2018 – what a year! A very eventful one, so I have decided to write a little piece on lessons I’ve learnt running my own business. We’ve pushed out 7 publications, hosted around 6 styled shoots, redesigned our website, hit (almost) 50k on Insta, and pushed out a myriad of blog content.
Whilst this may not be much to the average business owner, I will say that I feel this is great for me, as I work a full-time job and finally this gig feels like it has evolved beyond a hobby.
It’s the first year I have decided that this can no longer be a side gig, so I have prioritised it as much as my main job.
Thus, I have learnt so much this year by throwing myself into this thing. Some have been good. Others, somewhat disappointing.
But, it’s ok – because we live and learn right? Anyway, here are 8 lessons I’ve learnt running my own business in 2018.
Lessons I’ve learnt running my own business
1. A party stylist is worth their weight in gold!
Even though it’s really fun curating, planning and organising a party, we’ve learnt the hard way, planning a huge event for a 3-year-old, that sometimes we need to just hand it over to the experts! From now on, if I’m hosting for over 100, I’m hiring a pro! You can read more about our thoughts here.
2. Every day is an uphill battle on social
Social media has become a part of running a business and an essential marketing strategy. And it is not a set-and-forget exercise. A couple of days offline, and it is so easy to lose momentum. When you think you can rest, boom – along comes another algorithm change to switch it up for you (actually, this can apply to business in general).
3. Helping others is not always helpful
Now, I am not advocating for selfishness here, because I believe that I am a genuinely helpful person. Nor do I believe that help should be given with expectation. Sometimes, you just need to say things for how they are. Lack of time on the part of the giver, skill shortage and ungrateful recipients are just some of the things that can cause problems here. In addition (especially if you are service based), think about how much you might be de-valuing your offering when giving it under the guise of ‘help’.
4. What we say, and what we do can be mutually exclusive
In the world of digital and social media, curating your image is as easy as curating a party. As a result, a lot of people are pushing a narrative, whether it be one of motivation, health or support, that they don’t ascribe to in real life. My aim this year, especially on social, is not to do things for the hell of it, I will be making sure it is a reflection of me and my brand.
5. No matter how hard you try, some people will always think you’re shit
We humans can be fickle and biased things. No matter what you do, some people will just always be critical. I am so proud of what I have achieved this year. But every time I get that high, I am promptly brought down to earth with a memory from earlier this year, when an industry peer blatantly asked me ‘why do I bother’. The lesson here? Accept there is nothing you can do and move on.
6. Photographers are always worth it
Sometimes, I just want to throw together an impromptu flatlay for social, you know? But I can never nail it. And I am not always organised to have a photographer booked. Meanwhile, Elle and Time are shooting covers that were shot on an iPhone, and I’m like, ‘whaaat?’
7. Inspiration is not always imitation
This is a very worrying topic for a lot of people, no matter which end you lie at. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to take an idea seen online and run with it these days. It can be disheartening and demotivating. But crying ‘copycat! is not a helpful solution. At some point, does it become acceptable that a trend has been started? Now, I am not talking about someone who takes something you have done and copies it to the T. The reality is, people will generally see an idea, like it, and improve it or establish their own version of it. At this point in time, I just don’t know where the answer lies.
8. Parties are the best!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and shout it from the rooftops if necessary! I absolutely love what I do and being around the business of bring joy to people is something I will never take for granted!
Thanks for reading!
ABOUT PARTY WORK
Occasionally, we’ll be blogging on the ups and downs of business, social media and marketing, inspiring stories from our fellow party creatives, and any party biz learnings we’ve had. We hope you, as a party business or blogger will find this content interesting! Stay tuned for more.