Many moons ago, before I was a wedding and event planner in NYC, I was a professional actor who was deep in the hustle. I knew how to sell myself, push to be seen, get in the room, book the job or brush off the rejection. But, when you are an actor your face, body, emotions and soul are the product. I WAS my business. This was very rewarding when the great successes came but doubly devastating when the inevitable rejection hit.
It would be an understatement to say I had felt some serious trepidation when I decided to become an entrepreneur… again.
I was not excited to be back in the hustle. I KNEW exactly how much work it would take to get myself out there and I knew that, once again, it would require a thick skin and serious resilience.
This isn’t a t-shirt or a set of coasters being sold at a craft fair- it can be hard to keep some distance when what you sell is WHO YOU ARE.
OUCH.. I thought… this is not going to be easy.
Luckily my entire relationship to my business shifted when I had the good fortune of doing a soul support session with intuitive healer Viki Kelly Quirk. Aside from some mind-blowing personal revelations, she shared a concept with me that hit home- your business is an entity (quite literally according to the law) and when you treat it as such you can begin to listen to what IT really wants and needs. She invited me to begin playfully identifying with my business by creating a distinct and separate persona for it.
The first morning of my new relationship to my business (AKA Operation: I am Not Alone In This, Goddamnit!) I was on my way to my usual coffee shop to get some serious work done. While driving in the car I asked my business what she wanted to work on that morning and she replied “ let’s go for a hike first!”
I took a sharp detour to my nearest trail and got out of the car. We walked together while she recited an hour- long monologue full of creative inspiration.
When I finally sat down in the 1/2 hour window I had left to be “productive” I was able to pour every bit of creative juju she shared with me directly into my computer.
I used to think I would need huge blocks of time to accomplish anything, but, my business has taught me that she is really effective at getting things done in short 15 minute bursts (sometimes at unexpected moments like waiting in line at the grocery store). It wasn’t until I began to listen to how SHE wanted things done that I really started to notice a change in my productivity, creative output, inspiration and satisfaction.
I let my business love me by letting her take the lead- she takes the pressure off of me by having her own strong opinions and clear vision. I can let go of how I think things should be done- which ultimately leaves space for inventiveness and ingenuity (two values I hold in high regard).
If you had to pick out my business from a line up you’d recognize her by the beautiful gown she’s rockin’ over a pair of steel-toe work boots. She’s a bit of a clown, a visionary and a rebel.
I am a wedding and event coach. I come from the wedding planning world but definitely don’t feel like I belong IN it. My approach connects couples to their highest values so they can plan a wedding that is true to who they really are. This means I am often making recommendations to my clients which go completely against the industry’s expectations.
I invite my people to not take themselves so seriously. I welcome irreverence and give them permission to celebrate the things that make them awesomely weird and special. My business is not like every other softly-lit romantic wedding business out there. It is not about perfection- it’s actually about the beauty of imperfection. I don’t promise anyone a fairy tale- I give them permission to write their own unique story and the tools to improvise when shit gets crazy.
I honor my business for all the ways she is weirdly, beautifully unique. In return she gives me guidance and support.
Some days my business sits me down like an unpaid intern and we accomplish all of the administrative- non-creative- business- crap that usually feels like a chore. She has laser focus and sh*t gets done!
She knows what the product will look like and what the title of the blog post is.
She puts up the red flag when she sees I’m rushing or putting the pressure on myself for instantaneous results and she pushes me hard to make sure projects are finished rather than perfect.
Sometimes,she collapses from exhaustion and I speak to her gently like an impatient child “it’s ok girl, we are still new at this”. See, even though I know she has the experience and expertise to be a success there’s this whole other entrepreneurial piece that is still very new to us. We are learning more every day.
Then there’s the most important piece for me- after decades of feeling the burnout from being my own business I now feel liberated and able to sell what I do as its own separate entity.
I can take rejections with more spaciousness and I find it easier to take bigger risks and put myself out there. Now, if someone doesn’t like my business model it’s not just on me. I don’t feel the need to apologize- she is who she is and can’t be compromised or sold to the highest bidder.
Does this resonate for you? What piece of wisdom does your business want to share with you? I’d love to hear what your business looks like in the comments below. Mine is very social and loves spending time with other awesome businesses- she’d probably like to meet yours for a cocktail some time!
Christy Decatur is a Boulder CO based wedding and event coach. She is a seasoned event planner whose background in acting and improvisation colors her work with spontaneity, humor and lightheartedness. Christy helps down to earth creative souls plan an event that is true to themselves, while staying fully engaged in the moment. She hopes to revolutionze the wedding industry with her mindful and irreverant approach and recently released her first online product to support anyone planning thier own wedding: A $20 DIY WEDDING PLANNING TEMPLATE KIT learn more at www.christydecatur.com