3 life lessons that helped me grow my event design business
Being a mom, believer, wife, and CEO didn't get easier. I allowed my experiences to increase my faith and decided to believe in myself more than ever before. And that's how life and business changed for me.
Life is different today after taking many leaps of faith and coming to my own rescue. Now I spend my days creating fun and memorable moments for my clients, mentoring my team, and enjoying life with my husband and kids.
It seems like it was only yesterday; I was a twenty-something-year-old with a brand-new baby, sitting in the front row at a comedy show and crying my eyes out. And they were not tears of joy.
At first, I thought this guy is not funny.
But then I looked around, and people were folded over laughing, slapping knees -and then it hit me. It's not him… It's me. Tears rolled down my postpartum cheeks as I sat in the club, and I thought- who am I, and why am I here?
Many years passed before I was able to answer those questions.
I had let life remove my ability to feel, going through the day-to-day motions like a robot.
I've spent years learning and unlearning valuable lessons from beautiful nightmares to becoming a better CEO and woman. And I'll share some with you today:
Lesson #1: The only walls that can hold you are the ones you build for yourself.
One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is approaching their business like a hobby. Business is not a social club; it's a company designed to create value for customers, workers, and yourself.
Treat your business like a corporation from day one. Take payroll, develop policies and procedures, cut expenses, and plan for growth.
I had been a daycare owner for many years while still working at my corporate job.
I stepped into the facility's doors one day, and nothing felt like "me." I knew I would have to fire everyone and start fresh. But like most, I couldn't bring myself to do that to the people that had been there holding things down for me. As a result, I held on longer than I should have.
While I am not a people pleaser. I love my people and always want the best for them.
How would they survive? How would they feed their kids? How would they pay their bills? What would happen to them if I stepped away? But I heard God say, Quian, I am God, not you.
Sometimes we will feel trapped in uncomfortable situations, but God always gives us a way of escape. One day, while at the gym, my trainer looked at me moping around and said, whatever it is, Quian, let it go. I sat in the car, asking, 'God, how do I get out of this mess?'
Less than 30 days later, I sold that business.
People thought I was completely nuts- but I knew, and God knew. And I was obedient. Once I set myself free of the expectations, I had allowed others to place on me, I realized how I wanted to live my life. And that business didn't fit anymore. And guess what? Growth without regrets is lovely.
Affirmation: I am never stuck or unsure. I always know God has a way out and knows what I need to do next.
Lesson #2: Don't be afraid to give up the good for the great.
I never knew the one thing I had spent the majority of my life "practicing" would open so many doors for me.
I've always loved to create experiences! I'd spent my entire life planning dinners and baby showers for my family and friends. Even at my corporate job, I used my own bonus money to coordinate and decorate holiday parties for my staff.
It wasn't until I attended an AFLAC holiday party that I realized people do this for a living. I could do this.
I started re-discovering myself, building my skills, and getting rid of limiting self-belief. I also stopped focusing on my current position in life, which led me to my next business, Prelude Event Studios.
Lesson #3: You will leave your comfort zone or stay in it too long.
God knew where I was going, and he wanted to see if I would make the same mistake twice.
Years later, I was tested again when I allowed a team member to continue to misrepresent my company. The day I officially launched a new venture, Unparalleled, an event space, I received a very embarrassing call regarding my business.
Once again, I had allowed my love for my people to neglect my company's rules, policies, and procedures. This time, if I didn't make a change, it would cost me more-my reputation.
God closed a door that I thought I needed. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone and was forced to go bigger.
Because of my obedience, God has continued to pour into my business day after day.
Investing in my business was one of the scariest things I've ever committed to. What if everything I've worked so hard for crumbles to the ground? I can't afford this! My limiting beliefs crept in, but I decided to show up with faith instead of fear every day, which hasn't let me down yet.
Fear is nothing but contaminated faith. -Denzel Washington
Wisdom comes when you reflect on life experiences and realize what you've learned from them.
If you don't go after what you want, you will never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you'll always be in the same place.
The life in front of you is far more important than the life behind you. The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.
We read so many articles about entrepreneurial success, but rarely do we know about the struggles they had to go through. No matter what journey you're going on, remember to feel grateful for those who have helped you in any way and feel proud of how far you have come.
What is one valuable lesson you learned to help you grow your business or be a better person?