This interview was made possible by our friends at Guidant Financial:
The leader in alternative startup, franchise and small business financing.
Marley Majcher is the CEO of The Party Goddess!, a nationally acclaimed full service event planning and catering company, and author of But Are You Making Any Money?, a witty and lauded business guide for entrepreneurs.
The Party Goddess! is a full service catering and event planning company that can seamlessly handle any aspect of your event from concept to completion. Basically, we are a one-stop shop for everything from A-Z or just A, P, Q and R.
MO: You’ve clearly had a strong entrepreneurial spirit from a very early age with businesses ranging from doll “repair” to plum selling to car washing. What did you learn from those early experiences that made the biggest impact?
Marley: What I learned was how much time it takes to start a business, get customers, invoice and actually produce a product or complete the service. With car washing, it wasn’t just about the amount of time it took to wash the car, but the total time it took to wash the car, get to the location, set up, clean up after, etc.
MO: Why do you believe that the future of this country is all about entrepreneurship?
Marley: The future is all about entrepreneurship because we need that fire in the belly spirit to pull us out of situations when things get tough. Entrepreneurship involves passion, commitment, integrity, innovation and dedication, all things that make this country great and thrive.
MO: What are some tips for creating a celebrity bash on a less than celebrity budget?
1. Don’t try and tackle too much space. If you have a small budget, focus that budget on key areas of the venue vs. spreading yourself too thin.
2. Go with alternative days of the week and times of day. Forget about sit down dinners on a Saturday night. Instead think late night dessert stations with Prosecco.
3. Feature at least one trendy item – Infused vodka, mini pies on sticks, you get the drift.
4. Go for something memorable – A stilt walker performing throughout, random ethnic band, something your guests would never expect.
5. Pick a theme and stick with it. It doesn’t have to be “Spiderman”. A theme can be a color or a concept, but it helps to hone the details of your event so you get maximum bang for the buck.
MO: At what point in your career did you start to feel successful?
Marley: I’ve had moments where I felt like “I had arrived”, but those are fleeting. Unfortunately I have a bad habit of continuing to focus on where I want to go, vs. what I’ve accomplished.
MO: Has your definition of success changed from when you were first starting out to what it now encompasses?
Marley: Success used to me tons of publicity and visibility. Now I have that and I’m more focused on being a pretty good boss (I kind of think being a great boss might be a bit of a stretch for me because it is NOT my strength), a super solid balance sheet and a really good exit strategy.
MO: What inspired you to write, But Are You Making Any Money?, a witty and lauded business guide for entrepreneurs?
Marley: My business professor from Georgetown, Dr. Derek Leebaert, who has a ton of book success under his belt really stayed on me to write it. He was convinced that I had a message that needed to get out. Plus, writing the book forced me to really get clear on my perspective and my own process for how to create profitability.
MO: What do you hope that the average reader walks away with?
Marley: In a word? Hope. I want them to know that no matter how dark, lonely, obstructed or confused they are, there is hope. No matter how “numbers challenged” you are, you can be really good at running the “back of the house” when it comes to their business. So many times we see these amazing entrepreneurial success stories plastered across the magazines and we don’t think those people struggled, or didn’t struggle as much as we’re struggling. Trust me, we all struggle. A LOT.
MO: What has been the most unusual or surprising request you’ve ever received from a client?
Marley: They wanted to know if I could get dolphins to perform in their Olympic- sized swimming pool. I said yes, but PETA wouldn’t be very happy with us.
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