When newlyweds and engaged couples ask about the secret to our happy marriage, I often half-joke it’s that I accept that it’s always my fault. That’s usually good for a chuckle, but I said “half-joke.” A younger me didn’t understand the power of accepting responsibility. A younger me had a strong need to be right. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to be right… I just don’t have to be right all the time. It’s a very liberating state of being. Read More
What is the new normal?
After every major event we hear about “the new normal,” but what does that really mean? What is normal? Normal is what feels comfortable. Normal is what feels effortless. Is that really normal? Life isn’t always comfortable or effortless, regardless of what’s going on around us. If there’s anything we can count on, it’s that life will throw us curveballs, usually at the most inopportune time. So why don’t we talk about the new normal when the economy is humming along? Things getting significantly better is a new normal, just as it is when things getting worse. Read More
Does it feel like every day is the same, or is it just me? Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is, or the date, and no, I don’t think it’s just my age, or suffering from what we like to call “CRS” – Can’t Remember S… (you decide what comes next). I’m just not used to being home this much, and there was more of a variety in my schedule on the road. To be fair, when I was traveling a lot I often didn’t know what day of the week it was, either (CRS?). But this feels different. Read More
Running a business is like running a marathon, or maybe an ultra-marathon. You need to develop the skills and stamina to keep going. Those skills are the technical skills of your craft, as well as the business skills to make it profitable and successful. Surely the current conditions have thrown a wrench into your race. And in the actual running world, even the NY City and Boston marathons have been canceled. The difference is that those canceled races will never happen. They’re not rescheduled. They will, hopefully, happen next year as originally scheduled, but this year’s races, and other major events like the South by Southwest conference, are casualties of the pandemic. Fortunately, most weddings and many social events are being postponed.
There’s a lot of discussion these days around leadership, and No, this is not a political post. Families need leadership. Schools need leadership. Religious groups need leadership. Businesses need leadership. And yes, Governments need leadership. So, what’s the difference between leadership and management? Read More
I don’t have to tell you that these are unprecedented times, you’re living through this craziness, too. Being a glass-half-full kind of guy, I like to look for the silver linings. One of the positive things that could come out of this is that many of you will become really good at selling remotely (which I prefer to call it, rather than virtual sales). And when things go to the new normal (notice I didn’t say go back to the way they were, because they’re not going to), the wedding and event pros who’ve mastered remote selling will continue to do so, rather than trying to get all or most of your customers to meet in person. Read More
I was interviewed the other day by a reporter for NPR (National Public Radio) and she asked me what the closest parallel to the Coronavirus crisis would be, from my over 25 years around the wedding and events industry. I thought about all of the other crises that I’ve seen come and go, from financial crises to the 9/11 tragedy, and I couldn’t think of anything that comes close to this. For me, the biggest challenge is the uncertainty of the end. With a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, earthquakes, floods, etc.) it’s easier to see when it’s over, and you can start recovering. Sure, some take longer than others, but you can definitely feel when you’re in the recovery phase. Also, most natural disasters are localized. The results could be devastating for the people directly affected, but other areas can only empathize with what they see on TV.
When you go to a nice restaurant for the first time, do you expect good service? Of course you do. Do you expect the food to be good? Yes, or you wouldn’t have come there. When you sat down, did you expect there would be linen on the table, silverware, glasses, salt & pepper shakers, a napkin and maybe a centerpiece of some sort? Most likely you do. And when you sit at that table, do you give any thought to how the linen arrived at the restaurant, who put it on the table, who set the table and washed the glasses? No, you don’t. You just sit down on a chair that someone placed there and proceeded with your dinner experience.
I’ve been teaching and preaching Top Down Selling for years. The basic concept is simple – find out the results that the customer wants and offer them products and services that will get them there, regardless of their budget. It’s easier to work your way down in price, taking things away, than to sell your bottom service/package/product, and then try to upsell them. In theory and in practice, this works well. Explaining it hasn’t always been as easy.
New Year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. Now, I know that isn’t my usual glass-half-full attitude, but it’s a dose of reality. A day on our calendar is not the motivation we need to change our behavior. Gyms love getting all of the new members each January. You pay for a year of membership, or your dues every month, and their clubs are packed with hopeful resolution makers. Then, by March, they’re back to their regulars who come daily or on a regular basis. My wife used to work at a Gold’s Gym, so I know this first-hand.