wind-down & lessons learned in eleven months

I have been quite out of the loop here, haven't I? For my regular readers, please accept my apologies for being so MIA this fall! I definitely need to get into a better routine of writing on the reg!

Despite the appearance that I've gone MIA, I've actually been putting in a number of hours and days and weeks devoting to planning lovely brides' weddings, meeting with new and potential clients, and getting ready for the amazeballs year ahead of us. 2013 was quite the building year! Going from launching the official start of Kelly Dellinger Events to booking significantly more clients, learning the ins and outs of business operating, deciding whether or not I'm cut out for this whole entrepreneurship thing (turns out, I am!), debating about taking a full-time job outside of KDE (turns out, I won't!) … there have been ups and downs all over the place over the past calendar year. 

I believe in being transparent, hence me telling you all of these not-so-gung-ho bits about business ownership. It's hard, y'all! There were a LOT of days where I stomped my feet and asked God to PLEAAAAASE reveal His plan for me in this business, so I could know whether or not it was all for naught. He continued to tell me to be patient. Patience is not one of my amazingly strong virtues or spiritual gifts, lemme tell you. But it was my calling. Wait through the storm. You'll come out on the other end stronger. 

Do I feel like I've suddenly "made it" or found the ultimate source of business success? Um, no. But do I feel like I'm living in alignment with God's plan for my career right now? Yep. 2013 was for building. Setting a foundation. Working with a bunch of wonderful clients with gorgeous tastes, styles, preferences. Getting to know different personalities. Learning how to work in difficult situations. Continuing to build my personal event planning skills. Sharpening my styling abilities.

I've learned so much this year.  Basic business practices. How to literally pay business taxes (note: some government workers can seem really mean and condescending with new business owners). How to network. How to push through fear. 

I've drank so many cups of coffee and glasses of wine this year. (Don't worry, Mom, it was mostly coffee.)  I've cried so many tears. Sweated. Blown my nose. Nursed sore feet. 

Building years can be really rough. 

But has it been worth it? Oh, oh yes. For every few stress-induced heart palpitations there has been a sweet word from a client (or her previously temporarily-crazy mom). Or a late-night meeting where I leave and call my husband to tell him, "I really love my work!" There always seems to be a venti chai tea latte when I so desperately need it. Or a solid event assistant who is worth her weight in gold. I can be burnt out and feeling completely uninspired, and yet someone will come to me with a spark of an idea that we run away with (like unicorns under a rainbow of glitter sugar sprinkles into the sunset).

God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. Always. He is so faithful.

So I'm excited for 2014. I don't want to live in the future, so I won't get too far ahead of myself. But I'm excited. I'm going to do things smarter. I'm going to do more of the hard work that needs to be done. I'm going to be more trusting. And everything will be just fine. :)

My fall 2013 mantle -- complete with gourds aplenty, softly glowing candles and a couple of romantic touches. It may or may not have been replaced yesterday by a verrrrry early Christmas display.

My fall 2013 mantle -- complete with gourds aplenty, softly glowing candles and a couple of romantic touches. It may or may not have been replaced yesterday by a verrrrry early Christmas display.