Ep. 002 Connect the Dots
Filed under Podcast
February 11, 2019
In this episode:
- How I started + expanded my event planning business
- Getting a business partner
- How I started coaching + consulting female entrepreneurs
- Connecting the dots in my life
- Remembering what my Dad’s death had taught me
- Selling the business
- Connecting your dots
Last week, I chatted about those moments that change us + the one that changed me. Today I am gonna share how another moment in my life changed everything again. So, we left off when I had just quit my profession in the legal field and started my own event planning business. I had no contacts, lived in Phoenix where I didn’t know a lot of people + I had never planned events before. But as with every challenge I face, I took it head on. I attended every networking event + met as many people as I could. I quickly grew my business with a full roster of clients and was loving being a part of this creative world. It was completely opposite from my experience in the legal world.
Fast forward to three years into running the business, I had my daughter, London, and now I was juggling motherhood + entrepreneurship. Wow, that was a bit of a change. I will share more about the juggle in a future episode.
The next year, my business became so busy that I knew I needed to have someone else join the team. But I didn’t want just a team of people working for me, I wanted a business partner. The stars aligned and one of my brides was interested in becoming my partner. She was everything I was looking for in a partner. We signed the agreement and she bought half of my business. Another major moment. But that is not the one I want to focus on today.
We went on to grow the business + our team successfully. Two years into our business partnership, we were managing the business instead of working every event and one of my planner friends, Eliana of EllyB Events, asked me to coach her to help her get to where she wanted to go in the wedding + event industry. My business partner and I would go on to coach lots of wedding professionals over the next four years on how to build a team, create systems and lots more.
After six years in the wedding + event industry, I realized it was not where I wanted to be in my future. I had landed there, because I needed to shift to the creative side of myself, but after working so many weekends and us designing high end weddings for hundreds of clients, the coaching aspect of the wedding world was such a breath of fresh air. I felt like I was doing what I was meant to be doing…helping other women run successful businesses.
Advance another four years later, now over ten years in the wedding + event industry, as I was pregnant with my second child, my son Lane. I was tired. My heart wasn’t in our business anymore. We had grown our team to me + my business partner, a lead planner and several associate planners. And I wanted out. To be honest, I was ready to leave that profession several years earlier, but I didn’t want to disappoint or disrupt our team. Everyone had worked so hard to get to where we were. But my heart kept going back to that moment from the first episode where I lost my Dad, and I knew I needed to move on and live the life I wanted.
One day, I was talking to my sister, Heidi, about the situation, and with tears rolling down my face, I said “I can’t do this anymore. I am just not happy. And I am not where I thought I would be at this stage of my life. I want more, but I don’t want to hurt or disappoint anyone.” I remember what she said next like it was yesterday. She said “Heather, you keep talking about where you should be or where you thought you would be at this point in your life, but you need to see how far you have come and how the dots have connected. You wouldn’t be here today if you didn’t do all of those things. Those things got you here. You are right where you are supposed to be.” I knew right then that I had to follow my heart to tell my team.
I came into the office and shared with my business partner that I didn’t want to be in the business anymore and wanted to focus on my own business. I don’t think anyone was truly ready for that moment. It definitely wasn’t easy, but looking back, I think it was the best for all of us. So, we ended up selling our business to Rachel, our lead planner, which was a big deal…obviously it was a big deal…we were selling our business…me after being in it for almost eleven years and my business partner for six years, but we were handing it over to someone we trusted. Rachel had grown up in our business and we know actually handing it over to her…she bought it…we sold it to her, so it wasn’t just a hand off. We knew that is was in good hands + she was going to make it even more amazing than we ever could. It feels like a lifetime ago when it happened, but it was only four years ago. But it is how I got to where I am now.
And so, you might be at a place in your business or your life where you are thinking “I am not where I want to be” or “I don’t understand…how did I get here, or how do I get there quicker?”
But I want you to think about the dots and how they have connected in your life. You are right where you are supposed to be. Now right where you are right now might be really hard. It might not be ideal. But if that is the case, you have to make a decision. What are the next steps you can take to get to where you want to go?
If you are in a 9-5 and you want to go full time in your business, what are the steps you can take? Make the next dot and see how you can connect it. It is in your hands. Now, fear might hold you back. Is it going to be easy? No, not always. If you trust and follow your heart, you will get to where you are meant to be.
It’s hard, because we want to know the next steps we take are the right steps. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know when I left my first job. I didn’t know when I sold this business. But I always go to my gut and my heart. I also know that no matter what, I will always make something happen. It might not be exactly the way I think it is going to happen, but I am confident and determined enough to take a little bit of a risk, to take the next step to live the life I want to live. Because there are no do overs. There is no extra time given. Whatever time you are given on earth is it. Make the most of every single moment. If you are not in a place where you can take the next step yet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t look to the future and map those steps out so that you know that next thing to do in order to get to the next dot.
I believe in you, friend. I am excited to hear your take on this. What are you dots? What are the dots that you connected in the past to get you to where you are? What are the dots you want to get to in the future. What is the vision you have for yourself that you want to get to and how can we take steps to get there.