As a stubborn optimist and passionate encourager, I rarely share negative view points. But as I entered a new season in my own business and have had to ask tough questions, I’ve found myself in heart wrenching conversations with countless colleagues and fellow wedding professionals.
Over and over I hear despair, frustration and hopelessness. Creatives, beautifully brilliant in their own uniqueness, bound by chains of comparison and the tireless pursuit up an invisible “I’m someone” ladder. These are good people, with honest and genuine intentions to reach the world with their passions and for good!
But as with many good initiatives, they start with good intention – a desire to change the world or touch people’s lives – but with time, get warped and twisted in a sea of opinions and egos. Many times, unbeknownst to even the author of that initiative.
There are far too many people glorifying busy trying to make it in this world, with no real relationships or joy to be heard of. In the quiet of their solitude, they’re depressed, lonely, anxious, afraid, miserable and hate themselves.
Blinded by the noise of the industry and the silent war of people trying “to make it,” they get sucked in, subconsciously believing that if they don’t play the game, they’ll never truly win…
Win what, though?
Fame. Success. Recognition. Importance. Acceptance. Status.
But tell me again: why was it you started this good initiative in the first place?
Go back to your core. Ask yourself hard questions….
- What is my passion and why do I do what I do?
- How do I want to influence my generation and those I touch with my work?
- When I’m lying on my death bed, what will I be proud of in my work?
- What about my work brings me true and lasting joy?
- What kind of legacy do I want to leave on this earth? For my family and those that come after me?
- How do I want to be remembered?
What’s it for you?
Acknowledge the fear that’s driving you to abandon your core and get lost in a hopeless pursuit of what DOESN’T MATTER at the end of the day.
And I beg of you, if anything, remember that not everything you read on social media is true. Not everything your competition tells you is completely honest.
Most of it (dare I say, if not all of it!) is smoke and mirrors! While it could be true that so and so booked five weddings this week, it could also be a massive exaggeration. And this isn’t just limited to the wedding industry; it’s every market!
In my years, I have come to discover the honest truth…
There are people who portray big success who actually don’t make any money in their business. There are companies who claim to do fifty weddings a year but only netted $10,000 take home cash or worse, filed bankruptcy the next year. There are creatives who say that simply paying their bills each month is success enough. There are individuals with huge, well known brands who still work a part time job to support themselves.
You never know what is really going on behind the scenes.
And most scarily, many times, the owners and authors of those initiatives themselves don’t even know the truth behind their business. The haven’t kept proper records of their expenses and earnings. They’ve chased numbers rather than bottom lines. And they’ve taken every opportunity that comes their way, regardless of it’s financial return or whether it matches their mission and clientele.
Why? Because their creatives not business people… and largely, they own that. They’ve created a flexible job for themselves without the need to answer to anyone, not a business that works for them.
I too, have fallen prey and found myself in the above before, even though I believe myself to be a business person first and creative second. I’m grateful for my support system, my mentors and my coaches who have helped me when I’ve slipped, take steps in getting back on track.
So friend, from one entrepreneur to another, don’t believe everything you read and hear.
Trust in your uniqueness and maintain your integrity. Take heart and find your core. Put blinders on to everyone else.
You only have one life to live and these moments are your gift.
So enjoy the journey and leave your legacy.
Photos by Studio Jeanie