Interview (SKYPE) with Jema Valle of Date Night Planners
really excited. So the Band Aid has been ripped, and now we have. Now we have have a here. She is the founder of Date Night planners dot com. I'm at her because she worked with my husband and advertising in his very first job in New York City. She was a bad influence in the best of ways, and that was like 10 years ago. And when you meet her, she's so spunky and for funny and smart like she's not cut from the 9 to 5 cloth. But she had never talked about leaving her job. So you can imagine my surprise when I was watching the Today show as Ideo and Hamas on the Today show, with makeup mogul Bobbi Brown talking about date night planners dot com and how she was working on that business on the side of her day job, she was in finance by then. Two years later, she surprised me again by walking into a workshop I was giving in Brooklyn all about It was basically this class, but in like a 90 minutes on, she walked in. I didn't know she was coming and she said, Michelle, I'm ready like I'm really ...
ready to do this? I need to give my notice. And she hired me in February, and we work together on finding her give notice State, which was gonna be July. And she surprised me again last month when she came to our coaching session and said, Michelle, I just gave my notice. And it was an hour ago, and it was unbelievable. So how much do we have you here? I love her. I'm getting so excited. Can you hear us? Hey, we could hear you. Hey, Thank you so much for being here with us. No problem. The Internet here is That's okay. You're now you're not You're not pixelated or anything anymore. So just stay exactly where you are. Do not move. And you look beautiful. I'm so excited. So today, as I mentioned before, I was supposed to be Hamas last day at work. But she emailed me this week, and I think this happens often, so I'm kind of I'm kind of glad it worked out this way. She emailed me earlier this weekend, said we didn't find a replacement yet. I agreed to kind of stay on until the end of the month and then kind of go to liken consulting rules. So tell us why today isn't your last day and kind of what's happening on the horizon for you. Long story short, we can't find my replacement. Um, it's just in. You know your place. Maybe I'm not saying that if you want to say that, OK, but long story, sure. You know, I have to be a little bit flexible with it all. And thankfully, I do have a freelance gig coming up next week. So, you know, that's the only thing I have to work around. And thankfully, my team is very flexible with me doing some kind of part time work. So that's great. So tell us a little bit about what you did to get here. Hama and how you knew it was time toe, actually pull the plug two months earlier than you thought you were going Teoh? Sure. Well, I've been doing executive assistant work since 1999 helping others with their own passions and their focus. And it was a really easy thing to do something because I didn't know my passion. So I think once I figure, but I knew what I had to do. But I was happy with the luxuries that I was currently in and the paycheck and insurance, and to make that jump was the one thing that I didn't know how to do. So, um, I would say, How did I get here? It just made sense. The timing? A. I really came to terms that I wasn't happy with what I was doing. I love my environment. I love my people that I worked with, that I wasn't happy. So, um, it was just a matter of one day I walked into work and, like, I'm not who I am out there in here and I didn't make everybody miserable. So it's not making me miserable, that miserable. Let's just figure out the next step. So that's how I got to just calling you. And you know, I trust you with my life as I trust you with your husband, um, a very good friend. It was just a easy, easy transition. Yeah, I loved hearing that from you, and I want to put a big like exclamation point around it because we talked earlier about breaking point stories, and I think a lot of the times. You know, they're like big dramatic events that that kind of happened, but it doesn't have to be a It could literally just be the internal realization that the person that you are at work is not the person that you like. And it's not the person that you are outside of work and you don't wanna spend 40 plus hours a week being that person was kind of having that realization could be your breaking point of. So were there specific things, And I'm and I know that there were specific things that you did to be able to be comfortable and confident leaving your job. Could you, like, just give us the bullet points of what you set up for yourself to prepare? Well, I think it was a little a few things. My lifestyle changed, not going out as much. And once I figured out that I had the passion to do the DNP date night planners, the planners work. I was feeling the going out with the work, and once you figure out what the work is, you have work to dio and it's not tasking. It's fun. It's the more work so so doing that work and then and then feeling like it's not work. So saying Noto, happy hours with your concerns, you know it's a way to save money, and so that's a big thing to that. You just moved apartments and and you cut your rent fairly drastically. Also right so drastically. I think the very first time we talked about the safety net, my number was Gigantor and I remember talk, uh, that that number was never going. T didn't feel like it was any time soon. So what we did was just move. I made my look my monthly number much lower. Ah, ways to make money and make by doing those huge dramatic changes. It makes me feel a little bit better going down the line. I love that. That's it. That's another great way to make money, right? New York City It's not easy to find anything that's affordable, but, um, you were able to make a dramatic dramatic a dramatic, drastic cut and and write your what? Your spending for rent and still found a place that you love. It's not like you were, I don't know, living scary whole. I'm like I've made sense like This is, um and seriously like it's the most perfect place for me. So I mean, Central Harlem. So in love, I love it. I love it. Before I let you go tell us what you're most like. Scared and excited about. I live for the very excitement, feeling you guys when you follow that fear and excitement that you feel in almost equal measure that is the land of no regrets, even if whatever that is doesn't work out, you will never regret doing it. And it's gonna lead you to what you need to be doing so. So knowing that this is so on the horizon, what do you scared and excited about? And I hate to say it, but that is exactly thing on, and it's my freelance work. I am scared to lose focus from date night planners and lose focus on that to do be doing freelance work, which is going to be helping with the bills. But the freelance work I'm doing is like on, and it's enjoyable, and it's away from the and thinking like a way for me to travel with helping people and organizing a life. So I mean, if I could do all those things I love. So that's scared to lose the focus on dating planners, which is the passion. But in the in the same breath, I'm so excited about that freelancer. So it's gonna be fun, you know? And it's the first time something that I'm like, Yea, let's get going. What's roll? Let's have yeah? Could you remind me how that organizing gig came to be Because I want toe I don't want Yeah, I know what I said. It was right. I'm no, it's kind of just started with communication. I'm talking to people about what their family needs, what's going on and how they need help. And just talking about just two friends. So I thought it would be a great, like, basically said, like, you could do this for us. Like of course, I could do that for you. I love this stuff And where, you know, I think you've touched on things that you love to do our things other people don't love to do so, um, just to be able to help friends. And the process is another huge side of it helping their family find a process to something that works better for them as a whole. Yeah. Um, I love that I love you. Thank you. So so so much for taking time out to talk to us. Everyone, like, go to date night planners dot com and see the amaze balls business that is Hamas business because it's so unique and so exciting. And I just can't wait to, like, see your store rise and take you out for a celebratory something. The bad influence that does well, you said or does good. It's exactly That's exactly who you are. And I love you. Thank you so much. I love that's what came up and hearing him a story, anything specific that resonated with you guys. Anything that you're thinking more about. Yes, live. Doing the fun thing I love about crafting and making things by hand is getting in that zone, getting completely lost and really enjoying that moment. So being able to work that into what I do for a living is really important. I love that I love that. And that's really what Hammond did with these, like free lambs gigs that aren't related to our business but are gonna bring in money. This is exactly related to that. She's not now spending time trying to build this organizational business, But she was talking to her friends about the transition and what she was doing again on they said Way No, you'll do this really well for us. Will you come to our home? And And I know that situation that is talking about is a friend that lives like outside the city. And they said you could, like, stay with us for a week and just help us organize our offices in our basement and or whatever and like she's almost seeing it as a vacation because she loves the organizational piece she gets to get out of the city, stay with her friends and get paid for it on. And I think that if I remember correctly from last time I talked to her, the money she's gonna make their for that week is going to pay her rent for months. And so it's just section no brainer that she goes and does that. And then hopefully, you know, even when she's there, she could work on Date night. Planners also, we're not. We're take a break from it, taking from from what you want to be pursuing do every so often. It's not a bad thing. I think we think you have to do these workhorses. But really taking a step back, usually as long as not for too long, serves our energy and our creativity and our businesses in a big way in a big way. Yes, and we have some comments coming in sassy streams. Seamstress says. Yes, if it's not a little scary, it won't be as rewarding when you actually do it. And then ambit Guy says, Big change rarely comes with little steps. Take bold steps for bold change. All right, little good. Ah, ambit guy. I'm that guy. I love it. I love it. That's a That's a That's a big lesson. I think that that's that's great. And this is what I say to regarding this whole change and diction your day job and proactively, aggressively diction your day job. This is exactly what our cavemen and cave women minds wants us. Teoh thing is against, like every scientific, I think cell in our body is trying to keep us safe and and you're kept safe by staying in the known, and it's when you venture out into the unknown that your body and your mind is like, What are you doing? We don't know what you're doing and you are scaring us. And it's horrible. And And when you raise your hand and say No, no, no, I'm gonna change my life. I'm gonna do this thing that I've never done before. I'm going to try to make a go at this. We're fighting that every day. So the next segment make sure you come back as we're calling out our freelancing fears and diving deep into our worst case scenarios and learning how how to do that cause it never goes away. But learning how toe how to feel those fears and do the work anyway. But just to know that, like this is this is why I've been the When I grow up, coach full time for five years because everyone goes through this on then this is what is paying my bills. Eso know that you're not alone