I believe our previous careers and personal struggles play a part in the success we achieve as a wedding business entrepreneur. Let me explain why.
When I look back to my childhood AND previous jobs I can see how it led me on a journey to where I am now. I am the youngest of 4 children to a single mum, I never assumed my mum could buy me things so appreciated the value of money & working from a young age.
In fact I’ve always worked since the age of 11, thats 34 years of working in one way or another. So what have I learnt and more importantly how has it helped me in owning my own businesses?
1. Work ethic, going into work consistently and being reliable from the age of 11
2. The joy that money can bring but also feeling proud when I could buy my own clothes/makeup etc
3. Why customer service is essential to success as a business. I knew how to personalise this service depending on who I was serving at the time
4. How to subtly sell and up sell in a way that was authentic and non “icky”
5. That the background of a colleague doesn’t make them “better” than me. We are all equal and our success is down to our own determination not our upbringing.
So what jobs did I have?
My first job was MUSHROOM picking at the age of 11. Not the most enjoyable way to earn money, think dark sheds with lots of spiders! Over the next 7 years I had various weekend jobs from working in a fabric shop to all the fast food restaurants in town. I was always promoted into supervisory roles – yes even as a teenager I was leading others. No matter your opinions on McDonalds, Burger King and Pizza Hut they knew how to train you in sales and customer service.
At college I trained in TRAVEL and TOURISIM as I wanted to be an “air hostess” (like many little girls). In fact when I left college I was selling flights and holidays – I was RUBBISH at it. I quickly realised that actually this wasn’t my dream job nor was I in my zone of genius.
From here I worked for a TV production company and was rapidly promoted over the years. This was a fascinating time for me and I learnt so much. It was also the first time I experienced true wealth as many of my colleagues were privately educated and came from affluent backgrounds. I loved the whole process of organising a documentary and actually there are many similarities to wedding planning. Now I’m used to being in front of the camera instead!
In my early twenties I started working for an American blue chip company as an EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT. This was my first chance to work at an international level with colleagues all across the world. It was also my first taste into event planning as I organised many corporate functions both in the UK and abroad for the company.
In 2002 I left the corporate world to have my first child. It was whilst on maternity leave I begun to think about my future career. Many of my international colleagues had hired wedding planners so I begun to slowly investigate this as a possible career. I was made redundant from my job and thus launched Dream Occasions when my son was just 6 months old. Just 2 years later I launched the UKAWP just before having my second son.
The rest as they say is history! It’s interesting that my eldest has two jobs whilst at college and my middle child is a paperboy and often asked to cover other rounds. I’m proud of their work ethic and know this will benefit them in the future.
Did you work as a child? If so I’d love to hear more