When you started your wedding business you were excited and scared. Maybe you felt overwhelmed or uncertain. You probably told yourself “All of those things will go away once I become successful”, I know I sure did. Funny thing about that is it’s not true.
Running a wedding business is a roller coaster. At least when you get on a roller coaster, you can see the general layout of the track. You know how many loops there are and that there is an insane drop at the end.
Running a wedding business is more like riding a roller coaster in the dark. These 9 things will help you feel more prepared for that roller coaster ride.
In this episode we’ll cover:
- How the idea of “arriving” or “having it all figured out” doesn’t do you any favors
- Why uncertainty never fully goes away
- The evolution of imposter syndrome
- How the battle against overwhelm changes and morphs with you
- The importance of viewing everything as an experiment
- The things that still feel scary no matter how long you’ve been in business
- An exciting thing you have at your disposal that you probably don’t realize
- The most important mindset shift you can make
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9 Things Every Wedding Professional Should Know About Running A Wedding Business
I’ve been working with wedding professionals for over 10 years helping them build and grow 6 figure wedding businesses without working all the time and in that time, I’ve discovered 9 things every wedding professional should know about running a wedding business.
I want every wedding professional on the planet to know these 9 things because they’re going to help you see the roller coaster track and know what to expect. Knowing what to expect on your roller coaster ride is helpful because then you can enjoy the ride and know that everything is fine, it’s all normal. It’s scary and it’s crazy and it’s a thrill, but it’s normal.
#1. Uncertainty is still a thing
No matter how long you’ve been in business or how good you are at what you do, uncertainty still exists. Your business is your creation and you’re making it up as you go. Sure, some things get more stable and certain but there are plenty of other things that cause uncertainty.
If you ever pick on yourself because you don’t feel certain in every single thing you do, I want you to know that nobody feels that way. No wedding professional I’ve worked with in the last 10 years had felt certain of everything, I don’t feel certain of everything. At no point do you ever feel like “Alright, I did it. I know everything!”
#2. Imposter syndrome doesn’t disappear
Imposter syndrome feels like it will disappear once we reach a certain point but it doesn’t. It just changes. No matter how much success you have, imposter syndrome still creeps up. The most powerful, successful, and talented people in the world have imposter syndrome.
The people who make your favorite films, TV shows, and music have imposter syndrome. Tina Fey, Meryl Streep, Serena Williams, Taika Waititi, Adele, and David Bowie are just a small collection of extremely successful, talented people who deal with imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome doesn’t disappear and I’ve been asked about this by people in their first year of business. I will say that it does get better because you accumulate more proof that you’re wrong but it never totally goes away. It’s like a chronic health issue that is totally fine sometimes and flares up sometimes. If your imposter syndrome is currently flaring up, check out this episode of the podcast all about imposter syndrome with a therapist for creatives.
#3. Battling overwhelm is a constant
Time management is tricky. It’s something you never really conquer. You can conquer it for a period of time but then something will change and screw it up. If you feel overwhelmed, that’s normal but it doesn’t mean you have to just accept it.
As you get better at dealing with overwhelm and managing how you work, you develop tried and true methods to get yourself out of it. This comes up so often that I created a training in The Wedding Business Collective called Making Progress Even When You’re Busy so you can still make progress toward your goals even when you have too much on your plate.
Sometimes we feel like there is nothing we can do and we just have to submit to the overwhelm. We can be cool, calm, and collected and things come up that throw us into overwhelm like having tons of weddings right now, having family commitments, or suddenly not having childcare for your kids.
One of the most important skills you can develop as an entrepreneur is learning how to pull yourself out of overwhelm when it happens, because it will. I coach wedding professionals on this all the time in The Wedding Business Collective. If you accept the fact that overwhelm will show up and that you just need to develop systems and skills to pull yourself out of it, you don’t hate on yourself as much when you do feel overwhelmed.
#4. You should expect to make mistakes
So many people think that they should be able to execute something to perfection without making any mistakes and that is an expectation that sets you up for failure. You should expect to make mistakes. That doesn’t mean it won’t make you feel bad about a mistake you made or frustrated with yourself but there are systems you can put in place to reduce the number of mistakes you make.
There is a book called The Checklist Manifesto that breaks down how people in do-or-die situations have been able to reduce mistakes by using simple checklists.
People like pilots and surgeons who literally have lives in their hands have adopted checklists to reduce the number of mistakes they make. Checklists are super simple but they are an incredibly valuable tool for reducing the number of mistakes you make.
You will never get to a point where you don’t make any mistakes. You should expect it and recognize that it’s human and it’s not just you. Making a mistake doesn’t mean you’re an idiot or that you’re bad at what you do, it’s just part of running a business and being human.
#5. Everything is still an experiment, you just have more data to work from
I talk a lot about marketing in the context of running experiments. You make a hypothesis, set up your experiment, run it, and review the results. As you review the results, you can analyze them to see how you can get better results next time.
Everything you do as an entrepreneur will always be an experiment even if you have a lot of data to work from because sometimes things change. I’ve had wedding professionals that come to me and say that they’ve been booked solid for 20 years but now they’re struggling to attract and book clients. We always have to be experimenting because the variables change. What worked 15 years ago might not work today.
Nothing is set in stone in business, everything is still an experiment. The longer you’re in business, the more data you have to work with and that helps inform your decisions.
When you’re just starting you’re making up experiments to run with no idea of what works or what doesn’t work for your business. The more data you have to work with, the more predictable the experiments become but you still never know when your market or ideal client or competition will change.
Think like a scientist. Everything you do in your business is an experiment. Just because an experiment fails doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. This is much healthier way to look at your business and it allows you to remove your self-worth from the outcomes of your experiments.
#6. You’re always learning about your ideal client & competition
Over the span of your career, many foundational things can change in your business. Your ideal client may change or your competition may change or you may change and decide you want to do things differently. Inside the Create Your Overwhelm-Squashing Marketing Plan course in The Wedding Business Collective, I teach how to analyze your competition strategically so you can set yourself apart. After all, you can’t set yourself apart from the competition if you have no idea what they’re doing.
Your ideal client may change over the course of your career. In fact, this is something that happens all the time. You may decide 10 years from now that you don’t love working with your ideal clients any longer so you need to shift who you’re serving.
You may decide that you want to focus on a different aspect of the market or your skillset or change the way you work with clients entirely. You are never truly done learning about your ideal client or your competition.
#7. Growth is still scary
Taking the next step in your business into something new is scary no matter how long you’ve been in business. When you decide to start building a team, it’s scary and that’s to be expected. If you feel scared about something new, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, it’s just a normal reaction to growth.
Inside The Wedding Business Collective, we have a Building Your Team Expert Masterclass with Ashley Ebert and she talks about how we feel like this is a huge mountain we can’t possibly climb. We forget about all of the things we’ve already done that felt this way. Growth is always uncomfortable and scary and that’s normal.
#8. You have more control than you realize
Even though we run our own businesses, we tend to do things the way they’ve been previously done and it’s easy to forget that we have more control than we realize. We tend to put ourselves in the passenger seat and say “this is just the way it is” or “this is just the highest price I can charge” or “I have to do it this way”. While there are realities that shape what you’re able to do, you have more control than you think over the type of work you do, who you work with, when and how you work, and how much you charge.
Maybe you decide that you really want your weekends back and you don’t want to go to weddings anymore. You can change your business so that you don’t have to go to weddings. We create these limitations that just are not true.
Ultimately, you can get into the driver’s seat and change anything you want. I see wedding professionals of all experience levels forget that and remain in the passenger seat. You can literally do anything you want in your business (ideally within the bounds of the law), you just have to find a way to make that happen.
#9. Your business’s successes or failures do not have any bearing on your own value, worth, or ability as a person.
Read that again. Owning a business is a freaking rollercoaster, and not every bet pays off – but internalizing and entangling it all is not healthy or productive. Seeing your business as something separate and apart from you (because you are a magical human being with needs and interests and inherent worth) will be a lot more fun and joyful.
This is the most important mindset shift you can make as a wedding business owner. All too often, we internalize our successes and failures. This is why I don’t like the phrase “charge what you’re worth” because your worth as a human being has nothing to do with the market value of your products/services.
Words matter and constantly saying “I’m not worth that amount of money” you’re going to start to internalize it.
If you take nothing else away from this podcast episode, I want you to make a point to remind yourself that the successes and failures of your business don’t have any bearing on your own value, worth, or ability as a person. Accepting this and the fact that running a wedding business is a roller coaster is going to help you avoid getting to the point where you belittle yourself as a person over a failure in your business. You are more than your wedding business.
I want every wedding and creative professional to know these 9 things because these are the things nobody tells us. These are the things we have to learn the hard way. If you don’t have a community of other wedding professionals that you can talk to about this, you have no idea if what you’re feeling is normal or not.
We sometimes feel like we’re the only one that feels this way when we feel scared or uncertain when these things are actually universal. You are not alone. All of these things are normal and they’re important because failure is how we learn and acting in spite of fear is how we grow.
? Which of these things resonated most with you? Shoot me a DM on Instagram @evolveyourweddingbusiness
Links & Resources:
Join us inside The Wedding Business Collective!
Episode 114: Dealing With Doubt & Imposter Syndrome with Lauren Aycock Anderson
Episode 118: What Every Wedding Business Owner Should Know About Mindset
Episode 197: Stop Hiding Behind Perfectionism
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