Woohoo Christmas has come early – my special gift to you is Episode 2 of my vlog series Living Proof with the addition of my ugly mug! (Let’s just say Oprah is temporarily safe as queen of the talk show… for now.)
This Q&A saw me to speak to Natalie Crampton, MD of the Event Company in Dubai (http://www.the-event-company.com/). Natalie was an obvious choice for me to select for the series as she has an amazing ability to sniff out opportunities against the odds, having set up her own event company when she was only 23, at the beginning of the worst recession the World has experienced in recent memory.
Recognised for her contribution to the business scene in her adopted home country, Dubai, Natalie is also a brand advocate for International cosmetics brand, Bobbi Brown, as part of its Pretty Powerful campaign (http://www.bobbibrown.co.uk/prettypowerful/). Not only that but when the likes of Lewis Hamilton or Alicia Keys are in town doing their thing, it’s Natalie’s job to look after them too. (I wish she’d post more selfies!)
Click on the video below to hear her first hand perspective:
Walking the walk and talking the talk, eh?
I hope you enjoy our chat where Natalie shares some refreshingly honest views about what it takes to build a company from scratch and implement plans for world domination! Unfortunately there are some issues with the video quality and so here are some ‘lesson notes’ so you can access the insights form Natalie’s experience.
Let’s start with…
- Paying attention to the mis-steps of others as it can save you a lot of time and money by observing and recognizing what NOT to do. How would YOU do something differently?
- Listen to your gut and tune into how you’re feeling. Natalie recounts how after a few months working as an employee for another event business she was losing interest and that was the start of her setting up on her own. She knew she wanted freedom and wanted to call her own shots and she committed to following that feeling.
- You don’t have to do it all – even if there’s only you! One of the first things Natalie did when she set up on her own was employ someone to cold call the targets she had identified to secure a meeting. She felt she could use her time more efficiently by delegating the set up of the meetings to a trusted person and was then able to fully ‘show up’ to the arranged meetings and introduce herself and her company and make that all important first impression. It’s partly thanks to this that Natalie now counts the likes of HSBC as key retained clients. If she hadn’t delegated she would have been peddling double fast and only generating half the results!
- It was a brave move as she had no cash coming in and didn’t know how she was going to pay the lady for the calling – but she believed it would generate results if she got in the door. And that’s just what happened.
- It’s good to talk. When Natalie first went out on her own, she got in touch with all of her previous contacts and let them know she was for hire – getting her message ‘out there’ was key. Don’t assume people will just find out - you need to actively talk about what you’re doing or you’ll be overlooked.
- What’s a sure thing, despite all the uncertainty? If you work hard, focus on something and then give it 100% something good will come. If you put effort and attention into a project you’ll get the result you want.
- The biggest myth that stops people getting what they want is self-doubt and being nervous about whether they can do it or if they have the right connections. You have to take on that potential obstacle and find ways to address it, as it won’t go away: “My job is create connections – it’s part of the deal. When I moved to Dubai I didn’t know anybody!”
- There will never be a perfect time but some times will be better than others so go for it: Being ready is a myth! It may feel like a leap of faith but if you look at your track record and what you have done right you will be able to see that you have it in you and you need to give yourself more credit.
- “I struggle to think of some good advice I’ve received because a lot of people told me I was insane but I didn’t listen to them and thank goodness… but I would say, always manage your finances and put something away for a rainy day.”
Natalie is now looking to the future with the intention of creating a new industry standard for the events market and will also be growing her other company Canvas and Wood (http://www.canvas-and-wood.com/) to ensure that opportunity bears fruit too, but she has also promised to take the time to enjoy the fruits of her hard work – “you need the rewards to make it feel worth it”.
Thanks so much to this gorgeous and inspirational businesswoman that is Living Proof that putting the time in leads to the most amazing experiences and fulfilling ways to spend your life. I can’t wait to do a follow up interview after she’s appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine! I bet I won’t have to wait too long…
Love Lucy xoxo