How many of you can say J. Lo shaped your future? Yes, that’s right. Jennifer Lopez is the reason why I’m an Event Planner today.
Well, it was her character in the movie The Wedding Planner (2001) that sparked my interest. I was also fascinated by her secret service headset and nude Gucci shoes.
J. Lo portrayed the perfect planner. She was professional, stylish, knowledgeable, and respected. She had the coolest emergency kit ever! Do you remember? It was securely velcroed to her waist and wasn’t visible under her blazer. That was remarkable to me! I was in awe!
I remember watching this movie for the first time thinking, “This is it. This is what I want to do”. It’s an awesome feeling when you know exactly what you want in life. It’s funny that it took me 14 years to have the courage to do something about it.
Growing up in a small town in Southwest Virginia you were taught to get a secure job, stay in that job forever, and then you dream about what you would do if you could. I was perfectly happy following that path. After college, I got that secure job and every day I dreamed about being a planner in another life.
Until a couple of years ago, I continued down this path. I was having a conversation with my boyfriend, and he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I’m certain he was asking me because he was tired of me sharing my successes and failures playing the Kardashian game on my iPad (I didn’t have enough “K” stars to make my relationship work, and I was devastated).
I eventually responded with an answer that was rehearsed from the many times I had been asked before. It included my plan to explore other areas of Human Resources and go back to school. He continued by asking, “If you could be doing anything in the world, what would that be?” I immediately said, “Event planning, of course!”
I went on to explain all the events I had planned in the past, and I told him how much joy I felt while helping people celebrate! And then, he asked me a question that changed my life forever.
“So, why aren’t you planning events?” This was the first time anyone had ever asked me that question. I couldn’t answer it. I suddenly felt foolish. My mind started working overtime! How did I manage to make event planning an unattainable goal? Why did I convince myself to ignore what I truly wanted in life for all these years? What would Mary Fiore (J. Lo’s character) do in this situation?
The next day I started my research for an online certification, and I found the QC Career School. I received my materials in the mail and did nothing. That’s right, everything sat in the box for 4 months. I would open the box, stare at the materials, then close the box. I was terrified to get started, as I was afraid of failure.
After some much-needed encouragement from my family, I finally got started. Once I completed the course (with straight “A”s), I began a business plan course with the Community Business Partnership in Springfield, VA (Thank you, Karlene). Directly after the class, I obtained my business license and a small business loan.
Finally, years later, I’m doing what I love!
I share all of this to encourage you to think about what you really want in life. If you’re not passionate about what you do every day, you’re missing out! Follow your dreams!
Owner of J. Renee Services LLC
Wedding and Event Planning