i made a very important decision today.
well.. if im honest, i made it months ago to myself. made it public in one of those vague random facebook posts a few weeks ago.
but i had a lightbulb moment today while g-chatting with 2/3 of the wolfpack.
i’ve decided to semi-retire from the events industry.
a little history.
i was never planning (ha) on being an event planner. i went to school for something not even remotely related (as is too often the case these days). i fell into working for a charity and liked having a job with purpose. i stayed in the sector for a while before wanting to become unstuck and try something new.
i mailed some cold resumes, when mailing cold resumes was a thing and ended up where i’ve been for seven years (incl the year break to have a baby).
it has been a wild ride. i’ve met the rich, wealthy and the powerful. i’ve gotten to go places that i would never have stepped foot in. i’ve been a part of wonderful memories, triumphant successes and pretty damn cool events. my days are never the same, i’m able to flex my creative muscles sometimes and make my instagram followers jealous with the food pics. (#sorrynotsorry)
but somewhere along the way.. i lost my lustre. my juice. my edge. my passion. before event management college courses was a thing, most event planners didn’t PLAN to become one. but to stay in the crazy, stressful life – you need the passion. you need to eat, sleep and breathe it. you have to sweat the small stuff.
i’ve had events not go as planned, even had some unhappy clients. but i’ve had 2 missteps this year that have stuck with me. some things were out of my control, and i’ve tried to make peace with it. the other was a lack of attention to detail. killer mistake.
but i shook them off, and bounced right back with one of the biggest and most stressful events to-date with a smashing success. and thought.. i still got it. i can do this.
because the truth of the matter is, if i walk away.. i’m leaving a career of 10 years behind. a business that never quite got off the ground (despite having happy clients). unfinished schooling and more. but deep down what scares me is that i’m not just a planner by trade, i’m one at heart. and without it – who or what am i?
i’m a mom, but i’ve never wanted that to be the only thing i identify as. i’m a blogger/writer-type thing. i’m a…nice person? i asked on facebook today – what’s the difference between quitting/giving up and knowing when to walk away? i got some great answers, but it mostly comes down to feeling at peace with your decision in the moment and knowing you won’t have regrets in the future.
we live in a social media era of bullying. we tell people – if you are sleeping, you are losing. if you don’t hustle 24/7 – you’ll never win. you are cutting yourself short if you don’t take your financial future in your own hands and start your own business.
the last one in particular strikes at me. because i’m a decent event planner. i’ve managed to get clients without having a website or truly marketing myself. what i’ve never done, or have no education on? how to run a(n event planning) business. books can only teach you so much. i don’t know the first thing about payroll, accounting, creating a marketing budget etc.
and i kinda don’t really want to.
i have enough pressures in my day-to-day, without worrying about if i made enough revenue to pay my rent this month. and i don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. there is something to be said for stability and security.
im in this awesome women entrepreneur group and i sometimes feel like a fraud. i do technically have a business (Canada Revenue says so), and i’ve invested some dollars into making it something i can be proud of. but i don’t think i have an entrepreneur mind, heart and spirit just yet.
if a posting for events with the NFL came up – i’d apply for it in a heartbeat. when my friends decide they want to get married and hire me, will i do it? without question. do i look at celeb weddings and wish i had done it? do i go to events in real life and judge it through a planner’s eyes? (not anymore and yes are the answers).
when you have a baby your dreams change. your goals shift. you have to re-evaluate everything. are events, sleepless nights before a wedding, stressful 7am calls about coffee the life i want? forever? FOREVER EVER? forever is a long time.
and it’s with bittersweet symphonies playing in the background that i can say no.
what is important to me is closure. i had some set-backs last month which means i’ll be building my own biz website. just so that i can say i have it done. i’m going back to school to finish my event certificate. i’m finishing the things that i started, until the offspring went all kanye vs taylor on my plans. i’m doing that for me so i can feel peace about the time and money invested into this particular venutre. i’m doing that so i can show my kiddo that major life things don’t have to derail you forever.
i say semi-retire because i know i’ll never be able to fully walk away from doing events. they are fun and introduce you to new people, places and things. i’ll always have event planner as one of the hats in my closet – i just won’t be wearing it as much anymore. like fine China, i’ll pull it out and put it on for special occasions.
earlier i said having a baby – your dreams change and your goals shift. i have bigger and better plans for me that i’m really excited about. i’m taking bold steps. i’m asking questions. i’m researching. i’m networking. and maybe.. one day in the near future – i’ll be telling you about the new branches on the tree of my life.
time to spread my wings – and fly.
what’s your word? am i just having a mid-life crisis? is giving up quitting or can it be the smart thing to do?