But do you know how to plan an A-List party? Marley Majcher is the CEO of The Party Goddess! a nationally acclaimed full-service event planning and catering company. In this episode of the Talent Empowerment Podcast, Marley unravels the intricate art and science behind creating unforgettable events, sheds light on the importance of leaders understanding their company's processes and staying connected to every aspect, and dives headfirst into the ultimate party debate: Who throws a better party - the legendary Snoop Dogg or the iconic Britney Spears?

πŸŽ™οΈTalking points:

(1:26) Planning, producing and building celebrities parties

(15:00) Doing what makes you happy

(19:13) Managing a party planning business

(34:20) The joys of entrepreneurship

(36:35) But Are You Making Any Money?

πŸ”—Connect with Marley:

πŸ”—Connect with Tom:Β 

Tom Finn:

Welcome, welcome to the Talent Empowerment Podcast, and thanks for tuning in. We're here to help you love your job. We unpack the tools and tactics of successful humans to help guide you towards your own career empowerment. I am your humble little host, Tom Finn, and on the show today, we have Marley Majcher. Marley, welcome to the show.

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Marley:

Thank you for having me. It's gonna be fun, I can tell already.

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Tom Finn:

Oh my goodness, wait for this show everybody. This is going to be an absolute riot. If you don't know Marley Majcher, she is the CEO of The Party Goddess, a nationally acclaimed full service event planning and catering company. She is known for creating the most talked about parties of the year for a client list ranging from top tier businesses to A list celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, that is the D-O-Double G, Sofia Vergara, And of course, Britney Spears. As the party goddess, Marley is also quickly establishing herself as one of the best resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs out there. She's the author of, But Are You Making Any Money? A Witty Business Guide, praised by Forbes, as a great how-to book for any entrepreneur. We will absolutely get into the book. We will get into all things entrepreneurship and leadership and all the good things, but I'm not going a step further without asking about the Snoop D-O-Double G. and Britney Spears. Now, who throws a better party? Snoop or Britney?

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Marley:

Okay, so obviously I'm gonna get, this is such a loaded question and I'm going to say this from the perspective, from my perspective as an event planner. I think that because it would be different perhaps as a guest because it's Snoop's event there everybody was very happy because they were very stoned including Snoop. So I am gonna say Britney throws the better party. because Brittany was, had very many activities and things going on for her guests. There was never a dull moment. It was jam packed from like start to finish, including the most amazing Ed Hardy goody bags. And Snoop, it started very late because Snoop was smoking another Doobie. And that went on and we were very close to running out of food because you can imagine everybody else is doing the same thing. So that's my answer. I don't know. I'm getting probably very-

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, people at the Snoop Dogg party had a case of the munchies.

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Marley:

Exactly. That's the whole thing.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, for sure.

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Marley:

So as a planner, you know, like, we, you and I were talking ahead of time, so you're probably kind of getting a feel for the fact that like as planners, I am such a planner, right? And so many, like I have a plan A, B, C, D, and then I say, you know, I have my G plan, which is like, God, sometimes it just feels like that's the only thing that's going to help the situation. And I've got to tell you, I, I always try to think of absolutely everything. The one thing I did not think about with Snoop was, obviously I thought he was gonna be stoned, there's no question, but it was the most freezing, bitter cold day. And it's one thing to be freezing and bitter cold, it's another thing to then be, you know, I'm used to starting late, whatever, with clients, and you kind of do what you want, but it was one of those things where it was like, it is now an hour and a half late, and I am like, are we going to start? Like, it's one of those, is it going? Or, you're like, Do we, what should I tell people out there? Right, like do we, is it, should they pack up? Should we order pizza? How, what do we do here? Because we're not getting a lot of communication because I'm sure Snoop was very happy on whatever couch he was on. And two and a half hours later, yes, not only had the munchies kicked in, at that point I was gonna get hungry, just from the fumes. But everybody seemed to have a. Fabulous time. So I guess at the end of the day, right? That's what matters they also had a fabulous time at Brittany's house and I don't think they had to You know, they didn't have to wait two and a half hours, but there were a lot of helicopters and everything else So some people might say that was a little distracting. I don't know But it's good for all of us

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Tom Finn:

You have probably got some stories tucked away that could take, I don't know, 18 different podcast episodes to really get under the hood. Do you have a favorite party that you've planned? Celebrity, non-celebrity, but something that just really got you jazzed about planning and building and producing a great party?

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Marley:

There are, sure, there are a couple. Like one client we've done a bunch of things for is Pierce Brosnan. And so just in general, I say I love to work with them because they have this beautiful house, they really know what they want, they're kind, they always have interesting guests. There's just so many layers of it, right? That it's just, and you can tell the guests are so happy to be there and it's just friends and it's magic. So that's like one thing. But when we did the opening of the Hollywood Bowl, That was magic for me because it was earlier in my career, it was the day before, it was a very intense setup because it was very hot. There's a huge committee for that plans available. So it isn't like you have one person that you're go to, you have a lot of people that have to be pleased with what you're up to. And so it was very, very intense and your haunts and things are changing quickly. And it's like, hey, you know, you're going to change because it's the opening of the Hollywood Bowl. You're going to do whatever they want. But I remember the day before Stevie Wonder was, he was going to be opening. And I remember the day before and it was like, there was nobody really in the bowls, just like all of our workers and stuff. And we were kind of just getting ready. And I remember he was just rehearsing and he was saying, you know, like, I just call it to say, I love you. And all, and I was like, Oh my gosh. And here I am sitting in the seats. You're so tired and you're so dirty. And I was like, I don't even care. Like this is what it's all about. Like this is magic. And so that was a super huge highlight, but then really the one that came to mind that I could probably talk about forever is a, is a job we did for some who are now very dear friends of mine. Um, but started out as clients. I don't know, 20 years ago or something. And they just did a 60th birthday party and they're like the youngest looking 60. I mean, they look 42 and plastic surgery isn't involved. That's just them. But they are into horses and they ride polo, he rides polo and she's dressage. And I love the horse community in general because I just find they are just cool, fun people. And they had their 60th party. So they both turned 60 the same year. and we did it in Palm Springs. And it's always this thing like, they collect art and they're creative and they're very cool and they travel a ton. So that's a very tough client. First, both of them are clients, right? Like they're both my friends, but they're married. So obviously, he's got kind of one thing, she's got some other things and a lot of it's a line. But, and so it was like, I'm always trying to knock their socks off. Like I'm always trying to knock everybody's socks off, but still with them, it's like, they know the difference. You know what I mean? I mean, they're not just like nouveau riche, not that there's anything wrong with that, but they travel and they know, and they know what the coolest food is, and they know what the service style should all be. So it sets a really high bar, which I love, because it gets me really in my head and thinking about it. And then... One of the things I remember is they have their place, they have a house in Palm Springs that's part of this community, and it was Walt Disney's original house. So I was always, I'm always trying to find some point, like some through line, like some jumping off point that I can take as a through line. And oh, by the way, the guests often have no idea that through line exists. They don't, they not, would never find it or anything else, but it's just like me kind of what drives me through the whole process. And So I had this thing about Walt Disney Town, and then I was like, well, we're not gonna do Disney, we're not gonna, that was too obvious, but because it's at the Walt Disney House and it's very mid-century modern, and they had redone it, they had all of these, not all, but they had a lot of large shag, I guess you call them portraits, paintings, illustrations, whatever that appropriate term is, and shag is this amazing mid-century modern artist who just... is fabulous colors, really rich colors, very rich characters, always has like a couple animals in it. So there's always like, you know, a crocodile sitting there about to have a cocktail with the guests. You know what I mean? There are always people with like lampshades on their heads. There's all, it's just fabulous. And so I said, hey listen, what about if we make the theme of the party three shag, let's just call them illustrations, three shag or paintings that come to life? So the party is gonna be divided into three spaces, but that are each three different shag paintings. And that atmosphere, it's all gonna be self-contained, but cohesive in one big party. So it's like, we're gonna have the painting, and then this one is gonna be, it's mostly green and blues, and this one had a ton of plants. It was like very kind of jungle-like. And we add another one that was like modeled after the Kit Kat Club. That's one of the clubs in his painting. It was all like, Reds and Zebra tablecloths and that's where the band was and they had a secret and then Pete Yorn I don't know if you guys know that but who that is but they wanted to have Pete Yorn play a private concert for them for forever and all these years it didn't work out so he was going to be a surprise and how cool to have him play at the Kit Kat club and then we had the giant like cat that um Shag is really well known for it was like 10 feet tall, kind of lit from behind, so it felt totally like Monte Carlo. And we had, what is it called? Like casino tables and everything. So it was like you could experience three different parties. You could experience this kind of jungle thing, which was total like lounges and had high pile AstroTurf couches. And if you've never sat on a high pile AstroTurf couch, you are desperately missing something fabulous. And then, and then we had another one and it was just totally different. And, but they had like one of his paintings has this Randy's Donuts thing, right? And so it was like, let's just make this dessert. It's all about Randy's Donuts, you know? So it was this just big donut dessert station, which is hilarious because these people haven't had sugar since like 1989. And here we have this whole thing is like frosted donuts in your face. And that I just remember the husband paid for this entertainment. Like the wife knew she was gonna have this regular entertainment, right? Like, and it was a name brand band also and it was very cool. But she didn't know, cause he had said, no, we can't do P this year, blah, blah. And I said, for the record, I do not like lying to my friend. And he's like, it's for a good cause. So here I am, like hiding all the sound checks and all this thing from her and. Then the moment she saw him get on the stage, she just like looked at me and just like started to cry. And I was like, she was like, oh my God, like you did it. You know, and it was, did I do it? Yeah, I didn't pay the bill. I didn't, I mean, you know, husband had to, but it was like, she just knew how much I wanted to deliver that to her so badly. But you know, I... And then she was just like in heaven. And then he was in heaven and we practically had to take him out of retirement. And his agent was like, I don't know. And the only reason we got him was because I had the connection to the agent. And I was like, I promise you, these are gonna be the coolest people. Like he's gonna love this. It's gonna motivate him. And it just was magic. Like if you've ever seen magic happen, it was like watching like just this whole amazing. kaleidoscope of magic instead of like the opposite. You know, when you see like, you're like, oh, I was watching a train wreck happen in slow motion. This was the exact opposite in like the best way. And she's like, she left me a message the next day, even though we're all staying on the compound thing and whatever. And she was just like crying again. She's like, I just can't stop crying. And I know, you know what's I'm not crying like bad tears. She said, I just can't even believe. And so that at the end of the day, That is like why I do what I do because you can say, listen, well, you're not a brain surgeon, you're not curing cancer, you're not whatever. And that is correct. But for four hours, I can control a lot of people's moods. And everybody comes to these parties in a totally different state, right? I mean, some of them might've just lost their mother, some of them might have a sick kid, somebody might have just gotten fired. You know, so they all come with whatever baggage they've got. And it's kind of like my job to just be like, I get it, but we're all dropping the suitcases at the door. And like, just join the ride. While you're here, just be on my ride. And everybody got it. Like they just, and they knew how happy she was. And then it goes, even now we can get into this whole philosophical thing about like, you know, the magic of having. the right friends and not having negative people and whatever, because they genuinely, I mean, they could have been very, very jealous of her and none of them were. They were just so happy to see another human being so happy. Maybe it was partially too after the pandemic and all that stuff we've all been through a lot, but it was magic. So overall, I have to say that's like from hitting every level, that's probably the one.

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Tom Finn:

Man, I wanna go to one of your parties.

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Marley:

Hey.

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Tom Finn:

I mean, now I'm just itching. I'm like, I'm jumping out of my chair right now, trying to figure out how I can get invited to one of these shindigs.

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Marley:

Send me an email and say, put me on the list and I will.

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Tom Finn:

And, get me on the list.

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Marley:

But the thing is, is that it, I guess kind of the message is, which I've listened to your other podcasts before, and other people have said it in different ways, and maybe my through line kind of is, when you do what you love for the right reasons, do I do it for money? Of course I have to pay my mortgage, but. When you do what you genuinely are good at and what you genuinely love and what you genuinely want to keep improving at and you want to, as much as you can, make somebody else happy or get whatever it is, even if it's a company launch party, where you just, whatever they're trying to tap, when you can tap and hit the right channel and those laser beams connect, that's... when you're doing the right thing. And so it's nice to have picked a career that I genuinely can do that, but I obviously do it very much in my own way. I mean, let's face it, there are how many billions of event planners out there, right? And people are like, oh, are you, do you worry about, I mean, in the old days, of course you worry about getting clients and stuff, but now I'm kind of like, not really because, and by the way, I charge a lot. And I used to be very afraid of that and all that, but I'm like, so much goes into it. And my attitude now is like, dude, I'm good. I know I'm good enough. I know I'm like, I'm just gonna get paid what I should be paid. And if it's not a match, it's not a match, you know, peace out. But if maybe somebody could take away from this, if you don't feel that connection, and I'm not saying that we feel that I feel that connection every day by any stretch of the imagination, but. If it's been a while since you felt that like connection, like I really love this or this is why I'm doing what I'm doing. That is a good time to sort of start journaling and figuring out, is there something else or maybe there isn't something else, but maybe it's just something like what, how did I get here? Like, how do, like something's wrong. Like how do I get back to doing baking cupcakes or whatever it is, the reason I started my business in the first place. and tap into that because we all need kind of reminders that this shouldn't be such a sludgy affair. You're going to have, there's plenty of stuff in business that does take grit and does take so much hard work, but you should have some really light like amazing moments where you just go, yes, like I get it. You know, I get the point now. So that's philosophy 101 you didn't ask for.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, well said. Uh, it, it feels like we're going to the sophomore class of, uh, philosophy in today's, uh, podcast, but here's, here's the silver lining, Marley, you're talking about the end point. The end point for you is the party that's been planned and executed. Well, it's the happiness and the joy. And as you said, the laser's connecting so that we find that magic moment. for others in a shared environment where we can drop our luggage at the front door and we can really be present with other humans.

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Marley:

Magically.

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Tom Finn:

That's the end point.

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Marley:

Well said. Never could have, never would have thought of that, never would have, yeah, amazing. That's it, wrap it up. Thank you, check.

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Tom Finn:

But there's a but here, my friend. Here's the but.

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Marley:

Always.

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Tom Finn:

What we haven't talked about is the path to get there.

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Marley:

Right.

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Tom Finn:

The planning, the budgeting, the building of a turf couch, the designing of furniture, artwork, building sets and stages, and all of the homework that has to go in to pull off an A-class private jet kind of party. Talk to me about sort of the inner workings of the business and how you manage all of that.

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Marley:

Sure. So that's a great thing to bring up because especially in the social media day. Right? It all feels like it's just one big Instagram pink Barbie moment, which it definitely is not in any way, shape or form. But you know how like there's a thing for like with computers or with data analysis, and they say garbage in is garbage out, right? Like if you don't feed it good information, you're not going to get good analysis out of it. Well, I kind of liken it to like, if you have a macrocosm, right, or something and it's like, here's your big picture, which is the end party looking amazing. Okay. All the little chunks that make up that, all the little microcosms, for the most part, have to have good components in them, right? They're gonna have bad components, of course, naturally, but the sum of the parts has to be good parts. So what that weird way of what I'm trying to say is, you're correct, there is the... building of the turf couch. And there is the budgeting and the logistics and there is the, but that's what I mean is when you take all those buckets that make up the piece, you've got to be able to find some joy, enough joy in that process. so that it doesn't taint the outcome. And I'm not sure if that makes sense, but what I mean is, so would I love stapling the turf to the couch and fitting it very tightly and making it so that somebody's not gonna catch their shoe on it or whatever? Not particularly. Maybe I'd like the stapling part if I'm having a very bad day. I'd fricking, nobody'd ever, nothing would get in and out of that couch. But the point is that I do love the research of the couch, the picking of the Astroturf fabric of the couch, the shade of green of the couch, the decorative pieces of what's going to be on it. And then that's kind of the message of what I was saying earlier is I delegate those other components. So there is a big chunk of it that I like. Now, I also like the satisfaction of a budget where you're like, I can kind of look at it as I'm accomplishing a goal. The client says, here's my budget. My first response is always something along the lines of, okay. Do you want me to fit the budget or do you want me to price out your wish list? Because they're gonna be two different things no matter what. Nobody's ever gonna say to me, listen, and I have $100,000 and I just, they just gave me a list of $100,000 worth of things they want. No, they have $100,000 and they just gave me a $1,000,200,000 list of stuff they want. So they, you know, whatever, they answer the question. And then for me, I find the piece that I thrive on, which is the challenge of, okay, I've got to get these components massaged into here. And so what I can do then is say, okay, if they say, listen, I want this to be a hundred thousand dollar budget, I can say, great. So I'm going to give them that. And then I'm going to say, in case you want to expand upon this piece, here are some other options. You're going to go over your budget. I can cut some of this over here, but I find something in each component that I like. Do I like typing the budgets? Absolutely not. Do I like calling for the pricing of the budgets? Hate it. But those pieces I sub out so that I find joy in some component of it so I don't get too burned out. Then you go to, you know, the, like the insurance and all those logistics and all the, do I like all that? Absolutely not. But I do very much like the feeling of knowing I'm in control as much as I can be. And then I have you know, this venue needs this amount of insurance. This meant, you know, I do like to be able to like, boom, boom. Now that takes a lot of experience to get to that point, right? Because so many of us don't spend time. We were, it's like the whole classic Michael Gerber E. Myth Revisited thing. We don't spend that much time working. on our businesses or working, you know, the whole thing, like how you working on your business versus working in your business. We spend our time working in the business and you have to spend the time working on it, which is the piece of, I know I don't like making phone calls and doing research and all this other stuff, but that doesn't mean that I now have to do, like I have to delegate all of it because that's what an entrepreneur says, right? They go, oh my, but I can't, I can't delegate all that. And you're like, whoa, whoa. This is a 10 step process, right? Could you delegate six of those pieces and somebody comes to you with the, and then you put your, you review it, analyze it, put your rubber stamp on it, and it's usually maybe, or, you know, hey, four, but then I'm like, listen, you guys, you made 40%. You just offloaded your plate. That's huge. So if you can start just. non-emotionally working on your business, not when the proposal is due, not when the phone is ringing off the hook, not when you have 500 unread emails, but when you can just take a step back and take the discipline and say, wait a minute, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta regroup here, cause I'm burned out too many days, there are too many parts of this that I'm now not enjoying, now I hate couches completely and think AstroTurf is the dumbest thing ever, you know what I mean? So when you... When you can't find something in each of the pieces, that's the time to regroup. But that's also playing the long game as an entrepreneur and saying what's working and what's not working. It's like being a football coach or being anything else. Like, what are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? And like, what do we need to course correct? And how fast do we need to course correct?

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Tom Finn:

So first, I agree with everything you just said. And the other part of the context is that none of this, none of what you're talking about applies to party planning. It applies to running businesses.

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Marley:

Cya!

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Tom Finn:

I mean, it technically does apply to party planning as well. I don't mean to kind of push it aside-

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Marley:

That's the example, but you could.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, but exactly right. The generalized theory here of working on the business versus in the business is a very straightforward one. And if you don't know what that is, let me just take a second and explain it because Marley used the context of it perfectly. Working on the business is when you're acting like a CEO and you're delegating and you're finding talent to develop. And what that means is, as Marley said, maybe you delegate four or six items off of your 10 item checklist, but here's how you do it. You actually... teach somebody to deliver at 80% of what you can deliver at.

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Marley:

It was that.

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Tom Finn:

And here's why it's 80%, because nobody can ever deliver at your level. So just don't set the expectation there because you're gonna be miserable. And then you're gonna take it back, you're gonna pull that part of the project back, and you're gonna tell them you're gonna do it. And then now we're working in the business. So on the business is delegation, development of talent, strategy, structure, partnerships, relationships. That's on the business. in the business is where we all start, right Marley? We all start in the business.

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Marley:

All of us. Nobody goes into business thinking, I would like to be strategizing about my insurance and my employees 401k. No, we pick the business because you like to do podcasts. So-and-so wants to be a hairdresser. So-and-so wants to be on the silver screen. You only go in for the ins, not for the ons.

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Tom Finn:

So in the business means that you are doing the job, whatever the job is. In Marley's case, it might've been building a chair or putting paint on a table that needed to be a different color early stage in her business. For software companies, it's working hand in hand with the developers or building the marketing strategy or quite frankly, making the sales calls. All of those things are in the business. And you can kind of think through what that would look like in your industry, in your particular zone. So on the business is when you, you're up a little bit higher in terms of your thinking, your parameters, you're looking towards the future. It's so important what you brought up. I just wanted to make sure that it was kind of stapled right in.

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Marley:

And you gave me one other piece though, to kind of highlight is that it can also go too far. I think most of us have the tendency to be working in our business and have our heads down. And then, we just feel like we don't have one second to work on the business. And that definitely takes some discipline. But the other trap that granted, it's not as likely to happen, but it is still a trap, is this piece of working only on the business, right? Because then effectively, a lot of us don't go into business to just be the CEO, right? We might start liking to do that more, but that's usually its own kind of thing. So what I find is if I get too far removed from, like if everything is just delegated and I'm just like, signing off on budgets that somebody else typed and signing off on proposals that somebody else typed. And I'm not the one putting the photos into the vision board, not the one that I need to be doing that. But if I find where I'm like, wow, I didn't even come up with those inspirational photos. Like I am really now disconnected. That's when you kind of have to check yourself now. Hey, listen, it might, you might have the realization that you're an amazing CEO. God bless, that's awesome. Because then those are the people who build companies and then sell companies and take another one and turn it around or all those things. That's its own set. But you've really gotta be paying attention to, still, what is making your heart sing? And if you start going, gosh, I used to love my business and I don't anymore, what I've found is sometimes I just realize I am like, whoa, I have gotten way too far from the spray paint. Now, That doesn't mean I need to spray paint five days a week. I'd go crazy. But it means that if I don't have that flexibility in that room to like get in there with my coveralls and get dirty and go to the flower market, like I did in the old days at six in the morning or five in the morning and really be like, wow. You know, I can look at a flower book. I can look at what's in season. I can look at online. I can put there's, there's something just totally different about just. going there and having a very strong cappuccino and just being surrounded by these glorious colors, that that's what I used to always love. So sometimes it's like, you've gotta just be like, I gotta go back to the flower market, which is absolutely something that could get delegated, but sometimes you need to undelegate to connect back to what the point of what you're doing is.

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Tom Finn:

Couldn't agree more. I mean, look, you've gotta work in the business enough that you still command the respect of the troops also.

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Marley:

Yes!

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Tom Finn:

If you sit in your ivory tower and start doling out doses of you do this and you do that, trust me, you are gonna lose the troops real quick. And it happens all the time.

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Marley:

Oh, it happens. Yeah.

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Tom Finn:

CEOs get to a point, they make a certain amount of money, or they hit a certain client number, or... they start believing their own press clippings and the old adage of arrogance kind of sets in and you forget what got you there. And so what Marley's saying is, don't forget that you need to be a part of the process to make sure you still understand it, to make sure that you're still sharp, right? You don't wanna lose your edge, you don't wanna lose what got you there. So you have to kind of come down and work in the business at... at appropriate times for an appropriate period, and then go back up and focus on the strategy.

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Marley:

And part of that too is really being in like the bay of where the phones are ringing and not like trying to eavesdrop, but like listening to the calls that are coming in and how the staff is talking to the vendors or how the staff is talking to the customers or is there kind of constant tension? Does it seem like? We're constantly behind, there are people asking for money, or like you have to just kind of be in the weeds a bit, just sort of like so that your spidey sense goes off, you know, when it needs to go off. And the thing that I found too is that the employees that have been with you for a million years, that's one thing. They don't forget that I know how to load the truck and I can load a truck anytime, longer, faster than, and bury everybody, right? But the ones that haven't been around as long, and maybe they've been around a year or something, maybe what they quote know of me is me being in and out more and not seeing me load the truck. Well, let me tell you, like we had this project we were doing where we were trying to build this thing with wire and rocks, and it had to get welded and have X amount of support, and nobody could freaking get it. And I just was like, fricker man. So I was like, okay. So I got a guy who could weld. I got the welding gear. I'm like, we are going to flipping weld this together, MFR. And I am like, what is so difficult? You know, and you, that happens a couple of times where you're like, like it happened a few months ago. We were getting ready for a photo shoot and that team, they were just not, I don't know if they weren't getting the vision. I don't know if they thought that I, I like for sure, she's not going to really want it this way. I don't know. But I was like, I had it. I was in like full hair and makeup too. And I was like, put my coveralls on, it was night, I got the spray paint out, I'm like, this is what I mean. And it was like, bam, I mean, everybody came to life. They were like, oh, this girl will get dirty. I was like, oh yeah, and then one of them had to leave, it was the end of the day, I said, oh, you go. They're like, well, do you want us to clean up? I said, we're not cleaning up, because we're not done. You can go, no worries. But I gotta get this done. So you show that kind of grit. And people wake up very fast and realize, wow, I'm either going to do this and like doing it or she's going to do it and find somebody else to be happy and fast loading the trucks. You know, and that's, it's just important that they know. Yeah. You, you didn't just imagine like, poof, I'm here. No, you worked your day and night and your fingers to the bone and now I'm here.

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Tom Finn:

What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

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Marley:

I love the idea generation. I love the challenge. I love the freedom. Now, a lot of people think, oh, but you have to work so much. But to me, freedom is, I don't even care. I don't care if you have to work a billion hours. It's the freedom to work when you want, how you want, on what you want. I love the possibilities. I love that you have so much control over, like as an entrepreneur, I can see somebody who's been, you know, who's like the... quote lowest person on the totem pole who's having trouble paying their rent, who's whatever. And I can just be like, today I'm buying everybody lunch and today here's a hundred bucks. You know, I don't tell everybody else that person got out. But it's like, you can change things fast, right? You can, you can like watch somebody develop and to be really good at something they never knew they could be good at. Like you can genuinely give people confidence. They've earned it, of course, as they go, but I love the freedom to do that. I love the freedom to say, we're not corporate America with half day Fridays. It's like, F that. Today we need to not work Fridays. We are tired. Everybody's cranky. Everybody's like, you guys go home. See you Monday. No, I'm not mad. It's just everybody's so. I like that, I like to be able to read the tea leaves and sort of pick up on stuff and then just go, nope, we're out, like this is not working. And nobody can tell me not to, that I love. I mean, the only people that can kind of in a little bit the way tell you is, you know, your bankers, as long as you own have mortgages around money, owe money to somebody. But I always say that the true joy to me is when you have no mortgages. and you can do and say whatever you want. And then you like, you don't care if somebody tries to call the loan because there is no loan to call. So.

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Tom Finn:

Pay down your debts quickly, says Marley.

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Marley:

Yeah, exactly. Because then you become- then you're a different force to be reckoned with, I'll tell you still.

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Tom Finn:

So we've only got a couple minutes left here, but I wanna touch on your book. And you wrote a book, you didn't have to. You've got a successful business. You operate something which is super fun and interesting, but also just for those folks out there that are listening to this, running party planning businesses is one of the hardest choices you can make. It is one of the hardest businesses to operate because you have to be so strategic, but you also have to manage other people's money. And you have to build things from scratch.

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Marley:

There you go.

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Tom Finn:

And you have to be creative, and you have to execute with perfection. So I'm not saying that's an easy business, just for the record, it's one of the hardest. So just write that down in your notebook if you're thinking through this. But what I wanna know is the book, but are you making any money? What inspired you to write the book?

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Marley:

Well, I, okay, so for our full disclosure, our industry convention at the time had a thing where if you taught a class, you could get a free pass to the industry convention. Well, it was an expensive ticket for the industry convention that was like a week or five days long or something. So I was like, okay, cool, I'll teach a class. Well, I had started, even though I'd gone to Georgetown, I had gotten my business degree, I mean, I Lord knows I studied PNLs, I should know how to run a business by that point, but I found myself always still having trouble. applying what I learned into like my own business, right? So for all kinds of different reasons, I would keep getting myself in trouble financially in terms of just making poor choices or chasing sales instead of tying sales to profitability. That's the focus of 12 other podcasts. But the main thing was I kind of come up with this little rinky dink system of expanded version of cost of goods sold, which is... typically how most businesses price. And I had factored in time with it. And then I thought, okay, great, you know, whatever, I can do this for an hour and I'm thinking, I'll talk for this amount of time, I'll have a lot of questions, and then I can get my free pass, yay. So I did that and I remember I did the class and the class was supposed to go from like four to five or something and then I was literally like, I was ready. Like I had people as meeting for drinks and then. but all of a sudden the people like kept coming in. I kept seeing people stand and they were standing and now they're standing outside and they're standing like, it's literally standing in one lane. I'm like, do they? And meanwhile, I'm saying at the beginning, like I'm the girl that would take the deposit. Woohoo, yay. I got a huge client. I'm gonna go to Neiman Marcus because I'm an entrepreneur. I deserve it, man. I was like the most mixed up person, but. Here's how I did figure it out for myself, right? And then I remember, and it was so much about pricing and all this stuff, and people were just asking tons of questions, and they kept asking questions. And I was like, I'm sorry, did you get here so late that you heard that you missed the entire first part of my whole thing where... I am the money person you do not ever want to listen to. And they're like, yeah, but, and then I remember the person, this changed everything. The person, one of the people said, but you're the only one who will answer our questions. And I was like, And they were like, even if you're not the best person at it, and even if you're kind of wrong, nobody will tell us how they price. Nobody will tell us if we're supposed to mark stuff up. Nobody will tell us if that's unethical. Nobody tells us how much we should be charging. And so I was like, and so then afterwards. you know, I was like, okay. And they said, well, do you have another, do you have a book or like another way we can get in touch? I was like, get in touch about what? Like that was my full wad right there. And thank goodness people ask questions, you know? And then I was like, and they people just kept following up and following up. So then I was like, okay, so I was like, okay, I put this, this thing together. Well, it's, it's amazing how when you out yourself as like, Yeah, I had all the education in the fricking world. I still couldn't figure it out, right? I had all the support, I had all the whatever, I still couldn't figure it out. And then somehow people were like, wow, if that mean can poop can do it, for sure there's hope. You know, this clown, she just wants to go to Bergdorf and you know, fly there for the new, see exactly. I mean, I'm the most like, un, but I made, but I found some ways to fix my problems and to make that more exciting. than even going to Berghoff Goodman. If you can make that, imagine that.

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Tom Finn:

So the book was comprised of you doing a talk, an education hour that sort of kept running over.

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Marley:

Yeah.

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Tom Finn:

And you kept getting asked questions and you thought, you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to write everybody a book.

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Marley:

Basically because oh and now here's the other thing the title came after dinner with my parents because now remember my parent my dad doesn't know Britney Spears out of a crowd of one and he's a You know, he's a physician, but he's not a hardcore entrepreneur and very much a businessman And so, you know, he he's heard me say Oh Britney Spears and dead today dead and he's like And I remember this one dinner where he was just over it, you know, he was asking me these questions. He's like well How much did you make last year? How much did you, and I was like, well, you know, with depreciation, with amortization, he's like, the frick are you depreciating a martini? What are you depreciating? Answer the question. How much is in your bank account? How much did you make? How much was on your tax? And I was like, I realized I couldn't, I didn't have, so it was like the class plus that, and then my dad was just like, okay, let me make it simple. But are you making any money? And I was like, Oh man, and that's when I was like, I'm done with this noise. Like I, you know what? Yeah. So maybe if I like put all this together and organize it, maybe then I can fix myself. And then it ended up helping to fix other people who just didn't even, just thought they were stupid. I mean, I thought I was stupid. I was like. Obviously I've had all this schooling about all this business. I read every business book on the planet. I listened to tapes. I listened to blah, blah. And I still can't get it. Like something is wrong with me. So when you figure out that then you kind of tell it in a slightly different way and somebody goes, Oh, that kind of makes sense. Like, Oh, I don't have to be a professor and sit at my computer and deal with something. Like, I don't know, take a piece of paper and a pencil and add up your freaking cost. Like pull out your receipt, print it out. There you go. Add it up next.

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Tom Finn:

Well, I love it, but are you making any money? Could have been. Are you depreciating a martini? I mean, that, I feel like maybe that was a finalist. I'm pretty sure that would have been a finalist for me. Are you depreciating a martini?

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Marley:

Or how do you depreciate a martini if you want to go to catch me if you can't approach?

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Tom Finn:

Exactly, exactly right. I have so many visual moments when I hear that. And I think people are going to have a lot of visuals when they listen to this podcast and listen to you. And they're going to want to get in touch with you, my friend. They're going to want to love you up. How do we find Marley Major if I am listening to this podcast?

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Marley:

them to find me on Instagram which is at the party goddess 2ds2s's I would be ecstatic and that's where we just put so much creative energy and you will definitely get the vibe you'll either love it or hate it and be like oh my god it makes sense like that's kind of a like lead into that girl's crazy head but for those who love it it's a very fun ride with me

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Tom Finn:

Well, I can tell you, take a look at the Gram and find Marlee there and check out her book, But Are You Making Any Money? We will put all of the links in the show notes so you can learn more about her business. You can hire her, you can read her book, you can learn from her as an entrepreneur. Marlee, you are an absolute piece of art. Thank you for the energy you're putting into the world. You are just a treasure and a joy to spend time with. Thank you.

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Marley:

Thank you. Thanks for doing this and thank you for providing the platform because without the platform and all your hard work getting the message out, forget it. Nobody would be screaming in the wind. So thank you.

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Tom Finn:

Well, I appreciate that. And on this show, we make dozens of dollars a year, dozens. It's a real moneymaker, but we do it because we love putting good energy in the world, teaching people how to have grit, and teaching entrepreneurs and business leaders in general how to find something that really moves the needle for you in your heart and your head and puts you in the right place to be successful. So Marlee, thank you for being a friend of the show. We love to have you on.

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Marley:

Thank you for having me.

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Tom Finn:

And thank you for tuning into the Talent Empowerment Podcast. We hope you've unpacked a few tips and tricks to love your job or throw a great party or double down and meet up with Snoop D-O-Double G. Get ready to dive back into all things career and happiness on the next episode. We'll see you then.

Tom Finn
Podcaster & Co-Founder

Tom Finn (he/him) is an InsurTech strategist, host of the Talent Empowerment podcast, and co-founder and CEO of an inclusive people development platform.

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