Christy Lamagna is the founder of and Master Strategist at Strategic Meetings & Events. For the last decade her focus has centered around disrupting the meetings industry. She is teaching planners to evolve into meeting strategists, who think with curious minds and learn to create meeting environments that shorten sales cycles and influence attendee behavior. A lifelong learner, intellectual philanthropist and author, Christy taught college-level strategic planning for 10 years which helped inspire her book, “The Strategic Planning Guide for Event Professionals.” Read all of Christy's "Get Strategic" blog posts for CEN here.
Prioritizing Your Personal Support Team - Team up for Success
When we speak of our “teams” we are usually referring to our co-workers and trusted vendor partners. While those people are often essential to your professional success, there is likely another team you need in your life which may be woefully understaffed.
I’m talking about your personal support team. The people who keep you fortified and functioning optimally. Many of us shed those people long ago, considering the expense of a personal trainer, or the time required to work with a nutritionist too steep. Instead we spend the extra dollars on food we consume while working later and later and later.
It’s easy to get on the treadmill of busy and lose sight of the tradeoffs. Packaged food is more expensive than fresh food and the time it takes to complete a task when you are not functioning optimally is greater than when you are at your peak performance. Even when we are confronted with our faulty logic, we often claim to be too busy to make any changes right now.
If we don’t make ourselves a priority, who will? I have countless examples of people who have worked themselves to exhaustion, at the expense of relationships, their health and their mental stability, only to be let go when profits were down. Suddenly confronted with a loss of identity, a feeling of betrayal, and the shock to the system that going from 60 to 0 in a short period of time creates, these individuals found themselves adrift.
I am guilty of working longer hours than I should, but I am able to keep the pace because of the incredible support team I employ. Among those who keep me functioning at my best are:
- A nutritionist
- A professional coach
- A holistic physician
- A psychologist
- An aesthetician
- A masseuse
- A cleaning service
- A personal trainer
I utilize their services on a rotational basis; I can go for months without speaking to my nutritionist if I’m on a good path. Conversely, I double up on massages when I’m traveling as coach seats are notoriously bad for one’s body and I carry stress in my neck, so I need the kinks worked out of my tired body.
A knee jerk reaction to avoid creating your own team is you have neither the time nor the money. That’s a cop out. How many times have you done the impossible for an event? This is a piece of cake and only requires a bit of re-budgeting or creative thinking. I’ve traded services with people to keep expenses low while striking a fair deal with another service professional; marketing tips in return for a massage, or copy writing in return for a professional coaching session. Additionally, one or two sessions with a trainer may give you the motivation and guidance you need to workout on your own with a check in every three months, putting less strain on your wallet than you may have initially imagined.
In January I pledged to make this the year of YOU. I’ve shared ideas on goal setting, visualization of goals, accountability and more. The truth is, if you don’t feel well, can’t concentrate due to exhaustion, are in pain or are so depressed you can’t remember what it feels like to be happy, your number one priority has to be a behavioral shift and to focus on creating your support team.
Friends, mentors, partners, family members and members of the clergy are also essential members of your support team. If you can’t imagine doing something this significant for yourself, why not start a conversation by showing them this article and asking their opinion? You may end up helping them make some life changes too!