So today is the LAST day of 2011. Yes, I did a few 2011 “round-up” posts, but I’m not going to do one last big huge one. Instead, I’m going to give you a little insight into Every Last Detail (aka ME), how far I’ve come, and what I’m hoping to make happen in 2012. And I’m going to be 100% transparent about it. As I’m sure most of you have gathered, I don’t normally get super personal with my posts, since this IS a professional blog about weddings, BUT I figured that one time a year would be okay. ;)
I’ve been saying that 2010 is the year that I found myself, 2011 is the year I found my voice, and in 2012 I will be heard. I think I realized all of this when someone that I hadn’t seen for about 3 years saw me and told me that I had changed. Of course the first thing that I thought was, well yes, I have gained weight and don’t quite look the same. But he said that I had a glow, a sense of confidence and a poise that I didn’t have 3 years ago. And it really made me think about how far I’ve come, and realize that yes, I have changed, and it’s all thanks to Every Last Detail and all of you!
2011 was amazing to me in all kinds of ways. Mostly, it changed me. I officially became an entrepreneur. ELD relaunched as a prettier, bigger, and better website. I took a huge leap and quit my (awesome) day job and went full-time with Every Last Detail. Traffic grew beautifully. I made great new friends and met some awesome people, both of which would have never been possible without the wedding world. I connected brides with wedding vendors. I did several photo shoots. I shared the work of amazing photographers and inspired brides with awesome details. I became an aunt. I don’t know where I would be today without the wedding industry and Every Last Detail. I can’t even imagine myself without either. In 2011, I grew and changed, and most of all… I found my voice.
Now I want to throw a few facts into the mix, since I’m getting more personal in this post than I usually do. In the past few days, I’ve realized something. Every Last Detail IS me. It’s just me running the show here at ELD, and some people might not know that. I say it all the time to myself, while I’m answering emails or drowning in posts to write, ideas to create, things to design. But many blogs have a large team of people, and the truth of the matter is that I don’t. I have one contributor and might be adding another for the new year, but that’s it. I don’t have employees, and I’m the only one who receives and answers emails. You might notice that I rarely say “we” in my posts. If I do, it’s most likely meaning my dog and/or husband and I. ;) It’s because Every Last Detail is ME- the very essence of me, and I intend for it to stay that way.
[SUPER PERSONAL] Often times I catch myself comparing myself to others -bigger, more popular, “blog giants”. But I have to remind myself that that’s what they are- giants- and I don’t necessarily want to be a giant. Sure, I would love the notoriety of being a giant. But I don’t want to lose sight of my mission, which is to inspire and educate brides. I don’t want to sacrifice that mission just for some big numbers. I have to remind myself of this often, because sometimes I get caught up in with others are doing and wonder if I should be doing the same thing.
In the past few days of looking back on 2011 and planning for 2012, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to be like the giants because ELD is ME, and only me. I am indeed a small business, and I intend to stay that way. Sure, I might hire a few people in the future to help out and have some contributors here and there, but I will always be the voice for Every Last Detail. I’m the one handling advertising, post series, shoots, projects, services- everything Every Last Detail. For me, my business is about being personal- having an investment and a relationship with those who invest in me. I say this because I myself always expect that, and when I don’t receive it, I’m sorely disappointed. Which is why I want to stay small- to continue to form relationships with both brides and wedding pros. I realize that I may not become a millionaire doing this, but it’s more important to me that I stay true to myself and my mission to help brides and wedding pros.
My husband and I in DC this December… photo by Stephanie Ascari Photography
Another fact: Every Last Detail is my family’s sole income. My husband is in chiropractor school, and yep, that means he doesn’t have a job. So we live in a not-so-nice 700 square foot house, never go on dates, don’t have cable, and eat a little too much unhealthy (yet cheap) food. (That last one hasn’t been too nice to our bodies in the past year, which is why we’re doing the cliche New Year’s resolution to get back in shape!) But it’s part of life, right? Everyone has to struggle, and yes, most of our fights are about money. Sure, I could go get a “real job” and have guaranteed money every single week, but after being my own boss for almost a year, I don’t think I can ever go back to that. So I bust my butt,
annoy ask wedding pros to sign up for ELV, and hope that my wonderful readers (you) will continue to tell people about ELD! I’m telling you all this because I want you to know that I am in no way perfect. Blogging can seem like it’s a cushy job and all rainbows and butterflies, and yes it is indeed amazing, but I’m in no way living a life of high style over here. And don’t feel bad if you’re in the same position… like I said, it’s part of life, right?! ;)
So now that you know my innermost challenges and tribulations, let’s move on, shall we?
2012 is already shaping up to be a busy year. In 2012, my goal is for Every Last Detail to not only be a blog, but also a resource website. I’m planning for site updates, new features to be added, and even some services to help brides! I’m going to embrace the “stylist” in me and do more inspiration shoots for you all… I’m even traveling to Vegas to do one in February! I’ll be speaking at a wedding pro workshop in January, followed by attending a conference. In February I’m traveling a lot… NYC, DC, and Vegas, all in the span of 2 weeks. I don’t know what I was thinking with all that traveling! And in all honesty, I’ve only gotten as far as March in my planning for 2012… mostly because I have SO much going on in the first 2 months of the year already! Who knows what the rest of the year will bring?! I still have so much more to come for Every Last Detail, and I am so incredibly excited for that. (I’m also incredibly excited for 2 years from now when my husband will be done with school and have a job! Let the countdown begin!)
Okay and now, 2 hours later, I’m pretty personal-posted out, so it’s time for me to wrap up, clean the house, and start figuring out what I’m wearing for New Year’s Eve tonight! I would love if you commented though… with either what you loved about ELD this year, or what you would like to see in the future! :) Thank you for being amazing- I love you all! 2011, you were great, but 2012 will be even better! Happy 2012!!