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    10 Things Planning My Wedding Taught Me About Running My Biz

    Chris and Libby

    I was one of those brides that thought “I can do that” “and that” “oh, and I would love to try my hand at that!”.

    Like many an entrepreneur, the “I can do it” mentality can present itself as both a blessing and a curse.

    Multi-talented, creative, and determined can also equal stubborn, overwhelmed, and reluctant to ask for help.

    That being said, planning my wedding was the most eye opening experience I have ever had and a direct spotlight on who I was and who I had yet to become.

    Gorg Necklace

    Below are 10 lessons I learned from the process that was equal parts laughter and tears, cheering and cursing (sometimes at the same time), and the most overwhelming stressful yet exhilarating experience I have ever had.

    Without further ado…

    1. The importance of outsourcing.

    Seriously. Don’t know how much more importance I can impart on this. As a small business owner you very well may be a ‘jack of all trades’ however you do not have to be a master of them all as well. Really, you don’t. Take this advice to heart: outsource the things in your business that you can mentally and financially afford to do so. Not super keen on numbers, hire an accountant or bookeeper. Don’t want to spend all day answering emails, hire a virtual assistant. If it will afford some piece of mind or time in your day to focus on what you would rather be allocating your time to, do it.

    2. Get organized now or pay for it dearly later.

    Your ideas will all go to shit if you do not have concrete plans to enforce them. When things start falling apart around you is not when you want to start searching for all of your paperwork, receipts, answers. Think ahead, plan ahead, and come up with systems (I promise they sound boring, but they are quite valuable) to ensure that you are prepared.

    3. Expectations, expectations, expectations.

    This lesson can easily be demonstrated by a quick peruse through pinterest. Extravagant wedding florals that cost four times my entire wedding budget, a closet full of designer clothes, and baked goods that look like they were airbrushed that way. Do not expect the impossible. Make sure that your vision and goals are realistic and then work your ass off to achieve them.

    Cake Nose

    4. When things don’t go right…

    You do not get a free pass to fall apart. You do not get to act like a child. Pick yourself up, fix the situation the best you can, and continue to move forward.

    5. Don’t get stuck on the big picture, focus on doing what you can do and do it well.

    Always focusing on the big picture can tend to lead to overwhelm, fast. Forget, for a moment, the mountain of tasks necessary to complete your big picture and focus instead on what you can achieve right now. Break things down into bite sized pieces and as you accomplish things on your list the big picture won’t feel so far away and daunting.

    6. Silence the noise. Stay true to your values, goals, and vision.

    When you are starting a business, just as when you are planning your wedding, you will have a plethora of unsolicited advice. This advice will most likely be coming from people with a genuine desire to help however, they may not understand your vision or your goals. Be patient with people and take the advice for what it is, well intentioned. Anyone willing to spew hate however, all bets are off…

    7. Don’t forget to value those around you that love and support you.

    These are the people that will lend you their shoulder when things go wrong, shit gets tough, or you just really need to hash things out out loud and your dog is not really offering up any good feedback. Treat them well and thank them for being there. If you take them for granted, they won’t be there for long.

    Booty Shakers

    8. Take time out.

    Allow yourself to decompress on a regular basis. Remember that whether it’s planning a wedding or running a business, you must be healthy both physically and mentally in order to carry out your grand plans. Eat real meals (none of that pop-it-in-the-microwave crap), get real sleep, take real showers (it’s ok, I’ve been there too). Get out from behind your computer/your camera/ your desk/your sewing machine. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time you need to stay healthy and balanced.

    9. Always be professional.

    No matter that they sent you the wrong color flowers the day before your wedding (true story!) or what kind of nasty comment they wrote on your latest blog post, ALWAYS remain professional. (Remember tip #4!) You never know when your paths will cross again and what’s more- you don’t want the bad press. And from my own personal years of experience in the retail industry, for goodness sakes, treat people with respect! You don’t want that kind of bad karma that is reserved for people that are nasty to those in the service industry.

    10. Be adaptable and ready for change.

    Long story short, change is a train you just can’t stop. Either get on or let it pass you by but just know, stagnation never ended well for anyone.

    My Mom, My Hero

    Bonus Lesson (cuz 10 just wasn’t enough-ha!):

    11. Always keep moving forward, even when you feel like all you want to do is cry.

    ‘Nuff said!

    Alright, now it’s your turn!

    What have I missed?

    Did you have an epiphany moment while planning your wedding?

    Where has influence from other life events crossed over into the way you run your business? Post in the comments below.

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    Break the Cycle: Down with Permission Seeking

    Desk Inspiration

    If you are anything like me, you have first hand experience in waiting around for that pesky thing called permission.

    Permission to study what I wanted at school, permission to travel abroad, permission to wear what I wanted, permission to change jobs after I realized my “dream job” wasn’t panning out the way I thought, oh and permission again when the next “dream job” didn’t pan out either.

    Hmm, a creative soul unhappy behind a desk…imagine that.

    When I look back at the decisions I have made in my life (or really scary: the ones I didn’t make) and how I made them, I have come to the upsetting realization that I, like many big hearted, creative, and often times ‘people-pleasers’, have expected someone to give me permission to do everything in my life.

    Everything.

    I was worried about what everyone else would think about my decisions so I left them up to others and remained paralyzed until they relayed their thoughts, which of course didn’t exactly match what I was waiting to hear. Cue the vicious cycle of unhappiness leading to soul searching leading back to permission seeking.

    Exhausting.

    Eventually you learn to distance yourself from making decisions and ultimately start to question yourself. Left unchecked this cycle can ruin your life. You begin to resent those around you that did not give you the permission you sought, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Or worse yet, you begin to resent those around you for the decisions they have made in their lives because you didn’t have the strength to do the same.

    Why am I telling you this? Well, because plain and simple,

    ….I acted stupidly….

    and I want to save you from the same pain and heartache. When you get stuck in a rut, sometimes it can be a bitch to get out of. The sooner you realize that this permission seeking is holding you back and stealing from your life (yes, stealing!) the sooner you can allow yourself to take a more active approach.

    In order to do so you need to come to terms with the hard stuff. You need to ask just how long are you willing to give up the reins for your life to those around you. And more so, how long can you tread water before you give out.

    Banishing your permission seeking will not be easy. It will be hard, it will be uncomfortable, it will be awkward. Why then?

    Because it will also be worth it.

    Pink Hair Don't Care

    So ask yourself, what decision are you ready to grant yourself permission for…

    So you want to wear a red wedding dress with gold sparkles and a fabulous feather flower rather than a veil?

    Do it.

    So you want your mother to walk you down the aisle to Edith Piaf’s ‘La vie en Rose’ played by saxophone rather than the wedding march?

    Do it.

    You want your bestest friends to stand up with you regardless of maid of honor/man of honor or best man/best woman status?

    You want a small ceremony at the courthouse even though your family doesn’t quite understand?

    You want to keep your maiden name after marriage?

    If it’s right for you, DO IT.

    Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it’s too late to recognize what you really want, what you really care about. Give yourself the permission to do it, to go after it, to create it, all of the above. Wouldn’t you like to see how different your life might be if you merely gave yourself the permission to experience it the way you long to?

    So Do It.

    Time to get honest with yourself. What is it that you are seeking permission on at this very moment?

    And are you ready to change it?

    Tell me how in the comments below!

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