BEHIND THE DIVINE
When Life & Biz
Are Far From Perfect
Just in case you think everything is always perfect at Divine Living headquarters, I’m here to let you know our escapes and biz model are far from it. And if you’d like a sneak peak behind the scenes, I’m happy to share with you how the Vegas Issue came about.
In July we were getting ready to start production on the August issue. Yes…mid July! We were a little late, but we’re getting better at our production calendar.
At the time, Sam Saboura, our EIC was MIA on his annual European vacation sipping something somewhere off the Amalfi Coast.
Meanwhile back at the Santa Barbara ranch, I was meeting with the rest of the team. I make it sound like it’s the size of a basketball team…I should have said duo because the “team” was my amazing managing editor and our incredible writer. Yes we do a lot on a little over here!
Our only other two “team members,” the world’s greatest graphic designer and our lighting fast programmer, would have been invited (because we love hanging with them) but our turnaround time is, eh-hem, shall we say…a wee bit tight at the moment, so in short we needed them to be doing what they do best.
Over three lattes at The Four Seasons Biltmore, we were hunkering down to plan our next issue. We already had a really cool concept and story ideas built around “The Makeover Issue.” But when we sat down to talk nuts and bolts, dates and times, I found I just wasn’t inspired. I didn’t feel that spark of excitement.
So we started brainstorming what else we could do to find the wow-factor, but we had all these limitations.
First of all, I had been lobbied heavily for not doing an August issue at all. (I know! Can you believe it?! Between me and you, “the team” thought we needed a month to catch up. Not to worry, I wouldn’t have you go an entire month without DLM).
There was another campaign for stretching out the Spiritual Issue over two months. I stood firm—we’re a monthly magazine and we’re coming out with an August issue. Initially, I accepted the caveat that we had to be practical and do something local. B-o-r-i-n-g.
With three weeks to our launch date and our Editor-in-Chief away on his Roman Holiday, the pressure was on. The challenge was that I want each issue of Divine Living to be amazing and better than the last, so to do something uninspired because of our time and budget constraints was not going to work for me.
After a few hours of talking in circles with the team, I said, “I need to walk around for a minute.” When I came back to the table, I announced, “I’m thinking Vegas.”
At first my delightful Managing Editor cringed, wanting to say no and worried of what absent Sam would say when he found out, but in my power, I started sharing the Vegas vision.
And immediately the stories started popping! Suddenly something we had been working on for a few hours that wasn’t going anywhere was totally flowing, and we made all our decisions in twenty minutes!
As soon as Sam returned from his European vacation, the issue beautifully fell into place. We put the plan into action and everything we needed was attracted to us. We were so blessed to have the doors opened to us by Mandarin Oriental and Caesar’s Group, and we quickly found the photographer, which led to the hair and makeup team, which led to a whirlwind weekend in Vegas where we really raised the bar for ourselves and what we were capable of creating together!
We could not be more proud of this issue, which has been so fun and full of bold, flashy stories about money, success, style, and thinking big. By now you know that’s how I do life always, whether in Vegas or not. However that doesn’t mean that everything is always perfect, that the money is always there, or that there are enough people to handle all of the tasks. Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself, push for your vision no matter how outlandish or impossible it may seem, and everything will unfold to support you.
|All My Love,