Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Party Planning: Profit vs. Sanity... What's More Important?

Well let's get the obvious out of the way... You've missed me.

I've missed my blog and my readers and the comments that make my day and that's the real truth. It's been a crazy month for me to try and run a blog. First off, my laptop got a bunch of virus'. Wow those are a annoying! After taking it in to be fixed 4 times and paying enough money that I could have gotten a nice tablet it's finally back to normal. If my laptop wasn't less than a year old I've have said screw it... So here's to really hoping we're virus free!

If there were ever a time to not have a computer- I'd say Halloween would be a great month for that. In case you didn't know it previously... I'm kind of a Halloweener. I love the holiday and like every year- I spent a lot of time getting every detail of our Famous Duos costumes just right.

Aside from literally not having a computer to blog with- our family has also set some really big changes in to place this last month and it's not only taken up time- but it's hard to blog about life when you're unsure of how it will all play out and you don't want to be vague... like I am being right now... I mean vagueness makes for terrible blogging- can't you tell? {Oh- and no, I'm not pregnant. Are you nuts?} I will hopefully be making an exciting non-vague announcement very soon... but it wouldn't be very nice of me to do it on the blog when a lot of close friends and family don't know yet- now would it? Intriguing... and a reason to come back....

Which brings me to the title of this blog... (not really) Profit vs. Sanity. What's More Important?

As I mentioned in my last personal post on running a business, I have kind of figured out the formula to making a profit- thanks to the book But Are You Making Any Money? by Marley Majcher. I would still say I have a lot of work to do in this department but making a decent amount of money on my parties was the goal I set out to accomplish in 2013 and in September I can finally say I did just that on two parties in a row.

Now, no sooner than I accomplished said goal I started to really think a lot about this big and important word: profit. Questions started arising like, what really makes the profit worth it? Is it the actual money? Because I made great money at one point in my life and it didn't matter because it didn't feed my soul. So no, it can't be for the money. I feel like I have a dual personality because in one post I wrote recently all I wanted to do was plan parties... as long as I was profiting! And now after a good run with parties... quite honestly- I just need a break. But back to that question- what makes the profit really worth it? Initially I'd have said being hired to do a party brings me creative fulfillment, setting out to do something I love and succeeding not only my exceptions but my clients as well. For sure- that is a wonderful feeling. But my question the last month has been... AT WHAT EXPENSE DOES THIS PROFIT COME? And I'm not talking expense meaning money. Remember the title of the post... I'm talking sanity. Straight up: what is loosing my mind worth and CAN I place a price tag on that?

No one other than a party planner is really truly going to understand what I'm about to say. Ok, I'll throw a bone to the graphic designer and the bakers out there as well. These occupations might understand me when I say this: Right now I am un-hirable. Uh-huh, you read that right- money currently cannot buy me (slight exaggeration). OK, the price that I currently charge for my work cannot buy me. That's right- I do not want to plan your party this November, December or January. {Side note- I do have one party this month but it was booked ages ago and I've had a lot of time to put in to it as to avoid tons of last minute stress.}

The reason I know I am un-hirable is because I've tested my theory. In the last two weeks I have had two potential clients contact me about parties. And seriously, up until now this has been my dream- to have people trying to employ me. Both were willing to pay my going rate- no nickel and diming me... another dream come true. I will go so far as to say if I wanted to tack a rush fee for booking within the same month- I am sure either client would have been fine with that- I mean who doesn't understand a good rush fee?

So what is my problem??

In really thinking about these parties and whether or not I should take them on, the thought of a few things flooded in to my brain (I've gone more in-depth on these a long time ago here!) Things the client would never think about (things they quite honestly shouldn't have to)- but these things are the reasons WHY I said no.

- The House of Chaos.
I am not one of those lucky planners with a detached office in my backyard. I have one of the most unorganized and small party rooms known to party-planning woman. Over flow in to the house is inevitable. Tension within the house due to overflow from the party room is inevitable. It stresses me out, it stresses the kids out and yes- of course when the husband is digging for clean underwear- that stresses him out.

On top of the cleanliness issue is the food issue. I mean, milk- these people want me to remember to buy milk?? WTH.

- 30 Days of Bad Hair Days.
Another month of me looking less than presentable- it wares on a woman's self esteem to see herself makeup free with frizzed out hair because that hour spent getting ready every morning is now replaced with pinning fun backdrop ideas and making follow-up caterer calls. Up until the party that is- when you magically transform in to a swan-like party planner in a theme-appropriate dress you found while surfing the internet for wooden spoons.

- Do I Have Any Friends?
I mean I know they were there pre-party... but where have they gone post party? They're referring to me as Miss Party Mom... this can't be good.

- The Party Brain.
You know how when you're pregnant you have those weird forgetful "mommy brain" moments for 9 months? Well I have "party brain" for the course of planning a party. I can only concentrate on the party and keeping my children alive. Everything else I leave to the gods.

So here it is- until we're settled in on our big life change and I'm ready to be back to my normal workaholic ways- please, do not call me for a party UNLESS you can offer up the following Life Package on top of my Party Package price.

- A full-time maid who also is an amazing cook (preferably Mexican food).
I really like her happiness level, especially considering she'll be scrubbing my floors.
- A full-time nanny who will sit and work on lettering with my son while I watch, smile and clap from my kitchen counter, hot gluing rosettes to paper straws... And don't forget about my daughter- you will need to run in and out to push her on the swings in between the letters C and D.

- A book keeper who can keep me on track with my expenses so I can do what I really love- design your party and not hover over a calculator confused by simple math for hours on end.

- A holiday coordinator who will start my Christmas shopping and keep me on track for the impending holidays.

Christmas List from The Frog Prince Paperie

I say all of this with a bit of facetiousness (who, me?) because what I'm getting at is currently I can not find a price tag to replace all of the things that my day to day life is requiring of me right now. I still love planning parties and it is still my dream job but every day I'm getting to know my limits and I'm reminding myself that my 2 and 4 year old will soon be 5 and 7 year olds who are in school- and then- THEN I will have time to do party after party after party...

So I've set aside weekly blogging. I'm breaking from parties. I might as well home school. HA. ha. ha.

And because I don't ever want to discourage anyone in my industry from booking parties... I have one idea that maybe other party planners are already doing- I'm not sure so I'm throwing it out there: A HOLIDAY FEE. Like the rush fee, the only way I could see doing a party from now until January is by placing a nice sized fee for taking a party during this crazy season. Trust me when I say after last year's December 15th party- a holiday fee is VERY appropriate. I let a mid-December birthday party completely steal my Christmas joy... Lesson learned: Never. Again. Think about it- what is your holiday season worth?

xo Party or Die xo


  1. You're always so insightful! I love it and it's sooooo true!

  2. Now, I don't do parties.. plan them, participate, etc.. however, I like your sense of humor so I like your feed on Facebook =) If I was in your shoes, the biggest thing I saw on your list of things you'd need, was someone to help with the books. Can you find someone in your area that you can trade services with. As in, they help with your books (personal and/or business) and do you 1 party a year for them (like a spring/summer kid's birthday). Just a thought to keep you sane after the holidays too =)

    1. I love that you read my blog and you're not in to parties! Woo-hoo! I've crossed over with my hilarity ;) I love your idea. I need to look in to this asap- why didn't I think of it... Thanks Kendra!

  3. I always feel better when I read your posts. You easily describe everything I've thought, felt, and may/may not be going through at the moment. I'm going to send you a picture of my "craft room", via private message. We can laugh and point, and laugh some more together. Once again, great post! We all need some humor to get through our jam-packed, crazy, not so brady bunch, do you even know what I'm worth, sorry my family is more important, life! XoXo

  4. a "holiday fee"? thats BRILLIANT. if a wedding venue costs four times as much on a saturday, than its completely reasonable for a party to cost four times as much in december. just sayin...

  5. I totally feel you. My husband says I go through the same phase every year around this time where I am ready to pack it all up and just be done with it. Then the cold dissipates and my brain thaws and I can't help but plan another one. Thanks for writing these posts! I totally get your humor!

  6. This is so true! You always have such meaningful posts and I'm always so delighted to read them! I laughed at the caption on the full-time maid photo. I also love your very light and honest writing :)

    1. Hi Nicole- you are so sweet and so encouraging of my work and blogging- and for that I appreciate you! Thanks for always coming back.


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