This was supposed to be April's installment of the Lessons from Flowers series. Ooops! HASHTAGTOOMUCHTODOANDIFORGOT! lol. Last month, Cal and I took our friends, Kim and Derek, to Norfolk Botanical Garden. Most of the cherry trees were in bloom, which was both beautiful and incredibly taxing on my allergies. (Achoo.) We walked through the Flowering Arboretum, which is 17 acres and 336 different trees. It was planned with a variety of flowering trees so that something would always be blooming. As I stood in the middle of 3 different blooming cherry trees, I was reminded of the competitive nature of humans. Not all of these trees were going to be at their peak at the same time.
That spoke to me.
When I first started my business, I was modeling it after girls that had gone before me. Some other wedding vendors were just a few month ahead of me, still in their infancy, and others were YEARS ahead of me. (By "ahead," I mean in length of business ownership.) I thought that I would just do what they did. I would make eye-catching graphics. I would lay the contents of my purse on a white background and take trendy pictures. I would take the quintessential Starbucks-in-hand photo to show that I was just like everyone else. I would become just "as good as them" and would be a full time wedding planner in no time.
I am not her. My business, while similar in description, is not hers. Why was I trying to be like someone else? It was only making me feel like a failure. Of course I wasn't going to get the same exact results as others in the industry. I AM NOT THEM.
So I started thinking, "WHO CARES if my Instagram followers don't jump leaps and bounds in a matter of months?!! What does it matter if I don't always have at least one new Facebook like each week? If I don't end up being able to go full time by this time next year, IT WILL BE OKAY!"
Then things got easier. Less pressure on myself. More focus on my actual clients, getting organized, and brainstorming original ideas. Less dismay, frustration, defeat.
Ladies, "Comparison is the death of joy." THIS IS SO TRUE. My very own decision to immediately compare myself and my business to others was causing me to lose sight of why I started up in the first place. The joy I had as a business owner started to turn into drudgery.
Her business is hers. Mine is mine. They don't all have to look the same, grow the same, attract the same clients, etc. I have so enjoyed getting cozy with other wedding planners, knowing that I am truly, genuinely happy for their success. I'm not jealous. There is no resentment. Only JOY for their business being THEIRS. Ain't nobody got time to deal with that green-eyed beast.
So many of my industry friends have written posts almost identical to this one. We all struggle with comparison. Back to that arboretum at Norfolk Botanical Garden: Each tree blooms in its own time. The arboretum would not fulfill its intended purpose, which is to always have something in bloom, if everything happened at once. BORING! Let's not be boring. Let's be an industry of EVER-BLOOMING BEAUTIES! It is the reason the wedding/creative industry is so attractive. Everyone can fit in. Everyone can have a place. Everyone can bloom exactly when the time is right.