Honey & T


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Project V: Check-In Tuesdays

Consistency is not my strong point, apparently. I haven’t been posting on a regular basis, and to be honest I probably won’t be for a while. I’m just going to pop in when I feel like it, okay?

Check-In Tuesdays are supposed to be about progress. It is a reminder to myself that I need to keep trying, no matter how far away the goal may be. And trust me, at this point it’s not happening for another 5 years or so. That’s 1825+ days, folks. Am I bummed? A little bit. Can I do anything to hurry it? Not really.

When I start to second guess myself, I try to talk myself out of it. Will I actually profit from building and running my own wedding venue? Do I have what it takes, the know-how? Should I really throw all of my energy and money into such a huge gamble? Of course, there’s the biggest doubt of all: fear of failure. How would I pick myself back up after? Maybe I should go for something smaller, like a bakery or a yoga studio or just be a real estate owner. What’s the fun in that though? My love for weddings stems from being in the center of all the energy and love brought out for the couple committing themselves to each other. How do I let go of the joy it brings me?

I just typed a lot of feelings, mushy, girly stuff. I’m not apologizing for how I feel. It’s been a tough road, and the road’s barely started. I hope you follow this tough cookie along for the ride.

With love,

T

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Why No One Has To Know

Here’s my big fat secret: no one knows I have one.  Okay, a very small handful of people know about Project V.  Most of those very few are colleagues in the wedding industry, and of course my incredibly supportive fiancé (loves you!).  You’d think that I’d be dying to share this to those whom I hold nearest to my heart, and you’re right.  I’ve wanted to tell them all so badly, but you know what?   I felt like most of my big goals and dreams don’t really come true after I’d announced them to my family and friends. I couldn’t figure out why this pattern persisted. Finally, I’ve found the proof!  Check out this video via TED.com for more details.

This secret’s between you and me now.   So sshhh…


R-E-S-E-A-R-C-H (Find Out What It Means To Me)

I’ve never been my own boss or even had my own office (just a lowly cubicle worker).  Being a CPA, I’ve only been in a corporate environment and played along with a predetermined “ladder of success” – associate, senior associate, manager, senior manager and the ever-exclusive partner title.  I could get an MBT or MBA, but we all know that additional education means more money.  Money I don’t have to spare (venues don’t come cheap).

 

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Image via Barnes and Noble

 

Instead, I’ve chosen to replace it with good old fashioned, elbow-greased research.  I read Girl’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business by Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio.  True to my eco-friendly and money-saving mantras, I borrowed the book from the local library.

Unfortunately, I felt that the advice given in the book was too broad; what I was reading seemed to be common sense solutions, stuff I already knew.  However, in my opinion, here are a the most helpful takeaways from the book:

a)     When searching for a commercial property, check with the city and/or county first for “incubator” properties.  Some jurisdictions will give you subsidies for developing in certain areas.

b)    Be sure to consider the security of the property and its surrounding areas (especially important for females)

c)     If you’re renting a property, consider the common areas you may have to share with other tenants and who is paying for the upkeep of it (e.g. entryways, restrooms, toilet paper/towels, etc.)

d)    Again for renters, you have to consider a landlord’s flexibility regarding decorating the place.  Are you allowed to paint the walls?

e)     Inquire about tenant improvement budgets (i.e. how much is the landlord willing to spend to build out what you want)

f)     Annual rent increases

g)     If you decide to raise capital for your business through loans, make sure you have a plan for how that money will be spent once you acquire it.

h)    Register your website so that it will show up in web searches through websites such as www.addme.com

i)      Check with the city/county ordinance to see if health permits are required for your line of business

j)      If a property is open to the public, then a fire department permit is required

k)    Some cities require sign permits for putting up signs, so again, check with the local authorities on this one

All-in-all the book was not a terrible read.  I got some information out of it, and the introduction was definitely empowering.  Sometimes we just need a healthy reminder that goals are worth fighting for.


Project V: Check-In Tuesdays

Here starts “Check-In Tuesdays” for what I have dubbed Project V (aka I want a venue, pretty please?).  So what have I accomplished in the year and a half since realizing my dream?  Well, to an outsider, it doesn’t seem like much.  To me, at least I know I’m trying.  This is what I’ve got:

I study up venues on wedding blogs.  It doesn’t matter where in the world the venue is located for this assignment.  This allows me to see what’s out there, what couples are looking for, logistically what features of a venue (e.g. bridal room with a private washroom), square footage versus capacity and so forth.

I keep my eyes peeled for real estate in Los Angeles County, Riverside County and Ventura County.  I’ve gone back and forth on where I wanted the location to be many, many, many times.  It’s hard.  I live in Los Angeles proper, but this city is flooded with competition.  Everything and anything is a potential wedding location, can I really keep up?   I’m not familiar with Ventura County, but locations in the vicinity of beaches won’t cost a fortune like it would in L.A.  And Riverside County?  It’s cheap.  There’s a reason it’s cheap, of course.  You’re far removed from the metropolis and any chance of mild weather, and it’s a desert.  Palm Springs has experienced a revival of sorts thanks to trendy hotels like the Ace popping up.

Ace Hotel Reception by Sarah Yates Photography

I am a wedding day-of coordinator.  This is the quickest way I could immerse myself in the industry.  I am my own boss, I choose my clients and it doesn’t require that I have prior experience.  I tried to apply for jobs, but no one’s willing to hire someone without experience (now how am I supposed to get experience if you won’t hire me?).  I have met incredible people and learned so much on the job.  I’m not perfect, but I take with me every lesson that comes my way.

I am blogging about my experience, because opening myself up has a two-fold benefit: keeping myself in check and hopefully, attracting followers.

I am planning a wedding.  The reason for it isn’t related at all to my dream, just that I get to marry my dream man!  Luckily, the process allows me to put myself in a potential client’s shoes and network with others in my industry.

There you have it, my Tuesday check-in is complete.


Project V: What It All Comes Down To

Hello dear reader.  I’ll preface this to say that this is a journey – for you and for me, especially.  Where this ultimately leads to is success or the forfeiture of a dream.  To be frank, I want a wedding and special events venue.  I want to own a gorgeous space that is always evolving to its surroundings.  I want a place that is green, and not just because it’s conveniently green so I can advertise the fact, but chosen with thought and intention to be that way. I want to be a resource to those on the road to matrimony, and for it to be a part of someone’s big day.

The reality of it is that I am 26 years old, and I haven’t the capital or proper experience to build and run a venue yet.  I’m just a regular Joe[sephine] Schmoe.  I’ve been training myself for a couple years as a wedding day-of coordinator, except back when I started, I had no idea this was my ultimate dream.  Believe me, though, this is it.  There are days I doubt my ability, but deep down I know that before this dream came along, my life felt so ordinary.  I am not ordinary.

So today begins the journey on record.  This journey is something I’m sharing with you.  There will be ups and there will be many downs (mostly downs thus far).   I hope you’ll follow along with me.

Yours,

T