Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Kim Xrossing. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Kim, appreciate you joining us today. The more we talk about good leadership the more we think good leadership practices will spread and so we’d love for you to tell us a story about the best boss you’ve had and what they were like or what they did that was so great?
I’ve been working since I was 16 years old – in all sorts of industries. Needless to say, I’ve had a variety of bosses. Some were wonderful humans and others were just completely insane. The one person who shaped me as an individual and a business woman is Ronnie Davis from Great Performances. He is the true example of amazing boss, mentor and leader. To many before me, he may have been rough around the edges and very direct with his wants and needs, but I believe that only pushed me to be better and stronger.
At my beginning stages of working in events, I really did not expect how overwhelming it would be during the learning stages. Without a doubt, I made mistakes left and right thinking I should have just been fired. Instead of spending time to yell at me about it, Ronnie would calmly explain why things are done a certain way and completely let go of the topic, sub-consciously giving me space to figure it out on my own. Forgiving me on my mistakes allowed me to learn from them rather than dwell on them and gave me confidence to reach for higher goals as well as perform at greater levels.
Furthermore, at any event, he shows by example what a true leader represents. He is respected like no other amongst our clients, staff, and vendors because he treats everyone with equal amounts of respect and graciousness. He never talks down to anyone and makes sure that everyone ends the day with a smile on their face.
Through consideration, respect, patience, confidence and transparency, we grew a bond and mutual trust. It really shaped the way I speak with clients and staff. I see Ronnie as not only an example of a great boss, but now a forever mentor, and friend to send hilariously weird memes.
Kim, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I started my career in event digital marketing, moved my way through a multitude of small businesses and freelancing. related with events am an event planner and caterer. I now produce corporate, non profit and social events of all sizes. I help my clients figure out the best logistical way to achieve their goals and guest experiences as well as provide manageable solutions for any type of budget. From venue search and entertainment needs to food/beverage consultation and audio/visual coordination. I pride myself on being able to relate to all types of people, all situations, and every type of event. I believe my open mindedness and humility allows me to be more creative and inventive, all of which help my clients at the end of the day.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
I’m sure a lot of people have shared their story on rising up from the pandemic. I talk about it because it was the first time in 13 years that I had more than 1 week straight of “vacation.” At first it felt like a blessing, but after a month I got anxious and lost my mind (as did everyone else). It was the moment of getting furloughed, being stuck indoors in the coldest winters of NYC and fearing not only the world’s health issue, but also how much of a set back I had in life right as I was about to reach 30 years of age (or as I like to call it, the platinum years). It was the first time I was pushed to my boundaries of trying new things to make some income- I recorded and edited promo videos, live-streamed funerals (yes, this was a thing during COVID), handled marketing and PR for musicians, and even sold clothes online because I had given up on the idea of even dressing up to go anywhere for the next year and a half. All of those activities led me to believe that this was my opportunity in life to freelance and start my own side business. I’m still in early stages, but to have come this far in my newly created career has been the hardest work and yet the most satisfying.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
The lesson I had to unlearn is the say yes to every opportunity. I grew up thinking if I said yes to any opportunity, good or bad, I’d either come out with something better or a learning experience. This was a great motto to go by being young, in school and internships. However, there’s almost a fine line to this theory once you start your career. There are some jobs and clients that you almost have to learn to say no (or unlearn to say yes). I had plenty of moments where I would take on a project in the beginning only to realized I spent way more time than expected and therefore was extremely underpaid, but in my mind, it was all for the “opportunity,” right? Wrong!
You have to learn – what is your time worth? What is the knowledge you spent years gathering worth? What is your reputation worth? The hardest part, as a minority woman in particular, is to say no to an opportunity because you never know who or if anyone will give you the next one. Once unlearned though, it is rewarding as well as an ode to your confidence and respect to yourself on what you really deserve.
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