The Transformative Power of Language for Your Business with Reneé Dalo

Reneé Dalo is a podcast host, wedding planner, and an educator for creatives. She’s also the owner and Founder of Moxie Bright Events, a Los Angeles-based wedding planning and design company. 

Reneé entered entrepreneurship as a second career. In her twenties, Reneé was a musical theater actress. She worked hospitality gigs on the side at really amazing high-end places and had built a resumé that wowed in the hospitality industry, as a result. 

Reneé was on the staff that opened a restaurant at The Grove in Los Angeles that had banquet space on the top floor. She started as a hostess and ended as the venue manager. She did every job you could do there – she even made salads one day when the cook in charge of them didn’t show. 

At that point in her life, her friends (mostly starving actors and other creative types) were all getting married and they would ask her to help with their wedding planning. Reneé was happy to help and did most of the work on trade. She once traded her wedding planning services for a Crate & Barrel couch. 

Wedding Planner Pivot

Finally, it was Reneé’s turn to walk down the aisle. As she helped plan her own wedding, her wedding planner told her that she should be doing this for a career; that Reneé could make real money doing it. That was the permission she needed; she needed someone to open the door and tell her that it was possible.
Reneé finally realized her acting career was over when she acknowledged that she didn’t want someone else to have so much agency over her life. She wanted to be more in control of her own life’s circumstances and her fate. So, after she got married, she started her own business. 

And she never looked back. Reneé doesn’t mind having stepped out of the spotlight. She doesn’t need to have all of the attention, because she thrives knowing that as the wedding planner, she’s the center of the knowledge. If anyone wants to know anything, they should ask the wedding planner! 

Now, she’s taken what she’s learned as a wedding planner and wants to pass knowledge along to others in the industry. Offering master classes, educational podcasts, courses, and more tools, Reneé is on a mission to help up-and-comers and seasoned professionals alike. 

The Power of Language

One of the most transformational tools in Reneé’s teaching arsenal is helping entrepreneurs and creatives reprogram the way they think and communicate within their businesses. 

“We’re trained as women to expect less and to think ‘this is good enough’”. Reneé said that insisting upon her own worth was life-changing. When she read Playing Big, by Tara Mohr, she realized that the biggest first step she could take to insist upon her own worth was by changing her language. 

As a big stickler for language – writing, reading, talking – she started thinking about how she spoke to herself. Reneé quickly realized that a lot of the language she was using reflexively was keeping her small. 

Do a Language Audit

Reneé was big on apologizing for things. Even things that she had no business apologizing for or that were out of her control. 

She would say “I’m ‘just’” a lot (I’m just checking in, etc.), because it feels non-intrusive. Reneé also noticed herself all too frequently saying “I’m no expert, but…” 

Another language pet peeve of Reneé’s that she has quit is the phrase, “Does that make sense?”. When you ask if something makes sense after you have explained it, it means you’re either second guessing your ability to communicate effectively OR that your client isn’t smart enough to understand it. Neither of these is acceptable. This kind of communication undermines us.

She started auditing her own language and realized how much work she had to do. Then she looked at the language male vendors used and started listening to her husband when he communicated professionally and saw that men are much more direct with their language. 

Communicate Like a Man

Reneé realized she was perceived in a certain way because of the language she was using. Not necessarily as a pushover, but perhaps as being too amenable. As a wedding planner, she needs people to respond to her; she’s a professional middle man. 

She started saying exactly what she needed and when she would need it by. And when Reneé saw that no one thought she was being pushy or overbearing, she realized they just thought it was a clear way of communicating. “I got to stop apologizing for my whole life and career. Everything became much easier. Response times were much faster. People stopped second guessing me.”

Reneé learned that when she would say things as facts and remove the emotion, things got a lot easier. “Men have communicated this way for YEARS and they’re doing just fine.” 

When and How to Communicate

Language is also incredibly effective at creating and communicating boundaries with your clients. You have no business apologizing for not responding on Sunday night at 10PM. It’s okay that you don’t respond when the email comes in. You don’t need to apologize for that.

But it’s not just HOW you talk that shapes what people think about your business. It’s also what you talk ABOUT that can be incredibly powerful for your business. Reneé talks openly about politics a lot. She also encourages people to talk about diversity and inclusion in their businesses. This conveys to clients what you’re about and who you want to work with. 

Language is just the start – but it’s a very important stepping stone in transforming your business.

“What I really want is for women to make an unapologetic amount of money and to own it and not lose themselves in the process. That’s why I started the Talk With Reneé Podcast and why I get up on stages and yell about it. Maybe someone else just needs to hear it can be different for you.” 

Enjoyed this blog post? Read The Keys to Building a Calm, Scalable, and Profitable Business with Business Coach Jess Joswick next!

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