Back To Basics

2013 has been a roller coaster of a year.  Like every year, a 12-month journey of continuing personal discovery and growth, both in business and in life.  2013 was a year of increased awareness of who I was, my resilience, my perceived limitations, my boundaries, my insecurities, my challenges, and my ability to persevere.  Most importantly, it was a year of evolution as I began to lay the foundation to self-transformation and truly understanding what I want.  Beyond all, 2013 was the year I vowed to ‘get real’.

2013 marked the tenth anniversary of PARAS Events.  I started when I was twenty years old, had just left school, and like many my age, had a vision for my future.

The business was started from scratch.  Our living room, basement, and garage became our inventory storage facility and the dining room was our consultation space.  I presented some of my very first weddings from this space and didn’t have a portfolio of work yet, so I rendered all of my concepts and used design boards to communicate my ideas.  I learned the fundamentals of managing and operating an event services business, the art of the presentation, and honed my design ability and aesthetic.  There was an innocence and air of simplicity to our small business that was truly ‘grass-roots’.

As I reflect upon those first few years, I begin to distinguish the key differences between my business today and how it was then, but more importantly my approach to the business and my role within it.  I am able to develop some key points, including: a) rediscovering the roots of why I am passionate about weddings and design, b) recapturing the innocence of my business and my true purpose as a creative person, c) rekindling the integrity with which I design for my clients and the self fulfillment it provides, and d) balancing the scale of ‘designer’ and ‘business owner’.

I used to operate my business thinking that the ‘big breaks’ in business were based solely on winning awards, being published in magazines, landing the ‘luxury’ clients, and fitting in.  Turns out, the greatest successes in business are fundamental: a) understanding your business, b) having your pulse on its health, c) establishing your unique signature and a recognizable brand, d) exercising your craft daily, e) nurturing your relationships and partnerships, and f) giving back.

In 2013, I gained some perspective on the next stages of my career.  These include education, sharing my experiences, and exploring international opportunities with my business.  I wrote about this in great detail in a post entitled ‘Lessons Learned’ highlighting my ‘Strategy for Change’ in 2014.

Part of going ‘back to basics’ is re-investing in yourself.  In 2013, I began to focus on my personal health (physical and mental).  I returned to the gym, managed a diet of healthy foods, and finally began a journal (all things that I didn’t make time for in the past).  I enjoyed a renewed sense of clarity, purpose, and fulfillment.  I slowly began to identify and differentiate the sources of happiness in my life.  By no means had I mastered the art of ‘living well’, but I tried my best and continued to strive to be the best version of myself that I could be.

I created a vision board to further communicate my personal and business goals for the year.

My new years resolution?  Go back to basics, learn from the past, and move ahead into 2014 with a renewed sense of direction for my business, where I want it to be, and understanding my universal role along the way.

Happy New Year everyone!  Wishing you immense success in 2014 and beyond.