I'm not easy to work with. Well, those who like to collaborate enjoy working with me a lot. But working for me isn't for everyone.
I don't hire people, I partner with them. Basically, I use their expertise to help me make the decisions I would make if I had their knowledge and skills. So I didn't want a caterer/planner to give me bland choices, like one of three menus or what my colors would be. I wanted a caterer to stimulate my imagination to pick a theme, a menu and everything else that was involved in planning a major event—like a wedding.
The first caterer I met with had some great ideas. But she clearly had her own agenda—her own ideas, wedding imperatives. The way she dismissed my desire for finger food and insisted on a sit-down dinner was a warning sign. When, five weeks later and two weeks before the wedding, she sent me yet another menu that didn't reflect our conversations, it became clear it wasn't a match.
Enter Whole Foods. Sure, they could do chicken kabobs, but curried chicken satays would be easier to eat. Sounded good to me–and it was! Brad took my ideas and raised them up one. Where with my first caterer, I had a hard time visualizing what she was talking about, Brad's enthusiastic descriptions of possible dishes painted clear pictures that were aligned with my vision. And then, we came for a tasting. That closed the deal.
We heard it a lot—the wedding was delightful and was as unique as we are. And the food was part of the delight. That's because I found partners who were willing to understand what I wanted and advise me based on that understanding. They were willing for it to me my wedding, aided by their expertise.
And that's what good consultants do. They help people unfold their own genius. I was starting to wonder if there was a caterer who could do that. I went through a few, and found there was.
I'm not easy to work with if it isn't a match. None of us are. And even two weeks before the big event, it can still be a lot quicker and more effective to gracefully settle with those who aren't a match and find someone who is. Thanks to Brad and Sharon and Sherry and all those wonderful people who showed up in surprising, supportive and unassuming ways to help us have a magical mystery wedding. (In fact, a few people found both the preparing and the event so powerful they felt as if we all got married.)