Jade McKenzie is the founder of Event Head, an International Business which helps entrepreneurs and business owners to create successful and sustainable events. Jade single handly created Event Head whilst pregnant with her first child in 2013. She now manages a team of event professionals, who help with virtual event assistance, full event management and event coaching/consulting needs. Her Business has allowed her to go internationally, having been to Paris, London and New York on Business ventures. She is one powerful woman, who creates and mentors amazing events with a welcoming and warm energy. I got to ask her a few questions about her creative journey.
What is the story behind the Event Head?/ How did the Event Head begin?
My career path and working background is diverse!
I started working in a Nursing Home before taking on a traineeship in an Accounting Firm then moving into a Business Development Role for a Start-up. I was volunteering for a charity when I applied for a grant to fund my position full time, which I did for a few years before starting Event Head while I was on maternity leave with my daughter (who is now 5!).
I always knew I wanted to run my own business I just wasn’t sure what it would be. When I got pregnant with Cerise I knew that this was my opportunity.
I’d had to run events as part of many of my jobs and I’d always loved that part of my work, I also knew that many business owners who had come from a corporate background and wanted to run successful and impactful events struggled when they were starting out without having a corporate budget to back them up. So Event Head was born!
Is there a moment, place or time when you just had a thought or a feeling where you felt incredibly happy and knew you were on the right path?
All my life I have had a feeling that there is something ‘bigger’ for me than working a 9-5 job for someone else, but I never knew what it was, I just followed the pieces of the puzzle, the opportunities, and the feeling.
It’s been the same with Event Head. When I started Event Head I had no idea what it would look like now, four years down the track. It’s just been the same process of following the next step that appears and that feeling.
Event Head is always evolving and growing as I am and sometimes that can feel a bit overwhelming, but I also know there is no way I could be doing anything else.
So I guess you could say I have definitely experienced that feeling of being incredibly happy and knowing I’m on the right path without knowing exactly where the path will lead!
In general, I have an overarching vision of how I want my business to support my life and impact the lives of others and I keep checking in with that to see if what we’re doing and how we’re growing will help us get there.
Were you afraid of turning your dream into a reality? If so, what helped you overcome the fear/s?
To be honest I didn’t find leaving my job to start Event Head that daunting. Money has never been a big driver for me. I’ve always been very independent and willing to get in and make things happen and that’s an attitude and approach I’ve carried into growing and running my business.
Of course, sometimes I think “What the hell have I gotten myself into?” but I always know I’ll figure it out and that taking action is the best way to do that.
So I would say that the thing that has helped me overcome any fears is taking action.
What do you love most about following what lights you up?
I love seeing the community and connection people experience when they attend events or run their own.
I’m so privileged to work with incredible businesses and clients from all around the world every day to help them run impactful events and grow sustainable businesses that light them up.
This year I have worked with clients in the UK, Switzerland, Spain, the US, and Australia. It blows my mind to think of my little business I started having that sort of global reach and impact.
This means so much to me because it means that all around the world I am helping people create businesses that serve them as much as it serves their clients; that is built from passion, heart, and soul and that allows them to do what they love, with who they love and how they want to do it.
It is also really important to me that through my work and business my daughter is surrounded by incredible role models in women who are diverse and who are walking their own path in the world and doing business in a way that makes a positive difference.
Did you have any mentors or teachers along your journey? Are there any key lessons you learnt from them?
I love to learn from everyone I meet and work with and I have been able to work with some incredible people through Event Head.
I find it hard to distill what I have learnt into key lessons – as it really is about being open to seeing how other people are – in their thinking, the way they do business, life and relationships – and then taking parts that resonate with me and making it my own.
Sometimes that isn’t the most comfortable experience as growing and changing is almost always a bit uncomfortable. But I always try to soak up information around me while staying true to my own path and doing things in the way that is true to me.
How important do you believe it is to find a community or tribe with similar interests?
Through Event Head I have met and worked with an incredible community of amazing entrepreneurs who are committed to shining their light and sharing their message in the world through growing their beautiful businesses and running events.
It never ceases to amaze me what incredible things people are doing and how EVERYONE we work with has a message that needs to be heard.
Having this community around me inspires me daily as well as providing a support network – because for all the fun of being in business sometimes it can feel really hard.
I’d also like to add that while I think it’s important to have a community or tribe who get’s you and has similar experiences it’s also important to find ways to connect with people outside of your ‘bubble’ (whatever that is). Some of my most inspired ideas, conversations, and bits of wisdom have come from communities I’m a part of that have nothing to do with business or events.
Is there any advice you would offer someone who feels uninspired or wants to create their own path?
Be brave and curious! Keep exploring and following the breadcrumbs of what you love to do, what lights you up without stressing about having it all figured out!
Know that it’s ok to think outside the box to create a career or business that works for you; you don’t have to follow the path everyone else is on, or that people tell you-you ‘should’ follow.
Are there any particular ways in which you believe you have grown from your business? e.g you overcame a personal struggle of confidence, self-doubt.
Oh my goodness, from being in business I have grown in All The Ways. It’s true what they say that being is business is a catalyst for growth in all areas of your life!
I think the best way to sum it up would be to say that from being in business I have become a more resilient person. Absolutely yes I have learnt many new skills and my confidence and self-belief has grown, but the reality is that as my business grows, I am not immune to still doubting myself sometimes. But now I can recognise these doubts and crises of confidence for what they are – a signpost that we’re moving to the next level. I know how to support myself through them and I have the perspective to know they won’t last.