I’ve started a mini series about getting started in the wedding and events industry and I’ve touched upon some of the more practical steps like getting an education and having the soft skills required.
With some of my hardworking wedding friends at a recent wedding. Photo: Joee Wong Photography
Before touching upon making money in the business, I wanted to take a step back and reflect upon something that I’ve come to terms with the last few years.
After a trip to a conference in the states called Urbana many years ago, I came back with a book called Courage and Calling. It is a faith-based perspective on the ideas surrounding your vocation in different times in your life (vocation as a defining purpose or mission in life). I read this book at a pivotal time in my life—in my last year of university—and a couple things really stuck with me since.
It’s not always about doing what you love as your job
For a single mother looking to feed her children, her vocation or calling in life may not be tied with what she does in the 9-5. Her mundane job may or may not be something she has a passion for, but it allows her to do what she is called to do first and foremost – to be a provider for her children. Does it mean her life is not fulfilling or meaningful because her job is mundane? Not at all! But in that specific time in her life, her calling was for providing for her children.
If you look around your group of friends, how many of them can truthfully say that they have a burning desire to audit financial statements or to fix people’s cavities? For some it is, and good for them! But for most, a job is a job. It does not necessarily mean their life is any less fulfilling.
A lot of people I know dream of doing something different than what they are currently doing (the grass is always greener on the other side), but let’s look at the facts. If your job is something you have the skills for, it pays your bills and you’re not miserable doing it, you’re probably ahead of the pack.
What your job allows you to do is, to do life, whether that is to explore hobbies, to volunteer for the homeless, to travel the world or to enjoy simple pleasures like eating out with friends. I know this is how my husband views his job and life.
This job allows you to explore your vocation, whatever that may be, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be connected with your job (and that’s ok!). You can very well be someone who works a mundane job, but you can be living out your passion by doing weddings and events on the side.
Your calling does not necessarily have to be your job.
It is a choice
For others, your job is your calling.
Some people tell me I’m lucky that I get to do what I love to do (and I definitely count it as a blessing too!) but I also see it as a choice.
I knew early on that I wanted to make my 40 hours a week count. I wanted to work a job that I enjoyed. This is why I started out in graphic design and transitioned into events, and eventually weddings. I chose to make a living doing something I love to do.
I knew that working in non-profit events that you didn’t do it for the pay, but for the enjoyment. I transitioned into weddings because I enjoyed that even more, and thankfully I am making a living from it. It was always a choice and I chose to do what I loved.
All that to say, your job does not necessarily have to be your life’s passion. But if it is, I think that you can consider yourself lucky. There is no right or wrong answer in how to pursue your passions in life.
I know a lot of wedding planners who have other day jobs that allow them the security to have a family and pay their bills, but they get to do weddings on the weekends and evenings, and they find a great balance doing it this way. You must pick the route that works best for your life situation, risk tolerance and work/life balance.
A side note: You must understand that when you do what you love as a job, it becomes just that sometimes – a job. I constantly have to remind myself about why I love what I do and how lucky I am to be successful doing it. Sometimes doing your passion for 40+ hours a week sucks the life and enjoyment out of it, and it is a risk that you take!
Phew, that was a lot of philosophical stuff. Are you still with me? Next I’ll answer one of my most FAQ about making money. Stay tuned!
Also in this series:
Rebecca Chan is a Toronto event designer and event planner. If you have a brand activation, media launch event, design project, trade show or a special event, connect with her today to see how we can collaborate on your next project.