When Oprah Winfrey was interviewed by Piers Morgan last week on CNN, I was struck by something she said. In talking about friendship, Oprah made this comment: “When you become famous and you have access to lots of different things, you know, a lot of people lose oxygen and they can’t make the summit with you.” And that got me thinking. How do us everyday folks keep our own oxygen flowing while heading toward our respective career summits? In other words, when the airs gets thinner, how do we breathe better? In this new little occasional series called “How’s Your Oxygen?” folks from a variety of professions will weigh in on the subject – sharing from their own life/work experiences advice for breathing more freely in a fast-moving world.
April, how do you find those “deep breaths” at this point in your career? And what experiences have led you to work in a different way?
Life has a funny way of making you take a deep breath, I’ve found. When I was in NYC and running the East Coast office of an LA-based talent agency, I found out I had a rare cell type of cervical cancer which (fortunately) forced me to unchain myself from my desk, go to the doctor, deal with the diagnosis and take a break from the hamster wheel of the entertainment industry. This experience eventually led me to reassess my direction in life, on a larger scale, which is how I ended up in Atlanta, opening my company, eventologie, a few years later. Balancing my event business and my “ecotainer” brand is a heavy load at times so it’s very easy to just forge ahead and not take time to take a breather. I really check myself as often as possible to ensure that I’m taking in the good and exhaling out the bad…focusing, prioritizing and reassessing what’s vital and what I need to cut. A few years into eventologie, I realized that our forte was creating sustainable strategies for our clients’ events and that the revenue and positive productivity factors were higher on that side of the business, as opposed to more of the social events, so I made a conscience choice to lead the business in that direction. Our “parties with a purpose” fill me with a greater sense of direction, drive and accomplishment and, therefore, allow me to breathe easier because I feel great about what we do every day and know that I’m doing my part to green the world, one party at a time.