“It was like shock therapy! I was horrible,” says Tiffani Von Alvensleben about her first experience speaking to a crowd. Here, Tiffani Von Alvensleben recalls how her husband and business partner literally walked out on her, making her a better leader and businesswomen.
InformatioNation: Good morning, Tiffani Von Alvensleben, welcome to InformatioNation. We have a lot of young professionals reading this blog every week who could use some encouragement…thank you for joining us today.
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: My pleasure. I’m always happy to share how I got started.
InformatioNation: Before we get started, what is your perspective on managers who seem to always do their team’s work for them?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Well, I’d definitely say that it could be a “helping” hand standing in the way of true success.
InformatioNation: So you are suggesting that sometimes you just have to let your protégés do things on their own?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Yes, absolutely. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way.
InformatioNation: How so?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: It all started many, many years ago when the business my husband and I had founded together was really gaining momentum.
InformatioNation: You were a team?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Yes–and we still are today. Anyway, we were getting ready for him to present what we called an “Opportunity Meeting.”
InformatioNation: Which was, I assume, a motivational or training session?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Correct, and there were hundreds of people there. I was just about to take my place in the crowd when Rich did something I totally did not expect.
InformatioNation: What was that?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: He looked right at me and said, “You’re up.” I thought he was kidding.
InformatioNation: Was he?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: No! I thought he was until he walked out. He got in our car and left. I had no choice. I had to do the meeting. I was terrified.
InformatioNation: Surely you had seen these meetings before. Why were you so scared?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Well, I had not led an Opportunity Meeting before. I never had to. Rich always did the meetings but now he wasn’t an option.
InformatioNation: How did you do?
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: It was embarrassing. I was horrible! But, with time I improved. And even though at the time I was angry that he had left, I realized soon thereafter that it was the best thing he’d ever done for me. It allowed me to do it myself. It helped me grow and exposed me to a much bigger picture. It had always been easy to introduce him and take my place in the crowd. Now, I was the one inspiring the crowd.
InformatioNation: In other words, you weren’t just watching – you were doing…
Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Yes, exactly. And I learned something that day. I learned that sometimes it is our good intentions that hold people back. I probably never would have stepped out of my comfort zone if Rich hadn’t given me that little push. That’s why I encourage young business professionals to step out of their own comfort zone – don’t sit around and wait for their work to get done. It was the best thing my husband ever did for me; I just wish I had taken the leap on my own years earlier.
About Tiffani Von Alvensleben
Tiffani Von Alvensleben, the CEO of Von Vesting, has three decades of experience in business, real estate, and interior design to her credit. She uses these skills to help Von Vesting acquire, remodel, and resell residential properties in the Sacramento area. Tiffani Von Alvensleben is also the cofounder of Madison Holdings, Inc. and as Manager of TKL Home Designs, Inc. is a General Partner of The American Redevelopment Fund, LP. Combined, these ventures have made Tiffani Von Alvensleben a real estate powerhouse and an inspiration to young women trying to break into the business world.