What’s this? A personal blog post? There hasn’t been one of those around these parts for a very long time. Put the kettle on, folks. This could be lengthy.
I’m not usually one for resolutions, but with several changes behind the scenes here at Utterly Wow HQ, I do need to adjust my mindset somewhat as we enter the year two thousand and nineteen. I’m fizzing and crackling with anticipation and nervous excitement for what could be a pivotal year for this lil’ ol’ business of mine, and here’s why…
The first major change is that moving forward, I’m back working solo as my wondrous Helen managed to bag herself the role of Wedding Coordinator at Hayne House in Kent. We had a wonderful 2.5 years working together but she needed a full time position and a new planning challenge, and by all accounts she’s settling in brilliantly. How I miss her though!
Truth be told, I’d be up s**t creek if it weren’t for the second major change which is that BOTH children are now in childcare three days a week. It was getting harder and harder to work with Charlie, my littlest, at home with us. He was (and still is) such a good baby, but at ten months old no longer will he happily sit and bounce in his chair whilst I alternate between emailing clients and gurgling at him. Frank’s free hours have finally kicked in which means Charlie is now in with a child-minder and I have THREE FULL DAYS to work at home on my own. I feel like I’ve won the lottery.
Of course, the above would not be possible if it wasn’t for my third major change which was my decision not to go back to working as a stylist at the best boutique in the land, Blackburn Bridal Couture. I joined the team there back in 2011 and had the best time working with the best people. At the beginning of 2011 I was an out of work actress working in a call centre and contemplating what it would be like to become a wedding planner. I wanted in to the wedding industry and Blackburn Bridal welcomed me with open arms. Since then and whilst working the day job I completed my training with the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, got engaged and then married, started The Utter Blog, launched Utterly Wow, became the Manager at the boutique, and had two children. After having Frank I went back to the shop two days a week to supplement my Utterly Wow income, but it has now come to the point where my business needs my undivided time and attention for it to truly grow and prosper. It’s a scary but exciting time, and I have to thank my husband for taking the leap of faith with me. Even if he was dragged kicking and screaming into submission.
So with all this change there is much that I need and want to do this year, both for myself and my business. I’ve coined 2019 the year of Regaining Control. Control of my time, of my body, of my social life, of my business. As any new parent will tell you, from the moment that baby pops out all control is relinquished, and the last three years have purely been about surviving. There’s no other word for it. I know, of course, that with a three year old and a ten month old I have many, many years left of being controlled by two tiny hooligans, but the initial shock is over at least, and with that comes an opportunity to start doing things for me again. Or trying to at least.
So for my body I am going to drink more water and eat more fruit. I’m going to try (and fail) to not eat my children’s leftovers. Or at least, make a conscious decision to eat my children’s leftovers as opposed to shovelling it in automatically. I am going to do 15 minutes of exercise on the days I work from home, be it a quick run before lunch or a HIIT workout on YouTube. No, I haven’t done either of those things today. Yes, I intend to start next week. And I’m going to get my hair looked at. I went from having a great head of hair to a terrible head of hair when I was 15 years old, and ten months after my second baby it is in the worst condition it’s ever been in. 2019 is the year I’m going to do something about it.
For my time, I am going to spend less of it scrolling mindlessly on social media. We all spend too much time on our phones, and none more so when you run a business that sells its wares online. Social media plays a vital role in my business, but it can’t rule my life. So I’m not going to break my back or run out of words trying to post something every day on Instagram. It is my most favourite of all the social media applications, and it will only remain so if I post for fun rather than for followers.
I am also going to try my hardest to stay off my phone as much as possible on my days at home with my boys. Now I’m down to just the two days with them, I want to give them my full attention. Except for when they’re both happily ensconced in Peppa Pig, of course. Or when they’re doing something too cute/funny/maddening that it needs to be shared on Insta Stories. We all have needs.
For my social life I am going to go out with my friends more. Childless. At night time.
And for my business… hmm. There’s no doubt that going from one day a week working at home with a baby in tow to three days working child free is a game changer. But it will only have effect if I can learn to work efficiently and without distraction. By trade I am a professional procastinator. I know that I should time block my days. I am aware that I should turn my social media notifications off when working. I understand that I should put the job I want to do the least at the top of my To Do list. Do I do any of these things? No. BUT IN 2019 I WILL.
I currently have six fantastic weddings confirmed for this year with the capacity to take on one or two more. Wedding Warriors UK, my Facebook group for brides-to-be planning a DIY/blank canvas wedding, is nudging along gently in the background, and I plan to make it so much bigger and so much better. I’d like to do a styled shoot. 2019 will be my seventh season in business and I have never done what is essentially a wedding planner’s rite of passage. And I am going to turn off the Acoustic Chill Spotify playlist, get off my backside and head out once or twice a month to meet suppliers and network with my peers. The word ‘network’ makes me want to vomit in to my hand, but working solo can be a lonely experience and I’ve got a great business that I need to shout about.
And so concludes my annual monologue.
*Strides off in to 2019 like a #boss.