Tag: okanagan wedding planner

It’s not easy

It is extremely difficult to be honest when it comes to business.  It’s not “just” business, it’s your life.  The day you choose to start a business that you want to make a full-time career is the day you put it all on the line.  And this year has been hard.  Really, really, really hard.  There are days where I have serious doubts.  I’m not tooting my own horn but I’m 100% sure I could have climbed the corporate ladder and done something else with my life where I’d be making a lot more money with benefits than I am right now.  So easily I forget how much I hated working for other people.  So easily I forget dragging myself out of bed to go to a job that didn’t excite me.  So easily I forget that that wasn’t what I was meant to do.

But some days I just want business to be easy.  I want to know what I’m doing all the time. I want to feel job security and know how much money I’m making that month.  I want to go to work and feel social because I actually have coworkers to talk to about how their weekend went.  I want to have a weekend.  I want to buy work clothes and actually wear them 5 days a week.  I want to be told I’m doing a good job by my boss.  I want to get promoted.  I want to get excited about a job opportunity or internship and apply for it.  Some days I just want all of it.  Every little piece of working for someone else.

I started my own business when I was 20 while finishing my event management diploma.  I ran my business part-time for 3 years while finishing my Bachelor of Tourism Management then took it full-time this year after getting married and moving to the Okanagan.  I wish someone would have told me how hard it was going to be.  And that there would be countless days where I cried out of frustration, stressed about money, worried about success, faced a painstaking amount of jealousy, and just didn’t believe in myself.  I wish someone would have told me that running your business is Nothing like what you see on Facebook and instagram.  No one posts the hard stuff.  No one wants to admit that some times it’s not fun.  And being an entrepreneur is the furthest thing from the easy route– it just appears that way to everyone else because the people doing it love their jobs.

And that’s what led me to this.  I love my job.  I know very few people that can say that and as I get older I can imagine I’m going to hear it less and less.  I made the right decision and every hard day is worth it but today I’m wishing for lunch with my coworkers.  Time to expand the Created Lovely team.

Time to put my head down and just keep swimming.  I love my business.  I love my clients.  I love that it’s 2:45pm in the afternoon and I’m at home blogging.  Because I can! I love being the owner of Created Lovely Events.  And it’s okay that it’s not easy, that’s what makes success that much sweeter.

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xonicole

 

 

 

No Excuses

I was raised in a no bullshit family. My dad told you what you needed to hear even when it wasn’t always what you wanted to hear.  And my mom never scolded you for anything you did poorly as long as “you know you tried your very best.”  Which in short is the guilt-tripping way of telling you, “You know you didn’t try as hard as you should’ve and that’s why you got that mark.” So in sum, I was raised to be very in control of my life and my choices and to take both the credit and the heat for them.

As an entrepreneur, I’m thankful to have been raised like that.  Even when I used to wish my dad would take pity on me with my adorable youngest child syndrome and only blame my sisters for breaking the fan when it clearly wasn’t my fault that my older sister had the idea to throw teddy bears at the ceiling fan to make them fly…  Who cares if I threw them too.

Anyways, we all know I was a great kid.  Moving on.  I was inspired to write this blog based on the annoying amount of excuses I’ve been hearing/seeing from people lately.  Your business, your job, your personal life, your relationships, your life, rises and falls on your shoulders.  I don’t care how difficult your day has been, how busy you are, how successful someone else is, if you want a certain life for yourself then you need to go out and get it.

I can complain all I want that I have to pay for my own benefits and that I’m going to have to plan down to the month that we have kids.  Then don’t become an entrepreneur.  I can complain that other people are booking a wedding I wanted.  If I really cared, then I should figure out what my business needs to increase sales and make myself the clear choice for future clients.  If I want to make more money, I need to figure out what it is that’s going to increase my value as a planner so I can increase my rates.  If you’re too busy for the gym, start prioritizing yourself better and make the commitment.  If you don’t like the way someone treats you, then stop letting them and find a healthy way to communicate or remove yourself from the situation.  If you’re constantly jealous of someone else’s life or business, start focussing on how to get there instead of comparing yourself.

Life isn’t rocket science.  Stop making excuses and start finding pro-active solutions.

No more excuses.

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The Little Things

I was laying in yoga last night (where I come up with all my blog posts) and I was thinking about what A Lovely Life means to me. How do you create a lovely life? For me it’s the little things.

It’s the unwritten rule that whoever gets up first in our place makes the other one coffee. It’s the $5 Starbucks gift cards my mom sends in the mail just to say hello. It’s smiling and saying a genuine thank-you to someone that held the door for you. It’s buying the cute $10 mug in Chapters not because you need it but because it’ll make you smile when you wake up. It’s sending a text from a friend after a visit just to say you enjoyed spending time with them. It’s taking the time to acknowledge a pretty view without pulling out your phone to take a picture. It’s printing your photos and hanging them on your wall. It’s when Royce comes back from getting groceries with a bag of ketchup chips just because he knows it’ll totally make my night. It’s buying cute pillows because they make you happy. It’s messaging someone you haven’t seen in a long time but know their entire life update from Facebook just to say they’ve done well for themselves. It’s fresh flowers on your coffee table. It’s looking in the mirror and acknowledging you look pretty that day. It’s picking up the phone or at least texting a friend on their birthday instead of just sending a generic Facebook message. It’s waking up and deciding today isn’t for work, it’s spontaneous date day with your husband. It’s treating yourself to a vibrant pedicure when summer arrives. It’s playing your wedding song just because it makes you smile to hear it again. It’s receiving a hand written note in the mail. It’s choosing to wake up happy even when your day ahead is stressful or long.

For me, life is about all of the little things. And I’m creating my life lovely.

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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

 

 

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas!

I’m the worst holiday partier. For real guys. New Year’s Eve? I’m pumped to have a wedding booked that day. St.Patrick’s Day? I’ll probably dye my sugar and milk green like my mom used to do and call it a party. But Valentine’s Day, that’s a day to get creative and share some love people!!

I say get creative, because I loathe red roses, expensive dinners, and choc… okay I love chocolate. But the other two can go.

Here’s some date ideas worth doing this year:

1. Theme Night!– I got this from a past bride on her upcoming Valentine’s Day plans. To commemorate their honeymoon travelling thorough Asia, they’re having an all things Thai night.

2. Skating & Cocoa (spiked of course)– One of my current brides loves celebrating Valentine’s Day with her now fiance by cooking dinner at home then grabbing their skates and a thermos full of hot chocolate and Beileys for an old fashioned adorable date night.

3. Wine & Appy Night– Get a group of your couple friends together or non-couples (Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the dating & married) and have everyone bring one bottle of wine and one appy to the host’s house. Pull out the board games and make an evening of it. Valentine’s Day is to be shared with those you love, and I love my friends!

4. Photo Scavenger Hunt– One of my faves for sure. Have a friend make a list of 10-20 photos you need to get together and put it in an envelope. When you’re ready for your date, rip it open, hop in your car and go! I did this for Royce’s birthday yesterday. The list included: a coffee cup, a place you’ve never been, a present, a selfie, and many others. Suggestion for Valentine’s Day: shameless selfie, photo of a couple on a date, photo of a heart, dessert, something you love.

5. Chopped– Go to the grocery store and stock your fridge with fresh veggies, a couple meat options, and dessert ingredients. Choose which of you is going to make dinner and who is going to make dessert. If your hubby is on dinner, write down 3 ingredients he has to use. If you’re making dessert, have him write down 3 ingredients you have to use. And just like the show Chopped, get cookin’! 30 minutes to make your dinner and dessert and you have to include the 3 listed ingredients in your dish. (You could do this with couple friends too where you compete with appys, dinner, or dessert items.)

6. Fort Night– Need I say more? I love building forts!! Set some ground rules though. Fort building will not commence until all parties are in pajamas. No access to the fort without a glass of wine (or bottle). Board games, card games, or movies are encouraged while visiting the fort. All forts need photographic evidence of their awesomeness.

7. Breakfast in Bed– This is a must-do at some point in your relationship. But who says it’s just for the morning? Make mimosas, pancakes, peaches, whipped cream, bacon, and hash browns in the evening and bring it to bed (or if you’re really awesome, in the fort!!). Make this even better with pjs & movies.

8. Bowling- Oh yeah, bringin’ it back to grade 5 birthday parties. Grab your favourite friends and book a lane at your local bowling alley. Bonus points if you have team uniforms and names. After you’re done, head to one of your places for nacho and sangria night.

9. Pizza Night– I make the best homemade pizza. It’s one of the only things I’m actually good a cooking, so last year Royce and I made homemade heart shaped pizza and drank wine on our living room floor with movies. This could also be changed to homemade Blizzard night, fondue night, appy night, or anything else involving eating at home…

10. Just Drive– I love car rides. Spontaneous ones. Hop in the car and take turns saying “left, right, or straight” and see where it takes you! It’s a great way to explore new areas of the city you live in, it’s cheap, and it’s surprisingly fun. We usually grab McDonald’s sundaes or a Starbucks when we do this and end up taking pictures or going for a walk when we find an area worth stopping.

And if you realllly can’t decide on date night, put some of your top favourite dates in a jar and pull from it on Valentine’s Day morning.

xonicole