As we usher in a new year of business, I reflect on the last 8 years – where we started, where we are today, and let’s be real, all of the hard lessons learnt along the way.
Create your own path.
When I started my business I was always so cautious that I was doing anything ‘the right way’. Looking back, I’ve realized that no business is identical to one another, nor are the people who are the key decision makers or the individuals who make up your team. Make the decisions that are right for you.
BUT … if you’re thinking of doing a massive (and expensive) mail out all across Edmonton and surrounding areas to let the world know you’ve just started your business … don’t!
You really have to love being a business owner first and foremost.
I say it all the time: “Being the best business owner that I can be, always, always, always comes first. Second to that is being the best event professional that I can be.”
Reflecting back on the pandemic, if my heart wasn’t 100% invested into running my business, we would never have come out on top on the other end of it… especially in an industry that was completely annihilated.
We lost 97% of our business within two weeks of the pandemic. 97%!!! To truly get through the roughest of patches, the constant curve balls, and the ups and the downs, you really do have to love being a business owner.
That means showing up – my team, my clients, my colleagues, my vendors, my family and friends, and myself!
Relationships are invaluable.
I’ve always been a person who values relationships. From the very start, my business has been relationship-based and relationship-focused – my team, my clients, my vendors, and so on.
What has become incredibly important to me over the years is to align and surround myself with those who share my values. When it comes to clients, this can be a guiding light.
“Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are.” – Johann Wolfgang
Boundaries and balance.
First I want to preface this section and say that I am absolutely no expert at setting boundaries and creating space for balance in my life. But I’m working on it and trying to be consistent. I think this is an area of our lives that we are constantly nurturing and fine tuning.
Working until 3am, getting up at 5am, working 7 days a week. We … I … have convinced myself that it’s a badge of honor. It is not a secret that I am a workaholic. It is also not a secret that I am a perfectionist and I have high standards. But what I am trying to become more open with myself about is that it all comes at a cost. If you’re not at 100%, how can you give 100%?
Boundaries also apply to work relationships. Energy and time are the most valuable commodities that someone has. We may provide a service but that doesn’t mean that because someone is paying, that there are no lines. Set expectations and stick to them. On the flip side, it also shows that you want to support your clients in maintaining a work-life balance and foster a respectful relationship that sets everyone up for success.
Get comfortable with disappointment.
When I started this business it was because I was tired of not being seen, heard or valued. The irony is that when you’re the boss, there’s no one above you to tell you that you’re doing a good job. That’s when I had to establish goals for myself to remind myself that I was on the right track, that progress was being made, that I was doing a good job.
I also had to develop a thicker skin and get comfortable with being disappointed. Whether it’s learning an invaluable lesson or chalking it up to be ‘one of those days’ or knowing that this isn’t the last bid you’re going\to lose. Just know that today is today and tomorrow is sure to follow.
One of my all time favorite things is something one of our team members, Kassidy, said to me: “Allow yourself to have a sad b*tch moment. Once you’ve had it, get back to being your bad b*tch self.” I give myself permission to be upset, be angry, be whatever for no more than a day and then the following day, it’s time to move on.
Natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, supply chain issues, staff quitting, firing clients, lightning striking your event … there are some things that are just out of your control and no matter how hard you try (event planners are of course control freaks after all!), you just have to deal with it.
Shit happens! But don’t forget, shit happens to all of us.
– XO, Eryne
Eryne Sarabin is the founder and lead strategist of Tycoon Events. She started Tycoon Events in 2015 as a one-woman operation and currently has a team of event professionals and support staff who are based out of downtown Edmonton, Alberta. You can catch up with Eryne on LinkedIn or get a glimpse into our world @TycoonEvents on Instagram.