I've never been one to rush things. When my friends were dating and serious with their significant others, I never felt the pressure to hurry up and settle down. When my friends had their jobs and careers and knew what they wanted to do I was only frustrated because I wanted to be doing something that I enjoyed, not because I felt like I was falling behind. So I suppose that it makes sense that my mentality with Chickadee is to grow slowly and purposefully.
I don't want a dozen weddings my first full year in business. I don't want to do half a dozen styled shoots. I don't want to go to bridal shows. I don't want to spend what little money I have on things to make me more efficient when I don't even know what my processes fully look like yet.
"Well, wait a second, Kelsey - if you spent a little bit more on these things, you'd get more clients and you'd be making more money that much faster!"
I don't care.
It's not about the money. It's not about how much or how little I make in a quarter or in the year (though some days I wish I was a millionaire!).
This business wasn't created to bring in extra income. Sure, I'd love for it to maybe one day be what I spend the majority of my time on. But it was created out of a need. A need that I needed to use my skills and talents in a way to help others. A need that other brides that are just like me don't know how to fill, until we have our first conversation and I can tell it was meant to be. A need that God has placed me to address.
See, this was never about me. It was always about Him, and what He wants to use me for. He may have me run Chickadee Events for 20 years just so I can meet one couple and it can fulfill his divine purpose. He may have me sacrifice Chickadee Events. Sell it. Move across the country. Move across the world. Stay right here and work at this pace for years to come. And, I'm okay with that.
I firmly believe that God has brought every couple I'm working with to me for a reason, and that we're matched up to fulfill His will. Not mine, but His.
So, I don't want to grow too fast. I don't want to lose sight of why He gave me this dream and this business. I don't want to get so focused on growth and more clients and more weddings that I can't take care of what's right in front of me - my own marriage. Chickadee Events isn't my top priority. I have a strong inkling that for most small business owners, their business IS their top priority.
I'm not saying that's wrong. It may work for them. But I know better - I know that that doesn't work for me. My first priority is God - and in fulfilling what he wants for me. My second priority is my husband - I have to make time for him and for our marriage. It takes work, and he needs to know that he's the most important thing in my life (after God, of course!). That means dedicated date nights together, putting my phone down when he's telling me about his day, and for us that means going to bed together so we can do our nightly devotion and prayer.
So yes, that means that I actually go to bed at a reasonable hour. I can count on one hand the number of times I've stayed up past Kevin because of this business. And I vow to myself that I will not create so much work or take on so much work that I can't take care of what's the most important thing to me. And guess what? God takes care of the rest.
You hear a lot of "you do what you have to" "I run on coffee" "I'll sleep when I'm dead" or "if I can just get this one last thing done..." from small business owners and from those who are so engrossed in work that they can't pull themselves away. That's so sad to me. You have to be able to recognize that your family has to come first. That you will lose sight of what is actually most important to you to take care of something that isn't the most important thing to someone else - and yes, I'm even talking about weddings! As a wedding planner I understand crisis and emergencies and family drama and friends not showing up and all of that. But I also know that while those things are important to you, and they are, and they deserve a response, that they still aren't the most important thing in your life. I'll talk about why weddings aren't the most important thing in your life when you're preparing to get married later, I won't get into that now.
My point is, I promise to myself and to my husband that I will put our marriage first and foremost and take care of myself. I will also go where God calls me and make time for him. Then, I worry about Chickadee.
I also don't want to grow too fast because I want to get it right for my clients! They deserve my undivided attention and my utmost best. If I'm running myself ragged and am pulled in too many directions I can't serve them in the best way possible. I want to be able to focus on my clients one at a time, and trust that God has brought the right people to me to serve them while they plan their wedding.
Now, I would like to add 2 disclaimers to this: I don't have kids, so my current sleeping habits are much better than they will be when they start a family - at that point, I may start blogging at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday instead of 2 p.m. on a Sunday! Secondly, I'm not super women, and I do still get bogged down with what I'm doing. I'm not perfect, I miss things, my deadlines get stretched, and I have to seek grace and forgiveness.
But, I do encourage you to think about why you're doing what you're doing, and that you should really get back to the heart of it if you're struggling with your time management! Cut what isn't necessary or a priority and get back to basics. You'll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish.
From my heart to yours, Chickadee!