🎶 I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful 🎶
Drake and Trey Songz said it best!
Although I’m not necessarily interested in all the material things they mention in their song, I do want to have a successful business!
The word success has had different definitions throughout my time as a business owner. I’ve felt some success with each and every triumph I’ve experienced. For example, July marked my second year in business! Success! I’ve met my goals for 2018! Success! Honestly, just completing the paperwork to start my business was a huge success for me as well!
Now that I'm accomplishing my goals, I’m ready to put more focus on my overall vision of success. As I was thinking about the things I want for myself and my business, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing everything possible to make my dreams come true.
Interestingly enough, I happen to see this photo while I was online the other day. If this is the path to success, I’m WELL on my way! During my two years in business, I’ve had experience with each one of these topics!
Of course this is only a glimpse into my journey. I hope this post helps everyone that reads it. It’s important to know that the road to success isn't easy, but it's worth it!
Risks: Being an entrepreneur requires you to take risks. I’ve only started to embrace risk-taking and so far, it has paid off! Recently, I made the decision to revisit my pricing structure. This may not seem risky, but as a business owner, you never know how change will be received. As I continue to work on the perfect pricing structure (that better compensates me for my value and time), I know there may be chance that potential clients decide it's "too much". However, it will be an important change that will benefit my business as a whole and get me closer to success. I can't wait to see the outcome!
Failure: Entrepreneurs know that there are usually more failures than successes in business. One of my favorite failures early on included the worst wedding rehearsal EVER! Everything that could go wrong, did (I'll spare you the details)! As a business owner you have two options when things go wrong. You can fail or you can learn. I choose to learn from all of my mistakes. After all of my events (even before I started my business), I make a list of all the things that didn't go well. Then, I write detailed notes describing ways I can avoid those issues in the future. This practice has been so helpful throughout my time as a Planner and the list gets shorter and shorter after every event!
Doubts: Self-doubt can be your worst enemy as a business owner. My self-doubt is often triggered by the lack of self confidence in a specific area. When I began doing research for my business plan, I learned many of the prominent event planners in the area provide planning and design services. If you know me, you know I'm not a designer! I immediately began doubting my ability to have a successful business because my creative side is lacking. After a conversation with my mentor, I realized it's okay! It's important for me to do what I do best (plan, execute, and solve problems) and leave the designing to the designers! Doubts still pop up from time to time, but I remind myself to be confident in my skills and keep my mentor on speed dial when I need additional encouragement!
Criticism: I received a little criticism during the startup phase of my business. That was a very vulnerable time for me as I was already nervous about the whole process. Some of the criticism was disguised as concern from family and friends. And there were other times people that found it necessary to directly let me know I was making a mistake. Criticism will happen when you’re following your dreams. Always keep a supportive group of people in your corner and remember, it’s YOUR dream! Do what makes you happy!
Discipline: This is a must! As you’ve read in my previous posts (Time and Time, Part Deux), being disciplined can be challenging for me. I do my best each day to set goals, avoid temptations, and reward myself when I accomplish things! I've also found it important to forgive myself when I get off track! I'm constantly working to build up my discipline level. Hopefully soon my new habits will be second nature!
Sacrifices: I've sacrificed a lot for my business. The biggest sacrifice has been my time. I have very little "me" time and even less time for family and friends. My weekdays are usually 12-14 hour workdays and my weekends are filled with events and/or event meetings. I have to be so careful about overworking myself, but it's hard. I want to be sure I'm putting just as much time into my business as I do my job. I feel that it's important if I want to be successful.
Rejections: When I started my business, I was under the impression that every person I met with and every contract I wrote would end in a sale. That was a lie. Over the past two (2) years, I put together at least four (4) contracts that never went anywhere! At first, I felt completely rejected because I had these unrealistic expectations that everyone would want to hire me! Now, I know not to take those rejections personally. I also learned from each experience and made changes to the way I work with potential clients. Rejection in business is something you can't avoid, but you can use it to grow and improve for the next time around.
Late Nights: This topic is directly related to the section on "sacrifices". Late nights are a must for me as a business owner with a full-time job. I have plans to eventually transition from my job so that I can fully focus on my business. In the meantime, I have to put in the long hours so that I can reach that goal!
Persistence: Being a business owner is not easy. In the two years I've been in business, I've encountered many "bumps in the road". There have been a few challenging clients and/or vendors. Also, my trial and error approach to marketing has been interesting. Oh and did I mention how fun financial management is? Despite the hiccups here and there, I couldn't be happier. My business is so important to me and I'm determined to push through no matter what happens!
Hard Work: Hard work is essential if I want to grow my business and achieve success. Every single day I do something related to planning events. I don’t have the luxury of taking days off! Whether I'm working on upcoming events or researching/reading about new trends, my business is a priority and I put in all my effort and energy into it!