Dear Preston: Can One Be Happy Without Being “Successful” In This business?

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Dear Preston:

People talk about having a “full plate” but very rarely do they discuss how it feels when your plate is empty. I did not do well this year and am really feeling down and out. I wonder if I should try something entirely new in 2016. I often look at your blog and read about your humble beginnings and I am so Inspired by how far you have come.  Many of us in this business aspire to make it to your level of success, but the reality is that all of us won’t.  What is it like to go from struggling to the top?  Is it what we all dream it to be?  Do you feel you can be as happy not achieving it?



Dear Curious:

Thank you for your kind note. You bring up several very interesting questions.  I have always said that if I, a high school dropout, could come this far, I cannot imagine that anyone else would not be able to do the same. I think the first thing we should do define what success actually means to you.  For me, success is simple: It’s finding something you love and sticking with it, no matter what.  I personally feel we live in a society that is way too invested in “making it to the top.”  Instead, I wish people truly understood that there will be both good years and bad ones. My attitude is the same as it was when I started, I was and remain hungry.  At first, I was hungry to make a living. Then I was hungry to create something new and different.  Nowadays, I am hungry to be able to make enough money to support myself and all of the people I am responsible for.

Of course, I would be lying if I did not admit that it is much easier to survive with some money in the bank, but ultimately, money was never my goal, or my “gold” as they say. My goal has always been to create events or floral designs that make people feel something. Every single one of you in the event industry know exactly what I am talking about.  I am speaking about those moments that you create that are life changing for your clients.  The problem with most of us is that we tend to be so hard on ourselves that we forget to hold onto the moments when the client says, “Thank you for creating my dream” wedding or event.  For me, that is a big part of being “successful”.  For that, you do not have to wait, Curious, you only have to learn to take that in (and you can do that right now).



Photo Courtesy of John Labbe


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