As an entrepreneur, & a mother that was raised in the millennial generation, I feel I’m always being tortured with high expectations, joys, demands, judgments and revelations.
Side Note: Millennials have been characterized in a number of different ways. On the negative side, they’ve been described as lazy, narcissistic and prone to jump from job to job. Well Excuse me, I am the total opposite of these negative characteristics! Click Here for all the positive attributes we have!
With the longest list of goals & too little time to accomplish them, I always feel overwhelmed. Yet, regardless of the madness of my business and my personal life, I feel absolutely certain about a few things:
I OWN MY AGE!
I’m 35 years old, Mother of 2 owner & founder of F & M Events, & CTC Workshop also working on starting my Business classes. There is no age limit to when you can start your business, with or without having children, there are pros to being able to work for yourself & stay home and attend to your kids. You can coordinate your own schedule, you don’t have to miss out on any milestones, you can do as you please. From one perspective, this makes me a tremendous success story, from another perspective, I am in over her head.
When I say I own my age this is what I mean, although I started young in motherhood & in business, there are a ton of opportunities and challenges that come with this. Sometimes I work with people older than me, & they may assume or think I have no clue what I’m doing.. My thought is Yes, I am 35 years old, but I am also much more than that. I am a natural leader. And I am fully capable of steering a company and it’s workforce into the future.
WHAT I LOVE!
Even as the mother of two children, I’m not afraid to say that I LOVE WORKING. In this country-these words don’t exactly roll off the tongue. Sure, work may be necessary. It may feel like a chore or a duty. But, if it takes you from the responsibilities and joys of home and family, how could a woman possibly love it? How could she possibly want more of it?
In many ways directly and indirectly, I encounter this negative attitude on a regular basis from certain people. The often-implied implication is that mothers who are ambitious and passionate about their full-time careers are somehow less invested in their family’s well-being. It may be 2020, but this sentiment is apparently the norm for some people, I still do often get the common questions “How do you manage it all?”, “How do you make time for your kids?” etc. etc. But some people actually cheer for us Momprenuers…Me, Myself & I for Example, I will be your Number 1 Cheerleader! I LOVE hard working Mommas, we are taking over!
Learn how to FLIP THE SWITCH-LIKE DRAKE!!
It took years to balance personal life & my business, now I try to make sure when I’m home, I’M HOME. Because I work hard during the week & INCREDIBLY hard most weekends, so my weeknights are with my family, & sometimes friends. There are always emails and texts that need to be checked, but while when I’m home I try to set the phone aside and I close the laptop. It’s like flipping the switch, from work mode, to home mode. Its easy, try it, walk into your home, flip the switch and suddenly everything is different. It may sound stupid, but it helps to have a physical anchor that reminds us we’re no longer under the pressure of work. At home, you should be lighter and more present.
There should be a respect at home for our families, & this is created after some time. I run my entire business from the living room and have no separation between these two competing aspects of my life. It took a toll on my well-being, as an individual and as a family, and I learned my lesson. I can finally say that today, my home is my sacred space – free from the endless notifications of my professional life, it really helps you stay sane. I’m thankful for being able to work from home & also enjoy my home, but I’m relieved to know that home will continue to be our safe haven as the future comes, both as business and as a family.
Side Note: According to recent research by the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of an American entrepreneur is 40 years old. So guess what I still have a few years to really get my shit together, by then I hope to be where I want to be financially & lead an even bigger business, while I sit my ass home!
Click Here to View/Purchase all the Shirts we launched, & Wear it proudly!
Why is it hard to show support to your Friends & Family? Is it your duty to support your friends?
Honestly, No it’s not your duty, but it should be important to you as their friend or family, to show them support as best as you can especially in today’s world! When it comes to them creating, sharing and pursuing their dreams, you should be front and center, cheering them on, it shouldn’t be only when they ask you to.
Unfortunately, I know so many artists, entrepreneurs, innovators, teachers, etc. who don’t get the support that they need and deserve from the people who say that they love and support them the most. It’s too often I see so many creatives trying to find the support that they need even though they have “many” friends. And quite frankly, it makes NO sense to me.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve had this conversation with people in my own industry & just Entrepreneurs in general. People are so quick to support the well-known famous artists that they don’t even know personally, before showing up for the entrepreneur in their immediate or not so immediate circle.
My question is Why not? Why not support your loved ones?
How can you claim to be someone’s friend and not support, but you’re quick to spend your dollars, time, energy, and support to someone you don’t know at all? It’s beyond me & it truly pisses me off. I used to stay quiet but I just don’t even care to offend anyone cause if this offends you then you know this message is for you!
As their friend & family, you should be beyond proud to, firstly, have them as your friend, & to have a friend that is going after what they were put in this world to do! You get to see the struggle, the growth, the failures & all the triumphs first hand, that is something you yourself should be proud of! You get the “behind the scenes” footage into their life & work. You see the progress and that alone should inspire you to SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDS.
Then again “Maybe people don’t know how they can support their friends”.
To make it easier I’ll share a few reasons and ways to show support below:
- Believe it or not, being an Entrepreneur is HARRRRD AF! We are basically giving our all for everyone to see over and over again, and sometimes it goes unnoticed!
- It takes A LOT of guts to share our passion, to follow and pursue our dreams, to fall on our faces and get back up again.
- They are your FRIENDS (Enough Said)
WAYS TO SUPPORT:
- LISTEN to them, READ their work, POST their achievements, SHARE their business pages, BLAST their Music, TRY their Products, PROVIDE Feedback, GET invested… PHYSICALLY ACT LIKE YOU CARE!
- Share their work!
- You can “repost” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram & that’s FREE!
- Stop Asking for Discounts/Free Work – “NO MORE FREE SHIT”
- If you value the work or art, why are you asking for discounts? Chances are, your friend feels conflicted about charging you anyway. Help them help themselves.
- Hire Them.
- If money is an issue, when you finally get the money to support their business, art, etc., Hire Them! Treat them as the professionals that they are.
- Believe in and Encourage Them.
- To hear from a friend, “I see you. I believe in you. I support you. You’re doing great. You’re growing. You’re learning. You’ll get up again.” Means the WORLD.
- Support them more than you would a well-known person.
- Why is it so easy to support artists and businesses that you have no personal connection to whatsoever? You have some dope friends: businesswomen/men, hair stylists, make-up artists, writers, photographers, professionals, event planners and coordinators, videographers, counselors, designers, dancers, technicians… all in your own circle. Why not represent them just as hard?
For all of my fellow entrepreneurs, artists, businesses, and everything in between; we need to support one another. If anyone knows the struggle, it’s us. There is enough room for all of us to make it, especially when we link together and use all of our resources.
I can’t stress this enough, please, support your friends. It’s so vital and so important. If you really believe in them and love their craft, show them!
Coordinate to Celebrate: Workshops that build a Community of Wedding & Event Planners!
One thing I will forever love doing is being able to give back to the community. I have learned that in this business you don’t get anywhere alone. Remember that others, somewhere have been through the struggle that you are either going through or will go through in the process. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, it means you are ready for growth. This is when you share ideas, & raise others, this is called letting go of fears.
At the CTC Workshops I share information that shows skills, experiences, policies, & tools that have been influential to my journey. I also share products and brands that create a profitable business. Some attendees already have their foot in the door, & just need a little push. While others are getting a fresh start, and need complete guidance to figure out what is best for them. These Workshop series are a guide to help you get to where you are destined to be. There is so much room for growth in this industry. The first step is to find your niche!
Creating a brand and being an entrepreneur is not easy by any means. This industry takes a lot of time, love, respect & dedication. I myself have refined my craft through extremely hard work, persistence & establishing credibility early with clients. Once you are on the right track you will be sure to Master your craft!
The CTC Workshops were created to make the attendees feel safe about sharing & asking questions, without any judgment. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in business any question, is a good question, and it shows you are ready to learn & improve your profession.
I am here to help & share my knowledge with you, whether it’s online or in person, these workshops are a great addition to your resume!
Ten Whole Years!
If you were to ask me 20 years ago what I pictured my life to be today, I would have said: Definitely Married, Mother of 2 or possibly 3 kids, homeowner & a business owner. I had it all planned out! BUT guess what fairy-tales don’t exist…Currently at 36 years old I am a mother of 2, still not married, or own a home, BUT I am a business owner! Although I thought I planned out my future at an early age, life had different plans for me, well more like some of the decisions I made changed my future plans. I had my daughter in my Senior year of High school, 2 months before Graduation to be exact, can you imagine? At 18, I had no idea wtf I was doing, sometimes I still wonder if I’m doing this right! Despite all of this I still went to College & Graduated with a Business Management Degree in 2007 from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Later I had my son in 2009, I know i’m crazy, another child under 30, but lets be honest I’m not the 1st or the last. I was working as a Bank Teller during college, I had no idea what kind of business I was ever getting into but I knew eventually I would work for myself. Fact of the matter is my mother was an Entrepreneur all my life, so the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, working for herself is all I ever saw, & I loved it, always thought she was bad ass! Once I graduated College, you can only imagine I dealt with a lot of trials & tribulations, along with many roads that lead to dead ends. The funny thing about growing up is that you can’t determine what or who is meant for you. Those are the lessons that you learn along the way, that help mold you to who you are destined to be.
I had always enjoyed decorating & throwing parties, I even decorated my own baby shower for my son. Soon after College, around 23 years old I had started decorating more, & hosting events for other people, I started messing around with party favors, balloons & diaper cakes (who remembers diaper cakes?), sold Easter baskets. I even took classes on baking and started making cakes & cake pops. I WANTED TO DO IT ALL! I’m talking about a time where 3 balloons with a small weight was acceptable at your party, plastic table cloths and all. I really enjoyed doing these types of parties and helping my friends & family with any event they wanted to host. Of course, for FREE because who charges family right? Haha Well at that time parties were different, parties were more for people to get together & actually dance, have a good time, take a few pictures on their polaroid’s or cameras and call it a night. There wasn’t a craze for social media, there wasn’t a competitive mentality, it was just FUN!
Check out some of my A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Designs back then!
Time flies when you’re having fun!
Let me take you back to 10 years ago, Imagine this 26-year-old, single mother of 2, a 7-year-old girl & a 1-year old baby boy. I was lost still unsure of what I wanted to do with my future, but that was that year I decided F*** it, I’m going to open my own business, Tax ID & all. I had already been decorating so why not right, Should be easy! Those that knew (family & friends) told me I was crazy & not to get myself into that because I wasn’t ready, Yada Yada Yada… BUT being that I always lived on the edge, I did it anyway, in my mind I had nothing to lose. I had a decent job (back then) & bills weren’t what they are today, so I always had income to fall back on. Although I hated working my 9-5 I knew I was in no shape to let it go, I had 2 children to provide for, the Event Planning industry was more of a fun Part Time gig at the time, so I wasn’t ready to go Full Time for a long while. Truth is I just loved the idea of decorating, setting up the party seeing the happy faces, I didn’t even care about making money, in fact there was A LOT of times I came out of pocket to make sure the event went as planned. I was more content with the satisfaction it gave my clients to see how beautiful their event looked. It took a lot of years to understand the industry, to understand how to bring in clients.
My sister Yomaris, worked with me for a few years from 2010 to about 2015 we both had FT jobs so it was a hobby for us both, that later grew into a passion for us. This is when we started doing all kinds of events, we did our first wedding & everything it was so cool, yet so nerve wrecking. We did a lot of mistakes, a lot of Trial & Error. Fact is we didn’t have any proper training in the industry. I later went and got my Event Planning Certification in Bergen Community College in 2011. My sister took some floral courses, this is when she fell in love with the floral industry. We hosted many events together, from planning, to designing, to later coordinating. After a few years we ended up going our separate ways & she branched out and created her Floral Design Company Called Divablooms, LLC. Working together was fun, we sure are 2 very creative designers, but in reality, we bumped heads every now and then, nothing too drastic, but it’s common when working with family. We are both strong minded & great business owners, just had different goals & that’s ok. Sometimes partnerships/relationships aren’t meant to last. At the end of the day we are both in the same industry & continue to work with one another when we can, and we support each other. Check out her amazing work on Instagram @DivaBlooms or her website www.Divablooms.com…
Check out some of our older events… I Love you sis!
Around 2014 I was working Full Time in the Mortgage industry, when I got my 1st lay off…Can you imagine how frantic I was, I thought my life was over. On top of all the personal issues I was facing, losing work, almost losing my apartment, feeling completely lost. I wasn’t making enough with F & M Events to sustain my living and support my kids. But I needed to keep pushing, I applied for another job and Boom ended up getting laid off again (mortgage Industry at the time was crashing) I was a mess, I had no idea what I was going to do, I kept looking for work, and wasn’t getting anywhere. I kept blaming myself & wondering where I went wrong, but it finally hit me… I WAS OFFICIALLY AN ENTREPRENEUR & this was my breaking point to really push hard for my brand. This was a sign to NOT get another job, and although I definitely was not financially set to do this Full Time there was no other time for me to decide that. It was then at that moment that I needed to do this for myself & for my family! And let me tell you till this day I wonder WTF was I thinking?!?! This Entrepreneur Roller coaster is straight up Bat shit crazy, Whose with me?? haha . Needless to say that in 2014 that was our first mini feature in an online Magazine. I was happy as ever, thinking I was super cool. Those are the little things that made me realized I was on to something. Check out the Online Feature page 38-40.
Still with me? Lol I’m almost done!
After 4 years of planning, designing & coordinating all sorts of events, meeting so many vendors & companies, things were going amazing but truthfully I still wasn’t making as much financially so I still wasn’t content. I did not know what I was doing wrong. So many things have changed, Social Media started taking over. I realized that Instagram & other social Media outlets can be both a blessing & a curse. When you start a company without social media you truly get to enjoy it. Once Social Media is involved the pettiness, the cattiness, the competition was just out of control. Everyone is always trying to outshine one another, it’s like a battle of “Who Did it first?” when in reality this Industry is supposed to be to cater to the clients and make them happy. A lot of people lose that focus, a lot of people let other Brands successes set them back. Why do we do this? Is this the new norm? I can admit for a while before I really woke up I used to look at other Brands and say how the hell are they doing these events, they just started? But in reality this industry is all about WHO you know & HOW you get your name out there.
Fast forward to 2018, the Year I decided to start doing things for me as well as giving back to those in the Industry. Being that I have a Business Degree I always try and help people achieve their highest potential, sometimes I give them better advice that I do to myself. I decided to launch my workshops series, CTC “Coordinate to Celebrate” to help people in the Industry get the support & guidance they need to be able to succeed. A lot of my attendees come in and tell me stories about how they reach out to certain industry professionals & ask questions or advice & don’t even get a response. I often wonder is it because they are just rude or do they feel threatened? Either way I won’t ever understand that. There is so much room for growth in this industry or any industry for that matter. The attendees have really paved the way for me of a new passion, which is Coaching/Teaching & Mentoring. Never would I have imagined that this was in my cards, but like I said you really never know what path your life will take!
Which brings me to today 2020! The year more Trials & Tribulations were given with this Pandemic-Covid-19 Ruining the Event Industry one Event at a time! None the Less March 29, 2020 Marks 10 Year Anniversary for F & M Events, My 3rd Baby!I have learned so many lessons not only about the Industry, about entrepreneurship, about life & most importantly about myself. I realized I doubted myself for so long and it’s really sad, yet also a relief when you can finally admit that. For a while I wasn’t content with where my life was and it was hard to keep pushing. I gave up a lot of my life to make sure my kids had food on the table & and a home to reside in, Nothing else mattered, but I ended up missing a lot of their life trying to build my brand. These are things you neglect when you become an Entrepreneur so you have to be careful, it may not be intentional but it will happen. This is hard work, dedication, blood, sweat & lots of tears!
My life hasn’t always gone as planned, even today, I still don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Sometimes we depend on Family or Relationships to help mold the way but in reality, no one can set your path but you! Being a young mom & working numerous jobs was rough, until realizing this was it for me it was a long process & a long ride that I would take over & over again in a heartbeat, while making a few adjustments down the line.
Thank you to everyone who has rode the wave with me throughout the years, you guys mean the world to me! I hope this read has brought you some laughter, & maybe some tears, but mostly MOTIVATION!
NEVER GIVE UP, ALWAYS FIGURE IT OUT!
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