Before I launched my live event Social Connect PHX in April 2018, I remember sitting with my husband Sean and daughter Ellie on the patio at a Mexican restaurant near our house diving into chips and salsa.

I was super excited to get this idea off the ground and could not stop talking about it. Everything was taking shape – the venue was booked, the date set and the flyer was designed to start marketing the event. I shared all the details with Sean on how this event wouldn’t be like the typical business networking events I had attended for so many years. As a woman who deeply values meaningful connections and relationships, I intended to add human elements in and make it better where people could meet and interact with people again, not businesses. In fact, business cards were not allowed into my event. If you brought them, I’d shred them. No joke. I was adamant about the type of environment I wanted to create in the PHX business community. It wasn’t about following the crowd. It was about standing out and providing an alternative to the crappy networking events I hated going to with zero value.

As I continued sharing all the details of my Social Connect plan with Sean, the pessimist in him came out and he said, “Tisha, the event sounds great, but why would people go to this? A happy hour for business owners? I’m sure they’d rather be at home with their families. I think your event will make it three months tops before it dies down and you end it.”

Just like that.

I looked at him, my eyes wide with bewilderment, then looked at my daughter who clearly saw the hurt and I stopped talking. We finished our dinner barely saying another word to each other.

I know what you’re thinking. Sean’s loving words of encouragement? Yeah, they SUCKED. He desperately needed help in this arena.

Do I fault him for his opinion?

I could but I also understand that having an employee mindset and being an entrepreneur are two completely different things. He didn’t get my world that when you’re in business and you have an idea, the worst thing you can do is not try, or let someone else’s opinions (even if it is your family) hold you back.

Later that night, Ellie came into my office and said the sweetest words to me. She said, “Mommy, I’m sorry about what Dad said to you at dinner. At school, we were told that if someone hurts you, you say it bugs me when you _______, and I wish you would stop. It’s called bug and a wish,” and she wrote this saying down on a cute piece of paper and handed it to me.  It’s a note I still have hanging on my bulletin board as a simple reminder Ellie taught me. I squeezed her tight. This girl of mine is so intuitive it was like talking to an old soul. She knew exactly how I was feeling – shut down – and she had this innate way of bringing me back to life.

I took her advice and didn’t let Sean’s words break me. I didn’t argue with him or bring it up again. I used it as fuel to keep this idea of mine going. Social Connect PHX officially launched on April 18, 2018, and on April 30, 2019, you better believe I made a big splash that I hit this one-year anniversary milestone!

So, what did this girl do to celebrate?

I threw one massive party on the Dave & Busters rooftop complete with chocolate cake (a Tisha staple), a DJ spinning the tunes, invited all my past Success over Struggle panelists back to celebrate with me, had the step n’ repeat with the pink carpet, the whole nine yards! Even got my all hair fancied up before at Dry Bar like I was going to prom. It was one night that I’ll always remember – being surrounded by my family (my mom, Sean, Caleb, and Ellie) the business community (120+ people came), and taking this moment in that I DID IT! 

Social Connect One-Year Anniversary Group Shot

Since celebrating my one-year, Social Connect PHX continues to grow organically every quarter with more new faces and my core guests attending it from all over the Valley. I’ve received so many amazing testimonials from my peers that this event is unlike others out there. It’s emotionally intelligent, completely authentic, and filled with good people. Sounds like this girl’s mission all along. 🙂

Had COVID-19 not hit us in 2020, I would have celebrated my two-year anniversary last April which was already planned but postponed. Down, but not out, I’m convinced we’ll get back there when live events can re-open again.

As I write this story, I’m remembering very vividly those words Sean said to me back in March 2018 before I started and reminding you to not let anyone else stop you in your tracks. Doubters, naysayers, pessimists? Trust me. They are all out there. Do your thing. Launch your idea. Prove everyone wrong. Prove yourself right. See where it takes you, and don’t forget to celebrate every single milestone you hit no matter how big or small. They truly matter. ❤

Rule of Life Lesson #111: 

Quick tip: Guide your trip for a vacation with tourist checklist.