it better!
*Assess & Segment Activities
*Plan & Prioritize
*What process needs to happen in order for tasks to get done
*The critical steps that need to take place
*Learn from your process and make it better!
More About Our IMWF:
International MICE & Wedding Forum (IMWF) is a business summit that forms a colleague-hood of the best MICE & Wedding organizers, hotels, airlines and corporate brands in a sincere social ambience. It presents countless opportunities to interact and communicate within a cozy environment via panels and conferences, sensational parties, lunches, dinners and activities arranged by first-rate organizers.
IMWF purposefully binds innovative ideas with joint ventures of experts and opinion leaders from the industry. They create a network of long-lasting friendships with the business generators of the industry from all around the globe.
This podcast will be a little different…special...Real, Raw, BTS of how the family life line activity went…
A few drinks in
Walking at my Treadmill desk at 1am wearing arm weight
And…it’s 1 am; so I Forgot to:
put audio mic on
turn background Music off, sorry in advance
This is why sleep is important
OH, a Heads up:
If you are not watching the video, there is BTS video that won’t make sense. This is on the go, Vlog style, but even if you are only listening, there’s a few AHHH HAAA takeaways.
And incase you missed Part 1 you can find that episode on our blog.
*Clarity on how to have better communication when giving directions
*Perspective on memories; your takeaways vs. your family members
*What to listen for to gain insight on bringing your family closer together
*Listen or watch when you set time aside for having the capacity to grow
Recently I had the most amazing experience in Egypt, and my friend Ramez Salama, co-founder of High End Journeys, is sitting down with me to talk about all things luxury travel and exclusive luxury experiences. High End Journeys is a boutique luxury travel agency, started by Egyptologists and best friends, Ahmed Aziz and Ramez Salama. Both share a passion for travel and draw on their combined industry experience of 34 years to deliver a personalized itinerary for their guests. They work with a singular aim in mind - to create unforgettable memories for every traveler. We touch on how to step out of your comfort zone and stand out to create experiences that no one else can offer. Details are everything, even the smallest details can make the biggest impact.
*Your comfort zone is not your comfort zone
*How to stand out and create experiences that your company can offer exclusively
*Details are everything, even the smallest of details can make the biggest impact
*Step out and see what happens, removing yourself from the comfort zone may change your life for the better
*Curate a team that wants to grow with you
*No one knows your country or experience better than you
More About Our Guest:
High End Journeys is our vision for what a high-end luxury tour should be all about: connecting people to people; helping people experience Egypt outside the tourist bubble; allowing Egypt to inspire and change our understanding of the world around us all. Egypt’s ancient history and timeless culture have the power to transform the lives of our guests. We have witnessed that incredible transformation first hand and know that we are called to accompany this next generation of travelers to Egypt to continue to be changed by its people and its treasures. Ramez Salama's love and passion for his country and its amazing history led him to study Egyptology from Helwan University. He has guided a selection of leading diplomats, foreign businessmen, and world-famous musicians. He loves meeting people from different countries and explore their cultures. He has traveled to over fifteen countries - from the Great Wall of China to the game parks of Eastern Africa. He has seen the great castles of Europe, and hiked across the outstanding nature trails of North America. Ramez delivers lectures on Egyptian history and heritage at American churches and schools – particularly in Kansas, Texas, and California. He also serves as a guest lecturer on Windstar Cruise Line. Ramez’s area of expertise is Pharaonic Egypt, and he takes pleasure in leading clients around the Great Pyramids of Giza.