Happy New Year, everyone!
I know, I know, I’m a few weeks late here on the well wishes, but I was getting a head start on one of my goals for this year: incorporate more balance into my life.
2019 was an absolute whirlwind year for J. Leigh Events. In fact, it was my biggest year yet. I hit so many milestones and I’m so darn proud of everything me and my growing team accomplished.
Actually, that was a milestone in itself: in 2019, I really started to grow my team for the first time. It started with Rachel, my summer intern, and the first intern I’d ever had. What a learning and growing experience it was to have her helping out during one of my busiest seasons of the year. You can read more of my reflections on our time together here.
But there was another big step, too - one I haven’t quite made an official announcement for. Just a few weeks ago, I hired my first part-time employee. We’ll be doing a larger introduction very soon, but for now, join me in sending Samantha, my assistant event coordinator who is helping me do just about everything, to my team!
It makes sense 2019 was the year I’d need to start to grow a bit because I helped plan a whopping 42 events - more than I had ever done before. Of course, it’s worth saying here that the number of events I do does not directly correlate to my success (I could, after all, plan 100 small events), but it’s still something to be proud of.
In addition to the sheer amount of events I coordinated, I’m also incredibly proud of each of the events themselves. If I had to choose just one as the highlight for me professionally, I think it’d have to be the Next Plate series. Every event I did is near to my heart, but this series, in particular, is a culmination of my passions and my work experience. It’s an honor to work with Camp North End to create these insanely unique dining experiences. You can read more about Next Plate here.
Even though there’s not a single thing I’d change about 2019, no year is without its growing pains and hard times. I learned a lot of lessons last year, number one being that I can’t do this all by myself anymore. This is why we’re growing the team. It’s tough for me with my type-A, perfectionist personality to let someone else handle things because I want to be sure everything is done right. Last year, I learned I needed to relinquish some of that control and hire some people to help me get everything done.
Another lesson I learned is that sometimes it’s more about the relationships you’re building than the event itself. Of course, I’m going to put my all into every event I ever take on, so don’t think I mean relationships are more important than the work. What I mean is relationships are an important part of the work. It’s key that I do my best to really connect with those I’m working with, rather than just crossing off the to-do list.
I learned I need to be better about incorporating balance and rest into both my personal and work life. By the time I got to the end of 2019, I was burnt out. 42 events was a lot, and I don’t think I was very good throughout the year of building in moments to rest, recharge, and take care of myself. While everything got done and all my events were amazing, I want to be sure I’m taking care of myself in the future, because that’s the only way to ensure I’m doing the best work possible.
And finally, I learned what I want for my business. I have a clear idea of where I want to take J. Leigh Events in the future, and because of that, you’re going to see some changes this year, including in what I offer. Stay tuned!
So, 2020, I’m ready for ya. I’ve got exciting events planned already, and I can’t wait to get started. I can’t wait for travel (Copenhagen, I’m coming for you!) and revamping events (just wait ‘til you guys see what we have planned for Next Plate this summer).
To end this post on a bit of a sappy note, I’m so darn grateful. I’m grateful for my team, particularly Samantha, who’s been a total rockstar since joining just a few weeks ago. I’m grateful for my husband, who shows me never-ending support in the face of my weird hours, busy schedule and the high stress that comes with owning a business. I’m grateful for you all, for the support you show me, whether that’s by reading these posts, hiring me to coordinate your events or just sharing my work with others looking. I appreciate you all.
Now, let’s party like it’s the ‘20s!
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