Have you ever said yes to something and quickly regretted it? I’m raising my hand, too, and cringing thinking about it!

Get ready to become a master of the gracious “no” over the next two episodes of the podcast!

In today’s episode, my long-time co-worker, Emily Thomas, and I pull back the curtain on some big decisions we made—and some we didn’t make on purpose. Get ready for some never-before-told stories about our partnership with Southern Living, hiring my first employee, and some surprising decisions we made about a TV show!

We had so much fun making this special behind-the-scenes episode for you. LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:

— You meet my friend and coworker of ten years, Emily Thomas! Emily is our Chief of Staff at Cultivate What Matters and served as the Creative Director of Southern Weddings for many years. We begin by chatting about how Emily came to work at SW (it’s a good story involving a certain journal!).
— You’ll learn how we decide which things to make happen – and which things to say a gracious “no” to.
— You’ll hear about the beginnings of Southern Weddings (and how my musical theater degree was actually really helpful!). You’ll be encouraged to ask, “why not?”
— You’ll hear about one of the scariest things I’ve ever done—hiring my first employee. I also share my number one tip for hiring great team members.
— I tell you how I came to write my first book (hint: it had something to do with this blog you’re reading!).
— We tell you about one of the things we did NOT make happen—a TV show!—and why.
— We talk about why we changed the format of our Making Things Happen Conference, and how to know when to adapt to a new season.
— Our WHY and mission also led us to open our shop (first the Southern Weddings Shop, then the Cultivate Shop!). We chat about the profit of people and why that led us to partner with Southern Living Magazine (plus pies!).
— Remember the Lara Casey Shop?? And the first set of PowerSheets? We talk about why we added COLOR to PowerSheets and changed the name of our shop – two of the biggest and scariest changes we’ve ever made! We talk about how we move forward when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing.
— We end by telling you one of our favorite stories of all time, about the day Southern Living came to Lara’s house. Listen until the end—it’s a good one 🙂
— You’ll end the episode fired up and believing that small decisions, made with great intention, can change the world. We believe in you!

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— The Southern Weddings archive is still alive and well!
— My How To Make Things Happen, Volume 1 blog post was the beginning of so many good things!
Sign up to here to hear about our NEW in-person experience and about the next Making Things Happen Conference—I’d love to see you there!
— My first book is Making Things Happen. I’m so grateful for a simple way to give people my story!
— My tips for writing a book!
That handwriting piece is still going strong.
— We tell the full story of the Southern Weddings chapter in Episode 016: How to Let Go of a Dream.
— It wouldn’t be a CYL podcast episode without talking about Traction and the Entrepreneurial Operating System! 🙂 EOS is the business model we use at Cultivate!
— It also wouldn’t be an episode without talking about our PowerSheets! We talk about our WHY and our mission throughout this episode. If you’re not clear on your why, PowerSheets will help get you create a strong vision for your life and/or business and get after it.
— I end by pointing you to Emily’s own blog – one of my favorites to read! Don’t miss her Marvelous Money series.

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

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I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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