Remember that competition we ran?
Some of you may remember that a little over a year ago we invited Hannah Kane from Everybody’s Invited to join us in Mexico for some business mentoring in the sun. Hannah was the winner of a competition we ran following the World Domination Summit 2012. At the end of this event each delegate was given $100 to spend, the only string attached being to ‘make a difference’. So we opened up an application process and after reviewing all the applications (about 100) we asked Hannah if we could fly her out to spend 4 days with us in a luxury condo near Puerto Vallarta. She jumped at the chance.
One of the reasons we chose Hannah as our winner was because we believed her business model had plenty of potential. (The fact she hails from Portland, where the WDS conference was held, and that her partner is also called Chris were just weird coincidences!!) She wasn’t a travel blogger or someone with a ‘change your life’ agenda (nothing wrong with those things, but they are REALLY hard to make money from). Her business had scope to grow, diversify and was in an area we didn’t know much about. It was an exciting challenge for all of us.
Not all opportunities deliver
Thirteen months later Hannah has kindly given us an update. What strikes us about the time since the three of us drank coronas as we scratched out directions and strategy for her business is that she has had a lot of opportunities, not all of which have panned out. This is FAR more usual than the planets aligning and everything falling into place every time. It’s not always such a bad thing either; not everything will be as right for you as you might think on first glance. No matter how talented we might be or how hard we work, more often than we’d like, things just don’t work out. Learning to balance enthusiasm with a realistic outlook is very valuable, as is being able to acknowledge your own ability to create these opportunities in the first place. Irrespective of the outcomes, you can gain confidence from knowing something else will come along if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep your eyes wide open.
Enough from us; here is what the lovely lady herself has to say.
Hannah Kane’s update
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I had the tremendous opportunity to spend four days learning from Hannah and Chris in Mexico! I came back from that trip feeling more inspired than ever, and armed with new business strategies to pursue. One of the first things I did when I got back to my homebase of Portland, OR was to meet with my two partners at Everybody’s Invited! Events to share everything I’d learned during my time with Hannah and Chris. The three of us sat down and created a plan based on those learnings. We focused on three different strategies—developing mutually beneficial partnerships, hosting our own flagship events, and pursuing passive income through specialized product development.
It’s been a roller coaster of a year, full of promising business leads and more than a few disappointments. During my trip to Mexico, Hannah and Chris had helped me to prepare a pitch for a big client. Even though I felt really good about the proposal, the event fell through. The fact that the client ended up not hiring an events company at all helped to take the sting out a bit—at least it wasn’t personal. And the help I received from Hannah and Chris on refining the pitch was invaluable.
That looks like a great party!
Knowing that business development is one of our biggest weaknesses, my colleagues and I started to actively seek out potential partners. We were looking for people who could introduce us to clients while we took on the creative aspect of event production. I thought we’d found our perfect complement when a mutual friend introduced me to a woman who was also just starting her events company. She had a fantastic network of high profile clients, and was looking for creative ideas to pitch. It sounded like a perfect match! I was especially excited because this arrangement would allow me to travel, which has always been a goal. In the end, though, that partnership didn’t bear fruit, though it did serve as a bit of a confidence builder. The lesson I learned from that experience: cultivating trust takes a great deal of time and effort.
My recent focus has been working with another company on some shared, co-branded products. I feel really optimistic about this partnership, though I’ve learned to manage my own expectations over the past year. I’m just trying to buckle down and do good work, without spending too much energy anticipating the good things that might happen, or worrying that they won’t. I’m thrilled that we’re finally pursuing a passive income strategy, since that was something Hannah and Chris were encouraging us to do last year.
Something I didn’t really factor into the plan for the year were the personal events and milestones that inevitably shape life. Last year I didn’t know that several members of my family would suffer pretty serious medical issues, nor did I know that I would be getting engaged this year. I also didn’t know that my fiancé would make his own giant leap into self-employment, creating a whole new set of opportunities and challenges for us.
Congratulations Hannah and Chris!
Despite all of the challenges of this year, I have been in really good spirits and remain optimistic about the future. One thing I learned from Hannah and Chris is to appreciate the journey. This isn’t just about building a successful business for the sake of it; it’s about crafting a meaningful life full of joy and exploration. I’m fortunate enough to have wonderful friends and family, as well as the opportunity to pursue creative projects that keep me feeling challenged and inspired.
I can’t ask for more than that!
Have you had many opportunities lately? Do you usually expect them to deliver or disappoint?
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