We were having our weekly family Zoom call today and my wife shared this saying that she saw online: “Yesterday is heavy… put it down!” What a simple and powerful phrase. It ties in well to one of my prior articles “Lessons to remember in a year to forget” and a webinar “5 Lessons Learned from a Year to Forget.” One of the lessons is that you can’t always help what happens to you, or how it makes you feel, but you can control how long you allow yourself to feel that way. We all carry around our “Victim Card”, and it’s up to us to choose when and where to take them out.
I enjoy our weekly family Zoom call. It’s something we never would have done had it not been for Covid. My Dad (90-years old) is in Florida and our sons are in San Francisco and Central Pennsylvania. Before Covid we would speak to each of them regularly, but not together. This is just one of the things that we look at as a positive, from a negative time. The more I think about it, the more things I find that Covid or not, add to our personal heavy burden. And that also makes me think of so many more things that we can choose to “put down”, and move on. Here are just a few:
- You lost the sale… put it down – If you’re closing every sale that comes your way, either you’re over-qualifying your leads, or your prices are too low. It’s not whether you lost another sale, it’s whether you learned anything from it. Are you getting your leads from the right sources? Are you replying the right way? They say that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing, the same way, and expecting a different result. The key is to improve your conversion rate, so you close more of your leads, but not all of them. Every sale you lose is a learning opportunity. Just don’t get caught up in the learning. Get caught up in the doing!
- You didn’t raise your prices sooner… put it down – (See below about planting a tree). In my over 25 years in this industry, I’ve seen way too many wedding and event pros put off raising some, or all of their rates out of fear. And then, once you’ve done it, your biggest regret is usually not having done it sooner. Sometimes you can raise all of your rate, and other times just certain products or services. Remember that every dollar you increase your rates without adding any products or services is additional profit for you. And conversely, every dollar you discount without taking something away, or getting something of value back, is profit you gave away. Which leads me to…
- You sold that prime date at a discount, and then got 5 more inquiries for bigger weddings… put it down – Unlike other industries, weddings had the ability to be postponed, which is was most couples chose to do. Yes, it was deferred revenue, and yes it’s been, and continues to be very painful for many of us. But when you think about the canceled events that will never happen (SXSW, last year’s vacation, annual conferences that missed a year), the wedding industry is, at least in some ways better off. The meal you didn’t eat in a restaurant will never be recovered, because the next time you went it was another meal, not that same one postponed. But a wedding that didn’t happen in 2020, but happens in 2021, even if it’s done differently, is still the same couple’s wedding.Early on during the pandemic, I saw a lot of wedding pros panicking, and there was certainly cause for concern. I warned everyone that would listen that 2021 was going to be our busiest year ever for weddings. And that meant that once things open up in your area, you’re going to be running around doing more events, so don’t be discounting them. It’s tough to keep up that confident sales-face when you’re drowning in bills, I get it. But there are many wedding pros who will be working more than ever, and not profiting as much as you should be from those crazy work hours. As I’ve said before, negotiate as if you don’t need the business, even when you desperately do!
- You didn’t buy Bitcoin when it was $1,000 (it’s been over $50,000 lately)… put it down – This isn’t just for industry things, this is life. Whether it’s Bitcoin or a certain stock (Apple, Tesla, GameStop…) it’s easy to look back and think that you missed the boat. Of course, we could also say that we missed an opportunity when we didn’t sell our stocks last year before the markets went down 30%! If you’re investing for the long run, put it down. There will always be ups and downs. If you’re going to be retiring and living on your savings soon, then it’s prudent to talk to a financial advisor about protecting your principal. Actually, unless you’re a seasoned investor, talking to a financial advisor is a good idea anyway. People come to you because you’re an expert in what you do. We should all do the same when we need guidance.
- You didn’t attend that networking or educational event… put it down – Early on last year, I was attending as many remote/virtual events as I could, whether as a speaker or attendee. And then, Zoom-fatigue set in. I’m sure some of you can relate. But then, as we accepted that in-person networking and events were not happening any time soon, I waded back in. The key isn’t to attend everything, whether virtual or in-person. The key is to attend something! Which leads us to…
- You did attend that networking or educational event, but you didn’t take any action… put it down – I wrote in my book “Your Attitude for Success” how successful people don’t necessarily have more money or time than others, they just take action. Ideas don’t create anything. People acting on ideas create things. Taking notes from an educational event doesn’t affect change in your life or business. Taking action on those ideas does. Fear of failure is common, and so is fear of success. You don’t have to take action on every idea you have. You have to follow through on the ones you decide are worthy of your attention right now. What have you been putting off? Put it down and begin!
- You tried something new, and it didn’t work… put it down – The road to success is littered with failures. It’s not the failing that matters, it’s that you kept going until you either got the result you were hoping for, or you got a result you didn’t even imagine. Sometimes that result is better than the one you set out to get. Whether it’s Thomas Edison trying 10,000 different filament materials until finding the right one for the light bulb, or Michael Jordan, who famously said “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – failure is a product of you trying something and not getting the result you wanted. We’ve all heard people say “What’s the worst that could happen?”, and for most of us, the worst that could happen is something we can survive and move on. Put it down, let it go, and move on to the next idea.
When is the best time to put it down?
There’s an old adage: “When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago! When is the next best time to plant a tree? Today!” When is the best time for you to try something new? Maybe it was last year, and maybe you already did. Have you created any new products or services to accommodate the current market? Have you changed what you sell, or the way you sell? Have you changed where and how you market? With wedding shows canceled, face-to-face networking not happening, and people who were referring you either not doing any sales, or worse, not employed by that company anymore, many of you have had to look elsewhere for your leads. You can complain about not getting enough of the right leads, or you can do something about it. You can complain about getting ghosted on your inquiries, or you can do something about it. Try something new. Be different!
So, whatever you’re holding on to, when is the best time for you to put it down and move on? Now!
© 2021 Wedding Business Solutions LLC & AlanBerg.com
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