Becoming a #Bossbabe
Hello, loves! Happy Friday!
Today I'm going to talk about something that I never really expected to happen- becoming a #bossbabe. About a little over a year ago, I started this crazy business of mine with an entirely different game plan than I have now. Even before that, I had a totally different life plan. And even further before THAT I thought my entire life was going to be entirely different. How did I get from there to here? Well, let me tell you.
When I graduated high school, I wanted to go to college to become a high school English teacher. I had always played teacher with my best friend in elementary school, and I wasn't really passionate (or even good at) any of the subjects I was taking in high school. I was just biding my time. The only class I really loved was creative writing and English. I used to write all kinds of short stories, and even tried to write a full murder mystery novel my senior year! Even still, nothing really caught my attention. I ended up going to the University of Delaware on the 2-year SEED program scholarship, which landed me on the Dover Delaware Technical Community College campus. It's a program that allows students to obtain a 4-year college degree from an esteemed university without paying that hefty tuition bill and experiencing a more "personalized" teaching approach. I had always dreamed of living the full "college experience"- dorm and all, so when I received my acceptance letter explaining what program exactly I had been accepted into, I was devastated. I felt stupid, unqualified, and like my dreams were slowly drifting away.
Little did I know that those 2 years would save me a lot of time, money, and backtracking. Students in the 2-year SEED program were not required (or encouraged) to declare a major until their Junior year and were expected to work on their base/core classes during those 2 years. Thankfully this was the case, because about a semester before I graduated with my Associate's degree, I decided that becoming an English teacher was not in the cards. I hated being in school, and couldn't imagine being cooped up in a classroom all day every day for the rest of forever. Not to mention that I had fallen out of my passion for writing, and even if I became a teacher that wouldn't be my primary job function. I was lost.
Thankfully, despite the physical separation of campuses, I was still a full on University of Delaware student, and therefore was able to attend everything a student attending the Newark campus could. I went to an event called "Major Mania" on campus, an event designed to put all the majors a student could possibly pick from on display from each college within the university. My mom and I went to every table, asking all kinds of questions. It wasn't until I saw the Communications table that I knew I was going in the right direction. They had a huge banner behind their table that had all kinds of careers someone could work towards in that major, things like "director, radio personality, producer, advertisement, marketing..." the list goes on. It felt right, and that's the path I decided to start going down. I still wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do with it, but the possibilities were seemingly endless, and it was much needed uncertainty.
The following year I started attending the University of Delaware for my final 2 years on the Newark campus- dorm and all. I got about a month into my first semester there when I realized this was not the place for me. I loved the independence that came with living in a dorm by myself on campus, but that was the only benefit. Everyone I loved was almost an hour away, whenever I wasn't in school I was working at my minimum wage job at Panera, and I had found out that my major was competitive and that I might not be accepted into it, to boot. This was the last straw. One night my boyfriend, Settle, came to visit and I jokingly said, "What if I just drop out and go to Wilmington University, haha". It was an epiphany. For those of you who don't know, Wilmington University is a community college geared towards working adults who want to obtain their degree while working on a career. So that's just what I did. The next day my mom came up and helped me pack some stuff, I dropped out, and applied for and scheduled an advisement appointment for Wilmington University. Within a month I was a full time student working on a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications almost 100% online and searching for a full time job. It felt way more my style, and a lot like freedom.
I still didn't really have any idea of what exactly I wanted to do when I graduated with my Bachelor's degree, until I took one of my last classes necessary for my degree. I was about 2 semesters away from graduation (Wilmington University does 4 semesters a year, and they're only about 5 weeks long each), when I took a class that might as well have been named "Entrepreneurship 101". I forget the actual name of the class, but it was life changing. For the final project, we were required to come up with a business plan, even if we had never intended to own a business, and present it to the class as if we were on Shark Tank. I knew exactly what business I would present: Senner of Attention Event Planning & Bakery. This, my friends, was the first draft of the business you see today.
I worked my butt off to work out exactly how a little event planning business would work with an adjoining bakery. I baked cupcakes as a sample for the class, wrote a radio ad script and recorded my boyfriend for it, and dreamt up packages, prices, target market, etc. The idea stemmed from years of watching David Tutera's "My Fair Wedding" and "CELEBrations" (and secretly wishing I could do that for a living instead of something boring), a lifetime of planning my own birthday parties, and most recently having planned my sister's bridal shower. Somehow I had overlooked an entire part of myself that had been there my whole life. I remembered my love for decorations, crafting, and being able to turn a boring room into a party on a tight budget. When I presented this project, I decided that this would be a long term goal of mine. My plan was to get a job in marketing with my degree, work my way to financial stability, and then apply for jobs with event planning companies to learn the trade professionally. Then, in 10-15 years, I would consider opening my own event planning business, dust off my college project, and live my dream.
Life (and more importantly, God) doesn't tend to follow your original plans, however. After the class was over, I couldn't get the idea of becoming an event planner and living my dream out of my head. I started Googling how to become an event planner and what the steps were. I was met with requirements of becoming certified. Then, I was Googling how to become certified and what popped up but Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute. I looked around on their website, saw the amount for tuition, and decided I needed to wait a little while and save up some cash. About half a year later, I revisited the idea. I wanted to see just how possible it was for me to become certified after multiple minimum wage jobs I just couldn't stand to be at any longer.
I went back to Lovegevity's website and looked up "classes near me". That's when I saw the 4 day certification: 2 day seminar and 2 day internship for a David Tutera Bridal Show in Philadelphia. I could hardly believe my eyes. Become certified AND have the opportunity to work with David himself? I was IN. No matter what I had to do. The seminar was in August and it was June. I had a LOT of money saving to do, and a LOT of getting up the courage to actually go through with my crazy dream. So I did it. I sent in an application and within the month I was on the phone with founder of Lovegevity, Cho Phillips herself. She was explaining to me all the certification would entail and the amount of work it would be before the seminar (a textbook and assignments), and the work the 2 day internship included. I was in heaven, and ready to go get what I wanted.
The 4 days spent getting certified in Philadelphia were the single best thing I could have ever done. It was amazing learning from Cho Phillips about events, planning, what goes into them, and more importantly how to give yourself worth as a business owner. One of the first conversations I ever had with her was the first day of the seminar. I was in a classroom with 2 other event planner hopefuls, Cho, and her son Dean. She was asking us to give her a synopsis of what our goals were and why we were becoming certified. I told her my 20 year plan, and finished with "..and then I'll hopefully open my own event planning business!" feeling very sensible and planned. She replied, "What if you could open it in 6 months?" I almost started crying. The amount of confidence she had just placed in my abilities encouraged me to not only follow my dream, but to achieve it and do it in 6 months, no less. I was extremely inspired and couldn't shake the feeling.
When I got home, I decided to try and be sensible and still apply for event planning jobs in my area. No one was hiring, and I felt so defeated. Until I remembered what Cho said. I decided to go for it. I took out my plans for "Senner of Attention Event Planning & Bakery" and got to work. Within a few hours my website was published, social media accounts created, and business cards ordered with the help of my sister who is a wizard with graphic design (fun fact, my first ever logo was designed by her!) ^^
I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and I'll admit it was REALLY hard figuring out what to do and where to go, but it was my business and my dream and I was the happiest I had ever been. To this day, it's still really hard and I'm usually just winging it. There are times when I just flat out want to quit, but I remember where I've been and look back on all the progress I've made and I know that I'm working towards something really amazing.
I encourage you to take that chance, follow your dream. Even if you have no idea what that looks like yet, say "yes" and figure out the rest later. You don't have to follow any specific timeline of "success", you just have to work on what makes you happy. If you're doing that, you're a #bossbabe. I believe in you, all it takes is a dream and some guts, loves.