Oh my gosh, if my university professors even new I was writing this blog they’d think it was the best thing in the world. There is no word I hated studying more in my bachelor of Tourism than “authenticity”. Of course that was because I was prodominently studying what it meant to keep a tourism related aspect authentic to it’s visitors… to which I was usually sitting there thinking, “I just want to create pretty things. Just surround my entire life with coffee dates, flowers, and pretty weddings.” Let’s just say my essays on cultural authenticity didn’t get the highest of marks. Moving on.
To me, being authentic in regards to being a business owner means to live, act, and share in your truest and most genuine form. Whether people agree with what you’re saying or not, as long as it’s the most honest form of who you are and what you believe in then I think that’s what it means to be authentic. I believe it’s important that your clients and fellow vendors trust you and the only way to do that is to be real.
I see businesses taking shortcuts. Posting work that isn’t theirs. Liking work to have their name seen. Commenting on photos to have their name seen. Connecting with popular people or businesses to grow their exposure. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being creative in your marketing and networking– we’re all guilty of it. But there’s something to be said about a private message or commenting from your personal account instead of your business account. I love it. I have never wanted to network more or share people’s work more than when they’ve taken the time to be genuine with me.
I want to know about the people I work with. I want to know why they do what they do, what inspires them, what ways I can make doing their job easier, what kind of family life they have. I want to know my clients on a personal level. I want to know where they met, how they know their bridal party, why they want a certain type of wedding, why they chose me as their wedding planner. I want authentic relationships.
I think if we all put in our strongest effort to be authentic in everything we do that we would see drastic changes in our work and our relationships.
P.S.- If any of my past professors are reading this… A+ right?
I’ve spoken in past blogs about how I became a wedding planner kind of on a whim. I didn’t make a business plan. I didn’t shadow or mentor anyone. I’d never planned my own wedding. I’d never even worked on another wedding before. And while I feel that gave me a fresh perspective to do everything in my own way with my own systems, I feel like I missed a crucial step in my business process.
My goal really up until this point was to prove to myself that I could make this work. That my business could succeed if I pushed hard enough, delivered superior customer service, and produced good work. I don’t think that’s an uncommon goal. But I’ve spent so much time striving for higher numbers. Higher bookings. Higher instagram followers. Higher Facebook likes. Higher rates. Higher numbers of features. I relied on those numbers to depict how successful Created Lovely was.
However, I find that as those numbers grow I’m finding myself less and less satisfied. I’ve completely missed the point. I’ve missed the one crucial question of running a successful business. I’ve lost my “why”. I’ve become so focused on how to grow my numbers and make a living that I’ve forgotten the sole purpose of why I do what I do. I don’t even know if I’ve lost it and much as I’ve never sat down to really think long and hard about it in the first place.
I love “love”. I love weddings. I love playing a part in one of the most important days of peoples lives. I love being creative. I love decor and pretty things. But there’s more to it. And you’ll see that all soon.
So now is a really exciting time for me and Created Lovely. I’ve hired my first business coach. Now is truly the time to grow. I’m so excited to be focussing on getting to the core of who I am, what Created Lovely is and what it’s about to become. Never again will it be about numbers, income, or competition. My mind is spinning just thinking about all the things to come.
Starting next week I’ll be taking a huge leap into tearing Created Lovely apart and building it back together to be so much more than I ever thought possible. Thank-you for following along and supporting me up until this point and I hope you like what you see in the future.
The best is yet to come.
A couple weeks ago I saw a really important post on instagram that I can’t for the life of me remember who it was from… but I swear it was important. It was about supporting friend’s businesses and how much it means when you ‘like’ or share something. So here we go…
Marketing is tough. It’s my favourite part of business but man alive is it ever hard to be good at not only what your business is focused on, but also manage every other aspect of it all. I whole heartedly believe that if you want people to know you then you have to:
1) Do great work
2) Deliver the best of the best service
3) Get creative
I think it’s your responsibility to market yourself. It’s your job to ensure you’re pushing and doing as much as you possibly can to get your name out there and grow your business to whatever capacity you’re aiming for in the most professional and kind way possible. (No gimmicks or phoniness please & thanks.)
But this blog is for the rest of you. I’d like to ask something of all of you Facebookers/Instagrammers/Tweeters/Followers without businesses. Give us all a break. If you respect what you see a friend doing by trying to grow their business, please help them out. Please give them a like. Give them a share. Spread some word of mouth. Anything. You have no idea how long of a ways that goes and just how much it’s appreciated. One ‘like” can lead to many more likes on our pages that day. One share can mean one new potential client comes our way.
This isn’t about asking for handouts. This is about acknowledging the work you see people put into their businesses and giving a small part back by saying, “hey, I like and support what you do. And I want to see you continuing to do that *like!*”
Most days I write in depth blogs I get private messages or phone calls from people. And there just aren’t the words to express how much encouragement that brings me. So please spread that to others you see working hard at their businesses. It’s hard work being an entrepreneur and a little ‘like’ goes a long way.
I have a really strong sense of intuition. Not in a way that I should have my own Charmed tv show or grown up as Matilda or anything, but I get really strong gut instincts. I’m pretty sure I get it from my mom. I actually base a lot of my life and business decisions off intuition… even sometimes down to where I submit weddings for features. And I don’t think very hard about business decisions… which actually made me laugh out loud as I typed this. I’m not telling you not to think, but perhaps stop thinking so much and start doing more. When you feel that gut instinct that you want more in your business or more in your life just do it. What bigger of a nudge are you looking for? It’s the gut instincts that tell you not to do something that you need to really listen to.
Some call it intuition, some call it fate, some call it coincidence, and others call it God. I believe God knows our life path long before we ever do and that he pulls on our heart strings when we need it most. But! To each their own of what they want to call it.
Yesterday, I was in yoga and could not focus for the life of me. I swear I must have been a second behind everyone else because I just wasn’t processing what I was supposed to be doing. I looked over at Royce so annoyingly content in his practice and didn’t understand why this class was challenging me so hard. All I could think about was business. Was I doing everything I needed to be doing? Was I pushing hard enough? What should I be doing differently? Am I going in the right direction? I laid down at the end of practice in savasana and felt defeated and angry for not clearing my head during the 1 hour I had dedicated to me. I always pray in the last 5 minutes of class, usually thanking God for many aspects of my life then praying for guidance in the areas I feel I really need it. So I began to pray and then the instructor said, “The best is yet to come.” I literally almost cried. Out of all the classes I’ve been to I’ve never heard an instructor say that. It was the very line from my new Created Lovely Bride website that I’ve been stressing about for the last month. The line I’m using for all of my new bride branding. Call it whatever you want, but it was everything I needed to hear in that moment. The little nudge I needed to keep doing what I’m doing.
“Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs