How My Life Changed After We Started the Business
That is a loaded title! How my life changed after we started the business. OMGoodness, where do I start? I’ve been a loner since childhood with one special friend up through high school. I was shy, chubby and felt very out of place in a crowd.
I took some sports in school, did 4-H, was in drama (my mom said that is where I started to come out of my shell) and attended youth group. Beauty school was my one year of college and then off to work in a salon.
I was married at 23 and had four children over the next few years. It was when the children started getting older we realized more income was needed. You see I was a homeschool mom and chose not to work outside of the home.
Fast forward to about 8 years ago; we started the business that turned my life upside down. Being out with the public a lot was very different than what I was used to, and honestly, I was scared to death!
How has my life changed since our home business started? Let’s take a look.
The first few years:
I remember at our first wedding ever as I was helping the bride bring her things into the bridal room, she looked at me and said, “so we are the Guiney pigs?” My heart dropped and probably my mouth too. I said “well, you are the first wedding here, but I hope you do not feel like a Guiney pig!”
I remember another wedding where I told the bride I would let the caterer know where to set up when he arrived. And there I stood looking out the window in the house when the caterer arrived, frozen to the floor. Luckily my husband was out in the yard and our bride gave him the message for the caterer.
A lot of my fear at the beginning was that I didn’t want to get in the way. I was not sure what I was and was not supposed to do. I didn’t know the right questions to ask and was very unsure of myself.
At one client tour I actually indicated the more bookings we get this year the more options we can provide at the venue. Wow, does that scream desperate to book weddings?! I was out of my comfort zone and messing things up regularly.
The middle years:
Finally, I got it together. I realized peopled liked me, I didn’t have to be a salesman. I had been a stay at home mom for so many years that I oozed with reassurance and calmness, I knew how to make the bride and their family feel valued, special and let them know I was there for them. Once I realized I could be me instead of playing some roll I knew nothing about things got fun.
I’ve been using a life couch now for about a year and she suggested I take the Gallup Strengths Finders test. You can find that here if you are interested. I ordered the top 5 Clifton strengths for $19.99. You get a code and take it on-line.
This test is amazing! I learned my five top strengths, which I think I knew but didn’t, if that makes sense? To have it on paper and explained to you, it’s like the light was turned on.
My Top Strength
Learner is my top strength, I have always loved learning! I’m not weird, it’s a strength, lol. Starting the wedding venue was full of learning. If you have read my eBook: How to Start and Run a Wedding Venue – In Your Own Backyard you know all the new things I have learned.
I’ve loved every minute of this learning process. The research before implementing took a long time. I always want to do it right the first time, if I can, so I don’t have to re-do things.
I had to learn how to start and run our website, about contracts, the best way to set up tables and chairs, where to find linens, setting up for reception, oh my word the list goes on. And still every year we are learning how to simplify without compromising quality.
My fourth strength is Responsibility. I take full responsibility for the things I do. Commitment, honesty and loyalty are a high priority for me.
I take care of my clients, I want them to have a perfect day and I will go above and beyond for those that book our venue. It’s like I’m on a mission to make sure everyone is satisfied. I want to be helpful, you know, the problem-solving sets in.
That is my 5th strength, restorative. I’m good at dealing with problems, figuring out what is wrong and resolving it. Did God put me in the perfect place for my talents or what?! I feel so fulfilled in my roll as venue owner. There is never a dull moment and I thrive on that.
I get to be creative, an encourager and even share in the excitement of each brides dream wedding.
The later years:
I have personally changed so much. You guys, my children are proud of me. They tell me I’m an inspiration to them. This chokes me up. I have gone after my dreams; it was not easy.
There have been naysayers along the way that have questioned my dreams, have looked down on my dreams – it hurt. It’s my strengths that have kept me going, I just couldn’t stop, I was compelled to keep going.
If I have any words of wisdom it would be PRESS ON. Where there is a will there is a way. God gave us strengths to use, use them! It will take courage and determination and probably time.
Taking time is not a bad thing; we learn things on our way to the destination. Embrace where you are, but don’t stay there! Keep moving forward.