Monday, February 27, 2012

Never say, "No"

It’s funny how the things you learn as a kid stay with you. Second to ‘never saying goodbye’ as I mentioned before, I remember something else I learned from my dad growing up—and that’s to never say “No.” Dad always told me that if someone asks for your help or needs you to get a job done, then you should step up and do what’s needed. And if you don’t know how to do what’s asked of you, then learn it as quickly as you can!

Now in business or in my personal life, when people tell me “No,” I ask why and what I can do to change their answer to yes. This lesson has resulted in jobs I might not have gotten otherwise. Once a potential client told me “no” and chose someone else to do a particular job. I asked why the other person was chosen and she told me it was because they could do such-and-such. I instantly replied, “Well, I can do that!” And I got hired.

Never saying “no” also encourages people to give you another chance. You become someone they can depend on, which benefits everyone. About four months ago, I did a massive Indian wedding. Initially, my proposal was turned down, so I called the bride’s father and asked why he didn’t hire me. He explained why, so I adjusted the proposal, and then got the job. Persistence really does pay off.


Monday, February 20, 2012

What do I do to enjoy life?

A question people ask me all the time is what do I do to relax or have fun? For me, it's just having time off, period. For anyone who reads my blog or follows my travels on Twitter and Facebook, they know my time off is very limited, so I'm super excited that my family is coming to visit me in Los Angeles this week. That, to me, is what brings me joy: spending time with the people I really care about.

In my personal life, I like to keep things simple. With my mom, dad and brother coming to LA, of course I'll give them a taste of Hollywood showing them the sights, but most importantly, the time will be spent at home, going to dinner and then we're off to Las Vegas because my dad loves Vegas. I'm really really excited because downtime is the best time for me. That sort of just 'stopping and breathing' is few and far between for me, so this is going to be a great seven days of really enjoying my time with the people I care about.

Years ago, I was walking through the North Carolina property of one of my clients, and now friends, named Beth, and she had this magnificent rose garden. I was looking at all of the colors and feeling pleasantly overwhelmed when she asked me, "Have you ever stopped and smelled the roses, David?" I laughed, you know because it's such a cliché thing to say. But she said, "No, seriously, do you ever stop to smell the roses?" And every time she'd email me afterwards, she'd end with "Don't forget, stop and smell the roses." And I think even as cliché as it is, it's so appropriate for my life right now. You have to stop and smell the roses otherwise life will go right by and you haven't had a chance to enjoy it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Always say "I Love You"

As we all know, Valentine’s Day is the day to say “I love you” to the people in your life who mean the most to you. Every year, my partner Ryan and I exchange cards and gifts on V-Day. I also send a valentine to both my mom and niece.

But what I hope everyone remembers is that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the ONLY day to say “I love you.” It shouldn’t be said once a year… once a month… or even once a week... It should be said every single day. I say “I love you” to Ryan, my mother and my niece every time I see or speak to them. It’s a simple phrase, yet too meaningful not to say aloud.

Another wonderful habit to get into is to kiss your significant other every day—if not more often. I have a sign in my bedroom that reads “Always Kiss Me Goodnight,” which is a nice complement to always saying “I love you.”

The chocolate and flowers are great, but Valentine’s Day is only the icing on the cake!

From David, With Love

Friday, February 3, 2012

No time for Goodbyes

I have an amazing family. I really do. My parents and grandparents especially have taught me so much over the years that has helped me to become the person I am today. One of these important lessons came from my dad. I speak to him, like I do my mom, once or twice a day. And he always has this thing about never saying goodbye to me at the end of a conversation… ever! He doesn’t let people say goodbye to him. If you do it without thinking, he either won’t respond or he’ll say something else in return, like have a good day or good night. Saying goodbye is a big issue for him.
And because of him it’s become an issue for me too. I’ve found that when I go to parties or when I’m with my brides from My Fair Wedding, I don’t say goodbye. As a result, I’ve been told that sometimes I come off as aloof or rude when I leave events without notice. I remember one time I attended a surprise 40th birthday party for a friend I hadn’t seen in years, and at the end of the night I left quietly. Mind you, I’d spent five hours mingling at the party. I just didn’t say goodbye.
Like my dad, I find the word “goodbye” to be very final. It doesn’t leave a door open to reconnect like “I’ll see you in a day” or “I’ll see you in ten years.” I’d rather not have that final moment with someone that I very much want to hear from again. And those people include my brides from My Fair Wedding as well as my clients-turned-friends.
Not saying goodbye to someone means you look forward to the next time you’re going to see that person. And for me personally, it almost forces me to mentally make plans to meet again because I feel like I owe my friends that next moment because I didn’t say goodbye. This way of thinking is subconscious and… maybe a little odd… but it works for me.