A few hours in the life of…

Thursday February 28, La Guardia airport, 7:50 am (EST)

So, how did I end up here, at La Guardia airport, heading to Minneapolis for three ShopNBC appearances in the next 48 hours? I remember the exact date of my first meeting with ShopNBC because it was the Monday after Superpbowl Sunday last year, after my beloved Patriots lost to the Giants. Almost exactly 13 months later, here I am, about to see if all of this effort was worthwhile. It is time!

I thought it would be fun to journal the next 40+ hours and share with you some behind the scenes action. My day today started at 5 am, after a very fitful night’s sleep… my head is not completely there, I parked in the wrong parking lot here at La Guardia and then had to walk for 15 minutes to the right terminal. Rookie mistake for a seasoned traveler… at least I got my exercise in. The US Airways Club is under renovation, so instead of having coffee and a yogurt, I find myself at The Victory Grill, having an egg-white frittata and coffee. Not that I can really eat…. Butterflies in my stomach. But this might be my one opportunity for real food, so I am trying to force myself. I am thinking a mimosa might calm my nerves… but I am resisting. While eating, I re-watched the 6 practice videos I did with fabulous intern Maggie, just to remind myself of my physical tics (tilting my head way to the right), and that while it might feel goofy to speak with a huge smile on my face, it actually makes me look nice and friendly and approachable – all good things!

Hilton Garden Inn, Eden Prairie, 2:19 pm (Minneapolis time, from now on)

I just checked in to the Hilton Garden Inn in Eden Prairie; I chose this hotel for Hilton Honors points and because it is less than 5 minutes away from the ShopNBC headquarters. Between this morning and now, I have been on two planes, one US Airways club (in Philly), on email and on one conference call (business doesn’t stop while I travel). In the air, I practiced (in writing) my TV buzz words,  slept, then practiced some more. Lunch of champions somewhere in the air between Philly and Minneapolis: a glass of chardonnay and half a pack of Pretzel minis. My stomach is just too tight to eat… at least I am doing well with my calorie counting today.

And I have everything I can’t travel without: pretzels, water, Emergen-C, Alchimie Forever Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream, Tiger Balm, my favorite Aveda candle (Shampure), my Ipod, eye drops, a power bar, Clarins Beauty Balm Flash, and  Aveda’s Stress Fix concentrate.

Quick change of outfit, then off to ShopNBC for a 2 hour rehearsal. T – 10 ½ hours. This is going to be a really long day.

Hilton Garden Inn, 4:48 pm

So I just got back to the hotel room after almost two hours with ShopNBC rehearsing. Wendi was my rehearsal host; I will get to be live with her tomorrow afternoon. She is absolutely gorgeous, had killer cobalt blue heels on, and gave me great pointers. And now… what to do… I have 5 hours ahead of me… I am going to try to eat something, and then maybe nap? Perhaps a glass of wine will help…

Hilton Garden Inn, 9:15 pm

So while it took me a while to decide to lie down (I retyped all my notes from the plane and worked until 6:30 pm), the idea that I would not be able to sleep was ludicrous. Apparently my body is really tired and this 2.5 hour nap was much needed – even if I just dreamed of ShopNBC. I realize now how much I am missing my husband’s portable speakers; I really want to have a dance party in my hotel room to give my nerves a break and get my energy up. My computer speakers will have to do. On my playlist, Rain Over Me by Pitbull (featuring Marc Anthony), The Time (Dirty Bit) by Black Eyed Peas, and lots of FUN. Shower, shampoo, outfit #1, at-home mani (my hands are shaking, which makes this harder than usual), and off to the studios I go for Round 1.

Friday March 1st, Hilton Garden Inn, 2:21 am

OK, I’m back. Round 1 done. It felt good, I actually had fun, but sales are not what they need to be – yet. The green room computer is not my friend – yet. The pink room, however, is my friend. That’s where I got my hair and makeup done, and where I chatted with the models and other on-air guests. Adora, my makeup artist (chosen from a list of artists recommended by ShopNBC exclusively because her name is so awesome), was amazing. And she got engaged about an hour before she came to do my hair and makeup – I was the first person she told!

Everyone is so amazingly nice, they all live up to “Minnesota nice!” Great atmosphere, great camaraderie. I have to say Kimberly, my first host, was amazing. I thought we had great chemistry, like two girlfriends… Really, though, it’s all about how much I sell. I have to focus more on what the product does for you. Oh the pressure…

I really should try to sleep, but I have so much adrenaline going through my body, there is no way that is going to happen. What to do? Work? Watch TV? Both? It’s time for the Tiger Balm and for the Aveda Stress Fix concentrate. Let’s see if that helps.

Hilton Garden Inn, 6:54 am

Well, that was a short night – I couldn’t fall asleep, and then dreamed about ShopNBC again non-stop… what can I do better? How can I be effective in sales on TV? Am feeling tired, slightly discouraged, and alone. Luckily, my husband knows this without me needing to tell him – so when I turn on my email (first thing I do upon waking up, of course), I have an email from him with this link, to get me motivated about sales. And then I remember that I also have this to watch to remind myself of how badly I want this. OK, now I feel better. Tonight, we will sell out. In two shows. This is IT!

In the meantime, I have two meetings scheduled.  Yes, of course, I couldn’t “just” come for ShopNBC. My other potentially game-changing client, Lifetime Fitness, happens to also be based in Minneapolis. Is that lucky or what? I can’t tell. In any case, I have a breakfast meeting with the new head of skincare and a lunch meeting with the VP of Spas. I could be sleeping, but no, instead, I will be working. I can’t sleep anyway.

Hilton Garden Inn, 1:33 pm

So, my two Lifetime meetings were great, and I managed to keep my mind off of ShopNBC for an hour or so. And to eat miso soup and a California roll. My stomach is really not feeling great…

My number one way to combat stress is to work – so here I am watching the shows from last night and to identify what I can do better. I rehearse everything in this room out loud a few more times. I am wearing my favorite bright pink top for my 4 pm appearance. I keep telling myself I can do this. I want it. I am ready. All I can do is the best I can do. But what if my best is not good enough? That is the source of my stress… what if it just isn’t good enough…

It’s time for my favorite video again. Bring it. I want this so bad. I want it as bad as I want to breathe. Heading back to the studio!

Hilton Garden Inn, 5:02 pm

Round 2 down, one show left to go. I felt a lot less nervous this time. I didn’t feel I did well enough, but my kind husband says I am being too hard on myself. Love love love my host Wendi! I thought we had great chemistry – and her purple dress matched my pink top!

Right before the show I finally met the Karen and Jena from the buying team, with whom I have been working for over 6 months (exclusively by email and phone). They were so kind and encouraging, that made me feel better. I want to make right by them for taking a chance on my brand. I want to impress them. I want to sell. I want to do right by my family and make a success of our business. Yikes, I want, I want, I want. I want this so so bad! I wonder, does it ever get any easier?

I feel like I am living on adrenaline. I have three hours before I need to head back, I need to try to eat something, and maybe watch one of my favorite action movies, to quiet my mind… Movie of choice: Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. I can’t bear the idea of food, but a glass of wine helps my nerves.

I am only about half focusing on the movie; I am trying to figure out what I can do better. I thought I had prepared so well for this: I watched hour upon hour of ShopNBC beauty shows; I took pages and pages of notes; I spent a day with one of the most revered TV sales trainers (Bob Circosta). I rehearsed. I even practiced on video. Why is this not working?

Then, in the middle of the movie, my computer makes its Facebook alert noise and this pops up on my Facebook wall from Kimberly, my 1 am show host:

Ada- was so impressed with you this morning and hope the rest of the day went fantastic!! Looking forward to working with you again and wish you some much needed rest now! xx

It is the little things that count. Also, this is an emotional roller coaster, one minute up, one minute down. This minute, it’s up, all thanks to the kind words of Kimberly, whom I will forever remember as my very first ShowNBC host.

Hilton Garden Inn, 7:59 pm

The movie was great. My eyes are bloodshot: calling Adora for support! Just changed into TV outfit #3. Re-watched online my 4 pm show, which I thought was better than my 1 am show. I spoke more, I “WSGATed” more (i.e. spoke of the benefits, and the benefits of the benefits: “what’s so good about that?” thank you Bob!), I focused more on the products and what they can do for you, I had great chemistry with fabulous Wendi, and I did look a bit older (Adora was asked by the producer to do a dark smokey eye to make me look older!! Ha ha must mean my Alchimie products really work!). Oh well, I feel good about this third one. I love Heather, I have watched her a lot in preparation for this, and this is Friday night beauty!

Hilton Garden Inn, 11:29 pm

OMG. I am shaking! I did it! Apparently, third time’s the charm. My host Heather was just absolutely awesome. She came up with the idea of “smart skincare.” Skincare that does multiple things at once. “You wrap it all in one product – smart!” She thought about addressing value, she is brilliant. Thank you Heather. I don’t even know what to do with myself right now. I am having a celebratory glass of wine and some pretzels, my glamorous late dinner. We didn’t sell out, but I did good! And I feel the love and support – from my husband (he had a viewing party in New Orleans for tonight’s show!), from my team (thank you for making this possible), from the team at ShopNBC (“keep doing what you’re doing, you’re a natural”), from my existing clients and partners, and from all of my friends who watched, texted me encouraging words, and made a purchase! I am reminded that preparation works; practice works; working hard works; wanting something so very badly works. All those truths being confirmed, I can now go to sleep happy. After I spend an hour taking off my makeup. In 4.5 hours, it will be time to head to the airport again. Eden Prairie, I hope to see you again soon!

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