Somewhere between 2018 and 2019 my “why” changed. And it was until I was granted (I use that term loosely) a COVID-19 break in 2020 that I actually had time to think, reflect and realise it.
I constantly see business coaches and uplifting quotes saying “Find Your Why”. I am not sure of they ever mention (maybe they do?) that this can change over time and there’s a period in between where you lose your original why, and a new one becomes. But you cannot see that clearly sometimes and your business flails between your old and new. Chasing your old “why” while subconsciously moving to a new one doesn’t work.
I was so busy being busy (NOT a good thing) and chasing goals written a long time ago, that I didn’t realise my “why” had changed. I was hustling for the wrong (or misplaced) reasons. And…..I was NOT loving what I was doing. And I used to - so very much. My little business was founded and built on loving what I do.
For the longest time (maybe a couple of years), I had known that something was ‘off’ about my little business. Something wasn’t sitting right and I couldn’t pin point it. I always bang on about parties and the celebration of someone’s life and while that does ring true, I do love the innocence of a child’s party and the celebration of love that christenings and weddings bring - it is not necessarily the celebration itself, but more so the connection of people. The feeling of warmth that bringing together families and friends (and the feeling of love in the room) brings.
I had begun getting bored and at times even frustrated instagram - of seeing the same thing over and over - the lack of creativity maybe. A trend would hit and then it was like no one could think for themselves any more. When I first started my business the party and events industry was virtually non-existent and I used to WOW at the creativeness of people coming up with new themes for parties and making and creating it almost all by themselves. THAT is the part I love.
What had frustrated me, what was ‘off’, was that these gatherings and events, had lost their meaning almost entirely with the evolvement of producing the perfect picture. The perfect picture for Instagram, for Pinterest or for whatever social media platform you choose. And the next event being bigger and better, rather than just different (and creative). I myself had been invited to parties, weddings, showers and events where things weren’t to be touched until they had been photographed. That taking the perfect photo at the entrance was more important than greeting the people themselves. That the event was more important than the people. The human connection. The warmth.
My original “why” (and how my little business started) was creating parties for my kids and friend’s weddings because I loved being creative, making everything and seeing it all come together. I loved paper, stationery, invitations and cards. I figured I could do this for other people, my kids were small and I could work from home. I got focused on starting and learning about running a small business. My goals became about becoming bigger as a business and somewhere along the line my worth was associated with how “successful” my business was - mainly in a financial sense. I possibly wasn’t charging what I was worth in order to land the job, and a vicious cycle of busy business became my norm, forever chasing my tail. The only bonus was I was at home with the kids and could help at the school and be there for them when they needed me.
My kids are now almost adults themselves. The live their own lives (well pre-COVID lockdown they did - and they will again). So my “why” was probably changing in front of me but I was too busy being busy to realise. The COVID break (and lockdown) has made me appreciate people, human contact and the warmth again.
This ever growing 'Spoonville' makes me happy. It's connecting the local kids.
Over the course of 2020, I have handwritten letters and cards to some friends and family over this time simply to let people know I am thinking of them and because I love to write letters. To put a smile on their face. One even wrote back which was completely unexpected - but much loved. I write Christmas cards every year, not to get them back in return, but because I like writing and giving my friends a surprise in the mail. I had even gotten too busy to do that properly. I used to write to my nana, and my best friend (I moved many times in my childhood and we never lost touch - writing from age 8 - 18 when we wrote and decided to meet up again). I love how letters make you feel thought about. Warmth. I love how a neatly arranged and decorated classroom makes a child feel welcome. I love giving gifts rather than cash to see the smile on someones face.
The mixture of being a visual person, and being a creative person is the core of my being. Creating pretty things and selling them so you too can create things for people, or yourself simply because you love to. Because it is something to do for you. To feel proud of what you have made or created whether it be a bullet journal full of dreams, or a party for your child, or a classroom that makes kids feel happy and welcome, or to give a gift that is wrapped nicely with a heartfelt greeting card. To make people feel thought about. Simply because it feels good for you to do so. Not because it will look good on the gram. That is just an added bonus if that’s what you want to do.
So maybe my “why” didn’t change at all. I am simply going back to what I love in a different way. I used to think it was events that provided the warmth. The gathering of the people. But now I know that warm, thought about, happy feeling is what I love helping create. Hoping I can pass that onto you.