November officially marks the start of my fourth year in business, and I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the past few years. These past three years have been such a whirlwind; they have been unbelievably fun, extremely stressful at times, and more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. It's amazing to see how far I have come in such a short time. I have grown insurmountably as a business, a business owner, a designer and a person. With that being said, I wanted to share a 5 important things I have learned throughout this journey.
1. Rejection Is NOT A Bad Thing. When I first walked into the wedding industry, being rejected by potential clients and other vendors was the worst feeling! It always felt personal, but over time, that rejection has helped me grow and given me insight that nothing else has been able to do. I have come to realize that I am NOT the perfect fit for every couple getting married, and that is okay. Just like the idea that not everyone wants to shop at the same store and not everyone likes Apple products (although I love them!), not everyone wants to work with me. Once I learned to accept this, I was able to narrow down my ideal client, and have since been able to grow and build my business exponentially.
2. If Something Scares You, It Means You NEED To Do It. - I cant tell you how many times I have been scared to go to a networking event by myself, or been hesitant to reach out to an extremely successful vendor, or been scared to propose an idea to a client because I was hesitant about my abilities. Let me just tell you, that every time I have gone and done one of these things, the pay off was unbelievable. I either succeeded and the final product was better than I every could have imagined, or I failed, and I learned a life lesson that I have not made since. In both scenarios I grew more than I expected, and was glad I took the risk.
3. It's Okay To Say No - When you start a business, you feel like you need to say YES to everything. Let me tell you, YOU DON'T and if you do, you are going to burn your self out. Your time is valuable, and not every opportunity that comes your way is worth the crazy amount of time and money you invest in it. As a planner and designer, I get SO many people reaching out wanting to collaborate on styled shoots, and I finally came to the realization that if I took all of those on, my clients and business model were going to suffer. With that being said, I learned I could say "no" to things I really didn't have time for, but could still find a way to build relationships with all those people who reached out; you would be amazed the number of vendor relationships I have made this way!
4. Being Friends with Clients Is OKAY - Coming from the corporate world, and seeing many "unprofessional" wedding professionals, I was very cautious of trying to maintain an extremely professional appearance. I never wore jeans to meeting and was nervous about having a non-wedding conversation with my couples. I was still good at what I was doing, but I later realized that I wasn't building the quality or relationships I wanted to building with my couples. I really needed to cross that "coordinator-client" barrier in order to provide the best level of service. Once I started doing this, I not only noticed my couples were more excited, but I was happier doing what I already loved; I was working with my good friends every day!
5. A Balanced Life Is Key. When you open a business, it is SO easy to let it take over your life. Your to-do list is never finished, you feel like in order to succeed you need to be working ALL the time, and you tend to run out of time for YOUR life. Even though you are living out your dream, you still need to make time for yourself and your friends and family. When was the last time you read a good book or went on hike with a friend in the middle of the day? Those types of activities are just as important as creating a business and when I learned to make the time for them, I found that my soul was happier, and, believe it or not, I realized that I was actually more productive during my "work" time.
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