I realize I have not taken the time to get very personal on this blog. It is just so much easier to focus on educating about wedding planning rather than opening up and talking about the raw, scary realities of life with you. I'm one to always put on a smiling face no matter what the situation and use my commonly rehearsed mantra to answer the same question everyone asks me..."How is your business going?"
It's going. Like that one saying, good things take time. It's crazy because my business did not actually start when I got my business license and launched. Preparation for it began literally two years ago, when I started networking on a weekly (if not daily) basis. This all began with hours and hours of researching businesses online in an industry that I had absolutely no experience in before. I mean, who knows anything about the wedding industry besides the people in it and the newlyweds who are done going through the 12-month planning process themselves? Rarely anyone. It was so scary to e-mail people I had no affiliation with and ask simply for the opportunity to try out working in the industry. So many times, I didn't hear back and it was SO easy to feel quickly discouraged. Or people would say they would be happy to talk to me and give out advice...for $70 an hour....um, no thanks. And after a while of continuously running into a wall, a barrier keeping me from entering the industry, there finally was a reply that popped into my inbox from a local wedding planner who said she would be completely open to meeting over coffee. Guys, she answered any and all of my questions I had about getting my foot in the door. She gave me suggestions for who to contact in the industry and how to ease my way in. That moment was such a game changer. I'll never forget it. That moment taught me that by simply giving people your warmth and your time, you can immediately set yourself apart from everyone else.
I've used that lesson as a tool to grow my business from the ground up. Be open. Be kind. Be available. Still to this day, I seek out other business professionals whom I am unfamiliar with and ask to meet. With the wedding industry constantly changing and evolving, it is so important to continuously build and reinforce relationships with vendors in order to provide the best service possible to my clients. I will never know everyone in the industry, but that does not mean I can't at least try! I aim to know everyone personally give out referrals with actual, genuine, amazing things to say about not just services, but of individuals themselves.
And it has been amazing realizing how much more goes into making a business successful other than networking! Starting Pacific Engagements and getting it off the ground has taught me getting comfortable is not an option. I constantly step out of my comfort zone to do proactive tasks for business growth that give me all sorts of anxiety because they are new and unfamiliar. On top of scheduling out meeting after meeting I've had to quickly learn the basics of website design, marketing, SEO strategies, using social media as a business tool...the tasks are endless. And every time I think I'm getting the hang of it all and finally feeling comfortable? That's when I know it's time to think of the next big step to take in order to keep the business going strong.
The biggest obstacle I have faced throughout this journey, was learning how to increase my self-confidence in my decisions. Going from alifetime of answering to others commands and requests to being the one calling the shots has been such a mental transition. I have always been the one to ask, "Is this how you want this to look?" or, "What do you want me to be doing right now?" and now, I find myself on the other side. These last couple months of coordinating a team from the beginning to the end of a project have definitely trained me in getting over that initial anxiety of being in charge to being 100% confident in my vision and final decisions. That change in mentality has been completely revolutionary. And since, I have felt not only my self-confidence increase, but my trust in others grow exponentially, as well. But even though I've come this far and have experienced a ton of self-growth these last few years, it is still just the beginning.
Photography by Bailey Michelle Photography