Tag Archives: Special Event Management

I’m Not in Charge

This has become my mantra over the last few years when dealing with challenging situations in my career as an event producer. It has also become a lesson I try to teach my interns. Life is messy, it is unfair, and it is chaotic, especially when you work in the special event industry. It is the nature of the beast and you have to learn to deal with it or it will deal with you.

Here is how it works… something ridiculous happens or something happens and you have a better idea but no one will listen. You get frustrated, sometimes to the point of where you want to pull your hair out. What do you do? You say to yourself, or out loud to your closest coworkers, “I’m not in charge.” Then you take a breath and make a decision on how you are going to react to the things you can control and how to accept the things you can’t control. Making a decision about how you are going to react puts you back in the driver seat of your life and gives you control.

You won’t always agree with the people calling the shots, but the only thing you can do is give up or accept that you aren’t in charge and move on. You also need to realize that even when you are “in charge” there are still outside factors out of your control and you need to be able to gracefully handle these challenges. Sometimes when I’m in a situation like this where I am in charge, I’ll crack a joke about “what do I know, I’m not in charge.” Then I give them a big smile so they know I’m teasing them and they realize I am in charge and they better do what I ask. The statement is helpful in both situations where you are in charge and where you are not in charge.

I'm not in charge.

Intern Alli got the message! She wrote this in her blog about interning with us back in 2013. Image Credit: Alli Williams – The Business Casual Life Blog

It might sound goofy but it really works. You can even change the tone, and sometimes add the appropriate amount of sarcasm, in your voice to reflect each unique situation. This all started out as a joke between me and my coworker but it has since grown to become a great way to deal with challenging situations and change. By deciding how you are going to react to the situation you gain a little control over the situation so it doesn’t control you.

I use this statement a lot and it usually gets some laughs from those around me or at a minimum it breaks up the tension. It is self-deprecating in a way, and humbling at the same time, so it makes it easier to see the humor in most situations so you don’t get so angry.

Next time you are in a difficult situation that is out of your control just tell yourself “I’m not in charge” and see if it makes you feel better.

Additional Reading:
How Do I Lead When I’m Not in Charge?


Welcome! I’m Lisa Jansen and I’m Mad About Events and Marketing!

I’Featured imagem a Nevada girl at heart. I’ve got passion, a sense of humor, and enough grit to make the most challenging situations enjoyable and rewarding. Some have even dared to call me “disarmingly charming”, and I’m pretty sure they meant it as a compliment. I drove my parents crazy when I was growing up because I was obsessed with events and party planning. They even bought me a shirt that said “Social Director” because the title fit. Let’s face it: I’ve always been mad about events and marketing.

In college I started taking marketing and business classes. I found the perfect combination to go with my obsession for event planning. There is something so special about marketing. It isn’t just sales, it is helping people meet their needs. I’m one of the fortunate ones that have been able to turn my passion for a hobby into a career. It took a lot of hard work and volunteering, but I was able to turn my hobby into a paying gig.

I plan on using this blog as a tool to share my expertise and to help other event planners on their path. During my career so far, I have produced events varying from small non-profit silent auctions to world class food oriented events that approximately 500,000 people attend over a six day period. My goal is to add more value to your life by helping you improve your business and quality of life through event planning, marketing, customer service, networking, sponsorship relations, and exploring what makes event producers and marketers tick. I will share things I’ve learned through trial and error along the way. I hope reading about both my successes and my mistakes will help others succeed and also avoid some of the landmines in this industry. I will also share my thoughts on the industry, new trends, and some other event producers’ stories as well. These stories will hopefully inspire and amuse you at the same time.

In a way, event planning is an addiction. It is a practice that is both psychologically and physically habit forming and to stop may cause severe trauma. Everyone has a story and most event producers I’ve met share this addiction and are mad about events. Every event is like a roller coaster: you get butterflies, experience big ups and downs, and in the end you are happy with how you lived through it to tell the story and you can’t wait to go on the wild ride again.

Welcome to Mad About Events! Please become an active participant because the more views shared here the more it will help other event planners and newbies to the fascinating field of marketing and producing events. My email address is LisaJansenNV@gmail.com if you’d like to email me. Please leave comments on the blog, tell me what keeps you up at night as an event producer, share other blogs that are of interest, recommend other posts, and share your own story. What is more compelling and inspiring than reading about someone else’s path to success? I encourage and appreciate your feedback.


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