Almost one month ago I hosted a sacred in person event for women who wanted to learn to trust in themselves more than their fear. This night was focused on sacred connection, soul-filled clarity and heart-centred action.
I want to share with you about my own creative experience of bringing this into the world and provide you with all my insight and learnings too.
First things first, let me just say this, it was hard. So super, really hard. Both professionally and due to tragic personal reasons in the lead up to this event. There were a number of times I thought I could have or should have cancelled it. I didn’t have the amount of guests at the workshop as I had originally hoped for, and I really had to work at reframing this lack thinking to one of gratitude. I had to get over myself and love and enjoy the workshop – which I so did. So let’s dive in …
FROM THE BEGINNING
It’s hard to believe I’ve had this idea since midway through July, I swear it felt like 3 months, but in reality from conception til creation it was probably 6 weeks. In hindsight I would want to take a slower approach to really set things up opposed to this ‘aim and fire’ mentality. But I also know that it was what was needed for the first time. If I had of waited for it to be perfect I’d still be waiting around for it.
Once I launched this out into the world there was a lot of doubt, “who would pay money for this”, “who do you think you are”, but really “why would someone come to this” where all horrible thoughts that swirled around my head. These thoughts are not new to me, similarly they aren’t brand new to you either. We have all felt this. Just like I helped the people at my workshop uncover what things they were unconsciously saying to themselves and choosing a more loving perspective did I to have to do the same. But that’s always the way isn’t it, when you choose to stand up and teach something the Universe is going to make damn sure you can back it up with the life experience.
Time and time again I thought what if I didn’t follow through on this? And in the early days I really sat with it, what if I didn’t follow through. Would I be happy? What if I did and no one showed up, would I still be happy? Each time I let myself sit with this feeling and it was always so powerful, by allowing me space to truly ‘go there’ I was able to uncover what I truly wanted. To follow through. So time and time again I vowed to myself to follow through and complete this workshop, no matter what happened because it was important to me. That commitment and re-commitment to your desires, and intentions is so important.
EVERYTHING IS A MIRROR
For the first couple of weeks not much was happening ticket wise. I eventually learnt I didn’t have the write links working on my site so had lost everyone who went to check it out. **mental note check, check, check again. I was finally offered some really valuable insight and clarity around my workshop through my mentor. Uncovering that I myself have not paid for a ticket to an event once this year. I have been to a lot of incredible events, through free tickets, as someone’s guest, offering to help out in exchange for events. But only once did I pay for a ticket.
And so that was being reflected back to me. That no one was lining up to pay for my event. I had to look at my own beliefs around what I value and truly walk my talk. I started seeing events and workshops or things my friends had created as a true joy to go and celebrate for them. To give them that monetary exchange and to say I support you.
I became their cheerleader, I purchased tickets to incredible things people were putting on in their own life. I invested in people around me, I really walked my talk. If I was asking people to part with their money to attend my workshop I had to do the same thing.
This was a super interesting lesson in walking my talk.
A NOTE ON THE LOGISTICS
+ GETTING PEOPLE THERE
- Find brands and business that align with you and get them on board. This is the fun part for me and something I have always naturally been good at. My big key don’t hit it and quit it. When I make friends I make friends for the long term, so speak back to them if you can ever return the favour, this isn’t a one way street. My advice find brands you genuinely like and engage with, be honest and open with them and see if they would love to get on board and help. Remember what will you do in return for them, furthermore follow through on that.
- Be social, be social, be social. Find your favourite modes of communication and speak about it often! Instagram stories where my faves for showing people behind the scenes when products would arrive from companies. Keep it organic, but be consistent would be my tips. What I mean you don’t need to say “buy a ticket” every post. One could be about which flowers should I get, these goodies just arrived, one week count down, “buy this ticket” anything and everything to generate excitement and buzz about your event. Taking stock pictures for your event to make it easier when you are time poor is something I always do! Ensuring I have on brand pictures to share when I am away from my laptop for a day or two at my day job.
- Ask for the support of those around you, I have this thing I am super passionate about, please share it for me, thank you so much! If you have difficulty with this feeling like you are being pushy, or annoying **get over it! Stop making it about you, and focus on the impact you are wanting to have and who you want to help. They need to hear this from you!
- A great lesson I learnt from Sarah Jensen, post #melbourne #melbourneblogger #chapelstreet #melbournehealthfitness to let people know you are coming near them.
- Consider running an incredible 24-48 hour flash hot sale for your event – Bloom Anchor Events just does this beautifully
- Are there peers or people you love who you’d love to present a complimentary ticket to? This is your event, do what feels right for you.
- By the exact same token, ensure your pricing is at a place that allows you to be given adequate amounts of money for what you are providing. For your time, effort, knowledge, expertise, monetary investment. Also think about what you are gaining in return for this event, testimonials, pictures, social media proof, raving fans. What are you hoping to get out of this event?
The content part for myself personally was quite simple. I already had a lot up my sleeve from previous speaking gigs, coaching programs and workbooks. Note, how can you leverage what you have already created to put together your content. Next up was looking at what things have worked really well in the past and I’ve loved while adding some new things to take a risk and grow myself.
At the beginning when I would try to find these activities I would look back at previous experiences I had going hey I loved this exercise from here, I think this flow will work best here, I will change it a bit here. It’s really by grabbing something and playing with it you craft the perfect content and experience for your guests.
In terms of what I was going to say when, since it was a workshop I created an outline of all the points I wanted to hit, but didn’t go over that much. I truly trusted that I would say the right thing when I needed to and also knowing that it was about what my guests brought to the table. Yeah I totally struggle with that, this is my problem area. And then resolving around that. This required a lot of trust, sometimes I would hear my ego pipe up saying I should be practicing or preparing but for the most part I knew that this is what works for me.
I then enjoy to write out what my key points are by hand and have that paper just sitting next to me on my little altar where I spoke.
Finally, take risks! My workshop was the first time doing in person meditations for other people and it was the highlight for everyone. Remember why you are doing this, not to be boring, routine but to enjoy yourself, so plan the event you want to go to, you want to speak at. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
– IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER
So I am 3 days out from my workshop and I don’t have my set goal coming along. I could continue along with thinking I was a failure and already label it a bad experience or I could reframe this thinking to ensure I was going to this workshop proud, grateful and feeling great.
I had a holy instant moment at my day job, helping a women pick a coloured mat strap. She couldn’t decide between two and I said pick this one. She was so relieved and it made me realise, so often we get hung up on thinking a microscopic decision is the be all and end all, when truly it doesn’t matter.
Did it matter that I didn’t reach my goal? No, not one bit. I was putting on this workshop which was incredible. The act of doing that was monumental, it didn’t matter how many people were there.
So a note on don’t get so hung up on things that actually don’t matter, but your mind likes to convince you that do. The act of creating and doing your workshop is the huge part. Momentum grows from action for perfection.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
MY TIPS FOR PUTTING ON YOUR OWN EVENT
If you are being called to run your own event or workshop know that it is because you want to make a difference and be of service to your community.
This is no easy feat. Straight out I am going to say it. You will be tested and pushed in more ways than one in putting together and creating your own event.
OWNING YOUR VALUE
You have to hand on your heart know and believe in the value that you are going to provide to your guests.
Nobody comes around waving a magic wand saying you are ready to host your own event, to speak on stage or to share your message. There is no person that will magically tell you that you are worthy and someone needs to hear what you have to say.
You have to decide for yourself. You have to trust that somebody out there is waiting for the words you are going to speak. That someone out there needs what you have to say, and they are waiting for you.
Your inner critic might even pop up and say, what gives me the right to do this? Because trust me beautiful, it was the same exact thought that was in my head. And the answer could not be more perfectly summed up in Marianne Williamson’s infamous quote.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Remember that “your playing small does not serve the world”.
What does that tell me, that tells me that by me standing up, owning my light, my passion, my nature and following what I want to do, it gives other people the permission to do the same. There is power in that.
So how do I recommend you can tune into owning your value?
Practical Action Steps:
- Get really clear, crystal clear on the feel and vibe of your night. Really tap into what it looks like, who is there, what it feels like. Write all that down and connect into the feeling that you are trying to create. Anchor into it.
- Get really specific what actionable things are your guests walking away with from your event or workshop?** A note about my own personal experience, I did not do the best job of this, my tagline “trust in yourself more than your fear” was clear, but I probably could have gotten a little clearer about the concrete results people would walk away from this event with. Instead I probably resisted this a bit, and was afraid of getting into the nitty gritty and staking my claim. But this has been such an incredible lesson and something I have learnt and am moving forward with each time.
- My best advice would have to be fake it til you make it. If this is the first time doing something like this you will be nervous and you might be unsure if ‘you can do it’. In reality you’ve never done something like this before. So create a bank of previous moments that you have done something like this and were successful. Presentations at school, webinars, talking on calls, anything to make you feel confident.
THE ART OF NON-ATTACHMENT
This was really a lesson that I only learnt well after my workshop. I spoke about feelings of inadequacy and like a failure at the beginning and I know that next time I launch something into the world I will be carrying a healthy dose of non-attachment with me.
What do I mean by this?
The ability to step back, trust in the Universe, the plan, that the perfect amount of people will be guided to your event that need to be there for their own personal experience and for your own development.
Why is the art of non-attachment so important? If you are putting on an event (or anything in life) and you are attaching your own self-worth or merit to only a particular outcome than not only are the stakes incredibly high (too high!) but you are also setting yourself up to feel like a failure.
How do I recommend you practice this? Anchoring into the trust that the perfect amount of people will show up. Trusting that it is the perfect amount for you, for your guests, for their experience and for your own.
If you are struggling with this as well, focus on the journey. If you are serious about events than one event isn’t going to make a big difference it’s about you continually putting the effort in. Focusing on the long term commitment you are making and your long term growth.
If all you are wanting is a one time success, than maybe this event isn’t where you should be putting your focus.
- Realise that it really doesn’t matter. Your work matters, what you will create will matter it doesn’t matter if 5 people shown up 20, or 50. It will not change your self-worth, it won’t change your own ability, it won’t deem the event anymore worthy than any other event.So often we can build things up in our heads to be the be all and end all.
- Distance yourself from your goals and intentions. Write down a goal amount of $$, people etc. But also write down how you want the event to feel, what they leave with and what they thank you for. And really, truly anchor into that.
OTHER INCREDIBLE RESOURCES FOR RUNNING EVENTS
- Anything and everything Jade McKenzie from Event Head touches I would recommend. I worked with this women for my very first event I ever ran over two years ago! She has gone on to launch Event Head Magazine where Manifest My Desires is featured in. She has her signature online program Workshop Wonderful which is simply divine, and her Ultimate Event Toolkit which I still use to craft my events.
- In my “holy-crap-nobody-is-going-to-come-to-my-event” phase I found real solace in the incredible words and wisdom of Ainslie Young who went from nobody coming to her workshop to selling it out. You can read that post here.
I have run multiple events over the past few years, spoken at events and workshops around Melbourne. If you are interested in running your own events and workshops this is something I can totally help you through. Combining both my practical know-how and insight along with the mindset magic to help you bust through your own limiting beliefs and keep you accountable.
Interested to find out more? Drop me a line at maddison(at)maddisonvernon.com or book in a complimentary 30 minute session here.