Starting, building and maintaining a successful and profitable business is no easy feat.. and being an entrepreneur isn’t always as glamorous as it may seem from the outside.
While I am so grateful to do what I love every day and have an incredible support system that encourages me daily to keep chasing this little dream of mine – there are also A LOT of moving pieces that go into starting up a business. Then, once you get it up and going, there will always be a million and one things on your plate. I swear, I leave my office space for five minutes and come back with a flooded mailbox full of emails. And while I love my job wholeheartedly, I too had some reservations before I decided to take it full-time. It was a big leap for me, but it ultimately was the best thing I could have ever done for myself to hurdle over all my fears and believe in pursuing my passion.
We’ve asked some of our followers (join along @thejessicamattingly on Instagram!) what they’re afraid of when it comes to starting a wedding business, and we wanted to hop on here to share with you some ways to overcome those fears and do what you love!
01. “I don’t even know where to begin”
I get it! Starting a business can be scary to comprehend. There are so many little things that go into running a profitable and successful business that it seems overwhelming to even begin the process. BUT, you have to start somewhere.
In my opinion, it’s helpful to first understand what it is you are wanting to offer to your clients. Do you want to be a full-service wedding planner? Or maybe you have a knack for wedding florals and design, and want to incorporate that into your business model? Whatever it may be, it’s important to start here and let the rest flow from your offerings. Once you hone in on what you will provide to clients, you’ll have a better idea and direction towards a company name, brand identity, and so on. Take it one step at a time, and don’t forget to breathe.
02. “I’m worried about financial stability”
This was by far one of the top fears people admitted to having when it came to starting a business. Financial stability can be scary, especially if you have a family to provide for. No matter what your situation is, it’s hard to take that leap of faith and trust your passion to bring in the money that you need. Getting over this challenge is no walk in the park. In fact, it was the fear I had to work the hardest at overcoming. If you really are ready to take your ideas and turn them into a profitable and sustainable business, you have to be dedicated and determined to work harder than you ever have before.
When I first started JDWC, I knew I needed to do it part-time because I needed a steady income to contribute to our household. And while I loved my 9-5, that only left me the weekends and evenings (or any other spare second I could find) to establish my wedding coordination business. After long days at my full-time job, I was exhausted. But I knew I wanted to eventually take this full-time, so I poured another cup of coffee and got the work done working late hours, early mornings and as much as I could on the weekends.
It wasn’t easy, and there were several times where I just wanted to throw in the towel. But looking back, I am so thankful I didn’t give up and put in the extra work to take my business to where it is now with set office hours, a day off each week to be with my little ones, and weekends dedicated to family time unless of course I’m working a wedding.
03. “What if I’m not good enough?”
I totally remember this paralyzing fear and playing “What if..” scenarios in my head on repeat.
What if I fail? What if I’m not cut out to be a planner? What if nobody hires me?
Those fears only become a reality if you allow them to be. Yep, that’s right. Read that again.
While those thoughts are completely valid to have, you cannot let those fears keep you from chasing your dreams. So what if you fail?! We all do. I have learned far more from my failures than I did from the successes, but I only learned from the moments I took the time to learn from. The key to failing is understanding what didn’t work and finding ways to fix it. This was a huge turning point for my business and I am so glad I took the time to change my mindset to be okay with not being perfect and just finding what worked best for me and my family!
04. “How do I find clients?!”
There are a lot of great ways to attract clients, but I’ve found the most beneficial way of gaining new clients is from going above-and-beyond with every client I do get. Recommendations are a great way to keep the flow of clients coming in, but that means you have to always be on your game. Whether it be the sister of the bride that’s ready to tie the knot, a random guest that noticed the hard work you do, or even a vendor that enjoyed your work; however you get the recommendation, make sure to appreciate the opportunity to serve another client. Never take an opportunity for granted to make the best first impression (and lasting impression) that you can!
05. “I have no idea how to run the business side of things…”
While I feel like I got a good understanding of some of the basics that go into a business through my time in undergrad at Purdue, there were still a lot of things I was unsure about. The best way to learn is just getting first-hand experience, and again, learning from the failures. Google and even Pinterest can be your best friend as you start exploring ways to run the business side of things.
Another piece of advice is to not be afraid to outsource different aspects of your business. I know it can be hard to trust someone else with creative things that come with starting a business, but we cannot all be experts at everything. Just like we expect someone to trust us as wedding experts, you, too, should trust creative experts to help elevate your brand. From website designers, to copywriters, to bookkeepers, to Virtual Assistants – it is OKAY to hire people to help you. Not only will your business look and feel more professional, but it will give you more time to focus on the things you are passionate about and let other experts do the things they excel at that will take your business to the next level.
At the end of the day, there are so many excuses you can make to stop you from chasing after what you want to do. You can either dwell in the “What if’s” or you can get out there and accomplish! I don’t regret a single second of tackling my fears to pursue my passion, and I know you can do it, too. You’ve got this!