May: The Month of Madness

Month of Madness

Dare I say, May has been the most insane month of this entrepreneurship journey thus far.... and it was completely self inflicted!! In my scramble to gain clients, build a portfolio, and make a living I signed contracts for 2 wedding day coordination, full planning services for a meet and greet and a wedding, and re-lauched a local chapter of a national networking group all while picking up as many shifts that I could get at the Tmobile Arena for income.

Even though this month was pure madness, the main takeaway is that I made it through. It was rough, exhausting, stressful and mentally challenging but I made it through! Now looking back I am so grateful for the lessons learned throughout this month of madness. 

Lesson #1: time management

My time management skills are still a work in progress but working so many events and being at the arena every day I could get forced me to get serious about my work time. If I had 2 hours to work, I couldn't afford to waste 30 min of it on Facebook and reading blogs. I had my task lists for each week and reviewed them and updated nightly. And with time being so tight this month I made sure my designated work time was just that, no procrastination. I put my phone on DND and made sure to remain focused on the task at hand.  

Lesson #2: financial planning

Taking on so many contracted events in May meant I received payment in the months prior and had to budget to make sure I was able to make it through the month. So my actual income for May was extremely low. Also, with most of my contracts taking place on the weekends I missed out on some major income days. I make sure to look at my projected income 3 months out to ensure I am going to meet my financial goals. So far its giving me enough time to plan to make any adjustments for compacted contracts.

Lesson #3: sales and marketing

An obvious realization I had was during the planning phases of an event the last thing I have time for is sales and marketing. Procedures need to be put in place and I need to remain strict about continuing with my sales and marketing even with an event in the works. I need to get to the point where I am working from one event to the next.

Lesson #4: outsourcing

Speaking of sales and marketing, I decided to make it a goal in the near future to hire someone, at least for a couple hours a week, to do some sales and marketing tasks. If I had someone that took care of sending out proposals, replying to emails and scheduling social media it would relieve a huge task load. 

Lesson #5: overextension

I also learned to be more careful in accepting contracts, to place a limit on the amount of events per month and work toward spreading them out throughout the year. Overextension is a real thing and I definitely exceeded my limit this past month. In the future I will be tactful about the events I accept. 

Overall, May was crazy, hectic, exhausting, stressful, a little out of control and a great learning experience that I needed to go through as an entrepreneur. 

So next time you have a rough time ask yourself "But did you die??". Laughing but serious!



Wordy Wednesday - Update on Events by Kirk

It has been 7 months since I left the day job to work on Events by Kirk full-time. Being an entrepreneur is everything that you read about; its hard, exhausting, discouraging, and takes an insane level of determination and sacrifice. I have begun to greet rejections and "no" with "thank you, do you have any feedback" and then immediatly moving on to the next. Building the life you want has alot to do with also working on yourself, your personal restraints and drawbacks. The areas that I am working on are stress management, focus, not to be as hard on myself and my relationship wih money. In my spare time I have been reading alot, journaling and I have added meditation to my morning routine.

One of the reoccuring pieces of advice in almost every article about success I've read and books on entrepreneurship is the importance of listing your accomplishments. In working towards anything, its so easy to get caught up what you want your end result to be that you forget to acknoledge the progress you have made. In training for a marathon the rookie mistake is to still think midway through your training "theres no way I will be able to run 26 miles, the marathon is right around the corner". What you often forget is to acknowledge that you used to get winded after 15 min of running and now you are able to run 10 miles! You haven't reached your goal but you are on the right path and if you were determined enough to make it this far you will be able to make it on the day of the marathon. Even I have forgotton this important piece of advice, so in honor of this key rule I am going to list my accomplishments of the past 7 months

  • Marketing plan complete
  • Website redesign
  • Business foundations in place
  • Event consultation packages
  • Significant Q4 income
  • Hired by 2 travel directing companies
  • Working at T-Mobile Arena for additional income
  • T-Mobile is flexible enough to not affect the progress of my business
  • Made entrepreneur friends
  • Attending 2 networking events per week
  • Improved networking skills
  • Becoming known locally
  • 4 contracts signed and paid
  • 2 partnerships
  • 1 modeling gig (weird but cool) 
  • 1 social media management

Now, admittedly, I am not yet where I want to be in my business but just listing my accomplishments tells me I am going in the right direction. 

Happy Wordy Wednesday everyone!! In the comment section below, let me know what your greatest accomplishments were this past month!

4 Things No One Tells You Before You Go Solo

Obviously I knew going into full-time entrepreneurship would be a challenge, that it would be hard and stressful. My new reality is rolling out of bed brewing coffee and immediately sitting down at the computer. Then working all day until I hit a mental block only to look around and realize it's 12 hours later. Then, exhausted I take the iPad to bed and fall asleep while catching up on social media. I was prepared to be stressed about income, I was prepared to question myself and my decisions, I was prepared to make the extreme sacrifices needed to push the business. I was never naive about this being an easy journey. After all, if it was easy everyone would be a successful business owner.... Right?? However, I was surprised by the mental challenges and the mental strength needed to push forward everyday with the same conviction. Really, failing to work on yourself is planning to fail in your business. 

Truth #1: You will feel like you are isolated on (what I like to call it) "The Island of Insanity"

 Being an entrepreneur, especially one in which you can run your business 100% online can (and WILL) be isolating. We tend to lock ourselves in the house and work for hours and hours on the computer with no human interaction. The drive and determination that you cultivate allows you to go for days without actually noticing you haven't seen another human in all that time. The only thing that causes you to return to the human population is that you ran out of caffeine. While I hope that your friends and family are understanding of your sudden disappearance, it will be an adjustment for both you and them.

Tip: Find other entrepreneurs and build a kind of support group. I met a neighbor who is a videographer and he stays up late editing. Its helpful just knowing I'm not the only one up working late in this form of masochism. Although, we are in different fields we can relate as solopreneurs. Keep in mind you are not alone and schedule time to step away from the computer and spend time with friends or family. Even try working from a coffee shop once a week!

Truth #2: You don't even know what flexibility is yet! - Even though I am a very structured person I thought I would easily be flexible when it came to my business. FALSE! During the startup phase you are in grind mode and your schedule can easily get out of your control. Client meetings, pitch meetings, phone calls, networking events and your ever growing to-do list. It will be a huge adjustment to be able to go with the flow and become flexible with your ever changing schedule. Flexibility is a huge adjustment no matter how flexible you think you are, continue to work on this. It will only become an asset to you as your business grows.

Tip: Make a weekly list of items that need to be completed to ensure your business moves forward and your goals are reached even when you have pop-up meetings and last minute schedule changes. Also, (this may be obvious) but always have your laptop or iPad with you so that you can work on the go. You can get work accomplished in between meetings for example.

Truth #3: Some days the doubt will take over - Most days I am at the computer by 7am, work all day, get some reading done, catch up on my industry news, attempt meditation (not really good at it.... work in progress), networking events twice a week. But some days I look at my bank account and wonder if I am making the right decision. It's hard to work with that same conviction while you are building your business. Thats exactly what you are doing building. You may not (and most likely WONT) be generating much money, you will get a ton of "no's" and ton's of resistance.

Tip: Remember why you started and take it one day at a time. Cliche, I know, but consistency is the key to success in your business. (Maybe its not necessarily cliche if its the truth!). When you are having your moments of self doubt remind yourself what your goal is and look back on the progress you have made. You are doing this for a reason, you cannot let negative self talk derail your success.

 Truth #5: You will want to do a million different things - From the beginning you will see all the things you eventually want for your business; marketing, growth opportunities, branding, different departments.... the list can go on forever! Between the freedom of owing your own business and your ambition it can easily spiral to the realm of crazy town. Trust me, I've been there several times! You can easily spend a whole day planning what you want your website and logo to look like even though you cannot afford a graphic designer and have a perfectly professional website. Without someone to hold you accountable to your goals and business plan you can easily become side tracked.

Tip: Make a list of your long term goals and short term goals. Once you come across something that is a future aspiration put it on the long term goal list and table it. Remember the short term goals and the tasks that you need to do now to accomplish your short term goals! It may also help to have an accountability partner. This can be a fellow entrepreneur, you both can talk to about what your goals are and who keep each other's head in the game.

Even though I have had (and still have) these struggles I feel so self aware and I know that every challenge I come across is making me a better person as a whole. I am still so excited that these are now my challenges and I feel stronger everyday when I face them. The things I am actively doing to 

 My current coping mechanisms are; my local support group of entrepreneurs, financial accountability meetings with one of my close friends, daily meditation, reading 1 inspirational book per month, daily gratitudes and constant cheerleading from my biggest fan (my dad!)

Hope this helped, whether you are starting a business or facing a new point in your life. What are your coping mechanisms. Let me know in the comments! 

4 Steps to Making Your Dream Your Reality

Photocred: Interior Design Magazine

Photocred: Interior Design Magazine

I would really like to share with you the 4 most important steps in making your dream your reality. It took me a little while to get the hang of it but I hope that in sharing these tips with you will allow for an easier transition towards your dreams

1. State the dream

Now, I am taking into account you already have a dream already in mind. If you don’t yet, that’s ok, it’s a matter of time. Just keep looking within yourself!

Those of you that have your dream, claim it! Write it down, put it on your vision board, just say it out loud. So many of us have a dream in mind but are too scared to pursue them and keep making excuses within ourselves; “I don’t have time” “I live in the wrong city for that” “I don’t have the money right now”. Others are too scared to event say it out loud. If you are nervous to tell your parents, your friends, your significant other you don’t have confidence in yourself or your abilities. State your dream and claim it as your reality; this IS something that you ARE working towards and it WILL happen. Without conviction in your dream you have nothing.

2. Don’t look for validation

A support group is great when taking such a risk but you cannot look towards other people for validation in your dream; they do not have your vision, they cannot see you dream. Yes, of course share with those close to you, but when you get push back (and you will, guaranteed) just understand that their doubt does not make your dream any less valid. Most people are uncomfortable with change and your determination will surface issues within others and will be the main cause for most of the resistance. You have to understand that their doubts have nothing to do with your dream, they cannot determine your happiness.

3. Write out goals

Get a planner, download an app, pull a notebook off the shelf, how you keep track of your goals and accomplishments doesn’t matter but you must keep track of them. Plan out your year, separate the year into quarters, and the quarters into weeks and make milestones throughout the year that will serve your ultimate goal. Goals for each week, goals for each quarter, and goals you need to reach by the end of the year. Equally as important make sure that you celebrate your accomplishments, this will help push you through the rough times. If you are having a rough week just look back through your planner and look at all you accomplished this past month.

4. Remember why you are doing this

Speaking of rough, you will have ALOT of rough times. You will have self-doubt and you will think to yourself “Why am I doing this to myself?”. But every time you reach this point you need to remember WHY you are doing this. You are working towards an ultimate goal that is important to you. You should write down your reasons for pursing your dream; what the ultimate end result is and how your life will be as a result. Every time you get to that breaking point you can look and remind yourself the reasons you began in the first place.

I hope this helped in working towards your dreams. Good luck!


Fear and Business Don't Mix

Photocred: Elite Daily

Photocred: Elite Daily

In launching a business there are several obstacles that present itself. One of the most damaging, I have found, are fears. The fear of success, the fear of failure, the fear to put yourself and your business out there, the fear of criticism.

This week I was inspired by Alex Beadon in reading her blog post “WHY Have I Been Afraid of Success” and I love to hear the reality of what other entrepreneurs are going through. When I look at how successful and how amazing a person she is its shocking/endearing to me that of all people she admits to fearing the circumstances that come along with success. This made me take a pause and be completely honest with myself; if this successful businesswoman has fears, I MUST have some that I am unwilling to admit. What is my fear about success and how is this fear holding me back from furthering the success of my business?

I feel as if I have these amazing spurts of productivity and there are a few minor goals per week that could significantly further the business that I am trying to grow, but what is it that blocks me mentally and prevents me from finishing these few items. What is it that makes me shove these goals to the bottom of my to-do list or makes me roll it over until the following week?

How can I work so hard and read about the steps to success and plan the future and visualize a successful business but still have hesitation or doubts?! After sitting down and brainstorming and being truly honest with myself its so clear what my holdbacks are. It is the instability and the unknown in taking the leap of working full time for myself. Frankly, I have a great job that I enjoy AND its in my industry, great benefits, a salary, stupid (good stupid!) paid vacation time, opportunity for growth. But I am working towards leaving the stability of all that to build my dream company. I fear my directors finding out my plans are not to continue with the company and them dismissing me before I have my goal savings, and I fear the initial 6 months when I finally leave the security of a steady and regular income to work full time for myself.

In the moment acknowledging these fears I felt such a sense of clarity and the determination to push forward and triumph over these fears. I know that all of these obstacles are what us entrepreneurs must go through to grow from good to great. For me, this is the path that I have chosen and I will not take anything less than vision I have for Events by Kirk.

I write all of this to say to my fellow entrepreneurs that you are not alone when it comes to having fears in starting your business. We will all be apprehensive or even fearful about one aspect of our company. The trick is not to let your fear become doubts in yourself or your vision. Take the time to recognize the fear that is holding you back and push to overcome that very obstacle.

What are your fears?? Leave a comment below sharing your fear. Put it out for the world to see! Take the control over yourself and your business.