If you haven’t already read the “About” page on my website, the abridged version of that story is that I started my corporate career in marketing and business development at an international law firm. After nearly ten years in that world, while planning events as a side gig, I finally quit that job in order to work on my business full time.
But let me tell you, it was NOT an easy decision to make. I thought about it for YEARS.
You know how a lot of entrepreneurs say, “Growing up I always knew I wanted to start a business,” or “I was a serial entrepreneur. Even from childhood, I was always hustling and coming up with new business ideas.”?
Yeah, well, that was never me.
In college, I took an entrepreneurship class as part of my business degree curriculum. On the first day of class, our professor had us take a quiz to determine whether our personalities aligned with that of someone inclined to start a business.
My results pretty much said, “NOPE, THAT’S NOT YOU.”
Honestly, that wasn’t really a surprise. I am risk-averse, enjoy stability and predictability, am motivated by external deadlines and goals, and am very comfortable working in a stuffy corporate environment (weird, I know).
Years later, while still working at my corporate job, I took a few days off to attend a conference for aspiring wedding planners hosted by Alison Howard. At the end of the retreat, Alison wrote a blog post that included brief messages to all the attendees. I don’t recall everything that my message said except for one sentence in particular. It read, “You are so ready!”.
I did not feel ready. I still don’t feel ready sometimes and that conference was years ago.
But what I came to learn is that if I waited to feel ready I’d never do it, and feeling ready and executing a job well are two completely different things. No matter what fears or hesitations I had, I knew I could handle whatever job was thrown at me and do it well. I just had to get over the roadblock of perfection paralysis.
I knew stepping out on my own would be a massive challenge, but I finally took a HUGE leap of faith and said “goodbye” to a steady paycheck, great health benefits, and bagel Fridays to chase a dream I had long known was in my heart.
As I write this, I can’t say yet that decision has 100% paid off (I find myself perusing job listings in moments of doubt and thinking “What have I done?!?!”), but then I come back to the immense feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment I get after every event knowing my clients are thrilled with the results.
Ultimately, I know I will never regret taking this step in my career and pursuing a passion I’ve had for so many years. Even though growing an event planning business in the midst of a pandemic may seem crazy, I still feel certain this was the right move for me.
Do you have any questions about entrepreneurship or how I got started? Let me know via email or in the comments section below!
xo – Alicia