A Charming Business :: Realizing Your Value

I started my wedding planning and design business, A Charming Occasion, in the fall of 2011. Sometimes it feels like I just began this crazy adventure, and sometimes it feels like I've been working at it forever. Regardless of how long I've been doing it, however, I can tell you that I'm always learning. Always. 

Owning your own business isn't easy, I don't care what people tell you. It may come more naturally to some than others, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. And I was hoping, if you don't mind, that I could start sharing some of the things that I've learned and realized along the way.
This is something that I constantly struggle with, even now, and I have a feeling that a lot of creative business owners will say the same. I think that it's entirely too common, in any industry, to question the value of your work.

I'm constantly doubting myself, wondering if my clients actually need me, or if my work really is good enough. There has to be someone out there who provides a better client experience and charges less than I do, right? Why would anyone book me when there are so many incredible wedding planners and designers in general? And not only that, but is what I do really that important? I get people trying to talk me down in price or negotiate my contract all the time, reasoning that a family member or friend can do what I do. It's hard not to believe them sometimes. 

All these things contribute to this deflated sense of self-importance, and it's really easy to get caught up in all of the doubts that like to creep in from time to time. I'm sure every single argument against the value of my work has some semblance of validity. But if I truly believed that what other people say is true, then why am I doing what I'm doing?

The thing is, not everyone may see the value of your work. That's just life. But owning a business requires passion, and having passion requires believing in yourself, no matter what anyone else tries to tell you. Because how can you expect other people to value your work, and hire you, if you don't value yourself?


Joelle Duff said...

I totally agree about not comparing yourself to others. It's so hard not to compare one's success to your own or lack of and also their work in general. I think it's important to know your value, because you are so right... if you don't value your work, then no one else will either.

I'm restarting out again from the ground up and my prices are lower than I want. (my business is photography). I value my work, but there's no way I can charge what I want especially when I'm "new," plus I know those prices will increase months from now. They won't always be "low." I'm a photographer, and I see so many brides skimp out on photographers, because they don't think it is important. They end up hiring a friend with no experience to save money. I've seen the same brides regret it immensely. To me, things like photography is a HIGH value to me. That was the most expensive purchase I made, regarding my wedding.

You are sooo right on the "not everyone will value your work." That's just a part of life.

Joelle Duff said...

I love this! I'm not a wedding planning business owner (yet!) and I am already confronted with those notions and people telling em its not a worthwhile profession to go into. I have been told that just because you are a wedding planner, doesn't mean you are everyone's wedding planner and I use that to remind myself that I can't possibly make everybody happy and that the people who do appreciate me and my work are the reason I do it! Thanks for talking about something that I feel needs to be said more often!


Joelle Duff said...

Very true. It's like the whole "you have to fall in love with yourself first before you can expect others to fall in love with you" concept - I think our confidence in our value is our greatest asset!

Joelle Duff said...

I needed this today. Thank you! I'm so so new into my "business" still. Art is a super hard market and I often question that same statement, "Who even wants this, or finds this necessary." And the most important answer always has to be, "I do!"

Joelle of PageFreeArt

Joelle Duff said...

You are so very welcome! And just keep at it - I promise that someone else does find what you do important, and someday it'll all be worth it! xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

It's really so true! Confidence in ourselves and our work is so very important in this business!

Joelle Duff said...

If you're interested in wedding planning, I can tell you right now that there will be PLENTY of people waiting to tell you that it's not a real job. That is, up until they get married and want you to help them (for free, of course). If you love it, then go for it! You're right - just because you're a wedding planner doesn't mean that you are everyone's wedding planner. My business changed forever when I realized who my ideal client was, and when I figured out that I am NOT my ideal client. Good luck my dear! xo

Joelle Duff said...

We all have to start somewhere, as long as you don't stay there! I definitely did my fair share of free weddings (we all do), but it's all about paying your dues. I think it's also a right of passage - eventually we just have to learn the hard way how valuable our work is, and go from there!

Joelle Duff said...

Came across your blog today and this is exactly what I needed to hear. Thankyou! Look forward to reading more.

Teagan Kahla