As the successful founder behind Packed Party, Jordan Jones has undoubtedly earned the right to say that she’s working at her dream job! In case you, too, are looking to turn your passion into profit, Jordan offers five thoughtful tips for making it happen below.
I created Packed Party in July of 2013 when I was just 23 years old. I had a dream about sending myself a themed Pity Party package after moving to San Francisco alone. When I woke up, I created an entire business plan for what is today Packed Party. I drew up the logo, the different kinds of ‘party for one’ packages we would sell and all details, down to the color of our packages. A bit weird, but it all came together quickly concept-wise. Putting it out there and getting ourselves up and running was a different story. It has taken a ton of hard work and sacrifice.
I’m 26 years old now and and after three years, Packed Party has grown tremendously. We’ve sold more than 20,000 gifts all over the world in such a short amount of time and are in more than 200 retailers worldwide. We are also completely self-funded and stay true to our mission of making every day a party with our unique gifts. Being a self-funded company, I have felt the strain of starting something truly from the ground up. In trying to fund Packed Party, I was fired from a job, turned away from dog walking in San Francisco (I have a dog, a large one at that!) and managed other business’s social media accounts. I truly did everything in my control to build and grow the brand.
Today, Packed Party has grown to offer more product offerings, I have an amazing team surrounding me and we’ve recently expanded our company to Austin, Texas. This is still just the beginning for Packed Party, and I can’t begin to express how excited I am to continue spreading the party (literally) that is our brand around the world. Here are a few of my tips for creating your own dream job:
1. Get a journal.
You know, the one you write inside. This journal may be the single most important thing you’ll ever buy. I’m not kidding. I tell every person I ever speak to about starting any sort of business to get a journal. This journal, if you don’t have one already, should be dedicated to your goals, hopes and dreams. No one can judge you here—it’s your journal, after all. This will serve as your accountability tool while setting out to create that dream job of yours. Shockingly, mine is a terrible brown leather one, so I guess when I bought it, I knew I meant business.
2. Make a list.
Remember the journal you just bought? Make a list of the things that make you happiest in life. I’m talking everything from puppies to old people or tacos. I unknowingly did this before I started Packed Party. At the time, the list seemed so random—things like giving gifts and taking photos of houses. When you’re doing something you love, your happy things should be a part of what you’re doing.
There is such a thing as a job that involves tacos, taking pictures and old people, you just haven’t met it yet because you don’t fully understand where your happiness lies. When people do things that make them happy, they do them well. Like, really, really well. So, take a deep breath and make a random list of things that make you smile. Note, do not have a job in mind doing this, just things that genuinely make you smile.
3. Listen up.
The key to every successful person is a big pair of ears. If you think you know where your passions lie, that’s great, you have a tiny head start. Find people within your network who have taken some sort of entrepreneurial path and ask them about their journey. When did they make their dream a reality? What sacrifices did they make? What would they change knowing what they know now? At the core, people want to help other people. So, there’s a good chance that someone will be flattered you’re asking, and offer to extend the conversation into a coffee date.
If you don’t feel like you know a lot of entrepreneurs within your network, you can always reach out to people you don’t know via email or through LinkedIn to introduce yourself. It’s surprising how often this works. There is, of course, a chance you’ll never hear back, but hey, you gave it a shot. If you’re bold enough to create a dream job, you have to be confident enough to go shake some random hands. Oh, and listen to every bit of knowledge someone’s going to drop on you (yep, the good, the bad and the ugly).
4. Go for it.
This seems fairly simple, but for most people, the hardest part of actually creating a dream job is starting the process. We’re all hard-wired to be totally afraid of failure. The difference between the girl that sits behind a desk from 9 to 5 and whines about her job, but doesn’t actually do anything about it, and you, the girl reading this article ready to kick some butt and take control of her own life, is you’re going to do something. It’s not easy, but if you want it, you have to go for it! Actually taking the leap or “doing” is the hardest part.
Now that you have the journal, have harnessed what it is that makes you tick, listened to a few professionals, you have to go for it. Please note, I do not recommend quitting your day job at this point in the game. That will come with time when your business has really developed some legs underneath it. When’s the right time to make your dream job your one-and-only job? This is a question I get often. You’ll know when it’s time to make that decision. You’re the captain of this ship, remember? No one can make decisions like that but you.
5. Plan, plan, plan.
When I first started, I had never made a formal business plan, but I was so passionate about what I was doing, that I spent every waking second coming up with how I was going to execute or make my vision come to life. As someone who’s very visual, this was a lot of drawing and making a massive list. I planned everything from my logo of the girl in a physically “packed” party or room to the navy color we used on the packaging. By the way, it’s no coincidence the packaging is navy. Navy is thought to be one of the most confident colors on the color wheel for women.
I had the dream about Packed Party in July of 2013, went to work on it in the middle of the night there on my bedroom floor and didn’t open my site up for business until November. As excited as I was about my idea and new company, I played my cards close to my vest until we were truly out there. Planning is everything, and you’ll know really quickly in the planning process just how much you love what you’re creating. Again, that’s why there’s such a small percentage of people who actually have or create their “dream job.” The choice is yours, girl. There’s nothing wrong with either, I’ve just always been someone who’s had a hard time accepting normal. I weirdly like chaos, and that comes with any dream job.