Going At Your Own Pace

I have a new appreciation for the ‘journey’.  When I began my career in events ten years ago, I had difficulty accepting the amount of time it was going to take to get to where I wanted to be.  I looked at the success of my mentors and established event entrepreneurs and couldn’t wait to be at that stage in my career.  I had no appreciation for the journey at the time.  A true millennial, I wanted it all and I wanted it immediately.  I wanted a trophy just for showing up.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned so far in my journey, is the importance of going at my own pace.   We are all familiar with the expression ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’.  As much as we may be aware of it in our personal lives, this concept becomes overlooked when we are dealing with our own businesses.

Often, we allow ourselves to become distracted by the progress of others.  We question our business decisions and cloud ourselves in self doubt.  Experience has taught me to remain confident in myself, my craft, and the development of my business.  Most important of all, I have learned to remove myself from the vicious cycle of ‘comparison’.  There is nothing wrong with ‘comparison’, until you begin to use it against yourself and your business.

Going at your own pace is especially important in the wedding industry of 2013 when ‘comparison’ is so easy through social media streams and the various print and web media that is accessible.  We are put in a position to be everything to everyone.  We begin to make business decisions based on an attempt to ‘fit in’ or fear of being ‘forgotten’ instead of true business growth and development.  We participate in campaigns that have more to do with personal pride than brand development, business growth, and revenue generation.  Unfortunately, this can have some serious emotional and financial repercussions.

This morning, Simon T. Bailey tweeted: “Don’t swim upstream with everybody else, shift and move the other way”.

These are some of the ways I practice going at my own pace:

-Throughout the year, I begin to identify my business goals and establish realistic weekly, monthly, and yearly milestones.

-I constantly assess my areas of strength and weakness and evaluate the status of my business.  I invest in business development opportunities that fuel the growth of my business, not my ego.

-I establish a routine for myself, which includes time with friends and family and enjoying my hobbies and pastimes.

-In recent months, I have learned to limit my use of social media to specific criteria I have set for myself.  This includes terms of use and volume/degree of engagement (more on social media coming in March).

-I always stress the importance of having a curated network of friends and family that are committed to you and support your success.  For me, nothing beats a pep talk from mom.

This week, create a timeline of the journey you have taken with your business.  What are the significant milestones along this journey?  What worked?  What didn’t?

Turns out, the ‘journey’ is the ultimate learning experience.

Have a wonderful week,

Paras