For those of you out there who know me, I am a planner – both personally and professionally. I like things in order. I love a timeline. I adore a list. My proverbial ducks are in a nice, neat, organized row. I’ve labeled my linen closet. Twice. Okay, more than twice but I am not hurting anyone, right? So you would think when the ‘check engine’ light popped on in my car many, many weeks ago, I’d whip into the dealership to get it checked out. But you’d be wrong.
Ignoring this light is how I ended up stranded on Orchard Road and late for an important fundraising breakfast. This is how I ended up with a new car not in the plan, in the budget or on any of my precious lists. This is also how I ended up buying my father-in-law some pristine and pricey tires for his pristine and pricey BMW.
When my car died that fateful morning, I called my husband (lucky guy) who then sent his mother (lucky lady) to rescue me with the above-mentioned BMW. I was saved! I promptly ditched both car and mother-in-law (after cleaning the entire interior with a package of baby wipes … which work wonders and smell divine…just FYI) and headed downtown for the event. In an effort to save time and in an effort to save Epicurean money, I skipped the garage and parked that darling baby blue BMW right there on the street. And I got it realllllllyyyy close to the curb. So close, in fact, that the sound the rims made as I pulled into the spot caused immediate and on-going feelings of nausea. The tires? Trashed. The breakfast? Looked good but I was too sick to eat. My car? Not worth the money to fix. The whole, messy day? Avoidable, probably, if I had just taken the time to get the car serviced. If I had taken the time to plan.
Recently, I was catching up with a friend and event partner at lunch. Whenever we get together the ideas pop out of us like bubbles on a Lawrence Welk re-run. We solved a mini crisis, created a smart and simple co-branding idea, figured out how to keep a client happy while not losing our shirts or our minds on the event and dished on some industry gossip. The lunch lasted approximately 48 minutes, but the time saved in emails and texts and phone calls and additional meetings is astounding. We carved out a little bit of time and came up with a plan that works. We are in the implementation stage and it’s an amazing feeling!
Our collective meetings and events industry is a busy one. We never have the time to proactively brainstorm because we are always reactively putting out fires, dashing to events or throwing together an ad or a blog or a lunch for 600. But finding even a small amount of time to talk – and, more importantly, to listen – with partners, employees, employers, clients and, well, the mechanic, is literally money in the bank. Which is nice. (Or so I’ve heard.)
Communications & Community Outreach Director, Epicurean Culinary Group