Last Friday was my last day at my day job. Not many of you know, but yes, I worked the daily grind up until then, while also planning weddings and blogging. So my little Owls, that is my reason for being a blog slacker. With wedding season being far busier than I could have expected (in the very best possible way), and juggling a full-time job, my brain was stretched thin, and time slipped away from my fingers without even realizing it at times.
I feel so invigorated, slightly terrified, relaxed and confident right now. I took a risk and left my job right at the end of wedding season. Why, you ask? Good question. I needed time to collect my thoughts. I take SH Weddings and blogging very seriously (duh!), and for the past year, I’ve put everything I have into my clients and readers, and I’m just so proud of that work. I really am. Toward the beginning of fall, I felt myself on an energy decline, and realized that now was the time. If I wanted to hold such high standards for myself and how I treat my clients, I had to take the leap and allow myself to focus entirely on my clients and my goals:
1. I need to really think of ways to give my customers full confidence in my skills. I strive for five-star reviews not because I like seeing that number on WeddingWire go up, but because it means I know I did my job well, and I took stress away from a bride, groom and their families on a momentous occasion. I want my clients to never feel like a number, but more like a friend. I need to find more ways to show them that I truly care. Because I do. I really, really do.
2. From a business standpoint, I need to focus on my client base, and define an SH Weddings bride. Is she modern? Worldy? Trendy? Traditional? Everything mixed into one really cool person? I think she's the latter, but I’m not sure. I need to figure that out so I can better serve all my couples and give them personalized attention catered to their specific needs.
3. I need to expand my skill set. I wouldn’t be a smart businesswoman if I wasn’t constantly trying to learn new trends and skills. I devour wedding-related literature during my free time, but that’s not enough. I want to participate in conferences with industry leaders and attend more classes in different arts such as floral design and letterpress to branch out beyond where I currently am.
4. I want to learn more about my network of vendors. I work with amazing people, and I want to know how I can further assist them, and also, how they can further assist my clients.
However, I can’t reach any of these goals without being completely, 150 percent dedicated and having the down time to focus. Therefore, I decided to use the winter months, the notorious slow season in the wedding industry, to make myself a better wedding planner.
During the last part of December, I plan to have an extended stay at my mom’s house, where I grew up. I’ve never done this! Time with my family to reconnect is an instant battery recharger. And to get myself mentally prepared for this leap I’m taking, I’ve decided this is the best way to go about it. Since moving to Chicago almost four years ago, I haven’t seen my family for more than three days straight - and not more than twice a year - and that's always left a small void in my heart. For the rest of this month, I will be filling that void, making me feel complete again, and fully invigorated. And what better time do to this than during the holiday season? Mr. Owl will be joining me for most of my stay, but he'll be flying into New York just a few days after me.
In January, Mr. Owl and I have planned our very first tropical vacation. We honeymooned in Vermont after our wedding because we needed a place to take in fresh air and bond with nature, but we've been craving beaches, warm sunlight, piña coladas and sunsets since last winter. We decided to reward ourselves for a year very well done with a trip to Cozumel, Mexico! We’re on pins and needles, ready to go, and this will be the end-all, be-all of battery recharging.
After our Mexican vacation, I will be ready to go. I’ll be ready to expand SH Weddings into the company I know it can, and will, be. I’ll be ready to dazzle my clients even more and I will become a much more well-rounded member of the wedding industry because of it. And I'm just so excited about everything - including getting this blog of mine back up and running.
Thank you all for being patient, understanding and truly amazing.