I’m actually not a fan of new year resolutions. Why do you need a new year to make a promise to yourself to be better? Every month is a new month. Every week, a new week. Every morning…a chance to start fresh and live life like it’s meant to be lived.
But…in the spirit of starting fresh, give you 10 ways to kick-start your life and business and energize throughout the year. Print this baby out and re-read it monthly for a reminder that yes, you CAN do this!!! In fact, follow these bullet points and there’s no way that on December 31, 2017, you’ll wish you hadn’t.
- Expand your thinking through new experiences Once a month, I challenge you to try something new. Go zip-lining. Take a cooking class. Try yoga. Take a nap. Tell someone how beautiful she is, for no reason. Kiss a stranger. Okay, maybe the last one is a bit out there…maybe just on the hand. But my point is, get yourself outside of your typical “box” that you live in and start living life. Take a chance on something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the courage (or money). You will open up your mind and all the sudden, opportunities will appear.
- Simplify I don’t mean you have to get rid of your Gucci purse or your True Religon jeans, that is, unless you want to. I’m talking about realizing what the important things really are in life, and spend your time there. Don’t be the live definition of “Cats in the Cradle” with your children (and if you don’t know what that song is, look it up. My Dad used to sing it all the time so it’s embedded in my brain). If you don’t need something, don’t buy it. Live simply, and you will be more fulfilled.
- Create a Plan for your Business I’ve been an entrepreneur officially since 1998; 1990 if you want to count my paper route and 1984 if you want to count me coloring and painting pictures and taking them to my neighbors to sell for 25-cents each (one old man paid me a whole dollar if I promised to never come up on his porch again! I was stoked!!). Take it from me, you need a plan. The beautiful thing about your plan? You can change it when it’s not working. Just like new year resolutions, saying it isn’t good enough. You have to write it down. What’s your BIG goal? Write it down. Then break it down into bite-sized, easy(er) to achieve chunks (and doing so on a quarterly basis is best). Take it from me & my 25-cent colorings, you need a plan!
- Have a Financial Plan You can’t live on beanie weanies every day (although I know of a few peeps that would if they could!) If you have a day-job to pay the bills, but want to go full-time in your wedding business, know what your expenses are and start saving money–up to six months of living expenses, plus “fuel” (aka money) for the business expenses for the same amount of time before you quit. Already full-time in your wedding business? Excellent! Now you gotta plan for the “off season” if you have one. Same drill–put back enough living and business operating money to cover your slow months. Oh, and don’t forget retirement!! You want to stop someday, don’t you (or as I call it, “slow down”)? You have to put back money for that.
- Spend Money ON your Business Over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to hear the survival stories from hundreds of wedding pros. The one thing they all have in common? Not treating their business like a business–and particularly for this bullet point– it takes money to make money!! I do get it, it’s scary. $400 may be all you have in your savings account right now, so the thought of throwing it all away on a one-day bridal show has you scared out of your underwear. You are thinking about this all wrong–don’t look at it as $400 gone, look at how much you can earn from that $400! Can you book just one wedding from that show, recouping your $400? I bet you can. And then you get two referrals from that bride…who book…who refer two more brides…who book…and it snowballs. If you are not marketing and advertising your business, no one knows you exist.If you are not marketing and advertising your business, no one knows you exisit
- Create an Experience for your Clients Millennials prefer to shop in person and not online. Why? Because they value the experience. So give them one. A bah, humbug experience that they can get at McDonald’s won’t do, no no, you need to be Disney World so they WANT to come to you, they WANT to send their friends who are getting married to you, and in their minds, there isn’t any other choice. They will pay more for this experience, too.
- Find a Mentor You can’t go this alone. I’m sorry, I really hate to break it to you, but you can’t. Every Great has a coach or a mentor. I had two that to this day I still consult for advice and help. Tiger Woods has a swing coach. The President has a whole cabinet of advisers. Profitable Wedding’s Core Club members get me as their coach to ask up to two questions a month (and it’s just $39/month). And our mastermind, set to begin in February, meets online with me once a week AND will get an exclusive retreat at my flower shop!! A mentor/coach can teach you what to do, and do it right, saving you value time and money. Even Tiger Woods has a swing coach. You will get further by hiring the right coach/mentor for you and your biz
- Be a Student of your Craft Simply put, never stop learning. Schedule time in your schedule, even if it’s just 30 minutes, to educate yourself by reading a blog post or looking up the latest wedding trends. Learn something new often and keep your craft fresh.
- Don’t be Busy, be Productive I get it, some work is busy work and it must be done. But some things can be skipped and replaced with other tasks that will move your business or yourself personally forward. Some things can be farmed out to a virtual assistant (there are some who specialize in the wedding industry!!) or others who specialize in that field. Remember how much your time is worth…are you going to pay yourself $75/hr to take the trash out? Nah, have your teenage son do that while you go to a networking event and get 5 new leads!
- Take a Break I learned this technique from Brendon Burchard (if you know me, you know I’m a HUGE fan of his!!): Work for 50 minutes of the 60-minute hour, then take a break in the last 10 minutes. I mean, WALK AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER. You will actually be MORE productive!! I do this as often as I can while working in the shop or at home creating amazing articles like this one for you. Ten minute breaks not cutting it for you? Time to schedule a real break–a vacation! Go somewhere you have always wanted to go–breathe deeply and savor every second you are there! You will find your work will improve after some much needed time to clear your head.
Again, I encourage you to print this article. It’s the only one you really need. Now, you will want to follow # 8 and educate yourself and learn more about finding your coach, running your business, marketing, skills for your craft…so this isn’t a “one and done” type article, but it’s your launch pad.