March will be a jam packed month with lots of exciting things to share!
First up - we are headed back to Washington, D.C. February 27th - March 6th to check-in with our clients, friends, and colleagues.
While back on the East Coast, we will be interviewing Corbin Jennings, owner of MADabolic in Arlington, Virginia. MADabolic is an incredibly designed workout that will challenge and train your body like an athlete. (Prior to moving, I was a member and saw incredible results)
Stay tuned to read about what led Corbin to open his own gym and what makes MADabolic so special + check out their instagram, it's awesome.
(Arizona, I am working on convincing Corbin to open a Phx/Scottsdale location ASAP, don't worry!)
After inspiring you to switch up your gym routine, we will then lead you to the delicious kitchen of Chef Ben Rubin, owner of AllSpice Hospitality. We love working with Chef Ben because he is insanely fun but more importantly, incredibly talented. I promise the photos to come will be mouthwatering. Follow his instagram here.
After that is full coverage of our...
ARIZONA LAUNCH PARTY!
Our launch is happening on March 15th at the beautiful Museum of the West in Scottsdale. We are thrilled to also be celebrating the women of the year for Women of Scottsdale and East Valley Women.
Lastly, we will be doing a travel overview of:
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Whistler in British Columbia
See ya in March!
Turning dreams into reality...
It's something most people won't make happen for themselves.
No, I am not a pessimist, I am a realist.
The reasoning behind it is simple...
MOST are too scared to try because they are too afraid of failing.
I've never been afraid of failing when it comes to my business and career.
When I first started PS, I had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you read the Washington Post article then you know I was buried in student loans and my business was my ladder out of that grave. In the beginning days, I worked seven days a week to keep up with the growing demand and our rapidly expanding client list. It was exhausting but looking back, it was worth it.
Besides exhaustion, there were other downsides to this fast pace growth. I was completely worn out and had no time for my health (Up at 5:30am, home at 9pm/10pm), my relationship took a back seat and eventually failed, and my friendships were the weakest they'd ever been. Sure, I was 23 years old and I had an assistant - that sounds pretty awesome but nothing is ever quite as shiny as it appears.
No one enjoys the preachy, "here's how I did it" post but because so many people ask me how I wound up leading the life I have now, I've decided to summarize.
The magic keys:
I've never been afraid of hard work.
I've never been afraid to fail at work.
I always knew that if I tried my hardest and put forth the max effort, that was all I could do and if it wasn't enough, well then so be it. As I built Personalized Solutions, my clients were able to see my work ethic and my desire to succeed. I believe that is what built the foundation of trust that led to successful, long term, working relationships.
After six very prosperous years in Washington, D.C. I decided to uproot my entire life and move to Arizona. A risky move that could have potentially dire consequences to the business I worked incredibly hard to build back East. When I made the choice to leave, I knew that there would be risk involved but after weighing my options, I determined it was a risk worth taking. Worst case scenario - I lose it all. Remedy - I find a "normal" job. Fortunately for me, my clients stuck with PS, realizing a lot of our work can be done from anywhere, and as long as it gets done, the mission is accomplished.
Prior to leaving:
A new client approached me in November about a passion project of hers that she had pursued once but then let slip to the side. She was contemplating reviving the project and she felt I'd be a great partner in helping her do so.
This was not the first time I'd been approached by a client to help launch a passion project but it was the first time that the idea of partnering with a client sounded really appealing. I was able to understand my clients vision, the need for what she wanted to create, AND I'd get to play a major role in the development of the brand/product. However, my business background does not directly correlate...this is where the fear could and should set in, right? Fortunately, this client trusts that if anyone can help her launch this brand, it's me. There is great value in knowing that other people believe in your talents and capabilities. If they believe, so should I. (and I do)
Long story short -
This new venture = the opportunity of a lifetime, six years in to owning Personalized Solutions.
Dreams are goals with deadlines. (As Coach Dan says, have written goals - become part of that 2%!)
Build strong habits and be disciplined. (In all aspects of your life)
Don't be too afraid to start. (You will never know what could have been.)
So what if you fail? (You'll bounce back with a lot more knowledge than you had before.)
Listen to your gut instincts. (They are never wrong.)
Go chase your dreams, ignore the naysayers, and work your ass off. (I promise you will have no regrets.)
As I dig deeper into this new client project, I am invigorated. This project is what will propel both her and I to the next level and I believe that if I dedicate myself 150%, the result will be the same. I refuse to let fear dictate my life and that is why I am here in Arizona, defining a new chapter, launching a massive new venture, and enjoying every second of it.
Pursuing your dreams!
When I first met Master Business Coach, Danny Creed who I fondly refer to as "Coach Dan" - I could tell he was legitimate. We were both attending a mastermind event that a book publisher I was working with was hosting in Scottsdale, Arizona. (This was my very first trip to Arizona in September when I first began to entertain the idea of opening an office location here.) When it was Coach's turn to talk, I could quickly see he was the only person in the room worth getting to know better. This guy had taken 3 companies public, worked with over 14 start-ups, and he gave the best advice out of all 20 people in attendance. At the end of the day as I dumped the other business cards from the meeting in the trash, I made sure to hold on to Coach Dans.
When I decided to come back to Arizona in November for the Arizona Heart Association's Heart Ball, I sent Coach Dan an email and asked if he would meet me to discuss strategies for launching my business in Arizona. Being the stellar individual he is, he happily agreed and we set up a time. Prior to meeting, I listened to his book, A Life Best Lived which I highly recommend and as an added bonus, it is dictated by Coach Dan himself! (It's the closest thing to free, GOOD coaching you're gonna find - go download it!)
Our November meeting was easily one of the most useful two hours I've had the opportunity of taking part in. In such a quick period of time, Coach transformed the way I thought about business and my future success. Dang, who is this magician and how in the world did I find him!? Everything about Arizona has felt serendipitous for me, my new relationship with Coach Dan was no different.
After this life changing meeting, I returned to DC with my homework from Coach...
The first thing you'll notice when Audrey Alfano walks in a room is her keen fashion sense, fantastic accessories, and striking features.
As one of the nation's first plus size models, it's clear to see that Audrey has the "it" factor we all hear so much about. Piercing blue eyes, 5'11, perfect blonde hair, and sparkling white teeth. As she says, "I'm not for everyone" and as I'd say, "you're only for those with great taste."
Speaking of someone with great taste...
Charlie is the lucky fella who is married to this stunner. Crazy part is, he has had the pleasure of knowing her since...
THE FOURTH GRADE.
Yes, you read that right. Audrey met Charlie in the fourth grade when he most definitely was not the fashion killer he is today. (Stay tuned for a future post on Charlie's wardrobe...it's INCREDIBLE, to put it mildly)
So wait... Audrey is a model, a badass in business, a mother, AND she married her fourth grade suitor?
All true statements.
Audrey received a psychology degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and knew from an early age, she wanted to work with people.
Instead of pursuing a graduate degree in her field, she pursued another passion: becoming one of the nations first plus size models and her husband. It might not be academic but it sure is admirable.
When Audrey and Charlie were seniors in high school their mothers pushed them together. Audrey hadn't seen Charlie since his charming days in the fourth grade but as fate would have it, this was a match made in the stars. They dated from senior year of high school through college, and wed the May after graduation.
This May marks 32 very successful years of marriage...
100% couple goals - please, teach me your ways! (Except I don't remember anyone from fourth grade so I think I'm out of luck on this one...)
After getting married, Charlie's career took them around the United States... St. Louis, Sacramento, Orange County, Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, Ventura, and Manhattan Beach. In 2012, Charlie was offered a game changing opportunity to buy the Mercedes Benz dealership in San Luis Obispo, California. The dealership was failing and Mercedes felt that if anyone could resuscitate it, it would be Charlie.
After accepting this opportunity, Charlie asked Audrey to get involved in a business capacity. There was no one he believed would be a better team mate than her.
"There is no way I am working for you!" was Audrey's first response. Luckily, Charlie proved that she wasn't working FOR him, she was working WITH him and the things she was in charge of, were the thing he didn't want anything to do with. It would be a really great balance of power and responsibility. He was right.
Fast forward to 2018 and Audrey is now an owner of two Mercedes Benz dealerships (San Luis Obispo and MB of Gilbert) AND She is the head of Human Resources/Public Relations for MB Gilbert.
As one of the VERY few women in her industry, she had some key advice...
1. 60% of household decisions are made by a woman (remember that)
2. Men need to be retrained to think differently about the role women play (and they can be)
3. Know your worth. Don't be afraid to speak your mind (but remember, you don't have to be a bitch to do so)
4. Do the right thing by people and if you make a mistake, own it, apologize, and move on (you can't be perfect all of the time)
5. Don't take yourself too seriously. Appreciate and respect others (life is not a tit for tat situation)
Coming from a woman brave enough to spear head the American plus size model movement, marry her fourth grade sweetheart, raise three wonderful children, and take on a full-time role in a male dominated industry...I suggest we all listen.
Audrey Alfano is a woman to notice for all the right reasons.
(PS we just bought a car from MB Gilbert and this post is NOT sponsored - however, we strongly suggest you visit them for your new vehicle needs and mention this post when you go)