Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Cossette, Founder of MAXevent, located in East Walpole, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My company, MAXevent, is all about bringing event planning resources to people who want to have unique and meaningful celebrations around the most special occasions and milestones in their lives. As a Celebration Consultant, I teach people how to be their own event planners so they don't have to hand the process over to someone else to do it for them. I provide guidance and support as my clients navigate the process in a way that is approachable and uncomplicated.
My ideal client is a woman in her midlife who is planning a celebration of her marriage! From weddings and remarriages to vow renewals and milestone anniversary celebrations, the clients who love working with me are the ones that don't want a cookie-cutter event, and they don't feel the vibe of a typical wedding planning experience. They need access to all the information that is so hard to find on their own, they realize there are answers out there to questions they don't even know to ask, and they want to be connected with the best vendors for their unique circumstances.
Tell us about yourself
After two decades in the hospitality and events industry, I have learned so much about what I truly love to do and who I love to work with. My experience is diverse and plentiful, so there is not much I can't answer when it comes to event planning and management. What I do differently than most other event planners out there is I teach and empower my clients to plan celebrations in a way that they learn so much; next time, they might not need me at all!
Starting with uncovering their true vision for their special day, they have access to all the information and resources they need to plan the type of party they daydream about. What they don't have is all the stress, indecision, and wasted time that comes with DIYing and looking for answers in the wrong places.
From the moment we start on this journey together, I have been their wing woman that always has their back. I alert them to the unknown and provide a sounding board and reinforcement when they feel unsure. I want my clients to show up on their event day with confidence and ease after having tons of fun planning a heartfelt celebration that is truly all about them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was when I listened to the signs the universe was sending me and realized what my niche is and how I could help people differently than 99% of the others in my field. Once the lightbulb went off, I lost so much of the inner struggle and anxiety I was feeling about how I was going to grow my business. It truly felt like I found inner alignment.
Knowing my purpose and passion makes the push forward easier because I have clear goals in my sights. When I was trying to do things I was not aligned with or what others thought I should be doing, it felt like a struggle. The bottom line is, listen to your gut - it knows best.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Hands down, the hardest thing for me was doing it all alone, especially when I was first starting out and not used to being solo. I miss having a team around me to bounce ideas off of, troubleshoot problems, and laugh and have fun with! Over the past couple of years, I have learned how to leverage my inner circle of trusted colleagues, as well as to outsource the things that cause me the most stress in my business whenever I can.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get the right type of coach, and do it early on. It is definitely an expense, but I believe it is vital to the process of starting out and developing and refining your offer. We think we have it all under control...until we realize that we really don't, and by then, so much time has passed while we were spinning our wheels!
- Pay attention to what you don't like doing in your business the most, and then find a way to outsource it as early as possible. Forcing yourself to slog through your own marketing when you hate doing it, for example, will only put stress on you and make it harder to find your groove and move forward.
- This may be most important....work on yourself first. You are the visionary, the driving force, and the foundation that your business is grown upon. If you are not taking care of yourself first, you will not be able to advance your business without way more stress and effort than it needs to be. Meditate, read, write, drink water, eat well, exercise, and be willing to give up your worst habit that is holding you back from moving to that next level.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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