Ten years ago I got let go from a full-time job as a Creative Director at a Design firm. I was devastated. It wasn't for doing a bad job, but because I was too good at my job and they could no longer afford me. I was the highest paid employee and they needed to cut costs so they moved the less experienced, cheaper designer into my position and let me go. Being an extremely driven over-achiever my entire life, this wrecked me. I was beyond embarrassed and felt like I lost my self-identity. It was the first time I had ever felt truly lost and without a plan.
If I'm being honest, I had been unhappy there for years. I felt undervalued and underpaid. I knew I wanted more, needed more and was meant for more. I spent my days working my ass off with little internal fulfillment, and my evenings at the bars with my co-workers complaining about our jobs. I wanted to start my own business but I didn't have the guts to do it too afraid to leave a pristine high-paying job to start at ground zero. Getting let go, forced me into it and though I didn't see it at the time. It was the best thing that ever happened to me because it was then that I decided I was going to make it as an entrepreneur, no matter what.
At about the same time that I lost my job, I was also a full-time caregiver for my grandmother. When she passed, I designed a beautiful program, poster board, memory card and slideshow for her funeral. I had so many compliments on it I decided to go with it and this was my first attempt at a real business. I was all in and truly believed that those who passed on deserved better than the hand-made xerox copied funeral programs that were the norm. I also knew there was a space in the market that needed to be filled, so I went to every single funeral home and presented my samples, my business card, and my website to them. I had great feedback and many offered to show my cards at their offices.
This business was a beautiful idea, but never caught on. Why? Because my customers, the actual family who were planning the funeral didn't have (or want) to spend money, they didn't have time, and here's the big one - they didn't want to be handling this job to begin with.
Fast forward to 2011 when I got engaged to the love of my life and began the daunting yet amazing process of planning my wedding. Being all things creative, I was obsessed with our wedding and had the time of my life coming up with fun ideas to create the "best day ever". I did everything from illustrated invitations tied with ribbon and jewels and personalized wine bottles to antique dishes and a surprise flash mob. It was so incredible that guests were sending us thank you cards after the wedding saying it was the most amazing celebration they had ever attended.
It was at this moment when I realized I was on the wrong side of the business spectrum. Instead building a business around the end of life, I needed to focus on building a business around the celebration of the start of life - weddings. Already having a bit of knowledge in how to start a business I dove in researching and re-learning everything but now focused in specifically on weddings.
Now I live in Hawaii, the wedding capital of the world. This meant there were tons of customers, weddings and growth opportunities, but it also meant that there was A LOT of competition. In the beginning I went down all the wrong directions and spent hours upon hours of time going towards dead ends. It took me about a full year of 18-hour days of (un-paid) work to finally get to a space where I was getting seen and noticed by brides. At the time when I was getting started there were no wedding planning courses, teachers or mentors. I quickly learned that building a lucrative and sustainable business in Hawaii meant I had to be an exceptional entrepreneur, because being just an amazing wedding planner wasn't going to cut it.
I learned how to get in with the local wedding community, how and where I needed to be online, how SEO works specifically in my field of weddings, how to sell to brides and over-deliver, how to scale and grow a business so that I didn't have to work all the time, and how to design a company that gave me a flexible schedule, financial freedom and brought me joy.
Being a wedding planner is about so much more than planning weddings, you get to be a part of the most important day of someones life. It's a magical day and moment you get to relive over and over again. You get to be ultra-creative and help bring someones dream to life. You get to plan amazing parties for a living. You get to work with a crew of incredible people and become part of a creative community that nurtures and takes care of each other. You get to design a schedule that gives you as much or as little free time as you want.
Within three years I was able to scale my business to a place where I hired a small team of girls and was making double what I had been making at my corporate job. Then I had three babies in three years (a newborn, 1.5 year old, and a 3 year old) and I stepped back a bit from business building to raise my boys. Theres no way I would have been able to do this if I hadn't set my business up to be profitable and automated very quickly. My wedding business allowed my husband to quit his job and allowed me the flexibility and time to be present with and care for our babies - something we are both so grateful for today.
PS. The Wedding Planner Boss Blueprint Waitlist is now open, to get a jump start on your Wedding Planning career, get on the waitlist today!
I'm a small-town, Honolulu-based, mom-of-three, wedding planner, educator and serial entrepreneur.
Becoming a Wedding Planner is a game changer and allows you an immense amount of freedom while giving you the opportunity for huge financial success. In order to make it in this competitive space you'll need to learn three basic things ...
1. How to be an exceptional entrepreneur.
2. How the wedding industry works, and how to build relationships within it.
3. Understanding who your ideal bride is and how to fulfill their wildest wedding dreams.
With "The Wedding Planner Boss Blueprint" you will learn all of these things plus so much more. You will stop wasting precious time and mental energy dreaming about a business that could be, and start building an immensely rewarding reality.
To date I have started three successful businesses, and have gone from making zero dollars, going door-to-door trying to sell personalized funeral wedding program designs to now bringing in over $40k/month in revenue, handling luxury weddings for couples with $100k+ budgets - all with three little kids in tow (now ages 3, 4 and 6). I built a lucrative wedding business based in Hawaii that allows me to be creative and feel fulfilled while giving me a really flexible schedule so that I can focus on my family. Now I only take on the weddings I want, and work with the couples I love. I design my work day around my work-outs and my kids schedules because I can and I build in several vacations a year and take all birthdays off - always.
Truth - Starting any business from scratch is not easy, wedding planning isn't easy, but is it worth it? --> one hundred percent. Isn't it time for a change? You've got nothing to lose and so much to gain!