Celebrating our successes is a surprisingly challenging thing to do, but I'm learning more and more how important it is for everyone, but particularly, for creative entrepreneurs like you and I. I recently wrote about this on my instagram, after receiving an award at the 2018 Team Flower Conference:
"Proud moment here :) Last week at the #teamflowerconference, I took part in the Designer of the Year challenge and I was awarded winner of the Mastery of Communication category. There were several different tasks that we had to complete (including a timed boutonniere race...talk about stress, ha!), and those of those tasks were an interview and a mock proposal. I was selected for this award because of the way that I was able to understand my "client" and communicate my ideas to her, as well as communicate my thoughts and ideas well in the interview.
This was such an affirming moment for me. I've often thought that I may not be the best designer, but I'm a REALLY good business owner. I take really good care of my clients, and I always want to create something unique for them, so I really need to listen to them and then dream for them. Knowing now that other people in my industry also feel that I do a good job of this was so reassuring and reminded me of where I'm taking Stone House Creative. So thank you, @teamflower for such a life-giving experience which has filled me so, so much joy! (PS I don't know about other adults out there, but I feel like it's really hard to accept being proud of yourself because it feels very selfish and almost conceited. I'm trying to learn that it's okay to be proud.)"
I talked about this recently on the Team Flower blog, with the article below. I'm willing to bet that some of these thoughts resonate with you, not matter what segment of the wedding industry you work in.
Flower orders. Stem counts. Proposal writing. How much did I charge for that bridal bouquet again? Recipe writing. Figuring out how to make each wedding look different from the last one. How many stems of spray roses go into that arrangement? Delivery schedules. Taxes. Bridezillas. Momzillas. Right, I have to remember to update the website with that new offering. Oh, and call the wholesaler to see where that vase shipment is. Where did I leave my clippers?
The floral industry is so go-go-go (EDIT: THE WEDDING INDUSTRY IS SO GO-GO-GO, amiright??). I’ve never met a florist who hasn’t resisted the urge to laugh each time we are told, “it’s my dream to be a florist in retirement!” This comment usually comes right when we’re in the middle of sweeping floors, bleaching buckets, lifting heavy boxes of vases, and trying to get sap off our hands while at the same time nursing an aching back and hoping the phone doesn’t ring so we can finally finish just one task.
It’s really easy to get bogged down, and the result is that we forget to celebrate our successes. We’re always looking and thinking ahead to the next wedding, the next event, the next field to weed, the next prospective client meeting that we want to book, and the next accountant meeting. While I don’t think this is a bad thing, it means that we frequently forget to stop and smell the roses — literally!
One of the things that, as floral designers, we love the most about flowers is their fleeting beauty. Here today, gone tomorrow — literally. Their ephemeral nature is what makes flowers so, so special. Yet, we forget about this!
For example, when I started my business, I made a goal of booking 2 weddings for that year. I booked 30. How did I celebrate? Ummm. Maybe I bought a sandwich? Another example; at my largest wedding to date, I took a minute to look around when we were close to finishing setting up. I was really proud. It was my first booking with a floral budget over $10,000! There were some fun installations and a bride who trusted me to do whatever I wanted. It was the first wedding I needed to rent a big van for. It was a really big deal! However that moment of pride lasted for about 35 seconds. Why? I looked up at the wedding planner, expecting to receive some words of praise or gratitude, but instead saw only stress and frustration in her eyes. I’m sure it was not about the flowers — I’ll be honest, they were gorgeous — but rather about something else going on because it was a large wedding with a lot of vendors involved. However I let that wedding planner’s emotions affect the way I thought about the wedding, and pretty soon, I was down on myself. I didn’t celebrate that success for days.
So today, I’m spending some time thinking about my successes. For my business, 2017 saw 61 completed weddings (with only one complaint!). I hired my first freelance designer, worked on a chaotic but fun semi-destination wedding, and increased my average wedding budget by $1000, which is a huge deal in my small city! I played a major role in creating beautiful wedding days, saw many of my past couples give birth to their first children, and two who started their own businesses. About 90% of my clients let me have complete and total freedom on their flowers (aside from color palette, of course!) and all summer long, I worked in the fresh air with beautiful flowers and fun colors. You know what? I’m pretty proud of myself.
It’s a challenge to set time aside to celebrate yourself and the things you’ve done. That one complaint I got this year? I still think about it, and let it consume me. I’m constantly looking forward and thinking about how I’m going to reel in the next booking. Believe me; you’re not the only one who gets stuck!
With all that said; I want to hear your successes! Comment below and don’t be afraid to brag. After all of the hard, hard work that we do, we deserve to shout out about ourselves a bit. What are you proud of?