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Special Events Blog
Kylie Carlson of IAWEP

Leveraging Your Top Creative Traits as an Event Entrepreneur

Creatives are wonderful, but they need some tips on managing the business end of an event business. Here's how.

What does it mean to be a creative entrepreneur? It’s not only running a creative business, but running a business creatively.

As a unique group of event professionals, we tend to share some common traits. You might not have realized, however, that these “quirks” of ours can actually be leveraged to advance your events business goals.

It’s all About Passion
We love what we do, whether it’s baking cakes or planning weddings, and can’t imagine doing anything else. Passion drives creatives.

But, sometimes passion can conflict with profit, as the creative entrepreneur will feed it at all costs. Instead of letting it bankrupt you, turn that energy and desire into your motivation to do the business things you need to do to stay profitable. 

Don’t look at creating a schedule or analyzing your books as a chore that takes away from what you truly want to be doing. Remind yourself that the better you get at the business side of creative entrepreneurship, the more resources and time you’ll have to do what you love most!

Remember Your Vision
We are visionaries. Idea people. We provide the event world with a steady stream of amazing concepts and designs. Sometimes we’re so full of them, though, that they become disruptive. All those ideas and no way to monetize them? I like to call it “Shiny Idea Syndrome.”

To avoid “squirreling” every time something moves in your line of sight, come up with a handy system that allows you to record your thoughts about the next big trend, or how you plan to solve your client’s linen issue, or that perfect complementary color you want to add to a special palette.

Organize your thoughts so they can be easily accessed--perhaps on your phone.

Getting in this habit will train you to feel safe having amazing ideas, but also prove that you don’t need to follow every impulse right now. You’ll gain focus, complete projects and offer a more valuable service to your clients and peers alike.

Fuel Your Curiosity
Curiosity is about breaking the rules and allowing a mind to open so innovation can take over and creativity can breathe. The ability to question everything is a key trait of a creative entrepreneur.

We don’t settle for the “everyday,” and we won’t take your word for it. We want to taste it, see it, smell it or feel it for ourselves. Just because something has been done a certain way for centuries doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way--one that is more manageable, fun or just different.

Curiosity is easy to leverage because it ultimately results in new discoveries--perhaps new creative partner relationships, or a previously unknown menu item, or the “accidental” marriage of the perfect colors and textures in a new table design or altar setup.

Don’t seek to erase curiosity--simply manage the “when” and “how.” Try not to distract others from important tasks by letting curiosity derail planning, but do share your interest in a situation to help others recognize that new ways might exist.

Find Your Courage
Face it--we would not be entrepreneurs if our strength didn’t outweigh our fear and weakness. Courage can define your business--a willingness to invest in a new direction, try new materials or ingredients, partner with someone untested, and push the envelope by not playing it “too safe.” 

The downside of courage is that some risks end in rewards, while others end in scars and bruises.

That’s why it is essential that creative entrepreneurs take calculated risks, where the potential reward outweighs the possible harm or damage. As a creative event entrepreneur, it can be helpful to build a rapport with a trusted advisor who can help you determine whether you are doing something inspired, or foolish.

Lean In to Leadership
Finally, creative entrepreneurs are recognized thought leaders.

The very thing that pushes us to take the leap and forge out on our own gives us the inner light that we can use to inspire others. Turn your excitement for what you do into a contagious feeling and don’t be afraid to take others with you on the journey. Lead from your belief that you can make magic happen if others will get on board, and your leadership will quickly become one of your biggest assets.

Leverage those very traits that sparked your dreams to start your event business to allow you achieve your goals and reach new heights. You have everything you need, so go forth and make great things happen.

Kylie Carlson is the owner of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.

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