Take That Risk!
Just as every book has a beginning and an end, there are chapters in between. Those chapters are essential to understanding the entire story. What I'm saying is, I didn't open my private studio overnight. It took hard work and risks. When you know what you want out of life, you have to go full throttle. You have to take chances.
When I first started out with party planning, I sent out snail mail announcements. The calls rolled in from some family members telling me I was setting myself up for lawsuits because the food could poison someone. I wasn't a caterer. I was offering planning and decor! I got the snide comments and eye rolls but absolutely no clients. Sure, the baby showers and birthday parties were still going on (I knew because I was still being invited) but no one was trying to work with me even in trade. So I decided I'd create clients. I was working at a hospital at the time and I started taking my decor pieces in the trunk of my car and showing them off on breaks and during lunch. I started slowly. I'd rent out the pieces and make recommendations on how to style them. Then I started intentionally bombarding them with (partial) information on how the event should look. Bam! It worked. I made it sound so good as I rented out the pieces, it made the clients think it was their idea to hire me.
I had no business courses but I had inspiration. I knew from the beginning where I wanted to go and what I wanted my career to look like and I just needed to keep hustling. Even though I had a "legitimate" and some would even say lucrative career, I was restless. I wanted to work for myself. At the time though, it wasn't very realistic. I needed more education and more experience. I volunteered for charity events, interned for wedding and party planners. I kept moving and changing because I didn't want to become stagnant. A lot of the people I was working for seemed to be doing the same thing as the "other guy" with the attitude of it worked for them so it'll work for me. That clearly wasn't for me. I wanted to learn and grow, really push myself. I know that many of you can relate to this. Trust me when I say that you need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone if you want to achieve your dreams!
So without any "real experience", I made the decision to start party planning and then applied for more intense internships so that I could eventually implement wedding planning services. From there, the party planning fell by the wayside. Now, let me emphasize that this part of my journey was truly a blessing and an exception to the norm because all of my friends started getting married at once and the business just flowed in. From there, wedding guests contacted me. I wanted to work on something edgier though. I had since the beginning. So I contacted a photographer and did my first styled shoot, Simply Opulent. I started anew. Through more exploration, the shoots became more free, stylish, bold, and hip. There was tons of room for me to grow into a concept creator. My gut desire paved a path for me to work for myself and become an art director.
I kept plugging away. Along the way, I made some great friends, was adopted by great mentors, was betrayed, lied to, stolen from, and revived by my counterparts every time. These steps enabled me to grow personally and professionally tremendously. As I got older, my clientele got younger. The irony! They looked to me for long lasting appeal and even a bit of wisdom. My guy kept rebuilding my confidence and reassuring me that I'd been on the right path all along.
Now! Now after so much time and energy, I have my customized studio space where we have a beauty bar, a blow out bar, space for trunk shows for clients. We can do in-house photo shoots and space for clients to have a relaxing experience while they undergo their transformation of their business' imagery. What a difference!
It's so important to take risks! If I'd settled or given up, I wouldn't have made it to this point. Don't be discouraged if it all doesn't fall into place immediately. If something or someone isn't the right fit. just know not to settle. It's okay to move forward until you're truly happy!