The roughest thing about being an entrepreneur?
The mountain of no’s you’ll experience on your journey.
The best thing ever?
When you finally get to the YES you were waiting for all along!
It makes it ALL WORTH IT.
It was November 2018 and I had wrapped up hosting my monthly Social Connect PHX events at a Scottsdale bar and was re-evaluating a few things including a new event venue before deciding to bring it back. I made a list of my top three venue choices on what I believed would make the event even better (ample parking, a full bar and appetizers, and plenty of space to grow it.)
A friend had suggested I try another bar in Scottsdale with a backroom and when I met with the owner, it was clear this space would also have its limitations. When I pitched my idea in person, he looked at me and bluntly replied, “It looks like this would be more of a benefit to you than it will be to me,” and declined. Ouch.
Well, at least he ripped the band-aid off with a swift NO and didn’t beat around the bush. I hate when people do that, or worse, say nothing at all.
I was down, but not defeated. I kept pushing forward researching more venues and making my list of pros and cons.
There was one venue I reached out to several months before through email. I was introduced through my friend Cricket who was the special events manager at Dave & Busters in the West Valley to get in touch with her counterpart Vanessa at the Tempe location. I had never spoken to Vanessa except for the shortest exchange of emails when I asked if she’d be interested in hosting the event the past summer and she replied with a “Not now, check back later.”
When you receive a response like that, it’s natural to take it as a no and stop trying. Instead, I looked at this as a small crack in the window of opportunity. She didn’t say no, she said check back later which in my book is the word “possibility.”
On January 10, 2019 while my kiddos were at home on winter break, I decided to try Vanessa again. I told my kids that today, mommy was going to get a new venue come hell or high water as a way to psych myself up for the big call.
Rather than email her, I mustered up the courage and called her and within one ring, she picked up.
I introduced myself, reminded her that we had emailed several months back and that I was checking back in on hosting my Social Connect PHX events there which I had now moved to a quarterly event. I asked for a few minutes of her time and after sharing my ask and why for this event and how Dave & Busters in Tempe would be the perfect venue to help me build the community, she said…
YES!!!! (and the happy dance ensued)
Not just a yes that they’d be the venue, but that they’d also fully sponsor the event, the appetizers, the space, and provide fun incentives for my guests, all of it! This after my previous venue told me “Tisha, who else would do that for you?” Apparently they didn’t know Dave & Busters would! (See Rule of Life Lesson #97 for that fun story of my life.)
I was completely speechless and smiling from ear to ear!
That’s a sign of a blossoming partnership – one that benefits both parties and builds up the business community.
When I asked Vanessa days later why she said yes to helping me, she said it was because I took her advice and contacted her back at the right time before any association did, and she liked what I was doing for the community.
What’d I tell you? POSSIBILITY.
That day, Vanessa and I became fast friends and continue supporting each other. I learned that we even have some shared interests like our love for boxers, nonprofits, and the color purple all through getting to know one another better outside of business. Dave & Busters continues to support Social Connect PHX events as my official venue sponsor and even renewed for 2020 when we get back to hosting live events again (fingers crossed).
THANK YOU, Vanessa Hintalla and Brooke Isaman, for taking a chance on me and saying yes to furthering my dream. I couldn’t have asked for a better YES than that and working alongside the greatest gals ever!
Rule of Life Lesson #106:
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