How Geraldine Went From Burnout to Success in Event Planning And Social Media Management
I met Geraldine a couple of years back through a mutual connection. What immediately struck me about Geraldine was her warm...
I met Geraldine a couple of years back through a mutual connection. What immediately struck me about Geraldine was her warm heart, and gentleness combined with a fierce will to take action on her dreams. At the time Geraldine had just started her event planning business, and the passion she had for business was absolutely contagious. Now, almost four years later, Geraldine’s business has expanded and become an established brand, both in event planning and social media management. So, of course, I had to find out more and share this beautiful success story with you. Here’s how she did it.
What was your big dream, and what inspired you to go after it?
My big dream was to run my own business. The trigger to follow my heart was the moment I resigned from my job, and decided to start my own business, without any plan.
Did you always have this dream?
As a child, I was dreaming to become a surgeon. The practice of medicine, health, the physical body, helping and taking care of others was and is still a topic I’m very interested about. Then when I studied Law, I was thinking to become a lawyer to bring more justice in the World one day. But some of the subjects like statistics and everything dealing with numbers wasn’t really my cup of tea.
I’ve worked for different companies. From SME to multinationals, and even government. When I was recovering from a severe burnout and depression the idea to become my own boss hit me. Suddenly it was clear to me I didn’t want to work for someone else anymore. I wanted to feel free.
What was one of the first thing you did to get you started?
Having my administration and legal stuff done: finding a good accountant and having my agreements set up and define my business model. I believed (and still do) – as I advice my mentees: you need a good structure and foundation first. Only from then can you build up your business further.
After those first steps were taken, I had a logo designed by a professional graphic designer who translated my mission into a great symbol.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in working toward achieving your dream?
Finding clients and projects. In a way, I started my business out of the blue. I was also single at the time. I underestimated the time it takes to become visible and to put my business on the rails.
When you start nobody knows about you or your services, so you need to communicate clearly & consistently. You need to network, online as well as offline.
You need to dare to be visible. As a solopreneur, it’s even more challenging as you are dealing with all different aspects of running your business. You represent all the departments: marketing, HR, sales, finance… everything is centralized in 1 person – you.
You have to be patient as entrepreneur. In my case, I also needed to learn to deal with the pressure during event peak season. It’s very important to take good care of yourself: body, mind, spirit. And also: you only have 1 health so it’s essential to find the right balance.
What do you wish you would have done differently? What would you warn others about?
The first year, I had a client who asked me to work for them full-time for 3 months.
But before I could be “hired” this client had to sign off on the project with their end-client. I think I was naive and confident about the confirmation of the project and waited and waited … for a few weeks.
You can imagine what happened. This contract didn’t get signed and there I was. In the meantime, I didn’t prospect, there were no leads and no confirmation of the project and consequently, no income.
So my advice is: never make assumptions. Communicate in a crystal clear way, keep taking actions and set goals and deadlines for yourself.
Another great way to secure income is to find a recurring client or project or to find a way to create passive income. Especially in the early stages of your business the certainty of this money coming in will give you peace of mind, and help you keep on building your client portfolio.
Would you say you’ve achieved your big dream yet?
I’m very happy with the decision I made almost 4 years ago. It absolutely is one of my best decisions of my life. My dream came true. My big dream however, would be to create my Dream Team and to become a speaker, talking at conferences, seminars and sharing my personal story, experience, tips to inspire, motivate, stimulate young women starting out in business.
What do you think helped you achieve it?
Belief (yes, I can).
Taking good care of myself.
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to follow their big dreams?
Just do it, go for it. Don’t listen to the judgment of others as they are projecting their fears onto you – nothing more. Listen to your inner voice and follow your heart. Believe in yourself, all you need is already inside of you.
More about Geraldine – b-iconic.be
Geraldine Huybrechts, the brains and heart behind b-iconic, is passionate about the event industry and digital marketing. She laid the foundation of her business in communication strategy (online/offline). She’s keen on entrepreneurship and her mission is to inspire young women to dare to follow their heart.
Geraldine is more than happy to answer any questions or feedback about starting a lady boss adventure. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with her! You can do so through her website at b-iconic.be or on Instagram @geraldinehuybrechts.
Geraldine’s favourite quote:
Do what you love, love what you do.
Geraldine’s big dream for the world:
Peace, We are all human beings with a mission on Earth and everyone is connected with each other.
If you want more inspiring stories of Big Dreamers, I’ve got great news for you! This story is part of an interview series, you can find all entries here.