How To Get Started In Party Planning Business

Ever since I was young, I have been enamored with parties. I used to love being invited to parties and then when my mom and dad would throw me birthday ones, I would go with them to the store, buy decorations, help them come up with the “food” or “snacks ideas”; as I got older, I would go into painstaking details about throwing theme parties.

In fact, I remember when my friends would make fun of me. Today? I am a party planner and I plan weddings as well. I started my business two years ago and my client base has only grown. In fact, repeat business is where it’s at. I printed my first 200 business cards and handed them to family and friends, often giving them extras so they could them out just in case.

I will never forget catering for my best friend. The budget was super small and I walked away with $150 at the end of the day: however, I will never forget how happy she was with what I pulled out with her tiny budget. She told me the chef I hired was incredible, the decorations were classy, the lighting set up quite the ambiance, and her guests kept telling her they were so impressed. As a result, she is still my client today and has spread the word about me all over town with her friends. She even gave me the best Yelp review I could have ever asked for.

No matter what business you have, especially if you are a party planner, you need to make sure you make solid connections. You need to know several chefs, caterers, furniture rental, decor rental, and heck, even other party planners. It’s not a competition! There is plenty of business to go around. Also, if you become overbooked, you can set up a referral fee and refer your client to another trusted party planner or perhaps you can both split the responsibilities and the pay.

That’s why I have some solid corporate entertainers on my list. Yes, I also now throw parties for corporations. These are the best kind because more and more, corporations want to be known for being great workplaces so they can attract the best employees.

I have had almost disasters happen when a caterer or another entertainer couldn’t come through. Since I knew a handful of other party planners, I was able to reach out to them and receive their recommendations for solid caterers and suitable entertainers. The next thing I knew, I had made my network more solid. For a thank you, I took out my friend (now) to lunch.

When you give, people always give back (most of the time!) Stop thinking everyone is a competition and build your empire. Shine bright and attract the best of your industry to you. I planned my first wedding eight months ago but only after shadowing another wedding planner and paying her a fee, which is understandable. She taught me a lot and opened up more of her connections to me.

Anyway, namaste.

Why Not Online Dating? Read Before You Try…

I think it’s ridiculous: I have friends who are successful in every manner in their lives. Their professional careers have taken off, these people are loved by their families, but sadly, the more successful they are, it seems like they are lacking someone in their personal lives… a partner to share their lives with!

online_datings

So many people are afraid of labels but there are sites that work for so many people. My best friend met her husband on an online dating site. A really good one I came across and suggested to another friend is this BBW dating site. As long as your mind is open, the options are limitless.

However, just like anything in life, it can take a little while to get into the groove of things. A gay friend who has tried another online dating site seemed discouraged that out of three men he emailed, no one has responded. I asked to look at this profile and noticed what was lacking right away….

Put Effort Into Your Online Profile

Whether you are a male or a female, and this hold true in the online dating world for straight people as well 😉 , make sure to completely fill out your profile. Start with a nice, friendly picture. I’ve seen some crazy profile pictures which doesn’t serve the featured person very well.

A normal picture of you having fun and smiling will do the job well!

Next up? Don’t be lazy! Please make sure to take time with your profile. Present yourself well. Don’t lie, of course, as that will never work out for the long term.

For instance, if you are work driven, make sure to mention that. Some people only want to date people who can turn that switch off while others find such work related passion to be a relief and as an attractive trait.

List all the things you enjoy! Are you a pet person? Are you specifically a cat person and dislike dogs? (I am not sure how that can be possible!) While you want to give a clear indication of who you are and what you are seeking, you don’t want to come off as a picky jerk who is robotic-ally putting together another mate. Remember: we are all humans with unique personalities and no one comes “perfect”.

Which brings me to another point: while I understand that there are compromises that can not be made, by all means choose someone who is compatible. However, do not break up with people just because it’s easy to not compromise (hey, relationships are all about compromises!)

Anyways, realize that you are worth the love you want to give other people. Be confident in who you are and you will attract not only the right type of friends, but also the right partner. Because life just works that way if you give yourself an honest chance!

Small Business Survival

Being an entrepreneur has been a serious test of myself as an individual and as a business person. Not only do I have to juggle too many hats in a given day, but I also have to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

…and if it’s not, guess whose fault is it?

small business survival

My Own Fault

The first two years, I had the awful idea that most entrepreneurs do: managing their own accounting. Whoa. I got so many things wrong that I got in trouble, two years in a row, when it came to doing taxes. Furthermore, when I hired an accounting firm to help me sort out the mess, they abandoned me halfway through the process and wouldn’t refund my money I had paid them for a full job.

In the last two months, I’ve kept in touch with the bookkeeper goldcoast. Of course, they came with a personal recommendation and I also found a couple of reviews online, really good ones, so I decided to email them.

Within a few hours, I received the nicest, in-depth answers I’ve ever received from any company. Not only that, but the tone was casual enough where I felt comfortable enough to set up an appointment and go in the next day.

You see, the thing is… most people may even look down on you because you don’t know how to handle accounting yourself. What they don’t realize is there are only so many hours in a day and when you dream of opening your own business, you don’t realize that you also need to develop the skills to become a businessperson… and that, people, in itself is a full-time job.

Believe you me!

If I were you, the first thing I would do is open up your own business account. Keep all business transactions in that account so you can always print out a summary from your bank or if you have an online account setup, this should be easy enough.

It’ll be extremely easy to track your business needs and expenses.

Planning Parties Is Hard Work

I work in a big company, in the HR department. HR may stand for “human resources” but trust me when I say, I handle way more than just the necessary work. If you have been working somewhere for a long time (over two or three years), you tend to become friends with the people you work with (well, in a good amount of cases). Not all the time, but most cases. So, yes, while I handle a lot of things, people tend to assign me a little bit more of the “fun duties” such as… planning parties.

Our company is a big enough company. Not only do we throw an end of the year party for our own people (our co-workers), but we also throw parties for clients… and those tend to be way more fun.

Why so much fun?

The budgets! I love helping out the official party planners within the company. One day, I want to transfer to that department.

For example, we once held a party for a client who wanted his guests to have delicious hors d’oeuvres, be entertained, have a small dance floor. Since I have connections, I rang up the crew at Juggling Inferno corporate entertainers and hired a couple of the fire jugglers. Not only did we have entertained guests, but they had questions for the entertainers afterwards. In fact, that was the best part of the night for them.

party setting

Of course, we took care in elegantly decorating the place. It still had to be a classy affair. We stuck to good lighting: not too bright but enough light so people could move about comfortably, see each other’s faces, hold good conversations. This party was held at night, starting at 9 pm, so we had to nail this part.

This should have been discussed earlier but location is ESSENTIAL! Depending on the budget you have, you need to select a spot that your client (the host) will love as well as set the tone for the evening, whether it’s fun and playful, or sleek, or casual.

Five years later, this person is still our client and trusts us to throw parties for him.

Cars, Nostalgia, Childhood, Tradition!

bugatti

Ever since I was young, I was fascinated with cars. All types of cars! I grew up in a family where cars were admired. My father, grandfather, and older brother are all blue collar men and the first two were mechanics. I remember my dad always fixing up an old school car in the home garage and his work garage. He would always be messing around with his “projects”.

Now, I’m not a mechanic; I went to community college and became a lawyer. I make a good living and I own a hot rod (for fun), I bought one for my brother as a project to work on, and I also on a couple of luxury cars. A lot of people think that is extravagant, but I say, to each their own. I don’t judge others, and I don’t care for others to judge me.

When I feel stressed out, I like to invite my dad and brother over to go over the latest in cars. We also work on my cars. Just the smell of the leaked oil, rubber of the tires, old car parts like an almost worn out engine or transmission… ah, the memories and the nostalgia.

Once in a rare while, I’ll test out luxury car. This is OC’s go to luxury car rental company. They have always treated me well. They have a good variety of luxury cars, customer service is pretty sweet (as it should be), and the rates are decent (not highway robbery… pun intended!)

The next thing to do is to camp in San Diego with my own son. I think it will be a bonding experience. I will rent a Lexus, something cool like that, and maybe we can do a Pacific Coast Highway trip.

What could be better than passing on the tradition to my son? Cars, nostalgia, childhood!

Losing Weight Through Hiking & Kayaking

When I was in high school, I was a fairly active kid. I participated in basketball and ice hockey and played for three years. At an younger age, I also casually picked up snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding. My family and friends pegged me as a natural athlete, one who didn’t have to try at much but was “pretty good” and fluid at most sports I picked up.

By far, though, the hardest time I’ve ever had with a sport is football… something to do with nailing the routes and getting the timing and chemistry right between myself and the quarterback. The quarterback, who, by the way, never liked me anyway.

What a tangent. Back to the point: once I graduated from college, I put on 50 extra pounds. I’m also the type of person on whom 50 lbs can look more like 70-80 lbs.

How Can I Lose Weight?!

Having tried every fad diet under the sun in the last few years (and never lasting or seeing results), I decided my main goal would be to ‘stay active’ 4-5 days a week. For the first 3 months, I stuck to hiking. I’d concentrate on walking. Not even timing. I started with easy hiking for an hour, then it turned into two and before I knew it, it became one of my favorite hobbies.

The next activity that stole my heart? Kayaking. Gosh, all it took was a weekend of cabin, camping out fun with my friends, tucked away from the world. The food was plain, bland, and crap but the stars were beautiful and we had so much fun renting a boat, jet skiing, canoeing and hiking. It was a blast.

That’s when I learned about the cheaper option of inflatable kayaks. Let me tell you: if you don’t have a lot of room and wanna spend less than two hundred bucks on something fun and awesome and want to lose weight, invest in one of these babies. So, I researched tons of options and read a helpful article on tandem kayaks.

sea eagle inflatable boat

To date, I not only lost the initial 50 pounds I gained so long ago, but today, collectively, I am proud to have lost 70 pounds! Be sure to look at the big sites if you want to buy an inflatable kayak. Not only that, I feel excited every morning when I wake up (17) :)

Lesson? Do whatever the heck it takes!