Updated in 2014 to add: Welcome, Make It Happen book readers! A note before you read this older post. God has given me much clarity since I wrote this. I don’t believe everything below anymore. There is a lot of truth here, but my faith has grown since this was written. It’s honestly hard for me to read this post because I hear a different me before God got a hold of my heart : )

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There are two rules to this post:  1.  you need a pen and paper, and  2. put on some great music.  Rule number 1 is because this post is interactive.  Don’t read any further if you’re not up for the challenge.  Rule number 2 is because you only live once.  You might as well enjoy it!

In my inbox today: “How do you “make things happen?”. I love what I do and I’m really driven but also really shy and think that is kind of holding me back from really breaking into the industry and building great relationships.  Do you have any advice?”

I wrote this post like I talk to myself and, while I could have padded it more, lots of people have been coming to me recently in dire need of “straight talk”.  This post is dedicated to my dear friends and clients who have shared their lives and fears with me lately.  What is it about the fall?  It’s a season of change, reflection, and getting charged for the year ahead.  It’s a time for transformation.  If you really want to make things happen, you have to ask yourself some hard questions first.  While this isn’t the complete formula, here’s a kick-start:  it takes 1 part Nike (aka “Just Do It”), 1 part people, 2 parts discipline, 2 parts humility, and 5 parts crazy.  Read on, friends.

Fear. The most meaningful things I’ve accomplished in my life were things I was terrified of at one point. Fear can hold us back from making things happen. Right now, you already know the answers. You know not-so-deep down what you have to do. You just have a million excuses and fears as to why you can’t get there. My job as a consultant is to hear the fear. I was a personal trainer in Manhattan for several years, during which time I learned more about self-imposed limitations than I care to share. I have heard every excuse for living an unhappy life and the truth of the matter is (and no one likes to hear this)… it’s all in your head.  Face real facts, not the constant mental chatter that holds you back from living the life of success you deserve.  When you simply identify your fear, worlds of possibility open up.

Write down what you are really afraid of and get as specific as possible… “I’m afraid of ___ because ___.”   Sounds easy, but did you actually do it just now?  I have a favorite phrase:  feel the fear and do it anyway.  That does not mean blindly dive in.  Fear does exist for a reason.  It makes us question ourselves, weigh the pros and cons, and get connected with our gut instincts.  Listen to that; there’s the feel the fear part.  Then, accept it as fear, not fact.  Act on it strategically, purposefully, and with support.  Which brings me to my next point…

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People. You are a product of your environment and the people you surround yourself with.  This was a big point of discussion in Outliers.  Our level of success is directly related to the people we interact with on a daily basis.  “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” –Jim Rohn I’m sure, as you are reading this, you may be thinking of that one person who sucks your energy dry.  How is that affecting you?  Why are they in your life?  Yes, there are some people we can’t wish away in our lives, but we can surround ourselves with others to balance that out.  Surround yourself with people who inspire you, and work hard to inspire them, too.  Creating an environment where you can learn and, at the same time, infuse others is the most fulfilling way to grow.

Who are the people you spend your days with and how do they make you feel?  Write them down right now. Do not read the rest of this post, do not pass go, and do NOT collect your $200 until you make your “inner circle” list.  This may just be your most important step to achieving a “making things happen” breakthrough.  This is a step I have been bad at taking in the past.  I let those energy leeches stay in my environment for way. too. long.  I’m not good at cutting ties with people because I always feel like I can just “make it work”.  No, I can’t, and you can’t either.  You cannot change people.  All you have the power to do is invite people into your inner circle (I use the word “invite” purposefully here because you need to put a lot of thought into crafting this life guest list) who uplift you, share your life’s visions, ideals, and whom you can really trust. Kick the life-suckers to the curb and get on the train with people who dream like and with you. Jeff Holt and I have had this conversation a hundred times over and every time we talk about surrounding ourselves with people we believe in and who believe in us, magic happens.

This is why I have made a great effort to go to conferences and events where I know I will be surrounded by people who I can learn from.  The first Engage I attended completely blew my mind. (You can read my last two recaps here and here.)  Meeting people like Rebecca Grinnals and Sean Low made me want to raise the bar.  I credit them with helping me dream bigger, opening up worlds of opportunity for me, and unknowingly encouraging me with every step.  If you can’t invest in going to conferences, get out and meet people where you are.  Get on the phone, iChat, whatever it takes to connect with people who dream like you do.

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I am a firm believer in the power of counsel.  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”  Proverbs 12:15 Who do you bounce ideas off of?  Who gives you sound advice? My sounding board is about 10 people deep, starting with my husband.  We are the yin to each other’s yang.  I am innately the active big picture thinker and he’s the logical realist.  I have a team of dear friends and paid experts that I trust to tell me when I’m out of line so I can get back on track to making the right things happen.  In 2010, I plan on adding a few more people to my team to help take us to the next level.  You are not an island.  Get help…  especially if you think you are one of those people who just doesn’t need it.

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Discipline. Making things happen isn’t about setting goals, having a strong cup of coffee and diving in. Back up 20 steps.  It’s about giving yourself the ability to make clear, intuitive choices by having your life together.  I make my best, most successful decisions when I feel a sense of health, wholeness and clarity.   A verse I always think of when I get overwhelmed: “Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” 1 Peter 4:1-7. Same goes for all of life – be clear minded and disciplined so that you can make the right things happen.  For me, this involves several factors: sleeping enough, eating well, laughing often and working out every day even when I’m tired.  If I don’t practice extreme self-care, I am no good for the people around me.  I say “extreme” because you have to be a parent to yourself and stay disciplined. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:7  What are the 5 essential things that make you feel whole and like you have your life together?  Write them down.

Some notes on discipline, drive, and staying up until 6am:  For one, the latter should not be in your vocabulary.  There are things I twitter and share here because I want you to know what really goes into this.  I wouldn’t have to stay up until 6am editing a magazine for a week if I had planned better, had a staff of designers working for me, hadn’t overloaded my schedule with projects I’m passionate about and clients I want to see soar, and (insert million reasons here).  I am not the best example when it comes to work balance.  I’m working actively on this.  I have lots of people helping me work on it.  I am generally a very happy healthy person, but when it comes to getting what I really want, I tend to go to extremes.  Please refer to the very first post I wrote on this blog.

So, do you have to be innately driven or can you harness that type-A mentality and still make things happen? First of all, define where you fall on the Type-A vs. Type BCDXYZ spectrum.  I fall into the former category, unfortunately.  Minus that time I got a C in handwriting in 2nd grade, I was always driven.  I get it from both of my parents.  I grew up with my mom being superwoman in the kitchen and my dad superman in the operating room.  They work hard and make it seem effortless.  My dad, the man who starts his day by biking 30 miles before sunrise, is 76 and has no plans to retire.  A lot to live up to.  I went to my first Yale class for summer school when I was 17.  I double-majored in college with 56 credit hours a semester.  Insanity.  I was at school from 8am to 11pm most weekdays and rehearsals on weekends.  Every day of college, I’d say to myself “nothing will be as bad as this.  When I’m done here, I’ll be able to handle anything!”  Well, I can’t handle anything, but I sure can endure a lot of [self-imposed] stress.  I was taught to push myself and lived in a world where that was the norm.

Since many of you B, C, and XYZ personalities are now about to leave this blog post in search of greener pastures, I’ll give you the good news.  You don’t have to be born with a color-coded to-do list in your hand.  Some of the most successful people I know did not grow up with instilled discipline.  In fact, quite the contrary.  But, one thing is certain.  All successful people start with a spark of passion.  They discover what makes them tick and will stop at nothing to get it.  They develop the ability to make decisions and follow through, even if the result is a major bomb.  Living in NC, I think of the Wright brothers.  Fail fail fail fail fail fail fail and then finally… success.  All because they discovered a passion, made clear decisions, went full force with each, accepted defeat, and tried and tried again.  Something we always talk about here in the office:  it’s better to make a clear decision about something and fail, then make no decision at all.

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Some tough love for the XYZ’s.  (I have a few XY#!Q$E#X’s as clients.)  My advice to them is always as follows: stop making excuses.  I get the laundry list of excuses accompanied with lots of whining and in the end… “buuuut Lara… ok, ok, I know you’re right buuut… I just… I…”.  Get over the idea that you just aren’t good enough, you’ll never get caught up, and you’ll never be great.  You are, you will and you have the choice to be.  If you don’t believe that, first of all, I want to give you a hug, then a swift kick in the pants because you have much more potential than you give yourself credit for.  On my bulletin board:  “The greatest human temptation is to settle for too little.” – Thomas Merton Are you settling for too little?  What excuses do you make on a regular basis?  If you need help with this one, be brave and ask your spouse or your best friend to tell you the excuses they hear you make often.  Write them down. Time to get real, friends.

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Humility. Humility’s purpose in making things happen is to allow us the freedom to fail.  It’s about letting go.  If you aren’t failing on occasion, you aren’t dreaming big enough.  You are hiding from your true potential.  I’ve failed more times than I can count.  You know why I’m speaking on “Taking Interns to Associates” at Eventology?  Because I’ve made every mistake in the book and it has taken years of learning the hard way to get me to the right way.  I now have a team of equals that infuses me as much as I infuse them.  Granted, I don’t take credit for them being so awesome.  Katharine, Emily and Whitney arrived on the awesome train together.  But, we’ve made a conscious effort to create an environment that allows us to fail and not fall.

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We learn together and communicate honestly and openly about fears, mistakes, money, family, and all the hard stuff I used to hate talking about.  We all put in an equal effort to keep the atmosphere positive, encouraging, and honest.  We have built trust to the point where I can say, “I made a mistake.  I’m sorry.  Here’s how I intend to fix and learn from it.”  It takes failing gracefully –and sometimes not so gracefully– to start to “get it.”  It’s a practice, an awareness, and for me, a life-long journey that I’m excited to take because with every wall I break down, I feel more genuine pride.  Healthy pride.  Humility is not about being timid.  Don’t confuse the two.  Practicing true humility means embodying one’s strengths and God-given gifts with grace, allowing for self-reflection, keying into the ability to listen to the feedback the world is giving us, and -here’s the kicker- doing something about it.  What are your unique strengths?  Write them down.  Get specific. For example, I know I am great at motivating and encouraging people.  Specifically, I have the ability to see people’s potential and can define active steps for them to get there.  It’s important to know what your strengths are when facing failure so the pain of facing it doesn’t paralyze you.

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I know when I’m exercising humility, I can feel it.  It’s a very silent moment.  I’ll get mad about criticism or a comment, start to feel my blood boil and that defensive lawyer emerge in me and I just have to stop.  I stop, breathe, and there is a small painful moment of letting go when I pause to consider “maybe they are right and I am dead wrong”.  Let yourself at least consider it.  Most of the time, the things that anger us the most about others, are a reflection of ourselves.  I can’t emphasize enough how much learning how to stop in those moments has helped me in business.

As an INFP (translate that to sensitive person), I like to put up walls to protect myself from the vulnerability that comes with true humility.  It gets me nowhere.  Anger, I have learned, is a call to action.  I can do something about it or continue to ride my high horse in circles.  Do you always feel like you are on the defense with clients?  Are you going in circles with your progress?  If so, it’s time for a reality check.  No one is perfect.   You are not your thoughts.   You are not your fears.  You are not defined by past actions and missteps.  You are defined by how you express them in this moment and in every moment from hereon out.  Practicing humility is just that… it’s a process.  Accept that you make mistakes and resolve to fix them, one baby step at a time.  You’ll fail a thousand times, but every single failure is worth experiencing if it brings you to greater clarity and renewed genuine confidence.

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Crazy. Last and greatest: this is the part of the formula entitled “5 parts crazy”.  You have to have a little wild card in you to experience the success you deserve.  I’m pretty sure that if you are reading this post, you do.  I love when a client starts a conversation with “I have this crazy idea…”  Those are always the ones that take wings because they take a deeply-rooted passion to even dream up!  Seize them and run with them.  Everything I’ve accomplished started as one of those “I have this crazy idea” moments.  Talking about creating a blog many years ago, starting an event planning firm, being a consultant for luxury wedding pros and hello.. starting my own magazine all seemed ludicrous at the time!  What are your big ideas?  What are the things you want to make happen?  Write them down.

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Sometimes making things happen is simply about showing up.  You have to seize opportunity when it knocks.  I learned this year that taking too much opportunity and always saying yes can hinder happiness, but if you want to play with the big boys, you have to act like it.  Get off the couch and get out there.  Opportunity doesn’t exactly come and find you while you are holed up in your office messing with Aperture.  Opportunity is born out of relationships and you can’t make those in front of a computer screen.  [side note:  Twitter and social media of all forms are not a replacement for one-on-one time, but are valuable because they can help start the conversation.  When I meet people at events, I have a great point of reference and feel like I know them a little, even though we’ve never actually met in person. I have met 90% of the people I follow on Twitter now and have real relationships with many of them, not just “tweelationships”.

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This post took me two weeks to write because I was afraid to put it out there.  In the end, I had to take my own advice and step into the fear.  These thoughts are the real deal…  the things I think about all day long.

A final thought:  if you’re not having fun along this journey, just stop. Running a busy business makes me want to cry and fall to my knees at times, but experiencing life with the inspiring women I work with and laughing every step of the way makes it all worth it.  Asking yourself these questions is not at all easy and accepting facts about where you are can be daunting, but just remember that you don’t have to figure it all out today.  Take time to celebrate your successes.  Laugh, dance, sing, and play along the way.  What’s the phrase? …  work hard, play hard?   Yeah.  Do that.  You’ll thank yourself.

image credits :: Our Labor of Love epic Smilebooth from our issue launch party at Bridal Bar Atlanta.  Amazing backdrop by Dolci Odille.

Show Comments (159)
  1. Emily Ley

    I love the idea that making things happen requires a little bit of “crazy”! You have to have guts to make things happen and kick up a little dust (or so us Southern girls like to say!) :)

    Cheers,
    Emily

  2. Lisa Barr

    Lara You are sooo right! Music will move you and inspire you; fear will stop you dead on your tracks! I LOVE your fearlessness and am grateful that as a leader, you show by example. So today, I’m thankful, grateful and honored to know you and your wonderful team of true professionals.
    Great article, and hey…can you tell the Borders/Barnes & Nobles in NY to start to carry your magazine? I think the norther girls would love to see how it’s done in the south.
    You rock!!
    Sending Big Baked Apple Love and Thanksgiving,
    Lisa

  3. Kari

    This is a great post, it truly pushes me and fires me up! I have not read Outliers yet but it’s on my list;)

  4. Valerie Metrejean

    I could write a book on how much wisdom you have inparted to all of us but I won’t because it’s not for me to get out there and “make things happen.” Thanks for such practical advice. Very inspired right now!

  5. Valerie Metrejean

    Edit!!! It’s TIME for me to get out there and “make things happen!”

  6. Josh Malahy

    Lara, you are an absolute goldmine! I love the quotes too, I’ve learned far more about how to run my business from scripture than I ever did in school! God bless you and all your endeavors!

  7. Jamie

    Thank you, how timely. I’ve decided now is the time to make things happen. Hopefully, if all goes to plan, by next summer you will know who I am :)

  8. Jess

    Lara, I love your honesty and I love this blog post. I have a project that’s been slow going mostly because I’m afraid of what will happen if it fails – I’m going to call up my inner circle, go for a run, add some crazy and go for it. Thanks:)

  9. Chris Hunt

    Thanks, great piece of inspiration and direction leading to 2010. Thankful for your willingness to inspire.

  10. angel swanson

    absolutely fabulous post! :) thanks for putting so much heart, time and thought into this piece — it is a wonderful encouragement! xo

  11. Lisa Ridgely

    Lara, thank you for this motivation, encouragement and inspiration! I am currently working on an endeavor that will be a new direction for my business, and I will keep these words close! Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Scarlett Lillian

    Awesome post Lara! I love that you pulled in bible verses too to make your points! :-) Happy thanksgiving!

  13. Jennifer Bowen

    Great post Lara. Well timed too, since I was just mentally firing myself back up this morning to get back on my desired-big-success-bound train that has been resting for a bit :-) Thanks for taking the risk and putting it out there and giving me a few great nuggets that will go on the vision board!

  14. Kia Gregory

    Love this post and will be sending this in an e-mail for all to read.

  15. Brandi Reiland

    I really needed this post, thank you for instantly making me feel better about everything. Your honesty actually brought tears to my eyes..beautiful post.

  16. Denee King

    Ok…this is a print and process post. I cheated a little and read through “People” and started reading “who do you spend your time with”…at which point I decided to glance at the other paragraph headings and then STOPPED. I’m at a crossroads and need to stop, reframe and become clear and focused on my goals. So…I want to take some quiet time and actually go through this with true intent. Thank you for always being a light of integrity and encouragement! Love ya ~ Denée

  17. Jory Cordy

    AMAZING! And I only skimmed through it because I thought this was a typical 1 paragraph blog post. I will come back later with my pen and paper and finish digesting this beast. Way to be a hustler, Lara. I love how you stare bears in the face and roar louder.

  18. Benjamin Franklin

    I haven’t failed, I’ve had 10,000 ideas that didn’t work.

  19. Gina

    This was just exactly what the doctor ordered. I really appreciate you sharing your heart and soul. Thank you, you made my day. Thank you.

  20. Moya

    What a great post Lara! Thanks for being so open and honest. It’s that kick in the butt I needed. I feel truly inspired – thanks for the encouragement!

  21. Jessica Lynn

    lara, you are “the bomb.” thanks so much for sharing this. xo

  22. Jennifer

    Wow-what an insightful and timely post!! It was exactly what I needed to hear and I am so inspired to keep moving forward. I know I have a long way to go but I took a big step this fall and started crafting a better team-starting with an amazing biz consultant who is helping me move mountains. Thanks for sharing so honestly-I deeply appreciate your candor and perspective.
    Congrats on all your success!

  23. DeNeitra

    Lara, I always love your blogs, but this one was truly inspiring and practical. Love it!

  24. Chantz Hough

    Nothing to say but THANKS!

  25. Jeannine Kennedy

    Lara – “I have this crazy idea…” is EXACTLY how I started my conversation with you about The Stylish Planner! Thanks for keeping me motivated and directing me at every turn. I just lived this blog post-what a ride!

  26. Kacy Kizer

    Amazing post, I think I need to read this at least once a week to give myself a kick in the rear. Thank you!!

  27. Emily @ Southern Weddings

    Umm, can I just tell you how much I love Jory’s comment? He called you a hustler for gosh sake.

    Also, you can leave me out of the giveaway. Been there, done that :)

  28. Catie Ronquillo

    Wow. This post was simply amazing and I read through the whole thing on my bitty iPhone screen. Lara, you inspire me and have reignited a fire in me that had started to cool off. Thank you so much for all that you do for the wedding industry. You truly are an inspiration and a leader! I’m ready to make things happen!

  29. Polka Dot Bride

    What a great post Lara! I want to print it out and stick it in my brain book!

  30. debbie mayes

    I just wanted to let you know that this is SUPER timely in my life, like to.the.day. thank you for sharing, and for not sugar-coating. I truly appreciate it!

  31. Jenny

    Thank you for the kick in the butt, it was much deserved! Will be sending this to others. Great post.

  32. Josh Ulmer

    Thanks so much for this post! Something that we really needed to hear! We are at a place where I think we have to go ahead and dive in full-force…we’ve been dancing around the edges and have yet to go full-force in!

    I’ve read tribes great book! Would love to read the other!

  33. Erika

    Lara this is a great post! I will be referring all my interns to this for sure. I have another thing to add … my own two cents, if you will … a lot of people have passion, but in order to succeed you also need determination, discipline, and a good attitude. Don’t skim over that discipline bit, people. Thanks so much for the inspiring post.

  34. Monica Smith

    Lara;

    Thank you for your vulnerability, transparency and humility. It is obvious that a lot of thought went into this and even more courage to post your message.

    Know that you are an inspiration to people who read your blog, even those not in the wedding industry. This post in particular has inspired me to finally do what God has called me to do, something that requires His hand as it is much bigger than I am or could even imagine. What scares me and keeps me from stepping out in faith is what if I fail? What if I succeed? We all know what to do when we fail – sleep, eat chocolate, cry and have pity party after pity party. But, how do you handle success? What if you get tired in the middle of it and just need to rest, especially if people are counting on you? Your post answered these questions in many different ways and when you think about it, actually take the pressure off.

    Thanks again, for inspiring your readers. You are more awesome than you may think.

    Be blessed!
    Monica

  35. Temecula Wedding Photographer Theresa Minnette

    Thanks for the inspiration. The military life (spouse) has me currently living as a SoCal girl, but my heart is still in South Ga! Love to see you share your pride in being from the South. I profess, I think my deep southern accent actually goes against me out here!

  36. Kallie Brynn

    Much needed inspiration and motivation! Thank you!

  37. Yuriy Manchik

    Wow, Lara, you’re amazing. This post was a much needed read for myself. I needed that boost of motivation and inspiration. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, cheers!

  38. YAZYJO

    Awesome post Lara :)

  39. Kricia Morris

    This post was fabulous! Sometimes it really takes hearing another person is going through the same exact things that you are to give you the courage to step up and get things done. I’ve heard amazing things about both of these books, and I can’t wait for the possibility of reading them! Happy Holidays girl, can’t wait to see the results :)

  40. Karen Sumner White

    Love this post!! Great inspiration for starting a new year and a new attitude!!

  41. Jazz Tyrril-Smart

    Lara you are so inspirational to me! I love the fact that you are honest about your short comings/fears but also your achievements! Love reading your posts keep them coming! Just do it!

  42. True Blind Faith

    Thank you Lara! This was so inspiring to read and something I will now read every day as I put my excuses away and conquer my fears. I used to say “I know what I need to do and now I need to do it.” Now I will be saying “I know what I need to do and I AM doing it.”

  43. brooke @ claremont road

    Thank you so, so, SO much for this post. I am feeling very stuck and I think I need to staple your post to my shirt as a daily reminder of what I need to do in order to get where I want to be. Thank you :-)

  44. Alicia Caldecott

    I already book marked your post… talk about a revealing half hour. I think it’s important to realize that all dreams are not meant to become reality but by referring back to my notes and your post hopefully I can continue to stay focused and keep my “eyes on the prize.” Owning a business is so overwhelming at times that I don’t know where to go next- it seems like there are so many roads to travel down. Thank you for putting this awesome inspiration out there- you truely are inspiring!

  45. christina b.

    It’s been a really difficult year for me personally (to much grieving!). I’ve reached the “enough is enough” point and am ready to shake things up. This is a fabulous post. You, my dear, are a true gem.

  46. The Broke-Ass Bride

    I need a little time to fully process this, but I can tell you that I am so incredibly moved and inspired by your honesty and generosity of information, that I hardly know what amazing dream I want to tackle first :)

    Thank you so very much.

  47. Melissa Bagley

    Thank you so much for this article! This last year was the worst year of my life. I recently chose to act on one of those “crazy ideas”. At first it was incredible but I hit a few road blocks and have been slowing down. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  48. Sara @ Bella Notte

    This post is so inspirational, Lara. I certainly struggle with fear impeding me and appreciate hearing that others struggle with it as well!

  49. nancy m

    What a great idea! Thanks for the opportunity to win some great books:)

  50. Lauren - The Design Grove

    Lara, you can totally write a book. I found myself copy and pasting some of the sentences that you wrote to add to inspirational sayings that I keep. This post is probably the most inspirational blog post that I’ve ever read in the my history of reading blogs! I absolutely LOVE what you’re doing for the industry and for brides all over! Thank you so much!

  51. Kirsten

    I needed something like this so bad right now! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  52. Caroline Nicole

    I think I need to read that post a few more times…thanks for the wisdom!

  53. Twitted by EmilyLey

    [...] This post was Twitted by EmilyLey [...]

  54. Laura P

    It’s so awesome to have someone write all this out, especially as I start my career after getting out of school. Keep up the good work!

  55. @calisara

    Thank you for sharing! The part about having to parent ourselves really hits home for me. And I’m trying everyday to make time for exercise. It instantly changes the outcome of my day when I look back and realize it was an important part of my day.

  56. Clark Griffiths

    Amazing post Lara! I found this post extremely motivating and I appreciate your honesty in your writing. I loved “Tribes” and have put “Outliers on my XMAS list :)

  57. Nadine@ FireFly Group Events

    Lara, thank you for this inspirational post. I appreciate your honesty and commend you on your success. Starting a new business, there have been a lot of fears and frustration, but I am determined to make it – I am grateful for your motivational speech and words of encouragement. You have been posted on my wall =).

  58. Christina Louvierre

    Lara thanks so much for this article. On my lunch break with my hubby (we both own our own businesses) i sat down and read it out loud. It was a very eye opening moment for both of us. I appreciate your candindness and I am as we speak working on this as a tool for my 2010 year. much love Christina L

  59. Cathy @ Love at First Invite

    Thanks so much Lara! Great advice for someone that’s going through this completely. Every second of it is great.

  60. DeShelia Spann

    Lara, I absolutely love it. Well worth me taking the time to sit down with pen and pad. Thanks for the inspiration and your direct yet thoughtful way of delivering it. More reasons to take 2010 by storm. It’s going to be a great year.YOU ROCK!!

  61. Amanda

    Way to let the hair go wild! I think I have some new year’s resolutions to start making…

  62. Keisha Scott

    Lara,
    What inspiring words. I can honestly say that I am currently living in fear. Fear of failure in starting my own business, and fear of what will happen when I do begin. I have created my website and business cards, but I was stuck, and didn’t know where to go next. Then I saw your post on twitter, and I am glad that I clicked on the link. I was almost in tears because everything you said spoke to me directly. I will accepted my fears, I will work on surrounding myself with positive people, I will work on making clear choices and develop the discipline that I need to succeed. Finally, I will let go and allow myself the freedom to fail and have humility. I can now take the steps that I need to clearly step out in faith and not be fearful of what is to come. Thank you Lara for giving me that push in the right direction.

  63. Van Klimetz

    Lara,

    Great article! Thanks for sharing what a lot of people know, but are afraid of. It’s been fun watching your journey over the past year and has really inspired me to stop dragging my feet and letting fear overtake me. Keep it up and God bless.

    Van Klimetz.

  64. Lisa

    Absolutely thought provoking. Can’t wait to hear the announcement. In the meantime, I’m backtracking and make notes to move forward! Congrats!

  65. Fresh Hubby

    Brava!!! Brava!!! What a ballsy and empowering post.

  66. jen hunt

    This is great, thanks for the inspiration

  67. angel m. leal jr.

    Very nice site, Blog and photography! IT ROCKS!
    AWESOME WORK!

  68. Kate Miller

    Thank you AGAIN Lara for the amazing motivation! Virtual hugs to you! Both of these books are on my to-be-purchased book list – I always find myself doing more (with the same amount of time I’ve always had) after reading Seths motivational masterpieces.

  69. Michelle Tortuya

    Definitely words to live by and inspiration to do things bigger and better!

  70. Tabitha McCausland

    Dec 1st is my Bday I’d love to win these super cool books!!! Loved your Blog post!

  71. Katie

    This is a great post! Even if I don’t read those books, those are going to be next on my reading list, I think this is essential for the next step of my website.

  72. Brit

    Great post, Lara. I love that you agreed to take this out there – this will benefit a lot of people in the industry!

  73. meghan

    WOW what an inspiring post!! I can really feel my adrenaline going, and I am so ready to really get out there and just DO IT. My hubby and I are in business together so we totally understand the struggles but also the joy of when we actually do something we never thought we could. It’s so easy to get discouraged but one of my friends just reminded me … “Discouragement is often the result of closing our eyes to the blessings we have already received.”
    So I will probably re-read your post a few more times to really get the meat out of it … then it’s go time. ;) Thanks so much for your inspiring words, they are truly a blessing to all!!!

  74. perfect bound

    Go Lara, Go! I really enjoyed your post. I’ve added Outliers to my holiday wish list but I’m printing this baby out and tacking it to my fridge. Cheers and thanks for all your good cheer!

  75. Amanda Freeman

    This post is pure genius! So heartfelt and wise. The inspiration you have written will stick with me for awhile, I am sure! You are such a wonderful person and your love for the industry and genuine care for helping others really shines through here. Great work! I would love to add those books to my collection. :)Thank you for the inspiring words.

  76. Vanessa Coley

    This post really hit home with me. Thank you for writing this and exposing yourself. It takes a lot of strength and courage to go after the unknown, and so often I have to push myself to jump and depend on my wings to allow me to fly. I’ve learned that often times the hardest and scariest decisions that we often have to make in our lives are usually the ones in our best interest. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  77. Ati Tafao-Braganza

    I can see why this post took you so long to write. It’s difficult to admit all of your fears and be so vulnerable then put it out there- for all to see. I’m sure it was even more difficult to endure, considering that you’ve dubbed yourself with a Type A personality. As a Type A personality, I feel your pain and will follow your lead. Thank you for such a moving post.

  78. WINTER SHOOT + MAKING THINGS HAPPEN WINNERS! « Lara Casey

    [...] and am so overwhelmed with what transpired in the last 5 days. This shoot started out as a tiny crazy idea that Jeff Holt brought to me one day.  I like crazy ideas because they are fueled with passion and [...]

  79. Making Things Happen | Life » Ardent Photography | by Rick & Stephanie Osborne

    [...] honest but she is also so down to earth. I first became familiar with her after coming across this article. I had been following her for a while and had only known her as the editor and chief of Southern [...]

  80. MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2010 :: AN INTENSIVE « Lara Casey

    [...] to blogs and social media presence, and everything in between.  In some ways, I believe I give my best advice in the first 5 minutes of a regular consult, and that’s the same sort of gut reaction and [...]

  81. Victoria Joanne

    Missed this post back when it went on. November 25th I was on the road at 7am to the hospital only to meet up with the death of a loved one… This has enveloped my life ever since. I really think that things need to get back on track and maybe reading and re-reading this post may be able to help me. I don’t know… Why I’m commenting here… I guess It’s an attempt in the sort of right direction.

  82. Holiday Reading Guide | Polka Dot Bride

    [...] Get Fired Up: How To Make Things Happen by Lara Casey [...]

  83. Cherin - Customized Wedding Creations

    This post has taken me a month to really read. I wanted to make sure I took the time to read it carefully and participate as I needed to. I am SO grateful I did. This post did fire me up and enabled me to see what my major roadblocks are and why. I’m looking forward to *hopefully* attending a MTH2010 workshop, but even if I don’t, this has pointed me in the right direction. Thank you, Lara. Working with you has been a gift and this is the icing on the cake.

  84. Really. I am Making Things Happen | Watercolor | Life » Zeidler Photography |

    [...] you haven’t done it yet you need to read this life changing blog post on how to get fired up and make things happen. This is a global message and can apply to anyone, [...]

  85. Making Things Happen 2010 | Business | Excitement » Zeidler Photography |

    [...] reading her awesome post I haven’t been able to sit still. I have so much passion, excitement, imagination, determination [...]

  86. 2009 | a year in review | Christopher Confero | Blog

    [...] you don’t know who Lara Casey is or about her DYNAMIC life, please go read her post that birthed the MTH2010 [...]

  87. WHAT IS MTH2010? + THE 1ST CLASS SCHOLARSHIP + WE’RE LIVE! « Lara Casey

    [...] You’re coming to join a community of like-minded creative driven people who really want to ignite a change in their lives and in the lives of others. We give you the simple tools and ask you the tough questions; you [...]

  88. I’m Back | Fires me up | Video Bloggin’ » Zeidler Photography |

    [...] video blog not only includes a sneak at the new office, but I share the things that fire me up.  WARNING : You might encounter a mini dance or some air guitar in there. Like I said you were [...]

  89. dear john (and whoever else is listening) « The Secret Life of Invites

    [...] One of my new favorite blogs is- Lara Casey’s http://laracasey.com/blog She understands the importance of time and quite often says –  “stop wasting time and just pull the trigger.” [...]

  90. Tiffani Helms

    Lara,
    Love this post, after reading it I feel like I just left the workshop again. I am working on Making Things Happen, and this post just motivates me more. Thank you for inspiring me!

  91. Feuza

    older post but took a pen and said down, took me a while to read but glad I did, hope to meet you at WPPI, I have just discovered you thanks to Jasmine Star and love your vision and brand

  92. Wendy

    I truly enjoyed this post, Lara! Thanks for the inspiration and for the kick in the pants! :) See you soon!

  93. Lucky Mutt Photography | Twin Cities Pet Photography | Minneapolis/St Paul Dog Photographer » from my heart

    [...] It was really a fantastic month in which I had some great conversations with new friends and got a lot out on paper regarding my own dreams and goals for myself and for Lucky Mutt Photography.  Taking that time out [...]

  94. What I’ve Learned | Life » Ardent Photography | by Rick & Stephanie Osborne

    [...] was the catalyst for this. Something inside of me woke up the day I read Lara’s blog post on pushing through your fear. I cannot wait to return to the Making Things Happen Intensive in 18 days. I feel such a change [...]

  95. mimi nguyen | the blog » Archives » making things happen 2010 workshop | los angeles, ca

    [...] past November, Lara wrote an entry about “making things happen,” and the adage has caught on fire since then. About a week later, Lara announced the Making Things [...]

  96. What Happens In Vegas | Christopher Confero | Blog

    [...] quality time with good buddies Lara Casey, Jeff Holt and Sandi Sansom. Lara & Jeff hosted a Making Things Happen Workshop while we were there, and just like all the others, I know it fired some folks [...]

  97. Kat Braman

    just read this 3 times, crying. It’s like you know me. I can’t begin to tell you how much reading this post today, right now has encouraged and inspired me. Thank you.

  98. natalie

    Truly, I am inspired. This blog gives me a sense of release and relief. Thanks for blessing us with it!!

    • Lara

      Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for your sweet words. Grateful for the encouragement and so glad you feel a little relief.

  99. Vania -SimplyBloom Photography, INC

    seriously you are one of the most strong willed person. All your success is more than deserved. thank you thank you thank you. Oh! and I did take notes ;)

  100. Amy McNeil

    I love hearing all of the positive feed back from the MTH2010. I so wish I could have come. I’m saving up for the next go’round for sure! Everything you do is so inspiring! Thanks Lara!

  101. me

    [...] i have found the courage to share this with you because the workshop/lara was an amazing trigger to be totally and completely [...]

  102. Damaris Mia

    Such great words of wisdom! Thanks, Lara

  103. Bridget Gates

    This was an awesome post. So many things to think about. Thank you for taking the time to share this with everyone.

  104. Kathleen@weddingswaterside.com

    So motivating!! I wish you were one of the 5 people I spend the most time with!

  105. Making Things Happen 2011 « Lara Casey

    [...] life-changing year. 2010 has been the best year of my life for more reasons than I can count. A risky blog post led to a 20 city tour led to over 400 new friendships that have brought me to today:  humbled, [...]

  106. Fired get up

    [...] GET FIRED UP :: HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, VOL I « Lara Casey 24 Nov 2009. I'm not good at cutting ties with people because I always feel like I can…. blog post on how to get fired up and make things happen. GET FIRED UP :: HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, VOL I « Lara Casey [...]

  107. Siren Magazine » Lara Casey: Finding God in the Business World

    [...] you will break out of it.  The goal is sooner rather than later.  Life is too short to wait.  This post outlines how I think through making things [...]

  108. Fleur Friday « Flirty fleurs

    [...] flower news but is a great read for the beginning of 2011 & going after your goals! Get Fired Up :: How To Make Things Happen by Lara [...]

  109. A LIST OF THANK YOUS « Monica Brown Photography [Blog]

    [...] me at the same time. It’s a nice balance. – for discovering Lara’s blog, and the Making Things Happen post. I found that on a particularly difficult day, and it has made every day since then easier because [...]

  110. Dear John (and whoever else is listening)… | The Secret Life of Invites

    [...] One of my new favorite blogs is- Lara Casey’s http://laracasey.com/blog She understands the importance of time and quite often says –  “stop wasting time and just pull the trigger.” [...]

  111. Inspiration and a good read… | Rachel Jenae

    [...] like I start and then my brain shuts down or something comes up.  But then I read this blog (which I also put below) and haven’t been able to stop thinking! It’s a blog by an [...]

  112. Rachel Jenae

    [...] yourself a favor and read Lara’s Making Things Happen Blog that got it all [...]

  113. Cynthia

    Thanks for this! I need to stop and take a look in the mirror sometimes. Slow down and recharge, remotivate and get back on track! This was really helpful!

  114. an interview with Lara Casey!!…publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Weddings Magazine | Southern Grace Design

    [...] happen?  So, I took a couple weeks to really think about it and I ended up writing this blog post: http://laracasey.com/blog/2009/11/24/get-fired-up-how-to-make-things-happen-vol-i/   It got such a powerful response that we decided to take those principles that I lived by every [...]

  115. Hello 2012! » Tiffany Rebecca | 970.310.8859 | Denver, Chicago, New York

    [...] you need some more inspiration as you plan your goals for this year I highly suggest you read THIS and tackle 2012 head [...]

  116. To the Peekers | Gina Zeidler To the Peekers | Destination Photographer based in Minneapolis, MN

    [...] off, I love peekers. Why? I was and I still am a peeker. I remember the first time I read this post, I answered the questions I was crazy inspired, but I wasn’t sure of my next move. My whole [...]

  117. @MTH_2012

    Read this. GET FIRED UP :: HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, VOL I via @LaraCasey http://t.co/ZrUGRKuq

  118. Making (Big) Things Happen | melissa oholendt | minnesota wedding & lifestyle photography

    [...] of chatter among my friends and in the industry about the Making Things Happen movement. I had seen the blogpost and I had half-heartedly answered the questions and I still felt unconvinced and, if I am being [...]

  119. MAKING THINGS HAPPEN 2012: CUE THE FIREWORKS! « Lara Casey

    [...] story will teach me something and I hope mine does the same for you. Want to know more? Read the post that started it all and take The Challenge and read and this and this or any of these posts from alum.  Ask an alum [...]

  120. Jasmine Cianflone (@JasmineTMEvents)

    I needed to read this today. I may need to read this monthly. http://t.co/XIDyQ2qf How to make things happen, via @laracasey

  121. Everything Angelic (@AngelicJewelry)

    @iloveswmag great read! hopefully next year I’ll be able to get in on #MTH2012
    http://t.co/hqAgh1Z7

  122. Everything Angelic (@AngelicJewelry)

    great read for all areas of life, not just for getting business!… http://t.co/y1Jr7ibJ

  123. MTH + Travel | Gina Zeidler MTH + Travel | Destination Photographer based in Minneapolis, MN

    [...] if this post has your heart asking for more. Do this, it’s where it all started for me. Then take a peek at our fall tour schedule, seats are [...]

  124. lulliloo (@lulliloo)

    Feel the fear and do it anyways…thanks @laracasey http://t.co/tal1rhLJ

  125. Natalie Sink (@NatalieESink)

    This interactive blog post ROCKED my world. Awesome! Courtesy of @laracasey http://t.co/kPfpYTj2 #newthings

  126. Dads and Fears. « Hemmed & Held

    [...] happened upon a blog post earlier this week written by a Godly woman who is married, has a child and runs several businesses. [...]

  127. MTH2010…Where to Begin! | Rachel Jenae

    [...] yourself a favor and read Lara’s Making Things Happen Blogthat got it all [...]

  128. How to be a Selfless Husband « Doug and Brittany

    [...] started the Making Things Happen intensive back in 2009 after posting a very bold blog post about digging to the core of who you are and what makes you tick.  Since 2009, she and Emily (and [...]

  129. SHARING THE LOVE….(and leading a fulfilling life). «

    [...] lead a more fulfilling life, Lara over at Lara Casey can give you that extra push – her post Get Fired Up: How to Make Things Happen is the perfect place to start! And if you’re feeling anything like me lately, this quick and [...]

  130. (@NatalieESink) (@NatalieESink)

    “The greatest human temptation is to settle for too little.” Revisiting this am: http://t.co/kPflrj9S My how many limits we SELF-impose!

  131. Will Your Year Be A Fireworks Show? | Musings on the Mundane

    [...] blog post by Lara Casey at the end of 2009, ‘Get Fired Up‘, was a game changer for me, and I know by connecting her post to others over the past couple [...]

  132. @HaitianPhoenix

    RT @afrolicious: How to Make Things Happen http://t.co/Z0oGXpng

  133. MAKING THINGS HAPPEN 2013 CONFERENCE « Lara Casey

    [...] I got an email from a planner, asking me "How do you make things happen?" and I never knew that my public answer to her question would change my life forever. The Making Things Happen Intensive was born. People ask me all the [...]

  134. {2.24.13} – Personal Mission | The Love Hive

    [...] Earlier this week, my friend Bethany posted on 15 Questions to Define Your Personal Mission, found via Think Simple Now. I’ve decided to join in with her on exploring these questions. Another resource I love (once you’ve decided what you need to be doing) is Lara Casey’s Get Fired Up and Make Things Happen. [...]

  135. one third » Mary Dougherty Photography l New York Wedding Photographer

    [...] I’ve followed her on and off for a few years and she is inspiring. Take a look at her site + this blog post if you are [...]

  136. Rekindled Vintage Rentals

    [...] out more here! Need a kick in the pants or want to find out if Making Things Happen is for you? Go here. Happy day, [...]

  137. Making Things Happen | Rekindled Vintage Rentals

    [...] out more here! Need a kick in the pants or want to find out if Making Things Happen is for you? Go here. Happy day, [...]

  138. Weekend Links

    [...] Get Fired Up :: How To Make Things Happen, Vol 1 [...]

  139. Liz B

    Love this!

  140. Ashley

    Lara,
    I absolutely loved every word of this. I knew I would like it as soon as you said to get your pen and paper. I love stuff like that. I came upon your blog pretty randomly through a pin on Pinterest and this was the first thing I read. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts, and if you have a book I will be reading that as well. I feel like I resonated with every word, like you understood me as well as what I needed to hear. I have been struggling with depression for nearly four years off and on, induced by having my first son in January 2010. With another recent bout I am in counseling for the first time on a regular basis. Something that I really struggle with is a fear that I am being proud or being judged for being proud. I loved what you said about humility and pride. I feel like, as a Christian I have been conditioned that even being “proud” of myself that this is wrong, even if logically I know that can’t be the case. The way you explained it was so timely and clear for me. I feel such a call and desire to bring those crazy dreams to life and surround myself with the dreamers and do-ers, but I have been imprisoned in my own mind and self doubt and whatever. I wrote down in my journal so many of your quotes, they made so much sense to me. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading much more!
    Ashley

    • Lara

      I love what you wrote here and I’m so grateful to have you as a reader and new friend! Praying for you!

  141. Kim Alford

    Just getting on the Making-things-happen train. So impressed & inspired. Hoping to see you at the conference 3/31!

  142. 2014 is Coming … Ready or Not! » Leona Morelock

    [...] ago and Lara has transformed her great original idea into something greater.   You can read her post about an email that started the ball [...]

  143. Jen

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog tonight but I am so grateful to the universe that I did. I spent time reading your story and let it hit my heart deep, inspire me, and even hurt me a little where it drew out my desires that I was so scared to engage with, and then finally celebrate. This post was so helpful, and my hand is tired from writing out almost four pages of response and reflection. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time and having the bravery to publish this!

  144. Nicole Gavrilov

    “Some notes on discipline, drive, and staying up until 6am:” … God has truly met me where I am today. I stayed up until 6:14am last night. He is so good. His love. guidance, and favor for irony sustain me. Thank you Lara. Nine pages full of notes, front and back, and my cup is full. I feel something beautiful. Shalom. His peace that surpasses all understanding. You have blessed me and I am so grateful. I have some crazy ideas. Two weeks ago they were irrelevant day dreams. In two more weeks, they could be tangible. I see now that all I have to do is take steps forward. With each step forward, I will leave fear behind. I will parent myself (I absolutely love the concept). I am afraid to say, so I will anyway, you have quite possibly changed my life forever. Thank you and may God bless you and your family!

  145. Lola Drew

    I have been feeling so frustrated for months now, having left my office job to start what I thought was my ideal career, but since making that change I have found myself to be more unhappy. I am not unhappy with all aspects of my life, the thing that I struggle with the most is myself. I don’t know how to explain it but its a feeling of never feeling satisfied. I know I want more that what I have, not just in terms of money but experiences, goals, accomplishments, successes. I’m not happy with the life I lead, I feel that there is more out there for my to achieve but I just don’t know where to begin. I don’t know what I want, what I want to do or when I will. I know i’m my own worst enemy! I could talk myself out of anything, I can procrastinate with the best of them but I can also be super focused and dedicated when I want to be. I want to be now but I don’t know what in, I have all these ideas in my head just floating about. Sometimes I think im crazy, like im plucking any old idea out just to get started on ‘what im supposed to do’. I know I can be successful and I really do believe that one day I will make it happen but for now im struggling with finding out what my passion is! I know I want to be my own boss, work for myself, answer to me, drive others, lead a team, encourage, be a role model and generally be a kick arse female but because I don’t know what I want to do I find it hard to focus on it. It seems hard to achieve something big when you don’t know where to start. Im 25 and I feel more lost now than when I was a teen. I guess I have expectations now and the fact that im still here worrying about what I want to be when I ‘grow up’ really bothers me.
    The go out there and get them attitude is what I hope for, confident, powerful and ambitious is what I know I can be, but first I need to figure out what it is that im supposed to do and then I might have a shot at making myself feel content, proud, accomplished?

    This post really got me thinking, I know my future is in my own hands, I know im the key to my success, yet in my mind I know im the only thing stopping me from being happy.

  146. The Simplified Series – Resources | Our Yellow Door

    [...] Lara Casey – she’ll push you to make what matters happen…start here [...]