Quiet Confidence- Marcello Recommends: Delivering Happiness by Zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh

In his book, The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk mentioned Tony Hsieh, (shay) the CEO of Zappos enough times for readers to get that Tony is a Crush It rock star.   Then, as a result of my review of the book, MMP fan, Eric Smith from Savannah, Georgia,  suggested that I read Tony’s book, Delivering Happiness. Even though me reading two books within the same month, let alone the same year could justify a call to the Guiness Book Of World Records, it was a no brainer to dive into another potential literary masterwork.      I’m glad I did.

Tony will now join Gary, Seth Godin, Jim Collins, Thomas Friedman, Dave Ramsey, Laird Hamilton and others in my updated version of the classic cartoon, Superfriends; an elite group of uber-successful, witty and brilliant entrepreneurs who inspire the world with their written words, voices and actions.    And even though none have accepted my lunch invitations yet, they seem to be very nice people to boot.

In Delivering Happiness, Tony shares a transparent look into his personal, professional and spiritual evolution.    He relentlessly engages the reader from every direction.   Whether he’s talking about outsmarting his parents while growing up, his educational summer fling with poker, his veracious appetite for forward motion or the science of happiness, the inspirational nuggets consistently make themselves available for processing.

After attending a funeral service for one of my mentors, Eric Gugleberger, this past weekend, I was reminded by a few of his close friends who spoke- just how much of Eric’s success was fueled by his passion for knowledge, his extraordinary work ethic and the enviable strength of his character. Like Tony, Mr. Gugleberger carried himself with a quiet confidence and touched a lot of people with his heart, mind, and generous soul. -mp


Here are a few excerpts from the book  to whet your appetite…

*“I really enjoyed the idea of architecting and creating experiences and memories.”

*“We were standing at the highest point in all of Africa, looking down at the clouds below us, with the sun directly in front of us, its rays welcoming us to the beginning of a new day.  It didn’t seem like something that humans were meant to experience. Yet here we were.  In that moment, I thought to myself, anything is possible.”

*“Even today, our belief is that our Brand, our Culture, and our Pipeline are the competitive advantages that we will have in the long run.    Everything else can and eventually will be copied.”

*“We believe in operational excellence, and realize that there is always room for improvement in everything we do.  This means that our work is never done.”

*“Passion and determination are contagious.  We believe in having a positive and optimistic (but realistic) attitude about everything we do, because we realize that this inspires others to have the same attitude.”

*“While we celebrate our individual and team successes, we are not arrogant nor do we treat others differently from how we would want to be treated.  Instead, we carry ourselves with a quiet confidence, because we believe that in the long run our character will speak for itself.

*It’s more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words to understand.. but rather short, easy words like, “What about lunch?” via- Winnie the Pooh 🙂

*“For individuals, character is destiny.   For organizations, culture is destiny.”

When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.”  – via Bertice Berry

“What lies behind and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  -via Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Empathy and Excellence- Marcello Recommends: The Thank You Economy by Gary Vay’ner’chuk

The Thank You Economy is the “Good To Great” for the Crush It generation.

If they taught stuff like this back in college and my professors were dialed-in like @garyvee, I probably wouldn’t have dropped out.

If you’re looking for some personal literary stimulus or a great gift idea for a fellow entrepreneur, add TYE to your list.

Thanks again to my Signature Event partner, Jason Jani, for giving me a copy to read on MMP’s recent international excursion.

Continued success! -mp

A few Tweet-worthy quotes from TYE that were a bit too long for Twitter:

“In fact, no relationship should be taken for granted.   They are what life is all about, the whole point.  How we cultivate our relationships is the greatest determinant of the type of life we get to live. Business is no different.”

“If your organization’s intentions transcend the mere act of selling a product or service, and it’s brave enough to expose its heart and soul, people will respond.  They will connect.  They will like you.  They will talk.  They will buy.”

“Any company that gets so complacent it thinks everything is “fine” deserves to go out of business-  it literally means its leaders stopped caring.  A competitive company is always on the offense. Always.  Always.  Always.”

“Setting the tone and establishing a cultural foundation of empathy and excellence is essential to success in the Thank You Economy.”


Jani and Marcello Deliver the WOW! Rose and Joe’s Wedding Reception at The Venetian with Special Guest: Kim Sozzi

Rose & Joe having the time of their lives with special guest, Kim Sozzi

Last week, I assisted my Signature Events partner, Jason Jani with artist relations and event direction at the Palazzo Ballroom of the Venetian for Rose & Joe’s wedding reception.  Jason, owner of Sound Connection Entertainment, arranged for the dance chart-topping singer, Kim Sozzi to perform a surprise set for the guests after the first course.

Rose & Joe wanted their wedding reception to be exceptional, so they chose the Palazzo Ballroom of  the Venetian.  They wanted their entertainment experience to have a modern, yet elegant flair, so they chose Jason’s firm to handle the production.  Then, like many of our clients, Rose and Joe wanted their once in lifetime celebration to be extraordinary; so they asked us to come up with a WOW factor moment that they and their  guests would never forget.

Since Rose & Joe are both big fans of dance music and recording artist Kim Sozzi, having Kim make a special appearance and perform a personalized set of their favorite songs at the reception became the ultimate concept and desire; Jason delivered and made it happen.

An elegant, yet festive reception for Joe & Rose at The Venetian's Palazzo Ballroom

As a result, Rose, Joe and their guests experienced a dance set that deserves to be in the new book release, The Best Wedding Reception…Ever. After the first course was served, Jason played the classic ballad, At Last by Etta James to pack the floor with couples;  followed by an Italian family favorite, The Tarantella, to warm up the dance floor with smiles and laughter.    The stage was impeccably set for  Jason to “Crush It” and take Rose & Joe’s  wedding reception to the Signature Event level.

Kim Sozzi entered from the grand staircase into an eruption of  cheers and applause.  The guests were blown away and couldn’t believe that Kim was singing her biggest hits like “Feel Your Love” right in front of them. Literally!  A seasoned professional, Sozzi sang her songs down off the stage, right in the middle of the crowd, never taking the spotlight away from the guests of honor.  The room’s ambiance was filled with the best of both worlds, energy and intimacy. Rose and Joe looked like they were floating on air.  The joy on their faces was priceless as they were enjoying every minute of the moment. At one point, I checked in with Jason to confirm that all was right with the world and he said, “Look at how happy Rose & Joe are right now, this is why I do this.”

Special thanks to Jimmy Silva from the Venetian for his hospitality and professionalism; he and Dave Mocera always provide a first class experience for everyone that walks through their doors.

Ultra Records recording artist, Kim Sozzi with Marcello

While we are on the subject of the best that the Special Events industry has to offer, check out the cinematic excellence that Greg from Endless Wave Studios produced for the newlyweds. Greg specializes in producing mini-film featurettes for his clientele the day of their event known as same day edits.” A couple doesn’t have to wait 6 weeks or 6 months to re-live the magic anymore. In Rose and Joe’s case, not only did Greg produce a professional music video that was played on the Venetian’s large drop down screens before their grand entrance, he also created a full production featurette of the days highlights that played right before cake cutting.  Greg’s latest blog entry goes into more detail…    “I think a story is only complete when you are there for everything, the making of the cappuccino in the morning, the giving of gifts, vows, and kisses, and right to the last song. This is why we can give back such a complete story.”

Check out his ‘same day edit’ artistry below.  One of my favorite parts is when Rose sent Joe a gift before the ceremony and later on when they made their grand entrance into the Palazzo.  I was there in the moment and it was awesome; watching it again with this level of connoisseur-like editing, camera work and musicality was just as breath-taking. The ultimate stamp of approval came from my wife who teared up after I showed it to her today.  With watery eyes she said, “tell Greg he did he a great job”… an emotional smile and a kodak-moment laugh immediately followed.

To see more highlights, live footage and behind the scenes interviews, check out Jason’s video log below.

I look forward to teaming up with Jason in the future for more Signature Collaborations.

A Passion For Fashion- Marcello Recommends: FlirtyFinds.com

shoppers

Chic, comfortable and affordable couture at FlirtyFinds.com

I had no idea how popular Big Buddha’s were until I interviewed Jamie Hoff and Beth Roy; former executives at Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Co. respectively.   Truth be told, I had no idea that a Big Buddha was actually a handbag.

Being blessed with a stylistic je ne sais quoi is just one of the many reasons why Jamie and Beth own and operate a successful fashion-forward enterprise called Flirty Finds; a Bergen County, NJ based online company that offers chic couture, accessories and style advice to internet savvy tweens and women all over the country.

What sets the Flirty duo apart from all of the retailers and department stores is their expert ability to sift through the abundance of fashion fails being offered out there and hand-pick what is going to make you look great, feel good and not break the bank; a true fashionista trifecta.

So, if you can’t get to Milan, New York City, Tokyo, Rome or Paris anytime soon and you want to see what you should be wearing this season; just grab your credit card and visit flirtyfinds.com from the comfort of your own home.

FF owners, Beth Roy and Jamie Hoff

Flirty owners, Beth Roy and Jamie Hoff

*I asked Beth to share some of Flirty’s thoughts on e-commerce, life balance, customer service, fashion trends and what they’ve been up to lately; this is what she had to say…

How has your business changed since its inception?

“We came to this business partnership after 20 years of friendship, and had many years of business experience between us. When we launched our website almost 2 years ago, we were both brand new at e-commerce, and we have learned so much from the experience.  From the technology, to the marketing to buying and selling our products – we’ve been able to fine-tune our focus and strategies based on what works and what our customers want. We’ve evolved from a website with an email list basically consisting of our friends and family, to a strong, developing brand — we were even mentioned in People Stylewatch this month.”

Do you have any tips for other moms who are raising a family and running a business?

“The biggest challenge we’ve encountered has been not letting the business and our laptops intrude on our family lives too much. We love what we do so much, that if we could, I fear we would both work on the business around the clock. We both chose when we had kids to be home for them, and this business allows us to do that.  The challenge is limiting our work time so that our families remain the top priority.  Finding that balance is a challenge that we both work on every day.”

What is the hottest product for this season?

A Big Buddha Bag, The "Bella"

A Big Buddha Bag, The "Bella"

The Big Buddha bag (the “bella” bag in blue) and it has been our hottest seller to date.  Bags and accessories in sorbet colors such as aqua, pink and yellow are the hot trends for spring.”

Are there any trends that you see on the horizon?

“Women are learning how to stretch their clothing budgets by buying the basic foundations, and using accessories to liven up and add interest to their looks.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a look that is fresh, trendy and polished.”

What was the best business advice you ever got?

‘We both agree that the best advice we ever received was to do something you like and you will be successful.  Also, always stay focused on the customer and find ways to make their life easier.  Oh, and of course, the customer is always right.”

Who inspires you?

“Jamie is inspired by her husband, Mark and author/speaker Joel Osteen who both give great advice on controlling your own destiny.  I’m inspired by my girlfriends, including Jamie, many of whom are mom entrepreneurs too, and who provide endless support, inspiration and ideas.”

What are you reading?

“I’m reading Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk.  A great book on leveraging the power of the social media to build your brand.  Jamie is currently reading The Help, one of my favorites.”

invi

The IsABelt

Which product has made your personal life easier?

“One of our products, the IsABelt, (an invisible belt) is one of those products that is so simple, yet so effective. Jamie loves her iphone and the Keurig Coffee Maker is one of my favorite inventions of all time.”

What are you listening to?

“I’m a political junkie so it’s talk radio for me and Jamie is a fan of the The Black Eyed Peas.”

What are you watching?

Parenthood & Modern Family; the two best shows to come around in a long time.”

What are you surfing?

“Budget Fashionista, YouLookFab, Momgenerations and  StyleBakery.”

*Thank you for your time ladies, I wish you continued success and all of the health and happiness that life has to offer.

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