Why I’m Smiling These Days

February 13, 2012 § 14 Comments

Last Thursday night, I set out to do some research and round up my favorite Ina recipes for a belated birthday celebration in her honor. Just a few minutes into my work I got somewhat sidetracked, and began watching Ina’s Google talk. I’m terrible at keeping up on stuff like this, and certainly should have watched this talk sooner than I did.  I say this not just because I’m such a fan of her cooking, but because apparently, there’s a lot I can learn from her that doesn’t involve food.

As some of you may already know, before Ina became the Food Network star and best selling cookbook author that she is, she owned a specialty food store in South Hampton.  That food store was the Barefoot Contessa.  She ran the store for over 20 years, growing it to over 100 employees. After running the store for such a long time, she was ready for something new. For years she mulled over what she should do next in her career. During this period, a friend of her’s shared a very interesting piece of advice. Her friend stated that type A people think they can figure out what they’re going to do next while they’re doing something else, and they can’t. They have to stop and do nothing.  I heard that phrase and literally stopped dead in my tracks. Suddenly the last six months of my life made COMPLETE sense.

Before I explain why this phrase had such an impact on me, a little more on Ina. After getting this feedback, she decided to sell her shop, and quite literally do nothing.  In her talk she reveals she actually did nothing but think about what she wanted to do for a full year, at which point she finally decided to start writing cookbooks, which then lead to her show on the Food Network and where she is today.

Six months ago I wrote a post and shared I was taking time off. I needed the time to think, slow down, and figure out what I really wanted in my career. At the time it was so hard to accept (and admit) that I was actively not pursuing a job. Unlike Ina, I wasn’t as clear on the notion that not working was the exact thing I needed to understand what I truly wanted. Figuring out what I wanted my next career move to be definitely didn’t happen overnight, but it most certainly was fueled by my decision to take a break.

I had worked as a corporate event planner for the last few years, but never seriously considered doing it on my own- having my own business. Then, early this fall while I was in break mode (and thanks to some amazing former colleagues), I was hired as an independent event planner. That work somehow translated into even more work and clients. Once I got a taste of what it was like to work for myself in this space, I was completely hooked and the direction of my career became much clearer.  It didn’t take too long to realize that having my own event planning business was exactly what I wanted.

So with that, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of clara persis events! In comparison to what I wrote back in September, I can’t believe where I am just six short months later. I’m blown away by the opportunities that have come my way by putting myself out there just a little bit, and how amazing it feels to be so happy and proud in relation to what I do. Entrepreneurship definitely doesn’t come without its challenges and risks, but I’ve never been more excited to take on such hard work.

There’s so much more I want to share about my new path, but for today, I think I owe Ina a little shout out (or Ina’s wise friend!). Despite now having a strong sense of direction in my career, it’s still quite daunting. It’s hard to know if I’m going about things the right way, and to rely largely on my own instinct. Ina and I are far from the same, but knowing how she made such a major transition in her career makes type A people like me breathe a little easier. It brings great comfort to know the decision I made six months ago was the right one for me, and that now, even if I’m not sure where things are going 100 percent of the time, I just need to keep going.

If you’ve made it this far- thank you! There was really no other way to get this story out. I hope you’ll pop over to my new site and see what my business is all about. I’m looking forward to sharing all there is to come with you all! xoxo

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