Success Story – Alicia//Form Over Function

“It’s always the smallest and simplest of pleasures that can make the biggest difference to how your feel about life.” 

This is so true, a quote by Alicia herself and it sums up her journey with TWE. Alicia is a planner, stylist, floral designer, big and little picture creator – that’s a LOT of work!

When she came to Jennie, there was a lot of work to do. Firstly, creating the space for Alicia to work ON her business and her life. What happens to many Wedding Professionals, our businesses become our life, then we feel we have no life. It becomes all consuming and we become overwhelmed, overworked and headed for a burnout. We only live once and our businesses are here to support our quest to live the best life possible, not to be slaves to it.

As you’ll read, Alicia has turned it all around and is again loving life – both personal and professional.

My Story: From journalist to operating my own event planning, styling and florals business. Well I did start out working on the design sections of The Sydney Morning Herald! Nineteen years in, I still love what I do, and why I do it.

How would you describe yourself at the start of your journey?
Completely totally and utterly overwhelmed by the to do list of work I knew I had to do on the business, and wanted to do on the business. Feeling like it wasn’t remotely possible to get there. Despite actually knowing what was needed, and a lot of what it would/should take to get there.

How would you describe yourself now?
Amazed. For the first time in five years I am back to carving out time for exercise several times a week. I’ve submitted and had accepted for publication more weddings in the past month than I have in the past five years combined, purely because the time and energy have been there to do it. I’ve connected with the perfect online guruess to take care of my online directory profiles, there is work underway on (yet another) website revamp and more. I now have a CRM making my life of managing multiple events with multiple clients and vendors soooooooooooooooooo much more manageable. I’ve been coached by Jennie on rebuilding my boundaries. And I have. And it’s liberating. I’m saying no with confidence.

How do you feel about your investment of time and money into the Membership?
When I say it is the single best investment I have made in my business, I mean it. I can’t imagine my working days without the support network, and the table of knowledge that it The Wedding Society and Jennie. It doesn’t get much more time poor than running an events business with stupid crazy hours, flower market runs for added fun. I have hidden behind the I’m too busy thing so often. It’s not that it isn’t true, but the funny thing was, I signed up, committed to a three month training course, and I showed up every single week, usually to both online meetings, and it gave me a focus and inspiration that saw me able to have more time, because it equipped me with ideas and tools to work even smarter than I have always tried to. The day you stop learning or being open to critiquing your biz you may as well throw it in.

If I had to choose between my Society membership and a few cups of coffee out each week, it’s a no brainer.
The Wedding Society would be the priority.

What are some of your strongest beliefs and values?
Giving it my all, loving what I do or moving on, honesty in business, having my clients’ backs and helping my peers if I can.

PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES
What problem were you looking to solve?
How to get more life/work balance, short cuts to new work systems finding the right marketing and technology peeps to add to my team.

How did you come into contact with TWE?
From online admirers of each other’s work to market chats with coffees in hands to thinking: Yes! when you told me you were launching this new baby.

How did you find out about our Membership?
Through The Wedding Experts Community

What did you think of it when you first learned about it?
Where do I sign.

Did you doubt yourself at all?
Is there a creative in the universe who doesn’t do that at some point most days? Ours is to question, and prod, and come at things from a different angle, so it’s only natural we do that to ourselves too!

How did the transformation you’ve experienced since learning about our membership begin?
From the simplest things – switching the alerts on my phone off for socials and email, to switching on auto responder on email once more, and refusing to actually send emails to clients outside of “normal” business hours unless it was absolutely necessary, so that I could buy back the right to have some time out for me. I still email clients at 4am sometimes – but that’s because I’m awake, at the markets, and it suits me to sit there in the warm dark, drinking tea and tapping away. And then there were the bigger things. Engaging someone to help take care of the marketing stuff I simply don’t have the time to do without it impacting on other areas of my life. And I had known for a while that whilst I’m a professional writer at heart as a former journalist, after 19 years I was stale on how to write about myself and what we do. I needed a fresh eye. And I found one through The Wedding Society.

As soon as I signed up. What was your first step?
As above. And marking time out to be there for the online coaching sessions. Even when it meant I was missing a favourite show!

What would have happened if you continued to experience those problems or didn’t follow the plan?
I wouldn’t be exercising. I wouldn’t have an awesome CRM making managing and tracking my events, clients and stationery jobs so much easier. I wouldn’t be excited about the changes underway. I would be overwhelmed so much more than I am these days. I am lighter. I just am. And I’ve experienced so many moments of utter creative joy doing what I love because there is less overwhelm clutter in my head.

What did the experience feel like as positive things started to happen?
Where’s the punch the air emoji on the keyboard when you need it.

How do you feel now?
Relaxed, happy, motivated, tired, energised. You know. The usual event person rollercoaster depending on when I’m asked. But seriously, most of the time these days, I’m just pretty happy. A long time team member said to me the other day when we were dealing with some mini crisis or other, how “relaxed” I was. I think it’s just knowing that I have finally put in place things I have wanted to and meant to for years. And without the Jennie factor, it wouldn’t have happened.

What are you thinking now?
That I can’t wait to catch up on all my quotes so I can spend some quality time on a few exciting new projects in the pipeline.

What changes for good did it make in your life and life of family members?
Other than event days, my other work days are now more compressed, more productive, so there is more time even in crazy season to go out for dinner with my hubster or go for a walk or simply chill staring at the view. At least twice a week I train hard in the morning by the beach and eat breakfast afterwards, sitting in the sun, cats at my feet, and think life is good. It’s always the smallest and simplest of pleasures that can make the biggest difference to how your feel about life.

Alicia Larriera
From Over Function
http://formoverfunction.com.au/

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