A chat with Lara Casey is edifying. Creator of the Making Things Happen conference, founder of Southern Weddings magazine, motivational speaker, business consultant and first-time author, Casey is so powerfully personable that she’s a natural fit in the events industry.
Casey’s first book, “Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose,” out January 2015, was birthed from the content and relationships she’s built over the last seven years of the MTH conference. Its fundamental message challenges women to find their core—what matters most—and live on purpose. Her message is rooted in her personal story of faith and carries strong takeaways for faith-based events.
Rejuvenate talked with Casey about finding her core and how she delivers that wisdom to others.
In addition to planning events, you’re also a speaker at other meetings. How do you decide what to impart to the audience?
My core with business and teaching is always to encourage people to live on purpose. For me personally, that purpose is God and spreading the gospel. But even at secular events where I speak, my core purpose doesn’t change.
Faith is a huge part of your personal brand. How do you weave that into your talks without turning off people who may not share your beliefs?
The best advice I give people in business always comes from my life that was changed by God. I’m able to relate that to a secular audience, whether it’s talking about how I used to work 24/7 and drive myself into the ground, and how I chased what I thought was success (back then, I thought success was more money and bigger business, chasing after popularity—really all the wrong things.) Even if people in the audience don’t have a shared belief in God, they can relate to that feeling—that they’re not living on purpose, but instead living by accident. I’m able to tell them how my business was totally flipped on its head through that journey. Now that strong, clear core fuels my business, and all of our decisions are made based on it. It helps us know where to invest our money and our time.
How can planners establish a core for their event?
In planning weddings [which I did before this for 10 years], I found the most success—in terms of the profit of people and relationships—when I looked at the big picture. For instance, with a wedding, you’re telling the story of a couple’s unique love story. How are people coming to that event going to be transported and transformed by that story? There are so many opportunities at any event for people to be changed. Look less at the logistics first, and more about how you want to make people feel. It’s about giving people an experience. Even if the conference is about something technical, you still want to make people feel. If there was one message you want attendees to take away, what is it?