How to Overcome Obstacles
Have you ever learned an unexpected lesson? I’ve found that my journey in flowers and business has been filled with surprises, turns, and lots of lessons learned. Perhaps the most important (and continual!) lesson for me has been adaptability.
As members of the event world, we’re no strangers to chaos or the unexpected. You could even argue that we thrive on it to some extent! But when you add the pressure of working with live, fragile product to the normal stress of an event, and the day-to-day demands of running a business, you have the perfect storm. Some flower friends and I have been chatting (and laughing) about some of our most memorable challenges, and I’m sure you can relate…
- Flowers arrive 4 hours before a wedding where you’re both the florist and maid of honor
- An order of 100 feet of eucalyptus garland shows up as plumosa fern instead
- An entire set of arrangements doesn’t survive travel to the event venue
Thankfully, we were able to take those moments in stride, think on our feet, and find creative solutions. We can even laugh about it now. After all, if there’s anything we know as florists, it’s how to turn chaos into beauty! But what do we do when the chaos hits a little bit closer to home? When life, not flowers, through curveballs our way. For example:
- A spouse’s job moves you 800 miles away from home
- An economic downturn hits, and bookings slow way down
- A family member falls ill and needs care
I believe there is a lesson to be learned from our beloved medium. Flowers share all of their beauty while they’re with us, even in extenuating circumstances. They twist and turn to find the sun when they’re in dark places, and they burst through hard surroundings to bloom. I’ve been pondering these little wonders and asking myself - “how can I do the same?” How can we, as florists, farmers, & flower-lovers push through both the small and significant challenges that come our way, and find something beautiful on the other side?
I’m certainly still learning these lessons, but I wanted to share with you two things that have helped me to embrace the unplanned challenges and adapt accordingly.
It has been crucial for me to incorporate margin into my life as a business owner. It took just one busy wedding season to learn that rest would not appear naturally. Instead, I had to learn to develop a detailed plan for my wedding seasons and to intentionally set aside periods of time where my hands and my mind could take a break. This has looked like everything from scheduling a family dinner (you know you can’t get out of those!) on design days to blocking off weeks or months without any events.
I come back from these times, whether they last minutes or months, feeling rested and clear-minded, ready to solve any new challenges that arise creatively. They also allow me to foster closer relationships with loved ones while gaining valuable perspective, encouragement, and strength for the more profound challenges of life.
Remembering my ‘Why’
In the moments that I’m looking at wilted flowers, spilled water, and broken vases, it can be difficult to remember why I do what I do. And when life knocks me down, it is not always easy to get back up. But one thing that has helped me power through difficult situations is remembering my ‘why.’
I have found that I am more adaptable, creative, and positive when I am keeping my ‘why; near my heart. All of our ‘whys’ may be different - but I can guarantee you have one. It may currently be buried beneath mental to-do lists and flower variety names, but dig a little deeper, and it will start to shine through. Think back to what set your heart on fire when you first discovered flowers, started your garden, or delivered your first wedding. What made you begin this journey with flowers? And don’t be afraid to take it one step further! Do you have a personal mission you feel called to, outside of flowers? What are your goals for your life, your family, your community?
Keeping our dreams, missions, and reasons why close to our hearts will allow us to adapt when flowers, events, or life throws us curveballs. We will be able to identify what is truly important in a moment, weed out unnecessary stress, and adapt to the new circumstances we may find ourselves in.
A quick thesaurus search shows that an antonym to the word ‘chaos’ is ‘arrangement’ - and that’s what we do, right? We take chaos and carefully arrange it into a something beautiful, whether that is a bridal bouquet or a positive spirit in the midst of heartache. But what’s even more beautiful are the lessons of strength, perseverance, & adaptability that we learn along the way.