Lifting Weights

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” -Seth Godin

It has been quite a while since my last blog entry.  Almost two months actually.  I can say with much confidence that the proverbial ‘weights’ have been lifted -or at least I am getting closer and closer each week.

For many, the ‘weights’ of life are the daily stresses, responsibilities, and circumstances that we carry with us.  Some weights heavier than others -and unfortunately some so debilitating that they completely weight us down.  I asked myself two years ago, what had to change in my life?  How was I going to bring the ‘fun’ back?  Where did the happiness that life once handed to me, go?  I got so caught up in the ‘future’, that the journey became insignificant to me, but worse, I was not taking the time to enjoy the present…and just LIVE.

In the events industry (and as entrepreneurs), it is hard to not look to the future.  We all have goals and daily/weekly/yearly objectives with our businesses and personal lives.  For many of us, it is difficult to forecast years ahead because sometimes the events are not coming in or don’t come in soon enough to employ any forecasting model satisfactorily.  We are forced to look to the future constantly to protect the life and health of our business (and in some cases, our livelihood).  We happen to also be in a business where we are expected to manage people and their expectations.  As an event professional, I carry my own weights, but sometimes we are put into positions where we are also forced to carry the weights of our clients.

Many of you (especially my close industry friends) have witnessed my transition over the last two years.  There have been many days and nights when I was ready to give up.  I was feeling so overwhelmed that I began to hate my business.  I resented that my business took me away from spending time with my family and friends, going on vacations, or just simple things like going to see a movie.  At the same time, however, my love for design and ‘pretty’ remained unwavering.  Something had to change and it took two years of trial and error to get there.

I tried changing my business model, scaling back the number of events my firm handles, diversifying my business, and streamlining my operations.  Nothing seemed to be working.  At the core, something didn’t seem right.  The above seemed like ‘band-aid’ solutions.  The weights just got heavier and heavier -year after year- and it seemed like there was no way out.

I switched focus away from my business and began to focus more on myself.  For ten years, everything revolved around the business and its growth.  It seemed like there was no time for personal indulgence.  How could I run a successful business when I myself was so unstable?

This is how I coached myself through it (and continue to do so):

1)  Attend empowering conferences, summits, and motivational events.  Listening to the success stories of others, their journey’s, and the challenges and triumphs they have faced motivates me beyond anything else.  One of the best things I did for myself was attend the Engage Luxury Wedding Business Summit.  I was around other professionals who understood me, embraced me as their own, and became my sound-board for the frustration I was feeling.  There is much comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

2)  Schedule weekly activities that I enjoy and are not work related.  I love to bike, go to Zumba, and watch movies.  By scheduling ‘me’ time, I no longer resented being in front of the computer working late hours.  There was much contentment in knowing that I come first and the business comes second –and that the business would still continue to thrive.  It became an exercise in efficiency and refining my operations and processes.

3)  Establish my accountability partners.  Simon T. Bailey asked me to choose my accountability partner.  Today, I have over four accountability partners who keep me motivated and in turn I do the same for them.  We empower each other to make the changes we want for ourselves in life.  My accountability partners are committed to me and my success (just like I am for them).  I see this as a form of giving and self development with limitless positive affect.

4)  Understand my limits.  Probably the most important of all, understanding your limits (and being sensitive to them) is key in managing the balance you want to create in life.  For me, this involved creating a weekly schedule for myself that balanced work and life, insisting that work is not discussed at home, and ensuring I scheduled at least one important activity per week to give me something to look forward to all the time.  These ‘highlights’ of the week kept me motivated.

5)  Exercise and eat right.  There is something very empowering about completing an exercise routine, having a great week of healthy eating, or going for a hike.  For me, it has been a grounding experience and has brought forth a renewed sense of positivity and calm in my life.  An ever-evolving lifestyle change that is focused on me and not my business.

6)  Spread the love.  Helping others be their best, volunteering my time towards positive initiatives, and always taking a moment to appreciate the one’s I love allow my soul to shine.  Writing about my experiences, sharing my love for design, and constantly reminding myself of the power of gratitude are my ways of spreading the love.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some more personal stories on all the changes that have occurred in my life and my business.  I have stepped back from certain career opportunities, opened myself up to new directions, and most importantly have employed a lifestyle change that has me beaming these days :)

I look forward to sharing with all of you, so please stay connected to my social channels for blog updates.

Wishing you an amazing weekend!

Paras

www.instagram.com/paraskmehta

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