Entrepreneurs often dive into things before they’re ready, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! In this episode, Mary shares a few stories of saying yes before she knew what she was doing, and unpacks how much preparation went into those moments where she got “lucky.”
Tune in to hear about—that one time Mary’s mom met Woody Harrelson, how Mary landed her first keynote speaking gig, and what happened at the monster truck rally.
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Music. Welcome to all up in my lady business I am your host Mary nisi on this podcast all explore the fine line between having it together I'm losing your shit here I share my journey as an entrepreneur a mom a wife a DJ and randomly a beekeeper I have no shame and no filter except the ones I use on Instagram my stories of resilience a little structure and a lot of resource Wellness can show you how to take those same things and live your life with your hole. Music. My mommy's always say you never know where you're going to be at the end of the day when you wake up in the morning and she would always say this after something. Crazy would happen like for instance. One time my mom went to she went out for like a drink after work with my sister and they went to some bar in Omaha and like Woody Harrelson just happened to be there he was like in town for some reason and like my mom and Nancy my sister Nancy like went out and like. Partied. Whatever that word means with Woody Harrelson it was like that kind of stuff would happen to her and it happens to me too or like I kind of just happened to be in the right place at the right time a lot of the time and I was rented run into like random celebrities anyway I promise you this isn't the last time I'm going to tell you this how my mom would say you never know where you're gonna be at the end of the day when you wake up in the morning but okay so today we're gonna be talking about trial by fire the concept of jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down. There's a quote that when I when I looked it up I thought it was Cicero as it turns out it was Seneca a lot of people attribute it to Oprah but the quotas that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity and Oprah put a coda on there that said if you hadn't been prepared when the opportunity came along you wouldn't have been lucky and I. It's like I feel like that's my entire life like people I've often times said I'm lucky but. Really it's that I just pay attention and when things get handed to me or when I get presented with an opportunity I'm like yes yeah let's just do it and figure it out as we go last night I was, sitting on my couch preparing for this episode and my husband started watching the movie Taken with Liam Neeson and there's a line in there where he's like I've got a very specific set of skills and. I didn't do it right I didn't do the whole thing but when he said that I was like that's me I have a very specific set of skills and I tend to be in the right place at the right time when they come into into play so anyway I've run a business for over 15 years at this point and I kind of feel like I've seen. A lot of shit a lot of things have happened to me and it's been a long time since I've had that first client interaction that first sale those. You know those humbling but exciting feelings when you are first in a new situation and whatever that happens to me I'm always I always get into it and I'm always like how am I going to pull this off like whatever. When I when I think when I get an idea my head I'm like I want to try to do. Something new or whatever I get pretty excited because I'm like how I'm gonna pull this off like what resources do I have to make this thing happen and and I guess one of the things I never think when I'm trying to ideate ideation ID f-- Pull my ideas together in an organized fashion I never think to myself this is going to fail or what am I going to do when this doesn't work like that it never crosses my mind. That whatever new idea I have or when I'm presented with an opportunity and I say yes to what I never think it's going to fail. I just always think it's going to work I never have Escape hatches I don't have plans like a plans be. I'm not really just okay with General failure and I think that's why it usually works it works because it has to. I think that this is one of the things that can set an entrepreneur apart from like normies like people that have regular jobs because when opportunities come along we take them whether we're ready to or not we probably weren't ready but we thought we were. Like I've had people in my life friends family my husband like blow opportunities or. You do not take a job offer that was awesome or not applying for a dream job because they said they need to save more money or get more education or they weren't ready or they're afraid to ask for more because then they could get fired if they ask for more things like that and you're never going to be more ready than you are now. Says the entrepreneur like some people most people don't think like that they're happy with where they are they aren't really ready they don't want to be. Either way it can be too daunting and it can stop somebody from trying and that's just like not where I'd like I always go too far it's like I'm always going to take it to the Limit. So it's not a weird idea for me to want to get into public speaking it's something that I've been wanting to do and it makes sense like I've got this radio and improv background I've been doing weddings for years and where I'm in front of people having to like you know stall or make things up on the spot or just the general like to doing the general like. Business of a wedding I'm on a microphone in front of a lot of people and it doesn't make me nervous and I've done a few things here and there I mean I've outside of those things where I've you know I spoke at a DJ conference a couple of years ago I was supposed to go in person it was a it was it shut down because of covid-19 and it went from being a thing where I was meet in person too they got scaled down to just being online and it was a really it was weird to be online and it kind of threw me off but other than that I have spoken, and I have been on panels here and there and in fact because this is something I've been wanting to do I've actually been taking this A Course in how to become how did like be a public speaker for the wedding industry I started a couple weeks ago and I'm literally like three weeks into the course and I've been getting my topics together and figuring out what my takes going to be on them and it's been kind of this easy breezy pastas that I haven't really been overthinking too much and it's almost like the universe is like you know where you haven't been overthinking this one, we need to we need to push you into your discomfort Zone and you know it's a part of the reason why I have wanted to get into this club attended a lot of conferences. You know for the wedding industry and for DJing specifically and when I'm at these things they're generally not as many women speakers as there are men. And when women are speaking at them they usually speaking they're coming at it from like a support role like it's you know they're talking about marketing or social media or they'll talk about you know accounting or how to you know it's not usually coming from like the DJ perspective or from the actual business of the conference's I mean sometimes planners will speak. But that's about the extent to which women are actually prevent presenting at these things and they're rarely like motivational or the actual business side of things. And that's the that's the role I wanted to fill that's what I want to do is I kind of want to be a woman coming at it from the actual hardcore business. So yesterday I got a call from a. DJ that I met at the DJ Collective which is DJ conference that I went to last November that was awesome it was probably the best conference that. Exists out there in DJ world and this guy has a DJ company he's organizing a. Wedding show for wedding professionals to gonna get people ready for the wedding season because this wedding season is going to be insane it's like. Going to be the biggest year for weddings since like 1986 or something don't know what happened in 86 but. It's gonna be a big year and he's putting together this conference and he wants me to be a virtual speaker at it but he wants me to be the keynote speaker and. I've never done a keynote before I've done other things but I've never been like. You know one of the main people that are speaking at this and I have to imagine that there's a lot of pressure to not make an ass out of yourself when you are. Going to be the keynote speaker at a conference and I messaged the woman that. Is teaching the course and I was like hey guess what I know that we have a another seven or eight weeks in this course but I've been asked to do this keynote and it's in. Three and a half weeks how can I do this and she's like well you here's a here's some here are some steps you really want to have at least 60 days. Before you you know to really get it down and you know and be great at it and I'm like well I don't have 60 days so I'm going to have to figure this out I'm gonna have to figure out how to pull together a keynote and have it be awesome this is what I wanted like this is happening like I said yes like I didn't I didn't even hesitate when the guy asked me because I'm like okay this is this is the universe is handing me this opportunity and I have to take it and they're going to be times in your life where you must use your whole ass. And then maybe even part of a spare ask that you keep in storage and and pull it all together and decide that like. You know this is where the rubber meets the road you know I think about other times in my life where I have had to just sort of leap and hope that it was the right choice like. For instance I when I my freshman year of college I went to the university University of Nebraska at Lincoln and and I really didn't like it and and I when I got to my second semester of freshman year. I was like I need to I wanted to move to Chicago so badly I had I just I knew I couldn't stay in Lincoln anymore and I I win the when the course catalog came out for The Following fall everyone was signing up for classes and figure what they're going to do and I didn't even register for classes. I was like I'm not going to be here I will not be in Lincoln I had applied to DePaul here in Chicago and that was my only. That was my only backup was I either get into DePaul. And go to college in Chicago or I don't go to college next year like it was in retrospect I can't believe that I. Don't tell any didn't even tell anybody I didn't tell my mom I might maybe I maybe told some friends but I didn't I didn't tell anyone I didn't I didn't register for classes for sophomore year. And then I got into DePaul like I got in and I was like all right cool I guess I'm going to college next year and I'm moving to Chicago and that's how it happened like I just basically forced it to happen you know like when. I mean that's the whole thing with the Improv is trial by fire improv really refines that you have no idea of what you're going to do. You're going to go out and stage and the cool thing about improv is it if like the scene sucks someone can just end it and then you start another one. You know the other times in my life like when I started doing weddings like I'd only assisted like three times before I did my first wedding and I was like I'll just have to start doing it because I can watch somebody do something over and over again but until I'm actually doing it I won't be very good at it I won't understand it other times in my life I've been the same way but every entrepreneur will face this sort of put up or shut up moment where it's like okay I just have to do it I just have to like get out there and hope for the best basically it's like how can we shut out the second guessing how can we give ourselves the confidence to say yes I'm ready like even if you're not like I'm giving my percent myself permission. On this situation with this keynote to not be perfect which is something I'm not very good at. Like in an app that I'm a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination but when I do things I want them to be. You know I want to put my best foot forward and have them be perfect with weddings you have to go into every wedding with this idea that it's going to be perfect. Because failure is not an option with a wedding it is a lot of pressure but it's pressure that I'm okay with and you know with this keynote like I'm going to do my best and I have all of the components of this talk it's been they've been swimming around in my head now for years and now I just have to sink it all up and I bet it'll be good. I bet it'll be good I have a feeling that it's going to be great but this is something I've wanted for a really long time to be able to translate. Everything that I have been going through for the last 15 years hell the last 47 years I mean I had I have a lot of stories in a lot of ways that kind of sink together and I'm kind of excited to see what this next chapter my life is going to be and. It's happening quicker than I thought. Most people don't see the preparation that goes into making something that's awesome or being an expert or like just you know being the LeBron James of anything they just look at the product and think that you know that person worked hard. You know or it but they always there's always an element of luck or that it was easier for them than it would have been for me or they were in the right place the right time like you didn't see LeBron James shooting baskets in the. Four hours is a kid like a apparently I don't know why I'm using all these Sports metaphors because I don't know really know anything about sports. And Tom Brady does all these like weird vegan diets and like mechanical like Physical Therapy like. You know Pilates employees at the weird part we all we all love Pilates now thanks to Katie but like mechanical stuff to his body that sounds nuts and excessive but he was like one of the best quarterbacks in the history of all time so clearly that worked for him but he didn't see that you don't see him doing like tiny muscle workouts for like one muscle in his back that's like the thing he throws with or whatever so I when I was at that DJ conference I spoke of earlier on I did a mastermind with this. This guy he's kind of a legend in my mind I seems to a bun and he is a DJ out of North Carolina and he is he's really Diversified he's a DJ he owns a DJ company they've got like seven locations and he has a he makes his own gear like his own DJ tables that he sells and then he's got this thing called the DJ's Vault that's like an online resource for DJs and then he's got this thing called crate hackers which is a he's just like he's done he's really he's really a marketing genius and he's really good at what he does, and I did a mastermind with him at that conference and in it was for multi Ops like people who have more than one DJ working for them and you know they're they're more than just like one person out there grinding and. He had this hero vide they call it a hero video and he modeled his on a add that Diddy was hired to do for Ciroc. Vodka or gin some kind of clear alcohol and that he shows the video that the Ditty one and it's you can probably Google it and it's pretty cool it just kind of shows like how like P Diddy is like when I was a kid I didn't have a paper route I had four and he got up every morning and I did for paper routes and he just you know has always been this grinder who like. Worked really hard and then you seen he's like pumping iron and like you know you seem in the studio like twiddling knobs and you know and then it kind of has all these epic things of him and like, baller apartments and on yachts and stuff because he's Daddy. And Joba and did a version of it at for above himself and it was it's great because it was almost like shot-for-shot the same thing as the pit as the Ditty one but it was all his details and like you know it was really good and then at the end of it he's like okay now you guys have to make your own you have to make your own hero video for yourself for your brand for who you are and we were supposed to have it done by January but. I took a little bit longer I hired a director we're making I'm making one and in theory it's going to be a things me use for when I'm public speaking and thing to kind of live on the internet to kind of show people like my like how I got to where I am and the way we're shooting it is going to involve a lot of you know my past and I'm a low-key hoarder I have the things I keep oh my God guys I have been going through these boxes and at least it's everything that I have is pretty awesome it's not like there's not a lot of it's all killer no filler as I like to say and it's got like I mean I've got concert tickets going back I've got like the concert ticket from like the first Lollapalooza I've got concert tickets for so much shows I forgot I even saw I'm like I said Depeche Mode on the on the on the. The tour that came out after whatever and I was I was surprised by some of the show's had seen but but it had all kinds of stuff in there and I found so many letters like I've saved every letter that anyone has ever sent me and what's crazy is almost every letter somehow mentions music either a show I went to go see or a record that I just bought or I saw a band I'm so mad they didn't play these songs like it's really interesting I how much music has just been an element of every single thing I've ever done and when I was going through it all. It was interesting to see that I've kind of always been the same person. You know my mother always used to say whenever they're be like a job that was cool my mom would say well someone's got to do it that was another thing my mom used to say it was like it was either you know it's always like you know. That person is a lion tamer will someone's got to do it like it's a weird job but someone's gotta do it. I think I knew in my heart of hearts I was always going to have a weird job because I was kind of a weird person and so. Maybe I knew like this was my preparation was going to all these shows and spending every last penny I had on the homers there was a homers record store which is a record store in Omaha and it was down the street from me and I have there was a well-worn path like on Tuesdays when records but come out I would go I would probably homers every single Tuesday of my life when I was in high school. And I had all these giant Subway posters in my room and my walls were covered but I've just always been into music I have always been. Enthusiastic I have always said yes I've always liked but one of the things that was in there like there was all kinds of stuff there was a article in the newspaper I was really into that band Toad the Wet Sprocket when I was in high school I like them from their very first album bread and circus I was there in the very beginning as if that makes me cool but I saw them like every time they came to town so I had all these photographs of me with Alt with various members of Toad the Wet Sprocket and all my Almighty all my ticket stubs were signed and I had all my all my records were some like CDs rather we're all signed by them but there was an article in Omaha World-Herald where it was following some girl who was 19 according to the article and she was basically a glow like a roadie okay I'm sorry not a roadie a groupie for Toto it's bracket like and she apparently gave the drummer or somebody in the band her her t-shirt that she was wearing and I don't know it was weird article but then at the end of the article it was like her knee I think Ernie was Katie it was a Katie is here with these four girls that went to a different high school and then Mary nisi at Burke High School and I'm like. I don't know who this person is I know I was at the concert but I somehow got a write-up in the newspaper anyway when I was in high school I was in all the I was in all the musical's in the plays and I had a lot of awards like physical look awards for things I'd forgotten that I'd gotten and what's funny is I remember my senior year in high school I had to lead my senior year in the musical was South Pacific I played Nellie Forbush it was great and I remember when it ended when it was over I was like oh man is this the last time I'm going to be on stage I had this like. Cat's in the Cradle and the silver spoon what's it all mean like moment where I was like. What if this is the last time I'm on the stage and I remember thinking to myself don't be dumb Mary this is the last time you're going to be on the stage you'll be I remember specifically thinking that like because I think other people were saying like this is the last time I'm ever going to be on stage and I'm like oh. Yeah me too to know that's not happening I'm definitely going to write a ping on a stage in some capacity when my life goes on and that's the thing is that this was all part of the work this is all part of my preparation being an improv doing theater going to all these shows that brought me to the point I am today to be able to answer opportunity when it knocks and be. Ready because I was prepared when you are preparing no one else sees it. They don't see me pouring over liner notes or I was such a comedy nerd when I was younger I would have memorized Kids in the Hall sketches and I was so into Bob and David Bob and David and like I watched so much comedy. And that was preparation. When I was you know waiting tables and interacting with everybody and diffusing shitty situations where people are being awful to me that was preparation. That made it so that when opportunity came I'd already done the work and while it may look like luck it's far from it people don't see the preparation they don't they just see the. It's all this is to say what people call luck that's just preparation meeting opportunity that's just you having done a lot of things that are going to get you so that when somebody comes up to you and says do you want to speak at this thing do you want to DJ my wedding you know do you want to take an improv class with me you know oh this bands coming in town and I heard they're staying at this hotel do you want to go and hang outside and see if we can run into them and then all of a sudden you're meeting Tom Cruise like these are the things that like you know big or small they all. Lead up to an opportunity whether it's professional or just a personal goal to be in the same rarefied air as Woody Harrelson and so my eyes are always peeled I am always looking out for the interesting thing or the next opportunity and I'm also you know I'm not good at sitting still. And even though I've got like a fine business that is you know making money and providing a outlet for work I'm always looking for the next thing because I'm just never satisfied I'll never be satisfied I should write a musical about that. So now let's talk about the whole ass Enos of the last week. So I believe I teased that I had bought tickets stonily for Monster Jam well the Monster Jam has happened and I have to tell you I don't know where I've been my whole life and wipe Monster Jam's haven't been a part of it because it was so fun. It was so fun to like be first of all it was packed like so packed like there it was a sold out a sold-out situation and I was there there were it was Sebastian and two other little boys and wanted a good little girl and then you know the parents and we get there and it is so loud. It is more epically loud than you could possibly imagine and we had brought ear protectors like the ear of the big ones like the muffs like earmuffs and they were barely good enough it was very loud but basically and I never I didn't really know what to expect I just knew had been involved like large trucks and it was indoors it wasn't an outside one and and so it was at the Allstate Arena which is a when I when I walked in here or when I walked in and I go wait I saw Dolly Parton and Fleetwood Mac here I think I also saw REM on The Monster Tour there a million years ago and it was very weird to see it covered in dirt and about to be annihilated by trucks called the ram inator and maximum D in the d stands for Destruction and there was one there was one truck that was amazing it was called the Grave Digger and it was driven by the only girl or the only female driver and so the gravedigger so the car that trucks came and all they do is there's like a setup there's a guy mounded dirt in the middle of the. Thing and they just you know they drive and they do spin outs they kind of they'll bounce on their front wheels and then they'll seem like they're falling over but then they don't and it's so the Grave Digger. Was the best so there were two demonstrations in the first demonstration the gravedigger just did like she she bounced on her butt and she's bouncing her the her nose and it was really cool. And then they had these little Motocross dudes that came out and she won she won that demonstration the Grave Digger one her name was Kristen something or another and she won and then these like Motocross kids came out and we're doing flips on their bikes and launching over things and they literally look like children I'm pretty sure they were like 14 years old like living some kind of Monster Jam dream. And and then the gravedigger came out and did a second demonstration where where. You know drives around does a bunch of Reckless things and then she stops and then she's revs up and she does. Motherfucking flip like she flipped like. Drove up hit a curb and flipped over her monster truck it was amazing the room went ballistic. But then at the end a dude one maximum d. Maximum D1 the Monster Jam and everyone was so pissed my son was like that great the girl was the best one why didn't she win and it's like all I could think of I was like oh you know what we. We can't show a little boys that a girl is going to win Monster Jam like she can win it and she can win each individual thing but at the end of the day we have to let a guy win because of little boys see. A woman winning maybe they won't see that monster trucks are a viable career option like that was like the thought that I had apparently is a cumulative thing with points over the weekend maximum D just happened to be higher but it really sucks. It was a really bad thing I think for everyone to see that a woman was the best out of all these guys she lit if she was the only one that did a fucking flip and she somehow managed to lose it really just they're really just chapped my hide anyway that was the only downfall of monster truck rally was that the the what they're like first of all I was just excited there was a woman I didn't know the girls could do that because you know I've been told the monster trucks are for boys which is why I had never gone but it was super fun and this is why we need to not make gendered anything because girls can be just as good as guys if not better but I guess we also still learn at the end does it make a difference if we do fucking flips we still are going to get bested by maximum d. Music. Thanks for listening to all up in my lady business it is written by me Mary nisi. It is produced by Christina sorum Williams and Amelia Ruby with softer sounds. It is recorded at the toast and jam offices in Logan Square in Chicago. You can find resources and links from this episode in the show notes at all up in my lady business.com. If you enjoyed this episode and you did Smash that subscribe button and if you're the kind of person that reviews things on the internet please rate and review us wherever you listen to us it really does help people find us follow us on all of your socials and don't forget whatever you do this week do it with your whole ass thanks for listening. Music.