After all, your support has been tremendous and there is no one else in the world, other than my dear family, that I would rather celebrate this occasion with other than you.
I considered a *huge giveaway* (thankfully have been blessed with those weekly), a free imprintable (did that awhile back too)...I wanted to offer you something spectacular as a thank you for taking the time to read my posts, to care enough to take the time and leave a comment or write me an e-mail or share my posts with your friends and fans. I also wanted to make sure I expressed to you how very much YOU have impacted the last year of my life. WOW. I never thought possible that within 12 short months I would be introduced to so many brilliant, beautiful, talented, creative and inspiring people. I feel truly blessed and know that you are one of the greatest gifts this blog has given me--other than providing me with an outlet to express myself creatively!
Then it occured to me, the greatest gift I feel I have to give to you, is to continue offering the very best inspiration I can. Continue to introduce you to lovely women entrepreneurs, share a few DIY party tricks here and there, let you in on some of my favorite resources, feature some smashing parties designed by others, and of course continue to create and share with you my newest signature parties, designed to ***inspire you***.
A giveaway will only reward one of you when I want to reward you all--it's like giving a party favor to only one guest--and that simply doesn't suit my fancy!
A free printable is lovely and I certainly hope to offer you one again--but again, on this occasion, I wanted to offer you something unique and extraordinary and designing printables is not what I am known for doing best as so many others do.
Then the perfect idea struck me: I am going to give you some pearls of wisdom that I have been given over the last year and six days, that I hope might save you the trouble from learning "the hard way"!!! After a few e-mails every week from people starting similar businesses asking me "how did you do it, how should I start?" and the hundreds of responses of those wanting to learn how to start a business in children's party planning and design, I decided this is probably the greatest gift I have to give.
1. Time is one of life's most precious gifts. Don't forget to factor in time spent creating, designing or styling, as well as the time it takes you to write those detailed e-mails and online searches and international phone calls finding exactly what your client needs to make their party perfection. Factor time into your profit margin.
2. Be prepared to change your business plan, again and again. Learning to let go of what you initially created and THOUGHT was going to be the right way to go may very well not be. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Let go of what doesn't work, hang on to what does, and forge ahead with your innovative new plan. This is the only way to stay one step ahead.
3. Never undervalue the importance of branding your business. Know how you want to brand it, and come up with creative strategies to implement it. Branding is hard work, time consuming, but crucicial to your success.
4. *Help others*. I cannot express this one enough. While I do not undervalue the importance of sharing your accomplishments to build a strong reputation, it is extremely important that you work together with others in your industry, networking, building relationships and helping each other.
5. Originality is key to your success. It is your passion, your style, your talent and uniqueness that will give your product and design its own place within the market. And if you ever, EVER find inspiration from someone else, be sure to properly credit that person for whatever bit if inspiration they gave you. Side note: you are creative, your are talented, you are unique: rely on that more than anything else when you create something.
6. Don't forget the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Apply this in all that you do.
There are about a hundred and one more lessons (at least) I could share with you, and I am sure you have many you could share with me (please feel free to comment with lessons you have learned!), but maybe I should save those for my book....
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being a daily dose of sunshine in my life.
Oh, and the winner of the set of 8 fairy tiaras from Nicole of Tradewind Tiaras is Leticia!!! Leticia, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org right away in order to accept your prize!!!