Last night I had the pleasure of attending an industry event hosted by ISES Toronto “How to Run a Profitable Business and Have a Life at the Same Time,” featuring the fabulous Ceci Johnson. If you know me personally, you know that meeting Ceci has always been on my to-do list. Yes, if you look from afar she is a competitor, but I also respect and LOVE her work.
In a digital world the ultimate luxury is paper – Ceci.
This quote stuck with me. I dream, live and vibe with paper every day. Although I’m happy to produce items that will only live online, the ultimate luxury comes from paper products. It’s not something you need to have – it’s something you want to have!
I came home on a high, excited to implement lessons learned into my businesses. However as per Ceci’s advice, I decided to get some sleep – because we all need to recharge! Today is a new day and I’m excited to make a sharp turn on my path and get my business exactly where I want it to be.
Being a creative person in the wedding and events industry, it’s hard not to get tangled emotionally with your clients or your work. Last night reminded many of us that we are still a business. This is really important. We are in the service industry and help people with one of the most memorable days of their lives. It’s hard not to get emotionally involved. Clients often may not realize the countless hours we spend making their vision come to life. Many of us, do not give ourselves enough credit.
Here are my top 3 take aways from yesterday:
- “Just Me and Passion”
Ceci opened her presentation mentioning she had no investors or a financial backing from her family. It was “just me and passion.” This line hit home. Throughout my personal journey there have been people trying to kill my passion with their reality. But if the passion is strong enough it will make your dreams reality.
- Get Ready to Sweat
If you want your dream clients you have to get ready to work hard and create a brand; no shortcuts! By focusing in on what we love doing and the reason we started our business we can build an empire that will sell itself. Most of my clients come through word of mouth. So what does it come down to? Sweating for your clients, building that empire and getting press from those who love your work – for your work! It’s just like what Sam Smith said at the Grammy’s “It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”
- Know You Value and Stick To It
This is the hardest one for myself and some of my vendor friends. I never give myself enough credit. Everything I create is hand-drawn. I spend countless hours with my clients from their invitation all the way to their thank-you cards. This includes meetings, emails, phone calls and somewhere in all of that I sketch, create, print, and deliver beautiful invitation and stationery.
Value yourself, your time and the services you offer. If you don’t, why would your client?
You also need to create a financial plan. In running a creative business we get wrapped up in the thought that if client is happy everything is good, but what we tend to forget is that we are a business and have a bottom line. I’m sure you’ve all been there – I know I have! So to my industry friends reading this, it’s time we value the work we put out there; only then that can we grow and become the businesses we wish to be.
Thank you once again Ceci for being such an inspiration. I’m taking everything you’ve taught me and implementing it so that Vibrance Designs becomes the studio I know it can be. For all my readers, be sure to check out her work, as an artist I truly admire everything she creates and who knows maybe one day we can collaborate! 😉