Progress over perfection one step at a time. I get asked over and over what the secrets are to success as a balloon professional. One of my top replies is to focus on making progress over perfection. It is important to first make time to take care of you as a person, the driving force of your business. Taking one step forward at a time adds up, to allow you to create the future “you” that you want want to be. Many times we limit our success when we wait for everything to be “perfect” before we take action.
One of my favorite things about the balloon industry is the amazing people I have met over the years by attending and producing live training events, and sharing the business journey with amazing people. And now I get to share many of their stories with you.
Today I introduce you to Julia Sluder. Her smile is a ray of sunshine that has become brighter in 2020. Yes, in the year of a worldwide pandemic she has moved forward and made small changes that made a big difference in her life and business. I asked her to share a bit of her progress over perfection story to give you hope and encouragement to move forward, one step at a time.
I started doing balloons in 2008 as a street performer twisting for tips. For many years I was a twister, magicians assistant, caricature artist, and face painter. I started Party Perks in 2013 and began only working paid gigs. I was introduced to the endless possibilities of balloon decor when I met Connie Iden-Mondes at my first convention. I got the opportunity to help her build a dueling dragon archway and well, I was absolutely hooked! THIS!! THIS is what I wanted to do! I realized my passion was in balloons and phased myself out of the other mediums. I built a team of other talented artists who loved their art as much as I loved balloons. I began to send them out in my stead. They love what they do. My customers love their work and we all make money.
As expected, my business has changed dramatically in 2020. All major events have been cancelled. Basically the entertainment aspect of my business has been dormant since the first quarantine. I’ve only been working balloon decor jobs. I haven’t had work for my team.
I’ve networked with some amazing local balloon decorators and we’ve started collaborating together. By working with my friendly competition, we were able to grow! I’ve been fortunate to keep busy enough. I’ve utilized my free time learning and improving my skills.
If you follow me on social media, it’s no secret, that I also have spent much of my free time hiking (3-6 times a week). It has been an incredible therapy tool for a crazy year. To be honest, my whole life was disintegrating as the entire world was falling victim to Covid-19. I was depressed, isolated, and deeply hurt. I was at my all time heaviest weight. I didn’t recognize myself and I decided one step at a time I’ll start to make positive changes.
I started going on short hikes alone to get moving, fresh air, and out of the house. I posted photos of my hikes. People began to reach out to hike with me that were mere acquaintances or whom I hadn’t talked to in years. I’ve built a tribe of wonderful friends to hike with, who also act as accountability partners.
Hiking has powerful therapeutic results. Being out on an unpaved trail surrounded by nature is my soul food. It helps calm my mind while also getting a full body workout. Paired with new eating habits I’ve lost 50 lbs in six months!!! I cannot believe the transformation. I have more energy, stamina, flexibility, and happiness every day. Seeing results has definitely kept me motivated to stay on track. It truly seems that once I started to practice self care the universe began opening up to me.
I’ve been asked to give advice for any goals you set for yourself. I’d say just get started. No matter where you are, start now. Baby steps make a world of difference. Don’t expect to get to the finish line immediately. Focus on one small step at a time. Also, anything worth doing is worth doing half assed. It’s better to have done something important at 30% then to not do it at all.
I think the fear of imperfection keeps many from ever getting started. Some days you can conquer the world. Some days just getting a shower is all you can do.
Be kind to yourself.
Set bite size realistic goals in order to get to your larger goals.
I have to thank Joette for being a beacon of light since the moment I met her! I am an alumni of Balloon Boss Pro Summit 2020, and have attended multiple workshops of hers. She fills her programs with an abundance of golden nuggets! I’ve been using Vision Boards to set clear goals for myself and keep top of mind awareness.
I have a new bucket list goal to hike in all 50 states. Soooooooo, if anyone needs a hired hand for a big balloon build, I’d love to assist and check out some trails around your part of the country!
THANK YOU Julia for sharing your journey with us. When we work for ourselves it’s really easy to focus on our business and lose focus on self-care, I fell into that trap after jumping into the balloon business full time in 2003, working up to 80 hour work weeks at times and in 2018 realized I was 200 pounds overweight. Since then I have released 100 pounds from my body, by changing how I eat and increasing my movement. I am still on the journey to be Fit and Strong, I’m half way to my goal. Not everyday is a move forward, but I have developed many new habits along the way. When I take a step back, instead of beating myself up, I focus forward the next day!
I no longer have knee and back pain that at times could stop me in my tracks, and I have more energy than ever. You my balloon friend are important. Self-care is not selfish, it gives you endurance and stamina to be a Balloon Boss and help your customers and family at a higher level.
The Balloon Coach Training programs I started in 2015 are holistic programs, not just focused on making profitable balloons. We focus on all the levels of creating a Balloon Boss mindset blocking time for self-care for physical and mental health to prepare you to overcome and face life’s challenges head on. Progress over perfection.
If you feel like you are on your entrepreneurial journey alone, I encourage you to check out BalloonCoach.com to jump into our Balloon Boss Mastermind Program for 3 live webinars a month and group coaching for ongoing support and access 24/7 to Business building training and systems for success, or select a self study or hands on in person program that works best for you.
Balloon Friend, as you bring joy to the world through your beautiful balloons, remember to make YOU a priority, you are worth it! Progress over perfection – one step at a time!
Your Partner in Success,
Joette Giardina, CBA
Mentor. Motivator. Speaker