Tag: Nicole Sihlis

The Why

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.

 

xonicole

 

 

A little ‘like’ goes a long way

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.

xonicole

 

 

The Best is Yet to Come

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.

 

thebest

 

 

“Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

 

xonicole

New Service! Okanagan Wedding Styling

Styling has always been one of my favourite parts about my job. Most wedding planners are not stylists but it’s a part of the industry I’m passionate about.  Stylists are “all about the pretty”.  They’re in control of the vision, design, and putting it together to make it look perfect.  A planner is in control of the logistics and planning to ensure a flawless and organized day.  Many planners work on design concepts as well (like I do).  Design can also be handled by rental companies depending on their business.  I think I’m making this complicated…  Moving on.

It’s always been a dream of mine to be a stylist. One of my long term goals is to be hired to do the styling for major photography workshops across Canada and the US (California ideally).  It’s my hope that as my business grows and I gain more experience, not only on my own but from other workshops I’m planning to attend, that I’m able to one day teach my own styling, planning, and business workshops.  So those of you reading this can hold me to it!

Many people don’t know, but Royce (my photographer husband–check out his work! He’s seriously so talented: www.roycesihlis.ca) offers engagement styling by Created Lovely in his photography packages.  We send his lovely brides to get their hair and make-up professionally done and then I’m there during the entire shoot to style it all.  From helping pick out outfits to designing the overall feel of the shoot, I style the session to be a true reflection of their personalities and Royce captures it all beautifully.

Created Lovely will now be offering styled engagement shoots for an exclusive list of other photographers!  Stay tuned for an upcoming styled shoot with Christie Graham Photography and many other extremely talented vendors in early April!

See some of my past shoots below with Royce Sihlis Photography & Rebecca Siewert Photography: 

20140301_Samantha & Arif's Engagement-8766-220140301_Samantha & Arif's Engagement-895520140301_Samantha & Arif's Engagement-898620140301_Samantha & Arif's Engagement-9059-22013-12-11_00022013-12-11_00042013-12-11_00132013-11-26_00122013-11-26_00092013-10-18_00102013-10-18_00112013-10-18_00092013-10-18_0012

Graziano Orchard_1121 

Graziano Orchard_1061

xonicole

What’s Your Number?

You know that saying “numbers don’t lie”? Well, actually sometimes they do. Our lives are focused around numbers.  How much we weigh, how much money we make, how many weddings we’ve booked, how much debt we have, and the list goes on and on.  However, we are not defined by those numbers though it can really feel like it.

The other day I had a full out breakdown.  A tad embarrassing to admit, but I was literally just so stressed out for no realistic reason.  I was rushing to go to yoga when I realized I forgot something and was now going to miss the class.  I stomped off to shower and just bawled.  Full out bawled. This girl needed a drink.  When I set my goals for 2014 I wanted them to be clearly defined so I could properly track them.  Making promises to myself to go to yoga at least 3 days a week and tracking all of my social media growth (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) almost every other day.  I’ve seen more growth in the last month than in the last 6 but it’s giving me a mental breakdown.  Or at least I think so.  Yesterday I chopped off my hair 7 inches and booked a week trip to Hawaii… so… yeah.

What I didn’t realize when I set my goals was that there would be some days where I “failed”.  Where I just didn’t have the time or desire for yoga or where my Facebook likes wouldn’t go up.  I wasn’t prepared to accept that these goals would take both commitment and grace.  And whether or not my blog has 200 visits or 20, it doesn’t have to define whether or not it was worth writing.  Numbers do not define your worth or your business and you don’t have to beat yourself up about it.

The message at church last weekend couldn’t have been more perfect for this week.  It was about not allowing yourself to be defined by what others tell you instead of who you really are.  If someone doesn’t like something about you or your business, that’s okay.  That doesn’t mean you’re flawed.  I’ve been allowing my Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest numbers to control how successful I feel.  I’ve even noticed it with others, getting those annoying alerts that another business is now following your page statistics.  Why would you do that to yourself?  Your business comes with enough pressure as it is, let alone blatantly comparing your numbers to another business every time you look at your page.

The point is, don’t beat yourself up over numbers.  It’s just a number.  You’ll have good days and bad days and on those bad ones, remember that you’re not defined by whatever that number is telling you.

 

xonicole