HGE Petoskey, Michigan Wedding Teaser
The team and I were talking at our start of the season meeting a few weeks ago, and Kristine and Brett’s wedding day is truly one of the most stress-free and the most FUN events we’ve done in the past few years; not to mention is was a downright stunning celebration for two deserving people. Everything unfolded with such ease and by the end of the week, two families had become one, all while inviting the girls and I into their lives with such love and gratitude. This May, you can see more of this gorgeous wedding in The Knot Michigan. We’re counting down the days until we can relive all of the magic in print! Kristine and Brett, we so love you.
Isn’t Petoskey beautiful? Photo captured by our friends over at Harrison Studio. Xoxo
The Year of Content Week 7
Happy Weekend, friends! If you’re just joining us in this series you can go here first and here second.
I’m typing this to you from the airport in Grand Rapids. Guys. This morning was a serious test to my patience. I showed up nice and early to the airport for my 8:00 am flight, excited to leave negative 9 degree weather for the sunny skies of California. Check in was smooth, security was quick and it wasn’t until I arrived at my gate that I realized something was wrong. There was only one attendant tending to at least 150 people, a line of anxious passengers at the agent’s desk (with no agent), and I realized my ticket didn’t have an assigned seat on it. So over to said line I went. After half the flight boarded, I finally went to ask the agent how I could get my seat number and didn’t have much success there. Long story short, I was asked to stand to the side while each and every passenger had their ticket scanned successfully. Even the other passengers standing with me, also without assigned seats, were finally given theirs. When it was finally just me standing there, the attendant told me he was sorry but the flight was overbooked by one. That one being moi. And I would unfortunately need to find another way to LA. I’m still here waiting. Crossing my fingers I can get out west by tonight. Now I understand this isn’t a life or death situation in any way but my goodness, I tell you this kind of stuff is simply maddening.
And unfair. But life’s unfair so I digress.
My lesson this morning brought to life an interesting snag I think we all run into at one point or another with contentment. We always dig into this at Making Things Happen and it’s been such a revolutionary way of thinking for me, since I attended the conference the first time in 2012. It’s that we’re wired to believe we will finally be content if and when reach X. Which actually defeats the whole purpose of just being happy and content with the time being, with the now, the present, and the as is leading up to whatever X is. Like X is the mothership of joy! I also think this is why contentment is such a hard to achieve mindset for perfectionists (raises hand really high) and those who strive to overachieve. It’s impossible to accept anything less than perfect because perfection is where contentment is nestled away. But again, I could talk about this for days. And today, I want to simply dive into this little epiphany I had in between frustrated tears at the GR airport this morning (yup, I’m the girl with the pink Kate Spade bag who went through security twice!) and how this is applicable to finances over here. Because I didn’t actually need to get to LA immediately at 8:00 am this morning to feel content today. It got (is in the process of getting) worked out. The lesson was there’s still lots to be content about while I sit here with my earbuds in and fingers typing away to you. Onto my debrief!
What has not been working: More stuff. More stuff in order to feel happy. This. Is. Not. Working. At all. I mean technically buying or accumulating more stuff can temporarily bring me or you more joy and happiness because it feels good in the moment and satisfies a want, but I’ve realized this is such a trap. New throw pillows? Guys. I have to stop! A quick getaway to a tropical paradise with my husband because we can afford it and we ‘deserve’ it because we deal with such severe Michigan winters? Oh gosh. Listen to me! I’ve found myself on multiple occasions this year feeling like if I just get one more tchotchke for the living room, or one more throw blanket here, or one more change to the paint color upstairs, then I will have achieved contentment! If I can buy it then I must have it because it’s a shortcut to contentment like those make cash fast scams. I often, honestly feel like I’m so close to contentment I can taste it. But nope, Rhi you’re wrong. You’re missing the mark. Using my and our finances in any shape or form to find contentment is most definitely not working.
What has been working: Earlier this year Andrew and I finally met with our financial advisor to talk about our futures and how we want to see ourselves in 40 years. Using our money as a way to plan responsibly for our future and the family we want to start this year was huge for us as a couple. I’m a big believer in teamwork and going into that very long meeting as a team was powerful. It also made me realize I work pretty dang hard for my money! I should manage it wisely. We’ve been having a ton more financial talks in our house regarding money and that’s a shift from the past where it just hardly came up in conversation. I think finding contentment in the financial arena is going to be trickier for me than the others since it feels like such a measuring stick for the kind of woman and business person I am but hey baby steps right? That’s what this contentment journey is all about for me. Oh and meal planning. Meal planning has been such an easy way to manage money better!
Short term goal: Our short terms goals are a bit personal to share here but they involve our monthly spending budget and working closely with out financial planner to make the best choices for us. Oh, and no more throw pillows. Seriously. I’m done! Come to our garage sale this summer and buy all of the ones I grew tired of, please.
Long term goal: To be financial secure enough to open my own floral shop. In the south. There’s a big piece of my heart right there.
Feel free to leave your experiences below and to share them with the hashtag #theyearofcontent.
Happy Weekend friends xoxo
FAQs: Finding Social Media Boundaries That Work
Happy Monday, friends! Today I’m dishing on one topic that totally fires me! In a past blog post about limiting my social media use to better make use of my time and stop scrolling through my various feeds like a zombie, a sweet gal named Jo had a left an awesome and insightful comment that went a little like this:
This is such a great post, I totally agree and I need to do this. I have one small (HUGE) concern. I recently launched my business and I’m using social media as my main way of marketing my business. Is it a matter of scheduling posts and checking them every couple of days or once a week? How do I work on getting my business out there when I’m not checking social media?
When you’re new to anything you feel passionate about, it’s hard to have boundaries and even harder to feel like you’re ever giving enough ______ (time, effort, money, love, attention, insert whatever it is you feel your new thing needs to succeed). Without boundaries, eventually your efforts turn into a vicious circle because you’re always trying to outdo yourself. This creates misery and exhaustion and in some cases a bit of envy for what it ‘looks’ like others have going on. I can relate! Really. So let me share this little no so secret, secret with you.
The not so secret is that we ALL deal with overwhelm and distractions. These snags happen at any stage of entrepreneurship regardless of staff size, years in business, number of social media followers, personal changes and experiences like kids, and the list goes on. If a business is truly doing well and by general standards is successful, it’s going to feel like you’re always in the building stages. Because you are! While the logistical struggles I faced five years ago when I first started coordinating events are different than the ones I face now as I fly cross country to tackle big events and massive floral orders, the struggles are still there. They’ve just changed as my business has. I think some call this ‘growing pains’. I’m sure those who have been in business even longer than me face struggles proportionate to their experience level and business model too. While experience as a business owner results in increased knowledge it doesn’t translate to perfect operating conditions.
So here are some of my tips for using social media to build your business without going crazy (been there):
Create a Social Media Calendar Most large blogs have some sort of editorial calendar they adhere to, the same way an editorial team at a magazine lays out their next issue. This takes a bit of work and self discipline to stick to but it will guarantee you have a plan to follow. Grab one of those oversized calendars from Staples and at the end of each month, brainstorm when and what you are going to blog/share/do in the upcoming four weeks. Or start with two weeks if four is too much. Write down those topics, along with post dates and how you’ll share those items across your social media channels. Then start to preblog the content on your back end, so when those dates come, all you’ll need to do is proof-read and publish your posts! If you don’t blog (which I think you should but I can write about that later) then try to follow this system with your social media accounts. Ashley Brooke Designs is a great example of this. She shares three times a day on her IG account to reach three different demographics based on three time zones and to ensure she has three chances to hit her various audiences each day. Does this system work for me? Nope. But for ABD it’s a brilliant strategy and works like a charm for her brand. Your social media calendar should reflect your brand, your mission and what’s actually going to find that balance between promoting your business and not causing you unnecessary stress.
Quality Over Quantity When I was a gymnast in the NCAA, by my senior year I was on the outside in the best shape of my life, but on the inside just hanging on by a thread. Three back fractures, a newly repaired shoulder labrium, stress fractures in my shins, taped ankles, wrist guards and the list goes on. Each day at the gym felt like a walk onto the battlefield and both my coaches and I knew we had to be smart about the amount of wear and tear put on my body in practice to ensure I was at my best to compete and pull my weight with the team. During our competitive season, I remember walking into practice each day (which just to give you an idea, our practices were four hours a day, five days a week, and some days included morning lifts and cardio) but I remember coming in to practice and while we were all given a work out schedule to adhere to for the day, some of us were given the option to pick what we could commit to. Most conversations with my coach went like so:
Kathie: ‘Rhi, the assignment is 5 stuck vaults today and the fifth must be above a 9.8. How do you feel today?’
Rhi: ‘I’m a bit sore from weights yesterday and while my back is alright my shins are rough.’
Kathie: ‘What can you commit to?’
Rhi: ‘I can give two solid vaults, if one of those first two are above a 9.8 can I call it good?’
Kathie: ‘Great, you can use the remainder of practice to do some light cardio and conditioning.’
And if you want to read a bit more on how that approach helped me athletic wise, you’ll like this.
This quality over quantity approach is one of the biggest lessons I learned in college which funny enough, I now apply to most aspects of my life (quality pieces of decor in my home versus a million tchotchkes, quality time with my husband twice a week versus sitting in front of the television together every night with our phones in hand, 5 to 7 incredible weddings a year over 20 that leave me feeling frazzled and unfulfilled). When I blog or post on social media, I try to take a similar approach. I’d rather put up an impactful post that feels genuine and honest to my audience even just ONCE a week, than a crappy photo with no purpose every single day that may entice my audience to question how much time I’m spending online versus doing my actual work or a post that again, doesn’t tie back in with my core brand or mission.
Get Creative With Sharing Social media is no doubt a great and in most cases, free way to market your business. If you’re not currently using social media for your business and your a business or service catering to millennia, get on it! But the marketing opportunities and advertising strategies available to you don’t stop there. Being proactive about getting reviews from past clients for either your website or your profiles on wedding vendor sites, staying up to date on your website text and about me photos, networking with new professionals and being a kind and inquisitive colleague, serving your clientele better, and actually keeping your head down and focusing on your actual craft (versus talking about it all over IG and facebook) are all different forms of marketing and advertising your services and products. Get creative about the way you share and in turn you’ll become a better advocate for your own brand without feeling like a slave to your phone.
And if you absolutely have to use your social media on a daily basis for the existence of your business that’s great too! This is about what works for YOU not the business that has 100k followers or 400 comments on their latest facebook post. That’s comparing apples to oranges in the creative field. It’s not about questioning the business who chooses not to have an instagram account or the one who takes breaks from their accounts for a while (like me!). Numbers don’t always indicate success in the bank. And not every business is out to make six figures. Everyone has their unique plan that works for them and a very personal definition of success.
Further, if you’re needing help with managing your social media content you can look into apps like CoSchedule, Postso.com, and Hootsuite to help with your efforts! When it comes to blogging, both blogger and wordpress allow you to schedule your posts so they automatically go live when you want. There are really so many awesome and user friendly resources these days for creatives and business owners to help make your life a bit easier while striving to reach your professional and personal goals. Again, find the ones that work for you.
How do you use your social media accounts? What works for YOU? Share below if you’d like!
Happy Monday! Xoxo
The Year of Content Week 6
Happy Friday, friends! If you’re just joining us in this series you can go here first and here second.
In my quest to find contentment in 2015 with my work I actually had a bit of a self discovery and it’s that guys, I really love my work. I enjoy working! I feel like I inherited this love of working from my sweet Dad who is also an entrepreneur and works so hard, usually for long periods of time than most. For me getting through my work day, finding ways to make my business stronger, discovering resources to help me grow, believing in what I have to offer to others, well I’ve never truly struggled with these things or found them to be tedious (in most cases!) because this business really lights me up. I work hard and feel like those efforts pay off. But. And here’s the big but. Like most creatives and entrepreneurs, my Achilles heel is I struggle with comparison and usually this is during the off season or times when I get weak and let distractions take me away from what I should be focusing on. I recently watched an encouraging video from my gal Marie Forleo and I encourage you to check it out over here too. Comparison is the ugly sister to Feeling Like There’s No Room In The World For Your Gifts. Am I right? Watch the above video if you need a pep talk heading into the weekend. Onto my debrief!
What has not been working: So the career section of my life, really feels like it could break off into a hundred different branches and topics so I’ll focus on the comparison element mentioned above here. Having my phone near me anytime I’m not working in my office, is not useful for me. By default my hands reach for my phone and my fingers reach for my social media accounts (even if they are hidden on my phone and even if I have facebook opened in an explorer tab; not cool, Rhi). Any time I turn to social media to fill a void (to measure my success against others, to keep tabs on what’s happening in the industry, to pass time while I’m waiting in line) I usually end up feeling less than or realize I just wasted 20 minutes I could have used to do something more beneficial in the big picture (when I’m online I could support a friend and encourage them in a comment instead of scrolling through my feed, I could keep tabs on my family instead of my competition, I could read an inspiring article instead of reading facebook posts). You get the gist. Social media for ME personally, has to operate in very specific, controlled and intentional circumstances or it just doesn’t work.
What has been working: At the beginning of the year, I made it a goal of mine to only go on social media three times a week. Whaaa? I know, seems like a lofty goal. And while I’ve failed some weeks there’s been more weeks where I’ve stuck to this goal and found other ways to use my time off of social media. This is liberating for me! Again for me. This system doesn’t work for everyone and for some, social media is a huge part of their daily routine, business and life. But for me, this has worked and allowed me to find contentment and happiness within my own life. I also frequently take social media vacations (which encouraged the #stopthescroll movement) which have been some of the best moments of the past year for me.
Short term goal: Continue to use my social media accounts on days where I have something to share or someone to support and encourage. My social media should 85% of the time be used for business purposes much like I use my office supplies, business resources, etc. The other 15% should be used for personal purposes and beyond that I can pick up the phone or a pen to stay in touch with others. I believe trying my best to have self control and stick to my guidelines of three days a week will help me do just that.
Long term goal: To see social media as an extension to and important part of my business not an extension or definition of who Rhiannon is. Put your name is that sentence instead of mine and read it to yourself. That was really impactful for me.
Feel free to leave your experiences below and to share them with the hashtag #theyearofcontent.
Happy Weekend friends xoxo
A Glimpse Into the Hey Gorgeous Events Studio
Today I’m sharing just a little bit of gorgeous to kick start your week. But no worries, there’s absolutely more to come from the talented duo behind Bradley James Photography who recently captured some film shots of the new Hey Gorgeous Events studio and my sweet team. This little space has completely captured my heart. Making magic happen in here has been 2015’s biggest blessing so far. Happy Monday, friends! Xoxo