Part XXIV: The Universe – My Marketing Department
Once it is recognized, once you become aware of that Presence
and its responsiveness to you, you can never be the same.
Once you learn to align yourself with the laws and that Presence,
you have achieved Spiritual Intelligence - true intelligence.
~ Marilyn Jenett
You already know that I used my prosperity studies and the principles I learned from them to attract the media exposure that put my business on the map. I ask you to recall that the publicity and media coverage that the Universe showered on me at the beginning was all about my company and about Marilyn, the entrepreneur. It certainly proved that publicity works, at least for that “15 minutes of fame.”
But I believe that if you want the media effects to last any longer than 15 minutes and to bring truly lasting reward, then the deciding factor becomes good service and the results you create for your customers or clients. So the media blitz may have put me on the map and opened the door to opportunity. But my desire to service my clients at the highest standard and my work ethic, along with my constant attention to maintaining a prosperity mindset, kept me on the map.
However, even with the best of our efforts and intentions, there will always be situations that emerge that are beyond our control. Being beyond our control and remaining beyond our control are two different scenarios as you will now discover…ultimately it comes down to where we will direct our focus. We have to choose whether we will align ourselves to mass mind thinking or take the path less traveled on our prosperity journey.
Out of Control
In 1992, the country was in recession and I experienced my first exposure to a disaster and its effects, not only from a personal perspective, but through the eyes of an entrepreneur and business owner.
The Los Angeles riots, also known as the Rodney King uprising or the Rodney King riots, were sparked when a mostly white jury acquitted four police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King, after he fled from police. Thousands of people in Los Angeles joined in what has often been characterized as a race riot, or a mini-civil war, involving acts of law-breaking compounded by existing racial tensions, including looting, arson and murder. In all, 52 people were killed during the riots.
In addition to the immediate trigger of the Rodney King verdict, one of the other reasons cited for the unrest included the extremely high unemployment among residents of South Los Angeles, which had been hit very hard by the nation-wide recession.
Continuous television coverage riveted the country and shocked viewers around the world as parts of the city went up in flames, stores were openly looted, innocent bystanders were beaten, and rioters shot at police. California National Guard troops and eventually federal troops were deployed.
Aside from the lives lost, as many as 2,000 were injured and estimates of material damage were between $800 million and $1 billion. Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings and about 10,000 people were arrested.
Obviously, many entertainment and sports events were postponed or cancelled.
After the riots, pressure mounted for a retrial of the officers and near the first anniversary of the acquittal, the city tensely awaited the decision of the federal jury. Two of the officers were found guilty, the media kept a lower profile, and there was no repeat violence.
You can imagine how the hospitality and special events industries are highly impacted by societal influences and the economic climate. Most of that time frame is clouded in my memory, but I do recall one large event that I coordinated that year that went on as planned – the Baker & McKenzie party referred to earlier. That law firm’s annual meetings were planned well in advance and was a standing (and expensive) tradition with their company.
But by 1993, I was definitely concentrating on the application of prosperity principles to create a surge of new business…
During this time, one day, out of the blue and for the first time, an ad sales person from the Los Angeles Business Journal called to ask if I would advertise in their “Meetings & Conventions” Supplement – a supplement to the paper that would also be distributed to a couple of other major cities besides Los Angeles.
I told them that I never advertised (which was true), but my intuition prompted me to ask if they accepted articles from contributing writers. My own utterance surprised me. The truth is that I had NEVER written an article in my life. The woman’s name was Eva and she said that I could speak to the right department, get the details to submit an article, then send it to the appropriate editor to see if it would be accepted. I recall that she was nice but not too encouraging.
Well, I sat down to write an article relating to the wonderful event sites that Los Angeles has to offer the meeting planner. I painted word pictures of the various Los Angeles locations without actually revealing names and I did my best to add intrigue and wit to my descriptions. I realized psychologically that this article could potentially be a draw to clients needing my services IF it happened to be seen by those clients. I let my intuition guide me in the process. By now I was used to asking for guidance and opening myself to it. But the foundation of my trust in this siutation came from the fact that the phone call from Eva had arrived "out of the blue" as I was applying my prosperity techniques. I assumed that the Universe was responding to my need and I was "meant" to write this article.
I never mentioned my company name or myself in the article. But I did want to come across subliminally like I knew what I was talking about, so that the reader would assume that I really knew these venues. My name and company were only mentioned at the end in the by-line. In those days, we didn’t have links and websites, and the Journal didn’t allow any contact information. The by-line simply read:
Marilyn Jenett is the owner of Marilyn Jenett Locations,
a renowned special event location company with offices in Los Angeles.
I titled the article, Unique Venues for Off-Site Events.
The Journal published the supplement in September of ’93. I don’t remember all of the specific business that resulted from the exposure, but there is one striking memory. A meeting planner located in Lake Success, New York (yes, that is a village in Nassau County) called and told me that she had been traveling and when she arrived back at her office, the supplement and my article were waiting on her desk! She was searching for venues to entertain doctor members for the 10th World Congress of Gastroenterology to be held in Los Angeles the following year – their first convention to be held in this city in 45 years. I ultimately coordinated a large event for them at Universal Studios and a more intimate one in an art deco penthouse.
The business gained from that article – the first one I ever wrote – resulted in gross income to my company of $250,000!
The profit wasn’t bad either. :-)
I then discovered that the Journal was planning to publish the “Meetings & Conventions” Supplement again in January. The editorial department loved my first article and told me that I could write another one for the January issue. Yes, they loved my first article, but not for the reason you would think. The content didn’t mean that much to them. They loved the fact that they didn’t have to edit my work! The article had to be submitted back then on a 3-1/4 inch floppy along with a double-spaced hard copy. I had a word processing service or secretary take the article which I typed on my IBM typewriter and transfer it to a computer and disk. They provided me with a hard copy which I proofed myself until I thought it was perfect. I then sent the package off to the newspaper.
Normally, the newspaper’s copy editors had to go through the writers’ submissions to proofread and make all the editorial corrections. I was a real “nitpicker” about proofing and submitting perfect copy, and the Journal’s editorial department loved it. I made their job easier. So they were happy to give me additional opportunities to submit articles.
For the January “Meetings & Conventions” issue, I continued my theme by writing a follow-up article entitled Creating the Perfect Off-Site Event. I submitted it to the paper.
At 4:30 am on January 17, 1994, Los Angeles was rudely awakened by the strong shaking of the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake. The media, performing its usual and expected duty, made sure that the world at large believed that our city was a pile of rubble.
My article in the Los Angeles Business Journal appeared on January 31st.
There were no phone calls.
Wait...I take that back. There actually were two mild (but unproductive) inquiries relating to business – one from Japan and one from Mexico – two of the world’s most active earthquake centers. I suppose the plight of Los Angeles didn’t faze them much. :-)
To be continued…
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