Part XVI: More or Less
Born with Silver Spoons
Let’s move on…
Do you remember what I said to myself when I returned home from that rather tiring New Year’s Eve party – the night that I wrote that letter to The Times? I said that I didn’t want to be an event planner anymore. Yes, I said that. Well, at that time I meant it. However, now that I look back, perhaps my frustration was the impetus that pushed me into writing that letter and creating the idea for the new business. Perhaps at a subconscious level, I really meant that I didn’t want to be JUST an event planner anymore. I wanted to create my own special niche. And I did.
For a relatively short time, when I first created Marilyn Jenett Locations, I actually did only book locations for the parties and events. This enabled me to provide the service to other event professionals as well as directly to clients. It was a welcome reprieve at the time to book the sites and not have to be responsible for the entire event. When I secured sites for clients directly, I would refer them to other event vendors such as caterers, rental companies, etc. and receive commissions from the vendors for the referrals.
But I knew that the real profits were to be made in producing the events, hiring all of the vendors myself and billing the clients through my company. I could control the pricing – and the profits. And enhance my position in the marketplace. I established longstanding relationships with a wonderful “family” of event professionals and I was able to provide the finest service, build in substantial profits for myself, and still accommodate the clients’ budgets. So Marilyn Jenett Locations became a full service event production company that specialized in providing the most unique and exciting locations for events. Remember, the first thing the client thought about was the location for their event, so it was not unusual for them to find me and call me first.
I had a favorite caterer, who was to become my professional “right arm” for the next 20 years. The way we found each other was all a part of the divine plan.
Prior to creating Marilyn Jenett Locations, when I had left Bolla and was coordinating events, a large catering company in Los Angeles had approached me about hiring them for my events. Polly Bergen, the actress, had just bought the company, and she had some high profile women on her team who were aggressively marketing the business. They took me to lunch to “wine and dine” me. I thought I would give the company a try and hired them for an event I coordinated. The manager of the catering staff that they sent to work my event was a young man named Scott Tessler. I watched how he handled the event and was very impressed with him.
Scott eventually opened his own company, Silver Spoons Catering, and became my primary caterer. Our association lasted through the years and the duration of my business – over 20 years.
There are several reasons I bring Scott to this story…
It wasn’t until eight years later that Scott told me that I was the reason he went into business. He reminded me of something that I had completely forgotten. I had said to him at that first event that he was too talented to be working for that company – I told him he should be on his own and have his own catering company.
He said that he went home that evening and told his wife, Faith, “We’re going into business.” And that was the beginning of Silver Spoons Catering. I never realized that I was the reason. It wasn’t until he mentioned it all those years later that I remembered saying that to him. So it appears that even back then, in the early days, I was mentoring and didn’t know it!
Scott was my caterer for that New Year’s Eve party on the “famous” night that changed the direction of my life. The event, as I mentioned previously, was stressful on several counts and we had an argument. I said I wouldn’t use him again. But Scott and I were a team and it was just like a family spat. I don’t believe I could have grown my business over the years without Scott. His chefs were wonderful, the food was outstanding and even clients would ask for his recipes or request that I use him for repeat events. Scott and his family were also very good people. And I now realize that I helped Scott grow his own prosperity consciousness (although it didn’t occur to me at the time that I was actually doing that). Here’s how…
When a client would call and ask for a proposal, I would call Scott, as I did all the vendors I would use for that event, and get estimated prices. Scott’s areas would include catering, service personnel, rental equipment, and on occasion, other elements. Scott would often hesitate when suggesting various menu suggestions and prices, out of fear that if we charged too much we would lose the event. I would tell him to include the upgraded menu items to make the proposal more appealing to the client and to charge accordingly. He would ask again if I was sure we wouldn’t “scare off the client” with those prices. I would always assure him that I would never let him lose a client over prices, and remind him that we hadn’t lost a client yet.
I would then gather all the prices from my vendors, build in a good profit for myself on top of that, and send the proposal to the client. The result? Invariably, the client would respond with something like. “We love the proposal and what great prices.” :-)
Scott finally stopped questioning it all and trusted that I knew what I was doing. Of course I knew what I was doing. I had complete trust that the Universe had brought me those clients and would guide me every step of the way to service them properly. I knew that if there was a budget consideration, we could adjust our prices to accommodate that. But my proposals were wonderful and so creative, that more often the clients ended up asking me to add more elements and they spent more for the event than originally intended. It’s all about service and value. When clients believe they are getting the best value for their money, they won’t hesitate to spend it (I'm referring here mainly to corporate clients but it may relate to others as well).
Now the point I want to emphasize here is that when we are on the prosperity path, we cannot help but affect others whom we touch. We don’t have to “teach” them or even speak about prosperity principles or laws. It becomes part of our essence. It just oozes out of us and finds a way to encourage others, enlighten them and raise their consciousness along with ours. I rarely, if ever, spoke about these laws to my business associates and vendors. In fact, had I done so at that time on my path, they probably would have rolled their eyes. I knew I couldn’t speak about what I was learning and applying to many others, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t influence them. I helped Scott overcome his fear of charging what he deserved or of “losing” a client by offering his best.
More and More…
This brings me to the subject in more detail…
It was notable that when I started my business, I came up with a certain "minimum" profit I wanted to make. Within a very short time I didn't feel that profit was enough and I gingerly started to charge more. Then more. I kept stretching and kept raising my profit requirement.
NOW THIS IS THE MOST INTERESTING PART: The more I raised my prices, the more I attracted higher paying clients. Each step forward helped me release the fear that I couldn't get more (or that maybe I wasn't worth more).
The caliber of client I attracted was directly related to the amount of profit I required for myself. The more I claimed for myself, the more the Universe brought to me the clients who had the ability to pay and to accommodate my elevated prosperity consciousness. And the more I continued applying the prosperity principles, the more I claimed for myself.
Over time I completely eliminated the type of events that required much more work for much less money. I realize now that I was creating that "vacuum" for new, higher paying clients to arrive. And they kept arriving. And new circumstances opened up to attract them.
The Universe will find a way to bring us the rewards that we claim for ourselves. But we must claim it - boldly - and know we deserve it. When we release the fear and doubt, the Universe will rush to support us.
We must make a decision. We are operating from integrity, we have a viable and valuable product or service to offer, there are plenty of clients or customers who will benefit from what we have to offer, and we deserve to be rewarded appropriately.
When Less Is More…
Okay, let's say you have reached a point where you know that you deserve to be rewarded fairly for your efforts and you charge accordingly. But there are certain times, if you let your intuition guide you, when you may feel prompted to give your services for much less than your usual value. At those times you are "tuned in" and you may not know why you feel it is the right decision, but you just know and feel that it is. You don't think twice about it. These are times when you are being guided by an unseen hand - your higher self is directing you because there is more to the story than meets the eye.
A client, Michelin North America, was referred to me years back, for a relatively small event. They were showcasing their new "designer" tires to the local auto industry with a reception at our automotive museum. They had invited only a few special guests, had already booked the museum so there was no profit for me there, and in short, there was a rather meager budget. The corporation, located in South Carolina (I'm in Los Angeles), didn't participate in conventions here, so there didn't seem to be much prospect for future business from them.
But my inner voice said "Do it!" I coordinated the small event and gave it my best, the client expressed appreciation and that was that.
A couple of months later I heard from the client again...they were planning to fly 250 of their best dealers from the East Coast to Los Angeles to celebrate New Year's Eve in grand style at the auto museum and to attend the Rose Parade, in which Michelin had a float. The celebration was commemorating the 100th Anniverary of Bibendum, the Michelin Man.
That New Year's Eve gala was a six figure billing from Marilyn Jenett Lcoations. And “Bib” was a big hit at his birthday party and on his float in the parade.
In the years following that event I coordinated two other events here in Los Angeles for Michelin, including a huge media event that showcased 90 environmental cars, for which Edouard Michelin himself flew in from France. This is especially notable in that the event took place in October 2001, a month after 9/11!
It was generally known that following 9/11, the world turned upside down and special events were cancelled far and wide. People were not flying. Anthrax was major news. The hospitality and events industries were impacted greatly.
But the Michelin event I coordinated above, which was actually a part of a three-day itinerary in three cities, went on as planned.
When we boldly claim our good, all of the forces of the Universe will come into play to fulfill our expectations, sometimes in the disguise of "little packages". When you listen to that inner voice…it will tell you when the little packages contain diamonds.
Oh, one more thing…Scott and Silver Spoons Catering were booked for all of the Michelin events. Our client demanded it…by order of the Divine planner.
To be continued…
Private Reply to Marilyn Jenett (new win)