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Advice to the Younger Me

Ever wish you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk or give yourself some advice. Something like: Your life is going to take a lot of turns. There are good people in this world and there are some mean people in this world. But don’t let them steer you away from who you are and the desire to do more! Maybe you’d give yourself a pat on the back or a hug when you felt sad or overwhelmed that the world was falling apart? Ever want something so badly but you were so scared of failure that you stopped yourself before you even started?


This blog is for the ones chasing down a dream of running their own business or the ones already running a business but needs that encouragement!


It took me a long time to find the confidence to take the first steps in starting my own business. I let circumstances and other people’s opinions derail me! I didn’t want to fail but I also knew that I had already failed if I didn’t try! Sound familiar?


Mindset is everything. Believing you can when everyone else is doubtful is key to success! Not everyone is understanding and that is okay! (took me a while to understand this)


I was told this:

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about”


I wish I could go back in time and tell the young insecure girl, YES YOU CAN! What are you waiting for! But I also wish I had a community and a mentor when I started out that guided me and gave me the advice I so desperately needed! (I have sense found this) If I could go back in time and give the younger me a few pieces of business advice here is what I would say:


Anything that is worth a darn will be hard work! It is not always easy! Taking the first step can be challenging but you can do it! I encourage you to pace yourself and make a plan! Ever hear the phrase “Rome Was Not Built in a Day”? This phrase confirms that it takes time to create great things! But you must put down the first brick. Once you have the laid the first brick, picking up the second brick won’t be as scary!


I am the most impatient person on this planet! I want things to happen literally overnight and like most business owners, I have ideas! Oh my gosh do I have ideas! But everything takes time and having a game plan helps to prioritize when setting goals. I had to learn how to prioritize what is most important and approach each step in the process with grace. Will I make mistakes? Absolutely I will and I have! But that is where grace comes in. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You will learn and you will grow from the mistakes! I am not perfect and learning how to run a business takes time!


Know who you are! It is so easy to idolize other professionals and want to be just like them! There is a huge difference in being influenced by another professional and wanting to be that professional. Dig deep and find who you are and what you want to achieve with your business. You are on a journey and you know your WHY but make sure you are living out that why! Are you spending most of your day tracking other professionals and spending hours trying to mimic their style, their approach, and their ideas?


Early on in my career, I found myself looking at other Wedding Planners and thinking if that is what they are doing then I must do it too! I kept running into walls and not finding true business growth. My brand was non-existent. I could not figure out why! When I took the time to figure out my business model and what my own core values were, things begin to change. I developed my mission statement and outlined my core values (who I am and what I stand for). You see, it is okay to look to others for guidance and influence but what works for one company may not work for you! I had to take the time to figure out who I was as a business.


I cannot express enough how important it is to be real! Be YOU and people will fall in love with not only you but your business! I have seen so many professionals try to be what they think viewers want to see. They speak differently, they dress differently, and their headshots are weird! I have met people after following their business on social media and I will be honest, I was confused! People will figure out quick if you are being authentic or a copy-cat.


Write a mission statement! Have you ever written a true mission statement? Not a “I love being creative or I love people” but a real mission statement! Why does the business exist? Why have you spent day-after-day building a company (with all the joys and failures that come with it)? When I look to buy a product or to collaborate with another wedding professional, I do some digging. I want to know who the company is and what they stand for. Are they a company that gives back to the community they live in or do they have a mission to make this world a better place? Putting into words your mission will give your potential clients an idea of who you are!


Exploring your business goals will help you write a mission statement. The reasons customers will keep coming back is because they believe in your values. I read this on a blog once:


....the reason we stay loyal to brands is because of their values. The best brands strive to combine physical, emotional, and local elements into one exceptional customer (and employee) experience that you value as much as they do. Nowhere are those values more visible than in the company’s mission statement. – Lindsay Kolowich Cox


No matter where you are in your business journey, taking a pause to make sure you are being true to your brand is essential for growth. I do this yearly! It is so easy to get caught up in the next trend or business venture. Something to ask yourself: Is the trend everyone's buzzing about representing who you are as a business? Again, not every business model will be your model.


· Put in the hard work! It will be worth it, I promise!

· Understand who you are! Trying to be someone else is exhausting!

· Core Values + Mission Statement


The final piece of advice I would give the younger me and a piece of advice I often share with others:


Don’t be scared to share your story! It is powerful and it will help change lives! It will bring encouragement to people who are searching for hope! Do you remember the day you went “live” or the day you shared your first business post? The adrenaline and the excitement you felt! Don’t lose that feeling, go back to it to remind yourself of your Day One. The day you said YES and when your entire life changed! Living in fear is a waste of time and will only delay your progress! We are each given a dream that stirs something inside of us. We get distracted because the process can be long but I’m here to encourage you! Don’t give up…keep chasing!


Be encouraged. Be bold. Be you.


Karie-


@shesaidyesweddings

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