What Mistakes Have You Made?


“A Man’s Errors Are His Portals of Discovery.”

-James Joyce


Dear Preston:

You’ve mentioned making mistakes several times but, honestly, you seem so iconic to me that it seems so implausible. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind briefly sharing a few mistakes you made when you were just starting out that influence the decisions you make now.


Please Share


Dear PS,

First, I want to thank you for your kind words.  They are very generous of you and I appreciate your note very much.  That said,I am no different from you, I stumble and learn lessons all of the time.  What I try not to do is stumble over the same lesson twice.  As per your request, here are the top three mistakes I made when I was starting out (ones I work vigilantly not to repeat).


When I started out, I was so happy to have clients who appreciated and valued my work that I was practically giving it away.  I learned that my work has value and in order to be able to continue to be able to work, I had to charge proper fees.

Not Charging For My Time

Most people in the event industry assume they have the right to charge for their products, but not their time.  If you are spending two hours with a client, that is time you could be working on something else, so I would suggest you give yourself an hourly rate and add it to the bill.  Time is money.

Paying Commissions To Other Vendors

Planners, florists and designers all need one another to create a memorable event.  It’s not uncommon for us to refer one another to clients. In the past, I would pay commission fees for referrals and make very little on the job as a result.

Question:  Would you be so kind as to share a few mistakes you made at first in your respective industries, and what you have learned as a result?

I look forward to hearing about your experiences.




(Photo Courtesy of Pinterest)