We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Riviezzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I love a calculated risk. I think it’s what separates the brave from the comfortable. I don’t know anyone who says, “man one day I woke up and all of this success fell in my lap” and if you think about that, about taking steps, even leaps, each risk either pushes your forward or teaches a valuable lesson. I am a huge risk taker, and sometimes it doesn’t work out, but I’ve never lose, I either win or I learn.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
There are two parts to what I currently do, and the first inspired the other. I am the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Flying Horse Ranch, which is an award-winning wedding and event Venue in Larkspur, CO. This is of course not where my career started, that would have been the easy button for sure, but it is at least where it starts to get interesting. I was working with investors to purchase what is now, Flying Horse Ranch, it was only several million dollars out of my personal price point, so I had to find a group of individuals, that believed it could be as amazing as I did. I was making progress when I received a phone call saying the property sold, and yikes, what a massive disappointment, I mean I cried. Let me sidetrack here, I didn’t cry until I hung up the phone. There should not be crying in business, it’s business, but sometimes it’s more than that. I believed with every ounce of my being that I would be the Venue Director at this facility and it rocked me when I thought I had lost it. Fast forward six weeks, I am working in Denver as a wedding planner, the commute sucks, I barely get to see my kid, and one day I get an email that says “Do you want to meet with the owner of Flying Horse? He knows you want to turn the mansion into a venue, want to schedule a lunch?” well at least something like that, and OMG, did I! I scheduled the lunch, and he offered me the dream, and I had never been so passionate or cared so much for something I did for a living… fast forward 5 years… The idea for VenQ stemmed from my position with the venue. I wanted the venue to have a mobile app, where clients could plan all the details of their wedding. As I started to research the possibility, I found that tech is SO EXPENSIVE, and never ever would it be worth one venue investing all that money, because I love a good amenity the venue can offer, but it has to be worth it… I dropped the idea for almost a year and shifted the thinking… What if people invested in this app so we can offer it to multiple venues, and then it just started snowballing. We asked a group of friends and family if they wanted to dive into this adventure with us, and they did, wholeheartedly, with so much support. VenQ is tech, but really what is does is offers Venue a way to enhance its business model by offering an All-Inclusive package. It adds opportunity without risk, and additional revenue without a big upfront investment, and after the event industry got rocked so hard in 2020, we are so passionate about helping local business owners take their already epic dream to the next level!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado is such a gift, and we are so blessed to be here. We have made so many great memories. Grand Lake knocks my socks off, it’s like something out of a movie. We love stopping at Dairy Block to stroll through the shops and restaurants, before heading to Black Hawk for a night out. Oh and we can’t forget about Mount Princeton, everything about that place is nothing short of magical, and my ultimate favorite girls’ night out is Crush Wine Bar in Castle Rock, they do everything right!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
How can I shout out to all the people who make a difference in my world without sounding like I just won an academy award? I don’t know if I can, but here we go, ha! Jeff Smith – The first risk I ever took was quitting my job and looking for investors to find to buy what is now “Flying Horse Ranch”, Jeff beat me to the purchase, and when I thought I had lost it all, he offered me the dream. I thought my first big endeavor had crashed and burned, but there was a second chance, and 5 and a half years later I have learned and grown in ways I never thought possible. My Parents – For letting me fall on my ass and telling me to figure out how to get back up. I don’t feel like the world owes me anything, I believe that you work hard, dream big, and make moves, and that is a combination of my mom being a dreamer, and having an unmatched work ethic and my dad teaching me how to make the best decisions without considering the fluff, its this really epic combination. The VenQ Team – I have the best people cheering this dream on every day. Husband, Levar Berry our developer, Lina Hoekman Events our Exclusive Planning Company, and those who believed in me enough to invest. This has been the hardest business move I’ve made, and this group of people just keep pushing me to be better, to think in different ways, and ultimately grow every day. Which is super exhausting and I love them all for it. The Family – Husband and the kids, you guys make working towards a brighter future worth it every single day.
Epic Imagery, Elan Photographie.