From time to time, I meet a wedding business expert who hits me with insightful, straightforward “why didn’t I think of that!?” advice.
Alan Berg, formerly of The Knot and now of AlanBerg.com is one such marketing expert. Today I want to share an eye-opening guest blog post from Alan.
Basically, he talks about how your success or failure lies in the palm of just one hand.
It’s not the potential bride’s hand.
It’s not the hand of Wall Street. It’s not your frustrating business partners’, or your short-sighted spouse’s.
Only one hand can guide your business’ growth (or demise). Only yours.
How was your year? Painful or Plentiful?
As we approach the end of 2011, how do you feel? Are you exhilarated over a great year? Or do you feel beat up and can’t wait for the year to end? I meet a lot of wedding pros every year as I travel around the country for presentations and training. What I find particularly interesting is that, in the same cities, I meet people whose businesses are thriving and those that are dying. It doesn’t seem to matter which segment of the market they’re targeting, there seem to be those that are finding a way to succeed while others are failing.
Why do you suppose that is?
The common thread appears to be a mindset. Some have the success mindset while others have the victim mindset. I’m not saying there aren’t real issues affecting businesses all over the country, of course there are. What I’m saying, and seeing, is that despite those challenges there are people who are finding a way to thrive.
When I was flying out to Wedding MBA I ran into a photo/video wedding pro on the plane. I’ve known him for years and he has a successful business. When I asked him how business was doing he said “Business is great… and that’s what scares me”.
I was puzzled at why his success would scare him and he added “I don’t exactly know why business is so good so I’m not sure that I can replicate it going forward”. My observation is that he’s been marketing his way through the recession, adjusting his pricing and services and being more aggressive while others around him are pulling back. He was adding to his advertising and marketing, not pulling back. He’s gaining market share by default. His competitors were literally giving him part of their market by not taking action, or worse, scaling back their marketing.
It’s a familiar story, not just in the wedding industry. Recessions are a time when some people forge ahead taking market share from those who are crawling into their shells to wait until it’s over. There are countless stories about businesses that started or expanded during economic downturns. It takes courage. It takes drive. It takes a strong stomach.
In my over 20 years in the wedding industry I’ve seen more than a few ups and downs. As a matter of fact shortly after I got into this business the economy tanked. Then it soared. Then it tanked again. All the while I was a commission-only salesperson. I had a family to feed and provide for, so every day I went out and found the opportunities. I couldn’t wait for them to come to me. If I didn’t make a sale, I didn’t get any commission.
I see too many people who are doing that today. They’re waiting for the opportunities to fall into their laps, rather than making them happen. To those people I recommend a great book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. Once you’ve read it you’ll understand this advice: Your cheese got moved. Get over it. Go find new and better cheese.
In my “Bridal Black Belt” presentation at Wedding MBA this year I related a quote from Lao Tzu. Most people know it as “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” but the more accurate translation is “A journey of thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet”.
I like this version better as we always find ourselves right here, wherever here is. We can choose to stay here, go backwards or move forwards. It’s our choice. You shouldn’t be waiting for business to come back any more than you should be waiting for your investment portfolio to come back. It never comes back. It just moves from where it is today, up or down.
It’s the same with your business. It doesn’t come back, it just starts out every day wherever you are.
So, how’s 2012 shaping up for you? Do you have lots of weddings on the books already? Or, are you waiting for something to change, or someone else to do something? If you are, I suggest you take a look at the person in the mirror and tell them to get moving. 2012 is going to be as good or bad as you make it. It’s your choice.
I’m choosing to have my best year ever. How about you?
Two things you can do right NOW to help you succeed:
1. Tune in to my webinar with Jayne from WedLock on Nov. 21st and attend our conference together Dec. 12-13th in Atlanta. Register here for the free webinar.
(And if you want to save your seat for the Dec 12-13 conference now – before we sell out after the webinar – then I suggest you save your seat and buy your ticket now.)
2. Don’t live in or near Atlanta? Come to one of my conferences around the country. You can see the schedule at www.AlanBerg.com/speaking-events or if you can’t wait, you can watch videos at www.AlanBerg.tv