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Lisa Pearson, Plan Ahead Events Austin, Event Management, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Lisa Pearson

Business Name: Plan Ahead Events Austin, an event planning and designing service

Type of Business: Event Management

Business Location: Austin, Texas, United States

Reason for starting
I had just wrapped up a graduate school program at the age of 42 and told myself I couldn’t settle for working for anyone else, but wanted and needed to challenge myself with this business. After being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years and going through a divorce, I wanted more for myself and my family and knew that anything worth great having requires lots of hard work, dedication, organization and vision, so here I am and I’m so glad I chose this path…I look forward to where it will continue to lead me.

How do you define success?
Hard work, first and foremost. But, I believe that building strong relationships with others is where true success begins. Putting others before yourself and allowing yourself to see other’s perspectives will help to build those relationships. Without strong relationships in life, it’s hard to acheive true success, because at the end of the day, while a career is important, people are even more important and my mission is to operate my business that way. People know I care about them and so they are more than happy to want to help me, too. It’s a tough world, so love is where it needs to begin.

Biggest Success
My biggest success is my family…then, going back to school after 15 years and obtaining my Master’s Degree would be the second, because after being out of the job market for 12 years, it was a challenge to go back, but it was also the most rewarding experience as well. This experience taught me I can acheive greatness and this is how I landed where I am now, the President of Plan Ahead Events. I don’t think I could have gotten to this place without that experience and a great team of professors and students encouraging me and helping me to believe in myself!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge is leaving my comfort zone and handling sales. I told myself I would never do anything related to sales, but here I am and while it’s a daily struggle for me to put myself out there in this way, I have learned to just be myself and the rest will fall into place. No hard sale tactics or dishonesty here, just me and who I am, and at the end of the day, the potential client either likes it or doesn’t. You have to built rapport with a person and earn their trust to ever expect any business from them, especially so in event management when you have their event in your hands and they are trusting it will execute flawlessly.

Who is your most important role model?
I would have to say my dad, because he has most certainly been the rock in my life and has taught me the value in hard work, honesty and ethical business practices. It starts with a nice handshake and evolves from there. My dad has worked very hard his entire life to help my sister and me and he still does. He is still the one I go to first whenever I have an issue and need his grounded vision. I know 100% I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him. I love you, dad!

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