Tag: Okanagan Weddings

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Good, Better, Best

Monday’s Musings…

It’s become more and more apparent to me lately that I’m a little competitive… but only with myself really.  One of my favourite quotes is, “Good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.”  But what does “best” even look like in the wedding industry?  Every time I think I’ve researched enough and have a good handle on who’s the best in the industry, I find more and more talented vendors.  It’s overwhelming really.  Flipping through magazines and blogs usually sends me into a panic to write down ideas I want to try, vendors I need to work with, and features I need to get in order to grow in the industry.  As a bride, you’re probably loving the growth of Pinterest and blogs that give you countless ideas and inspiration.  As a vendor, that’s created an unbelievable amount of pressure to compare or out-do all those photos you send our way, often on a much smaller budget than what you’ve fallen in love with.  Don’t get me wrong though, I enjoy the pressure most of the time.  If I didn’t like the feeling of being stressed to pull something off I wouldn’t have started my own business at 21 while completing my degree.

People often ask why I do so many styled shoots, what’s the real benefit?  Honestly, for me I think it’s to prove to myself that I can be creative and express my style in my own way without limitations from clients.  A styled shoot allows me to learn what my style really is when I have complete design freedom and then really fall into that as a planner.  It’s so important to me that when people see my website/instagram/Facebook/shoots/weddings they see consistency in style. That’s how you grow as a brand.  That’s how people fall in love with your work. And that’s how you get to the top.

So what does being the “best” or “getting to the top” mean to me? Well, in all honesty I want to be featured in every major wedding magazine and on every major wedding blog.  Obviously, I’d like to make a good income along the way but what I really want is to prove to myself that I can leave a small footprint in the industry.  I’ve got a very long way to go, but I’m only 24 so let’s see in 5 years where I’m at with this goal!

Hope your week is off to a great start and you’re feeling a little inspiration bug this morning too!

xo

Nicole

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Photo: Royce Sihlis Photography- From my time at a workshop in Santa Barbara, California this summer

 

 

A little Cailfornia-education

The day after I moved to Kelowna Royce and I got on a 6am flight to Santa Barbara, California for me to take a two day 1 on 1 workshop with Jill LaFleur, one California’s top wedding planners.  (If you haven’t seen her work, just google her and countless magazine spreads and features will come up.) Besides learning that I love California even more than I thought possible, my iPad is my new best friend, and Jose Villa is prounced VIA… I learnt the following:

1. I love Wedding Planning

Shocking, right? But seriously. When you invest in workshops and have that deep desire to travel wherever you need to to learn from people that truly inspire you, you know you love your job.  After returning from the workshop I knew more than ever that this is the career that I want to push for.

2. Stop Comparing

One of my most memorable conversations with Jill went like this.

Me: “I saw your feature on Style Me Pretty yesterday!  That was such a stunning wedding.”

Jill: “Oh really? Which wedding was that?  I didn’t know it was up.”

In complete astonishment that she must be published so much Style Me Pretty wasn’t of significance I was thinking, must be nice to be so talented you don’t even notice how often you’re featured.  Boy was I wrong.

Me: “Oh.  It was that outdoor one with the incredible ruffled chair covers.  Anyhow, I’ve been meaning to ask you where your inspiration for your wedding designs come from?”

Jill: “To be honest, one night I was lying in bed crying going through everyone else’s features comparing myself to everyone that was so talented thinking I’d never be as good or creative as them.  I started thinking of other careers I could have.  And then I put it away and stopped looking on blogs and buying magazines and just started to design weddings with what I think looks good.”

Me: “So you don’t even look at your own features?”

Jill: “Sometimes, but no not really.”

I’m sure I was staring at her in complete disbelief, because that’s how I truly felt.  Honestly, that might have been the best advice I’ve ever heard.  Looking at other people’s work kills me.  I cannot tell you have often I’ve stressed and doubted what I do based on seeing other wedding planner’s work and how much trends effect the way I plan.  Now, I’m not about to stop buying magazines and looking at blogs because I truly love reading them but I really stopped designing for other people after that day.  Keeley & Jordan’s Gatske wedding was just 2 weeks later and I changed quite a bit of the design around right before the wedding date based on what I trusted would look best.  I’ve continued to do that with every wedding since and am planning a styled shoot next week that might be the most “me” I’ve styled in a while.

3. Get Out of your Comfort Zone

After a day of chatting at Jill’s house, we were off to the wedding rehearsal at the stunning Catholic church in the pictures below.  Jill introduced herself to the couple and then hands me her iPad and tells me to go line everyone up to run the rehearsal.  It’s so funny because I’ve done more than enough rehearsals to run one, but I looked at her in shock and was like, “Me?! Don’t you want to do it?” She looked at me like I was a weirdo for panicking and was like “No, I won’t be at the ceremony tomorrow so you need to do it.” Cool. Thanks for casually letting me know. I’m just running a ceremony of Jill LaFleur’s (yes, say her name slowly for full impact)… by myself… having never shadowed her… no pressure.  Of course it all went smoothly, like I mentioned I’ve done this before and getting a bride down an aisle isn’t exactly rocket science but still.  I was definitely out of what I felt my “realm” or “level” of planning was.  And that’s why workshops are so great.  They push you so far out of your comfort zone that when you get home you don’t want to go back to what you were doing, you want to do more.

So when I see or hear of wedding vendors going to workshops I really acknowledge the significance of what it takes for them not only financially but mentally to make a leap to go do them and to push their business and to make them better at what they do.  And I hope now you do too!

xo,

Nicole

 

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