Cora Kearney
Dec 21, 2018 · 4 min read

How I Event-Managed My Own Life

As we approach January 2019, we could all do with a little bit of inspiration and motivation for the new year.

2018 was my year. It was the year I realized that this is it. I have it all. I love my life, love my job and all is right with the world. It wasn’t always like this. It took a lot of hard work to get here.

We hear over and over again from people who have had to rebuild their lives that if they could do it, anyone can. I didn’t believe that until I had to do it myself. We don’t believe it until we’ve done it.

I had to rebuild my life from scratch after an illness and brain damage robbed me of who I was. My life had to be rebuilt from scratch, it was a process that involved a lot of organization. I had to plan out my life and plan how to make it work for me, on reading the principles of good event management I realised that those were the steps I used to rebuild my life.

I event-managed my way to recovery

Develop a Vision

To start, I needed a vision, I came to the realization that it didn’t really matter what I was or what I did as much as who I was and who I wanted to be, It was more important to know who I was and what mattered to me, or essentially what I stand for.

Put your team together

I built my team, headed by a very strong mother who told me she wasn’t going to look after me for the rest of my life. She was my right hand, my voice of reason when I couldn’t see the bigger picture. I also had a couple of friends that I could rely on to be there when I needed them.

Create your budget

What I budgeted was my time. It was my most valuable resource because I had so little pain free time to do what I needed to do to help my recovery. Everything I did left me exhausted. There was a fine line between doing what I had to do to make myself well and overdoing it and needing recovery time.

Choose your venue and date

My venue was everywhere I needed to be to achieve what I needed to achieve. I played pitch and putt to help my left, weaker side to catch up with the right side. I knit, crocheted, painted and played table tennis to work on my fine motor skills. Catching that ball when I needed to was one of my greatest challenges. I can laugh over it now, but it was terribly frustrating at the time. I was able to progress to badminton and roller derby.

Identify and engage event partners and sponsors

My partners and sponsors were every team member, friend, and lecturer in WIT that fought with me and kept me going when things were hard. They helped me to rebuild my life. They are a truly amazing bunch and had a very difficult job sometimes because illness brings out frustration in the best of people.

Develop your event branding

My event is my life, the one I am living now. My personal branding means the choices I make every day to do everything I can possibly do to make my life the best life I can possibly have. How do I do it? I look outside of myself. My life is not about me but about what I contribute to the world around me. That’s who I am.

Develop and deploy your event marketing campaign

Because who I am is what’s important, I don’t have to sell myself. My actions speak for me. I will help wherever I can and whenever my resources allow me to.

Determine your tech needs

In the early days, when I didn’t have speech, I relied on text messages. I am still very reliant on my phone for reminders and to-do lists.

Identify and hire other vendors

I have a particular skill set that sometimes falls a little bit short, but one of my most useful skills is to recognize my shortcomings and find other people that can fill the gaps.

Final preparations

There are no final preparations for this event, just a never-ending to-do list with one item on the agenda — to live the best possible life that I can and love every second of it. I share my story because sometimes there are people that need to know that they are not alone and no matter how bad things get, You can do it, you create your life by your daily decisions.