SMBE BLOG

SHE MEANS BUSINESS BLOG 

THE DREAM IS FREE, BUT THE HUSTLE IS SOLD SEPARATELY... // DON'T LOSE THE MOMENTUM BABES!

29/11/2017

Hello Gorgeous, 

Setting up a new business, or pretty much doing anything new for the first time is really exciting! There you are at your desk, great posture, coffee in hand, notepad, pen and laptop all ready to conquer whatever comes your way, and you have thousands of ideas with all of them seemingly great! No night is a bad night to stay up working on your new business, nor is sleep deprivation at this stage even an issue. In fact you spend most of your days/nights researching and talking about everything you can and will accomplish!  But what happens when you seem to have exhausted all those awesome ideas and you’re not even halfway there? Most likely you will feel stagnant and likely put your idea on the side for just a little while. Feelings of frustration and self-doubt might even cross your way….but it all looked so perfect!

Do you realise the odds you face when you do take the leap of faith to start a new business? 80% of all businesses fail after three years. Talk about risk! 

We, brave enough (some may even call us mad) entrepreneurs have lost our momentum one way or another and it’s totally normal, the key is knowing what do next. Avoid losing the momentum and stay focused by creating an action plan. 

I’m not talking about creating a super complex action plan, all you need is the simple steps, little actions you can take every day to help you get to your GOAL. 

So let’s get started shall we! Grab your favourite notebook, your best pen, a coffee (or let's be honest a glass of wine) and let’s make your action plan happen!

1. Let’s figure out what the your main goal is!
What are you looking to accomplish? Make it as clear as possible. Let’s say you are planning to launch a new business idea/product by a set date.  Now that you have the main idea, it will be easier to break it down by objectives. Think of your objectives as small goals or action steps. 

2. Nooks and crannies!
Take a day to brainstorm. Really block some hours of your schedule and dedicate it to make a list. This list needs to be as specific as possible. In this list, you need to think of EVERYTHING that you need to do in order to get to your goal.  If your goal is to launch a new business idea/product, what do you need to do? Think of everything. Choosing a name, adding the product to your website, promotion, pricing…etc. Be creative and add anything that you think will get you closer to reaching your goal. Above all, keep the TV off babes!

3. Once your list is complete and you feel confident, transfer it over to a source that best works for you! 
Such as a whiteboard, notebook or for me its always an excel spreadsheet! Next to it, write the four following headings: 

  • START DATE
  • DUE DATE (when do you need this accomplished)
  • PERSON RESPONSIBLE (not everything will fall on you) In this line name any outside vendors/person that is helping you accomplish that task. Your name should only be there if you are fully responsible for it.  
  • DESCRIPTION (what and why do you need to do this), Feel free to add as many details. 

4. Not everything has to be so boring!
Create a vision board. Make out of your action plan a visual plan. Make it as inspiring as possible. Having a visual reminder of what we want will get you in the right mindset. 

Having an action plan will not only help you achieve your goal but it will also serve you from losing the momentum. Following up on the dates of each task will keep you on track. If you feel you need it, look for a coach, a friend or colleague, someone that can help you stay on track. It’s all about being accountable! With a clear goal and an amazing action plan you will get there in no time. 

Think of it as your assistant or your partner constantly asking you, “How’s your progress going? Did you get this done? Why didn’t you get that done? Why haven’t you completed this yet? Did you make the phone calls you needed to make?” BLAH BLAH BLAH! It may seem annoying and a little demanding at first, but with a clear action plan I promise you that will get your momentum back just in time for the New Year!

I’ve spent some time recently trying to get back the momentum of owning two businesses. I’ve focused on getting back to a place of balance because, every part of my business plays a role in the overall plan of the She Means Business Events brand…and I will be honest it took losing momentum to wake me up to that fact!

If you've lost the momentum make the necessary changes and get back to what you love doing!

*Side note- Did I say to have 'a glass of wine' whilst you write your action plan?  You actually might need two! ;-)

Abbey xoxo


NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES...// YELL, SCREAM, MAYBE EVEN KICK A LITTLE BIT - THE AIR, NOT A PERSON!
31/10/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

There are only two assurances in life – death and tax, but I know of one constant, and that’s change.

Change has the tendency to be blind even to the most observant of us – it can be good, bad, or variances of one another- how we react to it defines the outcome.

That being said, we all have to deal with it in our lifetime, and currently a lot of my inner and outer circle (even clients) are going through a lot of change either in their professional or personal life which is causing stress and anxiety, so here are a few thoughts on what to do when the time comes:

Accept It!
Change is inevitable, but that does not mean you have to like it. First and foremost, accept it for what it is, and keep going. It may be tough depending on what that change is, so deal with what you have in front of you. It’s happened, and now you’re going with the flow of it- you are a part of the change versus a victim of it. I personally hate change but from change comes great things and over the years I have started to notice that- we all need change in our lives to live life to the fullest!

Cry It Out!
Reality sets in sometimes and we don’t like what has just happened to us – so, emotion takes over and we get upset. Let it happen. They could be happy or sad tears, but we have to release it if we want a chance of being able to get over it. 

Bitch and Moan!
Hey, just because you’ve accepted the change does not mean you have to like it right? You have a right to be upset – you’re going to deal with it, and you will have to move past it, but let off the steam so you can move on and grow. Yell, scream, maybe even kick a little bit – the air, not a person – but let it out – verbally. You’ll feel better for it!

Move On!
What’s the most important aspect of change? Growing and moving on! Do not allow it to get the best of you — you will get the best of it – or at least make the best of it as you can. Take the appropriate time that you need, but move on as quickly as you can. 

Find Your Centre!
Who you choose to talk to while you’re dealing with the change will help determine your outcome. Think about what I just said… if you talk to someone who spins everything in a negative light, you will continue to feel negatively. If you speak with someone who helps you find the positive in the situation, you’ll see the silver lining. It may take some time, but you’ll find it. Always surround yourself with people that keep you centered, especially at time when you are not feeling grounded. Mine is definitely my family- Mum even still gives me a smack when I need it!

Get the Most Out of It!
It’s possible there is a bigger lesson to be learned from the change that is occurring, and we just need to go along for the ride. Sometimes it’s a small change, and sometimes it’s a BIG one – either way, we need to see what we can learn from the bigger picture and make sure we apply that to our everyday life and learnings. In the event we do not, we’re more than likely missing a major puzzle piece in front of us. If we can’t learn something from the challenges, we’re not looking at it the right way.

For example, my husband was hit by a van whilst out cycling with his Sunday morning bunch on the weekend. He was extremely lucky to escape without any serious injuries, and is recovering at home however, these kinds of situations really put things into perspective.  Yes, life have changed slightly whilst he recovers, but on a much bigger scale the change that came from this was appreciating a little thing called life much more, and to stop sweating the small stuff!

Get Out of It (if need be) !
Occasionally, the change may be something we’re not comfortable with. If this is the case, remove yourself from the situation – if it’s professional change, friendship related, or if it involves a relationship, you may need to determine your appropriate exit. Do not second guess yourself, just proceed appropriately- always go with your gut!

Change often immediately elicits an emotional response – so while you try to keep a level head, you are working against yourself and your thoughts. Change is very personal for each person – but nothing is more important than who you talk to and who you turn to. Your central unit is your everything. Find them and hold them dear!

Keep your head up babes- change is good!

Abbey xoxo

GRANDMA KNOWS BEST...// Tips for planning a fun & memorable Christmas Party! 
23/10/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

Is it your role to organise your team’s Christmas party? Are you and your team geared up for a great Christmas Party this year? Some holiday office parties are awesome, and others are nightmares. Most people can remember at least one office Christmas party they wish they could forget.

Here are my tips for planning a fun and memorable Christmas Party:

1. What don’t you want?   The number one thing I hear from PA’s, EA’s, Admin & Marketing at the moment are “Christmas was awful last year, we got stuck at a long table and nobody mingled, it was really expensive or people got drunk”…. If you know what you don’t want – I can easily suggest activities that will fix all those problems. So rather than send an email to your team saying “what does everyone want to do for Christmas this year?”, try sending an email that asks; ” What don’t you want for the Christmas party this year?” and see if those responses help you think outside the box.

2. Choose an activity where people can mingle: This is really important otherwise people hang with their existing friends and you don’t get any benefit from people getting to know other co-workers, sharing best practice and boosting team cohesiveness.

3. Choose something safe and comfortable:  It is vital that everyone feels a level of comfort with what is chosen and the risks of overly exuberant partying are minimised with careful planning.

4. A shared experience will be talked about for months to come and will offer long term benefits in terms of rapport building and team spirit.  This ‘different’ approach will mean your investment in a Christmas party is worthwhile.

5. Choose an event that is well matched to your group size.  Structured events work better for groups of 40 or more.

6. How Physical Do You Want Your Activity To Be?  Active events are brilliant and memorable, but you also want to include everyone in your choice.  Team bonding activities have lots of different options that suit different levels of physicality. So why not go go-karting, rock climbing, dolphin watching/swimming, mini golfing, take everyone to the beach for the day, go on a wine tour, do a murder mystery event over lunch or dinner or why not be brave and do a boot camp session…the options are endless!

7. Choose your date with care: You can have your party in the day or evening, on a weekday , a Friday or a weekend (though I notice that people are sometimes not as receptive of weekend events that cut into family time).  Remember though, December is a crazy month for everyone so choosing something earlier in the month or even late November can be good. 

8. No need for a lavish budget:  Doing an activity plus a casual drink or lunch is always great value for money and loads of fun! What about even setting up a platter on wooden crates in a park at sunset decorated with lots of blankets, cushions, and fairy lights! 

9. Keep the after party casual:  This seems the best way for everyone to mingle and feel comfortable.  

10. Grandmas knows best: And finally as my Grandma always told me ‘Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach’! You don’t want any embarrassing photos surfacing on Monday morning at the office!

 If you’d like help with ideas for you office Christmas Party please feel free to contact me! I’d be more than happy to assist! 

 Abbey xoxo 

YOU ARE A QUEEN...// Shake it out, stop that sh*t, have a sip of wine!
16/10/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

This weeks blog will be short, and it will be straight to the point however, all you babes need to read this...now...like right now!

Seriously come on girls, not believing in yourself is a tragedy!

Shake it out, stop that sh*t, have a sip of wine, hang out with people that are good for your soul & want you to shine; who inspire and challenge you. Educate yourself on things you’re passionate about- confidence is attractive both in your professional and private life!

As a fully functioning, fully mature adult, you should be doing things every day that move you toward the fulfilment of your potential. You should feel grateful for all your blessings in every area. If you are unhappy or dissatisfied in any part of your life, something is not right in your thoughts, feelings, or actions, and it needs to be corrected .  

Challenge yourself by trying things that you’re not great at: sports, hobbies, art, whatever. Eat well, surround yourself with like-minded people, and listen to music that moves your body. 

Try not to follow models on social media and obsess over how they look, and when you do look in the mirror try to only focus on the good. Remember a woman’s body is amazing- curves, cellulite and all!

Every event that I put together I see girls obsessing over how they look and searching for some form of gratification from friends and family members that they do in fact look beautiful.  How good would it be if all us girls just looked in the mirror and were happy with what was looking back at us?!  We are all guilty of this and as hard as it may be we need to STOP this now, for our daughters, our future daughters, our nieces, our mentees etc because we are their teachers and every single woman in this world deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin!

Be authentic, & do it unapologetically, because there’s nothing cooler, sexier or more inspiring than seeing someone embrace their true self!

You’ve got this babe!

Abbey xoxo

12 Inspirational #bossbabe Quotes... // That you must stick on the fridge!
05/10/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

Every once in a while, I need a good kick in the bum to get me motivated, so consider this your friendly kick in the tush from yours truly.

This morning I was reading an article about billionaire Sara Blakely who is the Founder/CEO of ‘Spanx’ and the seven best words of career advice she was ever given…

If you don't know, Sara Blakely founded Spanx in her late 20’s. The company made $4 million in sales in it’s first year, and 10 million in its second year. In 2012, Forbes names Blakely the youngest self-made woman billionaire in the world. She is clearly massively successful. Yet when asked what the best advice she ever received was, she doesn’t talk about success. 

You see instead she talks about how, as a child, her father would sit her down at the dinner table and ask her the same question:

‘What did you fail at this week?”

He didn’t want to know how many A’s she’s gotten, how many goals she has scored at soccer or whether she had gotten a perfect score on her math test. 

No, he wanted to know what she had failed at. And when she told him, do you know what his reaction was?

He high-fived her!

Think about it for a minute:
Every week growing up, her father made her reflect on something she’d failed at, then showed her that not only was she still loved after failing, but she was celebrated for it!

In a recent interview, Blakely said that she didn’t realise at the time how much this advice would define her future, but also her own definition of failure. So many entrepreneurs don’t pursue their idea because they are scared or afraid of what could happen. Blakely’s Dad taught her that failing simply just leads you to the next great thing!

So, with that in mind, print these out, post them on Instagram, save them as your phone screensaver, stick them on the fridge...do whatever you have to do to remind yourself to chase after your dreams.

You’ve got this, babe!

1. You’re not learning if you’re uncomfortable- Debbie Beets .

2. Say yes to new adventures.

3. Fitting in is boring for anyone who wants to be extraordinary- Adam Levine .

4. Be the girl who decided to go for it.

5. In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety- Abraham Maslow .

6. If you’re not doing what you love you’re wasting time.

7. Put your hair up in a bun, drink some coffee and handle it.

8. She’s not afraid.

9. Life is tough my darling, but so are you.

10. You did not wake up today to be mediocre.

11. To get to the rainbow you have to get through the rain.

12. Fortune favours the brave.

Abbey xoxo

#feelgoodtuesday // Taking 100% Responsibility For Your Life.  
03/10/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month."
― Theodore Roosevelt.  

I remember when I had this exact epiphany which was a few years ago now. I swear I had just lived the same year twice, it was honestly like ‘Groundhog Day’. I had repeated the same problems, the same thought patterns, the same challenges, the same achievements... in fact the same everything! I had been working like crazy, probably the hardest I ever had, even at the cost of my own health but nothing was different, and nothing had improved. I realised that it was because I had not been taking 100% responsibility for my life.

If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life. This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health, your fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings—everything! This isn’t easy!

In fact, most of us have been conditioned to blame something outside of ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like or aren’t up to standard. We blame our parents, our bosses, our friends, our co-workers, our clients, our spouse- anyone or anything we can pin the blame on. We never want to look at where the real problem is- ourselves!

If you want to create the life of your dreams, then you are going to have to take 100% responsibility for your life as well. That means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reason why you can’t and why you haven’t up until now, and all your blaming of outside circumstances. 

You have to take the position that you have always had the power to make it different, to get it right, to produce the desired result. For whatever reason- ignorance, lack of awareness, fear, needing to be right, the need to feel safe—you chose not to exercise that power.
All that matters now is that from this point forward you choose- that’s right, it’s a choice! You are 100% responsible for everything that does or doesn’t happen to you.  

If something doesn’t turn out as planned, you will ask yourself, “How did I create that? What was I thinking? What did I say or not say? What did I do or not do to create that result? How did I get the other person to act that way? What do I need to do differently next time to get the result I want?”

So, I guess my question for you today is, what do you need to take responsibility for in your life? And what positive changes can you make today about the things you have been complaining about or making excuses for, for too long?

Once you are able to answer these questions and take 100% responsibility for your life, you’ll feel BETTER. You’ll feel more IN CONTROL. You’ll feel more POWERFUL. You’ll feel more SUCCESSFUL.

Try it...Once you do, it will change your life!

Abbey xoxo

CELEBRATE LIFE // REAL HEROES DON'T WEAR CAPES!
24/09/2017

Hello Gorgeous, 

Real heroes don't wear capes– they walk around every day, facing fear, pain, and living to tell tales that most of us will hopefully never face in our lifetime.

When I was sixteen years old I lost my best friend.

Death is cruel and takes too many from us too soon, but Marie was different from almost anyone else I have ever met or encountered. I have learned so much since her death – about myself, her impact on the world, including that of her family and friends. I have learned about true strength – demonstrated by her mother, father, her brother and sister, and the many others that she touched in her lifetime.
Grieving is a natural part of life, but we all grieve differently.  The type of person we are, and what we learn from the process, is all part of what allows us to heal.

They tell us that it’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. When we are heartbroken, we never understand, but once we have healed, we understand the real message... 

Standing back now after 10 + years, the pain is still there, the exact moment I heard the news still so raw, but what I learned from the devastation is how to live life. Marie’s outlook, mentality, angelic like smile, her zest towards life, her tenacious character, her love for her family and her laugh was unparalleled to anyone I had ever met.
I want to share with you, what she taught me over the course of our friendship, and what the last 10 + years have given me the chance to realise — it is our responsibility to keep our loved one’s messages and mentality in our lives, and to keep their legacy going. It is our responsibility to live out our dreams, believe in them, make them happen and truly live the life we want to live. Don't pretend to be someone you are not, if you have lost yourself, I strongly encourage you to find your true self again!
 
Words
Words are precious; hold on to them, share them, and cherish them. Use them with others, and work to spread positivity whenever possible. We never know when they will be taken from us, so make sure you tell people how much you appreciate them, enjoy them, and what you need. Make sure you think before you speak, and always consider what someone else is going through – listen to the words someone is using to determine what to do next.

Actions
As my Mum says they speak louder than words, and we know words are important – so let’s ensure that our actions also speak positively. Show kindness when possible, do things for others, and always be passionate about something –find what is important to you and support it!

Forgiveness 
Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is forgive someone – but with life being short, you have to learn how to do it. Learn to communicate, talk issues through, ask questions, and come to resolutions… together. Life is all about mutual decisions and figuring out what we all need for and from one another. 

Moments
This is a big one for me and something I still often forget or find myself not doing! We are all guilty of living busy lives and I’ll be honest, I have the worst memory and it’s only getting worse with age! My mind is always running at 1000 miles an hour, and even if I’m soaking up the sun on a secluded beach with a cocktail in hand, to do lists, my calendar, Iphone, Macbook etc are my saviours ! I am slowing try to remember though to savour life’s big and little moments- cherish them and collect them. There are reasons to celebrate numerous things, and we should not deny ourselves these moments. A major win at work, beating your 5km run time – take the time to celebrate what is most important in life – you, loved ones, friends, and memories.
 
Pictures
Take tons of pictures! Document your life! I am absolutely obsessed with taking photos even though it annoys every single person close to me! I only have a handful of photos of Marie and I and that is something I really wish I had more of. Now that technology is so much more readily available to us why not take advantage of it! These photos are your living memory book – leave the moments for everyone to share. 

Celebrate Life 
This is the most important one I learned – Marie cherished life. Every second, minute, hour. Nothing was going to hold her back – she was determined to get the most out of people, and life itself. It’s what made her one of the most incredible human beings I have ever met. She woke up each morning planning to get the most out of every day. Life is so incredibly precious, and when faced with loss, the pain and grief can be devastating. Having a supportive unit – friends, family, or even a counsellor to help you through it, is necessary. I was very lucky – I had very supportive parents and friends around me. I still remember the morning after I found out, I wanted to go to school to be with my other friends, but Dad took the morning off work, bought me a green tea in bed, and took me out for a late breakfast by the beach before he took me to school.  We didn’t speak one word during the car ride or during breakfast, but he held my hand the entire time and that is something I will never ever forgot! 

I know that I’m continuing to live my life the way Marie would have wanted to live hers. I’m living the way she taught me to, and I’m celebrating life the way she would. So celebrate life, enjoy every single moment of it, start up your own business, go for that job you always thought was out of your reach, study something, ring that person you haven’t talked to in a while, celebrate momentous milestones in your life, stop for that glass of bubbly, pop in to see your parents or in-laws, and don’t forgot to take photos! 

I am now ready to share these learnings that have come from an incredibly tough time in my life because it truly is time for us all to CELEBRATE LIFE! 

Abbey xoxo 


 Boss Babe Spotlight //...Gather & Graze By Bre.
15/09/2017

Hello gorgeous,

As you know She Means Business Events is committed to using as many fellow Adelaide businesses as possible, whose business ventures we truly believe in and support.

Some of our favourite suppliers share a pivotal role in the success of SMBE and if you haven’t heard, of ‘Gather & Graze by Bre’ she is kind of a big deal. I recently sat down with Bre to hear all about her business and about her #bossbabe self!

- - - -

Abbey: Hi Bre, tell me about yourself!

Bre: I'm Bre, cheesy by name & nature - a twenty-something who has combined her love for hospitality & food with her passion for styling and design. 

Abbey: Tell me a bit about your business.

Bre: I handcraft Grazing Tables and Platters utilising local South Australian produce & supporting other local SA business. The Grazing Tables & Platters make a statement & also create a relaxed environment perfect for guests to... Gather & Graze! 

I actually have a website in the making at the moment - it's a secret until it goes live but, I tell you what.. I'm so excited!   

Abbey: What’s one tool that has helped you the most in your business?

Bre: Cheese Knives! Haha, just joking. Word-of-mouth is the most helpful tool - people always trust their friends opinions. 

Abbey: What do you consider your biggest achievements so far?

Bre: To be honest, I would say my biggest achievement is starting the business in the first place. I've always dreamt of owning my own business & I'm so happy I've taken the leap!  

Abbey: Did you ever think that your business would take off as well as it has?

Bre: I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope it would. I just hope people see the care, thought & love I put into each Grazing Table & Platter. 

Abbey: What sets ‘Gather & Graze by Bre’ apart from its competitors?

Bre: I believe my eye for detail is the difference, as well as the quality of each Grazing Table & Platter I create.   

My attention to detail is shown through; produce (high quality, seasonal & local, catered around any dietary requirements), food pairings (knowing what produce matches with another item & where to place goods on the table) & styling (to the occasion or theme).

Abbey: What made you finally take the leap and start your own business?

Bre: Well, it's scary to take that leap but, if I didn't I would always look back & think "what if?" 

Abbey: What’s your favourite thing about owning your own business?

Bre: Having a personal drive & ambition - I constantly push myself to do better & be better.

Abbey: What would you say to a Boss Babe who is sitting on the fence unsure whether to take the leap into entrepreneurship?

Bre: DO IT! There is no harm in trying, as I say, you can always find another job you don't like. So why not give it ago! 

Abbey: Why don’t we end with a favourite quote. What’s yours and why?

Bre: I can't remember who quoted this but, I seem to always come back to it at different points;

  "What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven't happened yet".  

- - - -

A huge thank you to Bre for taking the time to be a part of ‘The She Means Business Blog’. 

Bre’s business and the genuine person she is inspires me on a daily basis, not to mention her kind and open heart- which is very rare to stumble across these days!   Bre has a fierce drive inside her, and that drive is very similar to what I see in myself- we could actually be quite dangerous together ;-)

I cannot wait to watch ‘Gather & Graze by Bre’ flourish in South Australia – her business is one of the hottest and on trend businesses in Adelaide to date! I am absolutely committed to supporting fellow Adelaide #bossbabes (just like Bre) that are trying to make their dream a reality!

Just remember your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

As Steve Jobs once said ‘STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH’!

Abbey xoxo


 10 Lessons I’ve Learned //... in My 20’s.
13/09/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

As you all know I am still in my twenties (barely), and I’ve reached a point where reminiscing about high school literally means I have to use two hands to count the years that have gone by.  

I’ve had a lot of advice given to me since being in 20’s however, there are a lot of things that I’ve had to learn on my own, that I just wish someone had warned me about!

Here are a couple of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my 20’s (so far, at least):  

1. Invest in a good pillow, bed, mattress and linen.

Sounds simply right?! But in all honestly, think about how old your mattress and pillow are...? It may be time to throw them out! 
Trust me your body, neck, mind and soul will thank you in the morning- although your credit card might not! 

2. Don’t let anyone waste your time .  

Yes, your 20’s are meant to be your selfish years, but if you were forced to grow up quite quickly (like me) that may not always be the case! Don’t let others be selfish with the way they waste your time. Do not allow anyone to waste your energy or your phone battery without your permission. If someone isn’t treating you right, move on…

3. People change, things change; life goes on!

The place you’re in today may not be anywhere close to where you are in a year. The person you are today also may be nowhere near recognisable in a couple of months. The people standing next to you may not be there forever…. It’s OK to move on and to let go of things you thought would never change.

4. Pursue yourself first.

Don’t pursue anyone just because you feel like you have to, unless the person you’re pursuing is yourself. Smash some goals and cross off things on your bucket list for yourself,  by yourself. Love yourself first and the rest comes after.

5. Trust your gut!

That feeling is something only you know, and if it’s there, it’s usually there for a reason. Trust it! Trust that you know what’s best for you!

6. A 'grown-up' is a lie!

You thought you were an adult when you reached 18, but now you’re 20 (or in my case older) and you’re suddenly surrounded by 18-year-old’s and you feel super old? Then, you go to work and get surrounded by older people than you and you feel very young, but somehow, you all act pretty much the same in social settings?... Conclusion: adults are fake and we’re all just acting our age as best as we can! In all honestly, I can’t even think about a night out in town anymore, let alone lining up at a nightclub! I prefer a bubble bath, green tea and being in bed by 9pm these days! 

7. Things Don't Work Out For A Reason. 

Rejection hurts in the moment, but it also means that the right opportunity or person is still out there. Some day you will be so happy that job or person did not work out, because then something or someone better can come along.

8. Never Take the Red- Eye. 

It’s just not worth it! Even for all the coffee in the world!

9. Wear what you want.

If you have the freedom to wear what you want every day, do it. I believe we best express ourselves by what we wear and we feel most confident when we do so! My only exception to this rule is ‘SNEANS’! If you think that wearing jeans with joggers is ok….IT’S NOT! 

10. Follow your bliss.

A job pays your bills, but your passion shouldn’t have to come as a sacrifice to it. Ride that longboard skateboard you have always wanted to ride by the beach, go on that health retreat, spend more time with your family, start up your own business... Follow your bliss, whatever and wherever it may be. 

I know this was only meant to be '10 Lessons I've Learned' however, let me just leave Lesson Number 11 here....you may relate!

11. You get Hangry!

Something terrible happens when I get really, really hungry- it’s called hangry. It’s when low blood sugar and an empty tummy mate to produce a terrible whiny, crabby, angry version of myself. For the sake of my friends and family I have learned that I should always carry a muesli bar… Always!

 Abbey xoxo 

5 Event Manager Myths...//that aren’t true!
01/09/2017

Stereotypes are incredibly frustrating for people in any profession, but the role of the event manager is one particularly prone to ignorant assumptions and misconceptions- trust me I’ve heard a few!

People think you spend your day swanning around, food tasting, and lounging around in luxury hotels and venues – pfffttt if only!

I want to examine 5 common myths about being an event manager that simply aren’t true… if you pick the right event manager of course!

Myth #1: It will cost too much.

Event Management businesses (just like 'She Means Business Events') make your money go further by designing a strategy that prioritises elements which will make the biggest impact! We identify elements you can do without, we shop around and negotiate on your behalf. You will benefit from the fact that event management businesses are volume buyers and can secure rates significantly lower than those you would receive if you went directly to suppliers.

Myth #2: They’ll take over all of the fun, creative parts of event planning that you enjoy.

When working with an event company you get to dictate how hands-on, or off, you would like to be. If you want to pick the theme, venue, and entertainment we will  take your direction. Just let us know what tasks you prefer to do yourself. Then we can take care of everything else such as logistics, floor plans, negotiating, paying and directing vendors.

Therefore, don’t stop assembling that Pinterest board for your event. Honestly, as an event manager we appreciate and respect your ideas and input, after all it is your event!

Myth #3: Event Managers work part-time .

Although event managers don’t work the typical nine to five, we certainly put the hours in!

I read a survey recently that found that event managers work up to 17 hours a day during busy periods and some have even worked 72 hours without sleep during large events- not an approach I’d recommend for anyone... trust me I’ve been there!

In reality it is hard work, it involves long hours and plenty of pressure and stress to ensure everything goes to plan. 

Moreover, when the event is in full swing on the day/night there is often no time to relax (or even sometimes to eat!). At the end of the day we are putting on the event for other people’s benefit, delight and objectives, we are there to do a job and not to enjoy ourselves.  

And yes, on event days we can easily cover over 30,000 steps so we are fully entitled to moan every now and again about our aching limbs and blistered feet! ;-)

Myth #4 Event Managers are frivolous .

Event managers get a bad rep from depictions in movies where they are seen telling clients that they “must have this” and “must have that”. In reality, good event mangers work to obtain maximum value from a budget; negotiating and streamlining every little detail. Because of our knowledge and connections, professional event managers can usually stage an event for less than the client could independently (like I previously mentioned).

Myth #5: All event companies are basically the same.

Just like employees, every Event Management business has its own strengths and weaknesses. Be wary of companies who try to be everything to everyone. When evaluating event management businesses, try to discover the types of events they really excel at to ensure that aligns with your event profile. For example, the top trade show producer probably wouldn’t be a good fit for planning a wedding, just as an award-winning wedding planner probably wouldn’t be well-suited to plan a 10,000 person corporate event. Be sure the company you select is well-versed in the type of event you are holding

In summary, Event Managers are some of the hardest working, efficient and skilled people on the planet- ok I may be a little bias! However, while the job can be glamorous (at times) and fun, much of it is grounded on an extremely hardworking work ethic, meticulous planning, creative flair and professional acumen.  So should you hear any of the above popular myths being uttered, refer them to this blog for a cheeky little reality check!

Abbey xoxo

 Hottest Event Design Trends in Adelaide...//RIGHT NOW !
28/08/2017

Hello Gorgeous, 

As more organisations place greater emphasis on experiential marketing, the design concept encompasses more than simply filling a room with decor—it’s an opportunity to express the personality of a brand, or the host.

For event designers/planners/managers, the challenge lies in finding unique ways to impress guests!  

You would have seen in Saturday’s Adelaide Advertiser my girl Andi Nguyen from 'The Little Big Balloon Co’ and the expense that some Adelaidians are spending on throwing lavish kids parties!
Whether you're planning a wedding, corporate event, meeting, gala, birthday or other special event, it is obvious that design trends are evolving each year and becoming more and more spectacular! I’m not going to lie though it's friggen hard to keep up with, and the event design world has become incredibly competitive, confusing and expensive!

That is why I have decided to put together MY TOP 10 latest design trends and inspirational ideas for events and meeting design in Adelaide.

Before we jump into my top 10 design trends, as you all know I am all about ‘keeping it small and making it niche’. Creating smaller, more personalised events, or experiences within larger events, is on the rise. In a crowded, busy world, we all crave to be special and attending a large event can sometimes make us feel like just one of many.  Communicating with guests in a smaller, more personalised environment can have great results and see guests engage more with your message, brand and celebration.

'She Means Business Events' take on Adelaide’s hottest design trends:

1. Personalised balloons & balloon installations- You literally cannot go past ‘The Little Big Balloon Co’! Their personalised balloons and balloon installations are to die for! Who would have thought that the traditional balloon could be transformed into whimsical tasselled creations!

2. Personalised Cookies- 'Jasper Cakes' & 'Made by Georgia Cookies' are killing it in the world of personalised cookies! They are extremely busy ladies and you might find it hard to book in with them but I cannot recommend their sweet creations enough!

3. Doughnut Walls- Well we all know that I might be a little biased here but let’s be honest who doesn’t like a doughnut! If you are after something fun and unique to add to your event you can’t go past ‘She Means Business Events Doughnut Walls’ and their beautiful, handcrafted selection of doughnut walls!

4. Grazing Tables- ‘Gather & Graze by Bre’ would have to best one of the hottest business is Adelaide at the moment! I love nothing more than food that brings people together and Bre makes that happen! Her grazing tables are the most sought after in Adelaide and her attention to detail are second to none. I will let you in on a secret...I have already applied for the position of resident cheese taster! HA HA :-)

5. Light Up Letters- ‘XL Letters’ are your one stop shop for light up letter hire! Kym is one of the nicest guys around and his light up letters are some of the hottest property in Adelaide .  

6. Flower Walls- ‘A Wall of Flowers’ and ‘Adelaide Flower Wall Experts’ are my picks for flower wall hire in Adelaide! Their flower walls are handmade with the highest quality flowers to create the most stunning back drop.

7. Entertainment- ‘Entertainment Adelaide’ are the hottest event DJ’s in Adelaide. Not to mention you can add in a LIVE percussionist and saxophonist to really make your memorable. I guarantee your guests will be dancing the night away!

8. Party Hire- ‘Olympic Party Hire’ offer very affordable party hire in Adelaide. They are a family owned & operated party hire company. They have equipment to cater for parties of all sizes; backyard birthday celebrations, engagement parties, weddings & large festivals. 

9. Lolly/Dessert Buffets- ‘Sweet Design Buffets’ offers a range of products second to none in Adelaide, Angela has an unquestionable passion for colour and design and we will work with you to create the sweetest table of goodies imaginable.

10. Champagne Towers- The 'Steve the Bartender' team are Adelaide’s Champagne Tower experts! All packages include setup, staff, service, plinth and glassware.  Their staff are highly experienced and they have a high quality, sturdy plinth – which is essential for a stable tower!

So what is my take on all of this...? 

Change can be hard, and sometimes within event planning design, it can be hard to move clients toward what is up and coming instead of what they see online. But with so many great ways to bridge the gap between the outgoing and incoming trends, it is easy to put on an event which will make your client happy.

Fear not of being left in the dust of rustic, hessian clad, rusted-out, mason jar clusters! And yes...I had that at my own wedding – guilty as charged!!!

Abbey xoxo


“Do you also own The Doughnut Wall Business?” // The Answer Is...

17/09/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

Doughnut worry, yes I do! 

This would have to be the most popular question coming at me at the moment!

‘She Means Business Events Doughnut Walls’ is the sister business to ‘She Means Business Events’ that I personally started in June 2017 for SMBE clients to enjoy. As an event manager, I was finding it difficult to source doughnut walls in South Australia that fitted my client’s requirements, so I decided to design my own range and offer them for hire throughout South Australia.  

The business has honestly BOOMED since it was born and most weekends our doughnut walls are completely booked out. Why? Because doughnut walls are fast becoming the fuss free easy dessert for events, weddings, children's parties, work functions, birthday parties, launch events and all celebrations.   Not to mention ‘SMBE Doughnut Walls’ are an affordable hire accessory addition for your next event! Watch how fast your guests race over, seduced by the smell and the tantalising looking doughnuts!

We currently have a total of 5 Doughnut Walls and we will be expanding our range just in time for Christmas 2017 and we will be adding custom doughnut wall requests to our services (above 100 doughnuts)! 
* Click on the 'SMBE Doughnut Wall' TAB ABOVE for more information

One thing that truly does set SMBE Doughnut Walls apart from its competitors is the fact that our pricing schedule is very competitive and our personalised service. Yes, that’s right I will work in-between SMBE events that I am managing to personally drop off your doughnut wall, set it up and then pick it back up from you! Call me a ‘control freak’ but I do this so I can absolutely guarantee that your doughnut wall will be perfectly set up and styled for your event! 

I must admit, I still find it quite amusing that such a spur of the moment idea has been born into one of the craziest event trends in Adelaide right now!  All jokes aside though this journey hasn’t (and isn’t) a walk in the park. My weekends are now even more busy, I put a ridiculous amount of km's on the car, I could start 'ubering' people around Adelaide with me and I should probably be selected for the next 'Amazing Race'! However, seeing people come together in the one space, celebrating and creating memories honestly warms my heart! 

As my readers know I don’t come from a big family but one thing my mother always instilled in my brother and I, was a LOVE for family, friends, and celebrating in style with those closest around us- especially those once in a lifetime special occasions! That’s why if I can supply a Doughnut Wall for your event,  you too can have a tiny part of that special ‘Mumma Lewy’ guidance that I tend to sprinkle everywhere I go now too!

For reference my maiden name was’ Lewis’ hence the reference to ‘Lewy’! 

Oh and for all of you kicking off those summer shreds at the moment, did you know that that the centre of a doughnut is 100% fat free?! ;-)

Abbey xoxo

A Typical Day In The Life Of... //Abbey Cooke
08/08/2017

Hello gorgeous, 

I have been asked on numerous occasions since starting She Means Business Events, what a typical day looks like for me, and whether a career in event management may be the right fit for you.
There is no better way to know whether a particular career or industry is right for you than to hear straight from an event manager what a typical day involves. ...so here goes!

What does a typical working day look like for me?

If you’ve been sitting at your desk reading about SMBE, daydreaming about the glamorous life of owning your own events company, it’s time to wake up! Starting up any business can be brutal in this socioeconomic climate and to be successful you have to face reality – hard work, long days (and nights), and a whole lot of coffee and networking! It’s not all doom and gloom though, once you’ve taken the leap and decided to start! 

I am a HUGE morning person, so my day normally starts at 4am-5am, I check my emails, check SMBE social media accounts, have some breakfast, and head straight to the gym. I need to start my day at the gym because without it, I would honestly go mad! Other than growing to love exercise over the years, I have no other ‘me’ time in my life, so it’s always good to get there, chuck on some ear phones, workout and escape from the world for just a little while and focus on no one else but myself.  I then either head into the office, prepare proposals, reply to emails, book supplier’s, complete admin or alternatively I head off to client meetings, site inspections, supplier meetings, event set ups etc. No day is ever the same and as an event manager you need to have the flexibility to adapt each and every day. 

I deal with a whole lot of different people on a daily basis; suppliers, venues, clients, advertisers, social media bloggers, website designers etc just to name a few! I’ll literally pull together financial summaries with my right hand and at the same time be compiling name-tags with my left. 
Managing events is all about seeing into the future to plan for the best and against the worst. It’s about using all the resources you have available to you. You continuously work to simplify processes and systems to make managing events dreamy but in reality – no day, no event, is ever the same. Which is what makes it so interesting and challenging! 

What is the most rewarding thing about a career in Event Management? 

Organising events is obviously not all glitz and back flips. The hours are long, your social life will disappear when you're busy and it isn't anywhere near as glamorous as people think — however, it is hugely rewarding and the benefits are immense.  You will meet a lot of people who share a passion for what they do. It is what many people dream of doing. Sure enough, working in events is not always 100% fun, there are dull tasks too, and it is stressful. At the end of the day, every event has a deadline. The nearer it draws, the more hectic it gets. But there is nothing more rewarding than the end result: seeing people enjoying themselves; seeing everyone connect and share an experience. Knowing you put this together and made it happen, makes all the hard work worth it and that’s why I love working in events.  

What is the best piece of career advice I've been given?

I am fortunate enough that I have been inspired and mentored by some wonderful people both domestically and internationally, the most influential and inspiring motto coming from my Adelaide based mentor which SMBE currently lives by…

 “Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew like buggery!”

Another piece of advice I was  given today by a long-time friend and mentor was...

 "Walk towards the heat. You will feel the burn every single day but 9 out of 10 times you will say it’s absolutely worth it!"

Working in events will inspire you to be creative, efficient and very organised. You need to be a great team player, be tenacious and be able to think outside the box, know what you want and be willing to go after it, be a risk taker and be willing to challenge the status quo. If there’s anything I’ve learnt it’s to have a load of patience, persistency and a great sense of humour! 

All in all: Don’t hesitate to test the waters in the events business. You’ll pretty soon find out if it's your cup of tea or not.

In the case it's not your cup of tea: Go and find something else you are passionate about, because you will quickly find out that if you're not passionate about what you are doing, you won’t be happy doing it. 

In the case it is your cup of tea: Get ready to put in some long hours, get your hands dirty, and let your creative mind run wild!

Oh and for the record my kind of cup of tea is: A green tea with honey ;-)

Abbey xoxo 

Introducing Abbey Cooke // Boss Babe @ She Means Business Events
07/08/2017

Hello gorgeous,

I studied a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Human Resources at University for 4 years, and then went on to study an Executive Certificate in Event Management. 

I then established myself in the financial industry at a very young age, where I worked my way up into to a high global corporate role, which I will admit to thinking was my ‘dream job’. However, I soon realised I craved the ability to be creative and that is where my passion and enthusiasm for event management truly became alive. During 6 years in the finance industry I fully managed complex logistical events spanning both the international and domestic market, across a variety of industries, which have showcased my superior event management skills and professional execution of events.

I was born in NSW, moved to SA when I was in Year 7, I was bought up in a household utterly obsessed with cycling, I have one brother, I was married at the age of 23, bought a house at the age of 24, I still don’t own a dog and for the 4 millionth time I don’t have any children! ;-)

I started She Means Business Events in May 2017 as I saw a gap in the Adelaide market, for an affordable event management business which challenged the status quo of both private & corporate events.

We are three months in since the launch of ‘She Means Business Events’, and I have now decided to share with you all the things I have come to realise about being an entrepreneur…let me tell you, it’s much harder than it first seems. It is a bloody lonely journey, people will hate on you, tell you that your business idea is rubbish, tell you straight to your face that you will be unsuccessful, you will lose friends, work crazy long hours, and consume more caffeine than your body can probably handle. However, when you turn your ideas into a reality it’s an incredible process and I wouldn’t change any of my journey for the world because well….I have probably learnt more about myself in the last 3 months than I have in the last 27 years!

I will be honest with you all that I have had my fair share of ups and downs, and I’ll admit that I still am learning and have a VERY long road ahead to where I ultimately see ‘She Means Business Events’.  However, I need to remember that I started off with nothing but an idea, and not knowing if it would ever really work out, but one thing I will admit to having was the right mindset. You’ve got to believe you can do it, even when things seem impossible and out of your reach. 

The 'She Means Business Blog' will be about my journey as an entrepreneur, things that inspire me, things that annoy me, trends in the event management industry that you all need to know about, and finally events around Adelaide that challenge the status quo!

This blog will be raw, it will be honest and utterly fearless because that is the exactly the kind of girl who is behind ‘She Means Business Events’! 

I hope you enjoy reading and watching!

Abbey xoxo
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