Yes, I just quoted LMFAO. Because I love, LOVE running to “La La La” and my favorite parts of the song are the beginning when his voice kicks up a notch and says “It’s a LOVE thang, it’s got to be’ and he does it again when he says ‘Oooh, girl WATCH out now…” Ok… to the point…
My brain is pretty full. And I have stuff to share… So here we go… (another wordy post ahead!)
Thanks to twitter, I ran across Lara Casey Reps and started following her. Very shortly after I started following her she wrote this blog entry and it blew my mind to have someone put something out there that was exactly what I needed to be doing for myself. I chatted with my friend, Gina, and before we knew it, Lara announced she was going to be doing workshop intensives. After more twitter banter and a little blog comment begging, myself and 10 other rather fantastic Minnesota artists got Lara Casey, Jeff Holt, and Sandi Sansom to come to Minneapolis to learn about how to make things happen. I have to admit, much like Eliesa, the hype did get to be a bit much and I was really apprehensive about what it could do for me – the girl that thinks she has herself all figured out. Afterall, it’s been a big year for me personally and I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and after some recent decisions, have made some great moves to streamline my life and business (Is that really possible?!). Regardless, I put my money down but I was getting more wary about what the experience was going to be like. Would it be a business critique, a coaching session? Could I handle either of those right now? Gina, who was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to attend the very first “Making Things Happen” intensive in Florida nearly a month before, coached me a bit on what to expect but really, I was just worried about what I was going to wear… I didn’t want to look like a slouch nor that I was trying too hard. Turns out shirt dresses with tights are a good go-to outfit. I digress…
I went, I saw, I conquered. A 6 hour intensive with 9 photographers, one stationer, and myself with Lara and Jeff in the driver’s seats… Or so we thought. The exercises were the exact same as they were on the blog, but to put everything out there in front of these professionals was not only putting myself in a vulnerable spot, it was also letting them all know I meant business about business. We shared our dreams, confessed what we were letting get in our way, and really just explored the personal side of our lives as professionals.
I kept hearing things about it being an emotional roller coaster or life-changing and I cannot say that it was those things for ME because I came ready to lay it out there so I was prepared to bawl like a baby if it came to it (and, it usually does for me) and life-changing is just a bold statement. For me, it was the extra guided push in the direction I felt like I may have been blindly headed, clarification of some of my own muddy thoughts, and it must be said that it was nothing short of the validation that I have been needing from other event professionals. The group session really opened my eyes to the fact that even though the art may be different, the passion that lies beneath the drive and the wicked smart and incredible minds that put that art out there, are all coming from similar personal journeys to get us here. (Remember, I’m a girl that’s all about the journey?) And while the group session was awesome and revealing, the one-on-one with Lara and Jeff left my head reeling. Normally when I get pumped about something I am giddy and talking even faster than what I usually do, I’m rambling all over the place, but my one on one left me subdued and speechless (literally and honestly, maybe the 3rd time in my life that has happened). It’s taken a couple days to be able to even write this post because my brain has been so full of everything I took in that day. This wasn’t a roller coaster because I’ve had much larger dips and twists in my life in a single day, it wasn’t life-changing in that it set me off on an entirely new path or direction, it was… an education on self-awareness and accountability. I no longer feel like I’m floating through this on my own in a sometimes cut-throat, competitive industry. I truly feel like I have people I can look to for questions and that will support my passions just as I am willing to lend them any support they need.
Lara and Jeff, by the way, have some of the most caring and encouraging souls I’ve come across. They have done this numerous times before coming to Minneapolis, and I can only imagine how much this has taken out of them as well as filled them with new lessons about themselves and how this world works. They would listen to what we all had to say and, watching their faces, I felt like they were sincerely engaged in each person’s story and invested in us from the moment they walked in the door. I don’t think “Making Things Happen” is for everyone. I think it’s for people that strive to be better, that won’t settle for ‘ok’ or mediocrity. I think it’s for people that are looking for more, looking for an outside point of view, and looking for new ways to gain and utilize that perspective. You can’t walk into an experience like that thinking you know it all, you don’t need to get better, and you certainly can’t be selfish. I feel like, for the most part, everyone in that room came ready to participate and the honesty that was shared is something that has me “fired up.” I want to see those women (+ Jeff) succeed so bad. Because – while we’re already doing crazy things in our lives by trying to live out creative passions that are either something we’ve sought and dreamed of since we were little, or if it was an epiphany later in life that led us to where we are now- the struggles in business, the life hurdles, and after those the triumphs are all things I want to help see these people through if there is any way I can. I’m sure this makes it sound like a very girly intensive, but the exercises know no limits to who could benefit from them. If they come back or if it lands in a city near you, and you’re ready to grow, GO.
What “fires me up?” PEOPLE. LOVE. PASSION. GIVING. And I can’t wait to continue to use those things to fuel this life, not just this career. It’s a LOVE thang, it’s GOT to be!
Thank you, Lara and Jeff, for doing this for all of us. If I can ever figure out how to send my video, I will!
(figure out which one is me in Eliesa’s picture collage? sorry that i’m not sorry for swearing. i do it all the time. and the whole day really was just that.)