(Podcast) Tings: Planfully's Open House
Pop a bottle of
champagne Appleton ‘cause we started a podcast! The inaugural episode is a slightly tipsy introduction to us - the ladies behind Planfully. Expect lots of laughter, Leah’s library of quote knowledge, entrepreneurship life lessons, 2.5 'okurrrs', and what's next for us and THIS. Let us know what you think in the comments below. One small favor though - if you enjoyed, please share with a friend :)
Can’t listen? No problem!
Read the convo here:
Hey! I'm Leanna and I’m Leah. We’re are the founders of Planfully, an online marketplace to find and book event pros. And this is our Open House, a podcast that highlights event experts and changemakers on a mission to transform the communities around them. On our first Open House, we’re inviting you in to talk about… us, lol. About how we got here, life lessons and why we’re even doing this.
Leanna: We’re out here drinking Appleton. I think Leah needs some more.
Leah: The first thing you need to know... we are Jamaicanssssss <airhorn>
Leah: Born, partially raised. I was raised. Leanna was
Leah: But I think it does definitely run in our bloodline as far as you know…
Leah: The stereotypes of being hard workers... industrious.
Leanna: Jamaicans will sell ice to a ice maker [pronounced: may-ka] <laughs>
Leah: But yeah, that's our background. Our parents were also small business owners separately. Your dad had a bakery. My parents had a printery. And I think that laid the groundwork for us wanting to venture into having our own businesses.
Leanna: Definitely. Also I majored in like a very creative major: industrial design. And you're inventing stuff. That was basically the major - you just invent crap. And so I just got used to that and I was like ‘oh this is dope.’ Real world. Went into Finance. Don't ask me how.
Leah: Gotta to pay these bills.
Leanna: Gotta pay da bills. Do. not. EVER going to investment banking. It sucks. It sucks so bad and I was like ‘oh the real world isn’t like this?’
Leah: But, but the money was good, right?
Leanna: The money was great, lol. The money was fantastic. Well, not for the first year. I started in the recession. So the first year sucked. Maybe like the third year. Third year was good money. And then I was out and moving on to something else.
Leah: I moved here from Atlanta. You were already living here. You were doing your finance thing. I was crashing on your coach slash air mattress at one point.
Leanna: Really? You were on an air mattress?
Leah: Yeah remember? At your first place on Atlantic Avenue.
Leanna: Ooo yes. I do remember. We were in a studio.
Leah: Fast forward to us both having jobs, real jobs. And time. We started always brainstorming ideas.
Leanna: Brainstorming all day err day.
Leah: Just finding things in life that could be better, which probably speaks a lot more to your background.
Leanna: Naaaaah I mean, maybe. But I do think that people deal with problems and they don't even realize they’re problems. The subway, for instance.
Leah: Problem! Where are the flying cars that we’re supposed to have by now.
Leanna: People just get used to problems and there doesn't have to be problems. You can always think of solutions.
Leah: True. And that brought us to coming up with a solution for a problem that we both had - professionally, personally. We saw a real problem with group dining. It doesn't sound very fantastic now, but at the time we were like ‘yo group dining could be soooo much better.’
Leanna: It's hard to find places and it's treated very differently from individual dining.
Leah: Specific to New York though, especially I think. It's a very unique place cause you're dealing with smaller restaurants and you're dealing with higher price points because New York rent is high. Here it's a beast in and of itself. But that said, we did have a solution for group dining. And about last summer we realized that 1, it wasn't a true solution. But 2, the idea we had could actually apply to larger groups which would equate to more money and it would be more scalable and that brings us to...
Leah: Dun dun da duhhh
Leanna: Thank you for the sound effect.
Leah: You're welcome.
Leanna: As we're planning these small groups, I got married, we started inching up to larger and larger groups. We planned a 40th birthday that was major. Best 40th birthday eva.
Leah: We have the video to prove it.
Leanna: And so hard to plan. And we were like ‘yo, if these [large] events are having this issue then screw the small events.’
Leah: And I mean really like the same issues - venue, vendors, you know. Making it special like it's literally the same thing just on a larger scale.
Leanna: Sorry to the small guys, but we'll come back.
Leah: We just had to pivot real quick.
Leanna: We gotta make some money. So we're helping connect event planners with vendors more efficiently. Vetted vendors - that are dope.
Leah: High-level. Sky level.
Leanna: Best ah di best. So we’re on that road now, in development. Excited about it. If you're a vendor, hit us up.
Leah: What would you say based on all that we did with GroupOut, what we've learned so far with Planfully - what's your biggest takeaway or lesson as it relates to running a startup or trying to get a start up off the ground?
Leanna: This is a loaded question for me... because I started with all these high hopes. I was like ‘yo I’m gonna do dis. I’m gonna kill it.’ I was an investor at one point. Not me personally, but I worked for an investor. I ain’t got money like dat. And they were investing and all of these founders were like not that smart. Not to down the founders, but I expected more and I was like ‘yo, if they can do it, I can do it. I'm going to do it.’
Leah: Believe in yo’self.
Leanna: Definitely do that. But also do the mental work. Because there's a lot of resistance that you give yourself when you start something. There's all these reasons why you can’t do it. And you actually start believing that and you have to talk yourself out of that. You don't have to believe the voices in your head. There’s a constant like ‘oh you can’t do this. Oh you, no what are you thinking?’
Leah: And on top of the voice in your head are the people outside your head that will say that too. So it’s like double whammy.
Leanna: It’s double whammy. But for me the voices in my head were stronger ‘cause I can discount somebody’s opinion but I couldn’t discount my own. And I had to learn to control that. Switch it off. Start believing in myself.
Leah: Flip the switch.
Leanna: Flip the switch all day everyday. What about you, what was your biggest lesson?
Leah: Biggest lesson so far and maybe what I’m still learning is it’s one thing to have the idea, it's a whole ‘nother ballgame to execute the idea.
Leanna: Execuuuute. Execute us.
Leah: I think I saw a quote recently that said, ‘the magic is in the work you're trying to avoid.’ And literally startups are all that.
Leanna: Daaaaamn. Yes, yes, and yes again.
Leah: That’s where the magic is. Literally. There's things you wouldn’t know. There’s things that are going to take all the time you have, the time you don't even think you have.
Leanna: Everything is hard.
Leah: Everything is hard. And you just have to do it. There's so much reward on the other side of that like if you can get it done. Figure out how to get it done.
Leanna: See the light at the end of the tunnel.
Leah: See the light. It will take you through. And the second thing I do want to say is that you can't listen to everybody. And that kind of speaks to Leanna's point of. Or your point. Why am I saying Leanna like it’s third person?
Leanna: It’s me. I’m right here.
Leah: It goes to your point of even having to cancel out yourself. And I find that with us especially being woman founders, there’s gonna be so many people who will know what you need to do to get your idea done.
Leanna: Everyone has a different journey.
Leah: Right. And you know what? You may not even be right, but you do need to go through the work of figuring it out and making that mistake and learning from it and getting to a place of being right.
Leanna: Trust your instincts.
Leah: Trust your perspective. I heard that too recently.
Leanna: True dat.
Leah: So we've been head down, working for awhile.
Leanna: On the grind for a minute.
Leah: Yep, and based on all that, we’ve come to a realization that 1, we do need to share more but also there are other people doing the same thing as us - head down, learning, falling, getting up - that have some things to say.
Leanna: And we can learn from each other. Absolutely. I think there's a lot of people out there who have this fallacy of startups or business being like immediate successes and that's just not true. Don't believe the hype.
Leah: What’s that other quote? It takes 10 years to be an overnight success. If that ain't the truth.
Leanna: It's persistence that always wins.
Leah: And so that brings us to Planfully’s Open House. We're hoping to speak to particularly woman like us doing the same things - trying to get businesses off the ground, trying to get movements off the ground, who have a lot to share with the world and there's just so much that we could learn from them.
Leanna: A whooole lot. And I hope that you can still connect with people that are going through the same journey you are. Lata.
Leah: Oh wait...how does Cardi B say it?
In unison: Okuuurrrrrrrrr. <laughter>
Leanna: That’s hilarious. Ok. What are we talking about?
Thanks for listening to Planfully’s Open House. Let us know what you think and subscribe. If you have any recommendations, questions, or need some event planning help, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we’re on the ‘gram at @planfully.events. Special thanks to the internets for teachng me how to start a podcast. This is Planfully, reminding you to celebrate life. Til next time.