Winning in Life and Business

Jumping into a new year often comes with new goals, resolutions, and “this year will be different” mindset.  But without realistic, focused goals and sound strategies, we can loose momentum and quickly get off track.  The event industry is challenging at the best of times, so we thought some helpful insights and strategies from the PROS could help you get an edge on important targets you have identified for yourself.

Event Planners are a special kind of super hero!  They swoop in anticipating the unforeseen and create impactful experiences with a slight of hand – seamlessly.  That said, just like you they are human, with life challenges also.  So we sat down with our friends, Jocelyn and Rebecca from Bee Together, to learn how they have managed to grow their business while balancing their personal lives.

Bee Together is an event, design, and rental business based out of Edmonton, Ablerta.  Founded in 2017, they began to create amazing events for organizations who share their affection for community connection. Today they offer a variety of different services to clients including event planning, event design, event rentals, purpose and engagement, and team building. From the beginning one of their core values has been giving back to community.  To date they have raised $10,000 in-kind and cash donations to local non-profit organizations.

Here are responses to questions we asked them:

What are the top 3 challenges/stressors you face as an event professional and entrepreneur?

Life presents its share of challenges, and the professional landscape is no exception. Despite our passion for entrepreneurship, we still encounter obstacles that can sometimes make it hard to feel like a winner in life. However, we’re not novices, and over the years we’ve been able to draw on our experience to develop effective strategies to navigate stress, achieve balance, contribute to our community, and maintain a positive outlook on life. In this blog, we’d like to share some of those strategies with you.

As event planners and entrepreneurs, we’re all about creating incredible experiences for our clients and setting ourselves apart from our competitors. As much fun as that is, it also comes with its share of unique challenges to navigate, and meeting overwhelm is an unfortunate companion of ours on that journey. With our role comes a lot of meetings. They are necessary to keep our projects moving, but there are days when they can become overwhelming and the time we have to do the work is reduced.

Additionally, with the kind of work that we do, we rely heavily on efficient decision making by clients in order to keep projects moving. When there are significant delays in decision making, our timeline can be impacted, putting us at risk of setbacks. For example, if a client takes too long to select a musician, we’re at risk of losing that musician to another event.  

This leads us into a third primary challenge, which is the inability to apply the method of time blocking to our schedules. There are many people that swear by this method of working, and personally, we love it when we can make it happen, but often with the work that we do, time blocking isn’t easily achievable without disruption. Because of this, sometimes it feels like we aren’t accomplishing much on our list because we are jumping from task to task, so figuring out the best system to operate given our line of business has been challenging. 

What strategies do you implement to proactively manage these stressors?

As they say, the first step is awareness. Since we’re able to identify what our top challenges are, we’re able to be increasingly mindful of how many meetings we schedule and ensure that we’re allowing time in between to catch our breath and reset. We have also implemented “No Meeting Friday’s” to give us at least one day of the week where we can have a focused day with limited disruptions and this has worked very well for us. 

To help combat decision delay, we’ve begun to assign clients deadlines and ensure they are well aware of the repercussions of delays in decision making. We schedule follow ups and do our best to walk the fine line of reminders without being annoying. We have also found that regularly scheduled meetings help to keep everything on track, but we’ve got to be careful not to overdo it, otherwise we’re back to problem one!

To combat the inability to effectively time block, we have found that doing our best to schedule out our week and putting in as many project blocks as possible in our calendars helps with focus and efficiency. Being realistic about what can be accomplished in calendar gaps is crucial so as to not set ourselves up for failure. Also, giving ourselves grace when the day doesn’t go exactly as planned is important. We have to remind ourselves that our worth is not tied to our productivity!

How does community impact your ability to navigate challenges in business?

As we strive to optimize our time through careful scheduling and a realistic approach to productivity, we’ve come to appreciate the broader impact of our choices. Beyond the confines of our calendars, we’ve realized that involvement in community provides us with a sense of purpose, increased awareness of others needs, and an overall macro view on life. When experiencing challenges in business, this insight helps us focus on what’s important and guides our decision making. Challenges in business are inevitable, so keeping the greater good in mind and having that community mindset really helps guide us.

What are your top tactics to promote well-ness and your best self?

Finally, there is no way we could tackle challenges in life and business if we aren’t properly taking care of ourselves and how we do that is different for each of us. For our Co-Founder, Rebecca, trying to stay acutely aware of her mental and physical health is really important in order to avoid burnout. She likes to do daily and weekly check-ins to make sure she is staying on track, which can look like drinking enough water, checking the calendar to pre-book yoga classes, booking massage appointments to keep the headaches at bay, and carving out personal time to run errands or get important appointments scheduled. She is also an avid traveler, so she likes to have a trip on the books as something to look forward to and help her stay motivated to work hard until then. 

Ultimately, as we reflect on our journey as event planners and entrepreneurs, we’ve recognized that challenges are not roadblocks but opportunities for growth. As we’ve grown over the years, we’ve found that winning in life and business is about acknowledging that there is no perfect path to success and there will always be challenges that are out of our control. What we can control is how well we take care of ourselves, how well we show up for our community, and the effort that we put into combating challenges as th ey come. Just like self-care, what it looks like to win in life and business is going to look different for everyone, but if you’ve experienced similar challenges that we have, we hope that our coping strategies help you on your journey to feeling like the winner that you are.

THANK YOU BEE TOGHER!! We appreciate you sharing your insights, tips, and continued committment to your vision of contributing to community.  Inspiring and helpful thoughts for our event community.

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