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Hi y’all,

I sent this to a friend after she challenged me to tell her what I wished for my future….I hope it offers you a glimpse of who I am and what I represent.

The year was 2008.

I was working for a corporate company giving them 8 years of my life in exchange for a paycheck, some picture of security, and 12 bosses. Yep, 12 bosses in 8 years. I served clients to the best of my abilities only to be judged based on 4 little survey questions every month with each answer carrying a weight. -100, -75, -50, 25, 0, +25, +50, + 75, +100. My bonus was tied to these 4 little questions that were very specific and didn’t leave much wiggle room. So, if I got a -100, it would take 9 +100’s to wipe that one bad review off. To add insult to injury, the person filling out the survey rarely had interaction with me, their personal service provider, so how could they objectively rate my service to them? I literally felt like one little, insignificant bean counter. Trust me, I didn’t go to college to deal with 401k’s, IRAs, CPAs, DOL, IRS, 5500, and any other acronym that can’t be pronounced.

When the surveys were returned & tabulated, you could feel the mood in the office – either very quiet or rip-roaring with laughter and jovial spirits. Whatever “flavor-of-the-month” boss I reported to at the time would call us into said office and review the results. Walking in with high hopes only to be crushed and ripped apart an hour later. We always left the office ready to quit our jobs or start drinking heavily. At 10:00 in the morning.

No matter how hard I tried or how many times I heard “You have to be street-savvy to reach these clients” (bleh) yet, my work never seemed good enough. Sure, I would received 2% raises annually, and was promoted to “Sr” my 3rd year in, but alas, I was going to be stuck in a cube, by the window. (Kind of like “living in a trailer down by the river)

I always asked for performance feedback – I truly cared about my clients and wanted to improve. We can always improve. But between sporadic performance reviews to the revolving door of supervisors, one has to wonder how I was ever going to succeed.

I had enough, but what was I going to do? Designing and executing retirement strategies, dealing with crabby CEOs, and hearing the old saying “But I just want to pull out my money – why can’t I? just quite didn’t have the appeal it used to. Don’t get me wrong, I lived to solve problems, hear pissed off people because I knew I had the answers to help them. And I surprised myself by having the patience of a saint. Even my husband didn’t get this side of me.

The daily rat race ate me alive – and I was only 29. My body would ache after coming home (side effect of being chained to your desk), the internal spark I once had to “make a difference” was no longer shining as bright, and I was taking it out on the ones that I loved.

But, I continued to work. The market crashed. the economy went into a nose-dive and a horrible recession ensued. How could I just avoid my responsibilities because I simply wasn’t happy? So, I stuck it out.

During this time, hubby and I would talk about “what if…” scenarios ::

What if we lost our jobs tomorrow?
What would we do if we won the lottery?
What get’s our mojo flowing in the morning?

Out of that conversation, a deeper discussion brewed within me. I have always wanted to be in charge of my destiny. Own my failures and successes. Whatever happens is because of me.

Fast forward to April 2009, and La Dolce Vita Weddings was officially born. {insert applause}

Was I scared? Hells to the yeah, but I knew I was suffocating and miserable. Working for somebody else just wasn’t in the cards for me. I paid my dues, played the rat race, and came out on the other end much wiser and stronger.

So, here I am embarking on a new chapter in my life (cheesy cliche, but all I could think of) and all I see are endless possibilities

What, you ask, could they be?

Well, in no particular order ::

  1. Complete global domination
  2. Living the “right” life (I’ll explain a bit later)
  3. Start a safe haven for domestic violence victims and their animals.
  4. Not having employees but friends, teammates, collaborators, game-changers work with me. To be as passionate about life and living as I am.
  5. Develop a magical experience for my company and the guests we serve.
  6. Working with other game-changers and joining forces…sort of your Yin to my Yang.

Let me elaborate on #2 above –

You see, one of my closest friends always tells me “Heather, you wouldn’t hurt a fly”; “You are a horrible liar”; “You are a person that is just “good””. With every action I take in my life, I move with honesty, integrity, authenticity, humility, thankfulness.

Do right. Be right. Live right.

Once you’ve decided what moves you to be right, everything else in life is gravy. Sure, life has a way of throwing curveballs, knocking you down a bit, but so what? Learn and get through it. What’s the worst that can happen?

So, there you have it – albeit a longer version then what I originally planned, but this is me.

Just a girl from Wyoming with big hopes.

Tell me – what are your big hopes and dreams?