Mindset

  • Fear of Failure and How to Get Over It

    Fear of Failure and How to Get Over It

    Fear of Failure has to be the biggest thing holding people back from moving forward with their wedding business.

    Nearly every day I receive an email from someone asking me how to get over that crippling fear of failure.

    And I can tell you right now it plagues us all.

    There’s no one way to deal with this and all of us are different so will respond to different things.

    One thing I will tell you though is that without failing you can’t move forward.

    I’ve lost count of the times I’ve made mistakes, done something wrong or simply screwed up.

    But the key here is that I learnt from each and every mistake. I didn’t think of them as failings I thought of them as opportunities to grow.

    If we don’t fail we stand still.

    But what can you do to overcome it?

    Good question. Now if I tell you then you have to promise not to judge me.

    Do we have a deal?

    Well even if we don’t I’m going to tell you in the hope it might help you.

    If you’ve been around me for any length of time you’ll know that I LOVE musicals. Everything from The Sound of Music to Mamma Mia.

    And when I have a crisis of confidence or fear of failure I turn to my musicals to pull me out of it.

    There’s one in particular I want to share with you today that has a huge relevance to today’s topic.

    And that’s another one of my all time favourites, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    There’s a song in that musical called ‘The Roses of Success’. If you’ve never listened to it then you should.

    This song is on my ‘Pump Up Playlist’ on Spotify and it never fails to inspire me and make me believe that anything is possible.

    Every bursted bubble has a glory!
    Each abysmal failure makes a point!
    Every glowing path that goes astray,
    Shows you how to find a better way.
    So every time you stumble never grumble.
    Next time you’ll bumble even less!
    For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!

    How can those words not motivate you? From this wonderfully humble song from a children’s musical, you can take inspiration.

    Embrace failure don’t be scared of it.

    As the song says, “There’s magic in the wake of a fiasco! It gives you that chance to second guess!”

    Look at it as an opportunity to improve and do better. Remember nothing is perfect straight out the box. Everything needs tweaking and tinkering.

    I do understand what it’s like to start something new. In fact, just this week I launched a brand new product called WEDucate.

    I had the biggest case of nerves and self-doubt just before I pushed the ‘go live’ button. But I played this fabulous song and let myself belt out the lyrics and remembered it was time to practice what I preached.

    And instead of asking what’s the worst that can happen try flipping it on it’s head and asking what‘s the best that can happen? What if it takes off beyond my wildest dreams?

    I’ll leave you with these final words from the song and please don’t judge me in the video below this post it was crying out for me to do it.

    So when it gets distressing it’s a blessing! Onward and upward you must press!
    Yes, Yes!
    Till up from the ashes, up from the ashes grow the roses of success.

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  • How to Supercharge Your Productivity during Covid

    Time to supercharge your productivity.

    Do any of these sound familiar?

    I don’t seem to have enough hours in a day.

    I’ve got lots of ideas but not enough time to do anything about them.

    As a creative entrepreneur I know I have some days that are more productive than others. And I think that’s true of most people. However, I also know that I’ve learnt a thing or two over the years about productivity.

    So we’re going to split this into three sections: time management, productivity & working from home.

    Make the first hour of your day count

    First things first, the way you spend the first hour of your day is critical. Why? Because it will dictate the way the rest of your day will go.

    Make that first hour count. Work on something without any interruptions: no email, no social media, no phone calls.

    I try to use that time to get an important task done like writing a blog post, which although takes more than an hour, still counts. The key here though is that by having an hour of uninterrupted productivity I’ve started the day on a positive note.

    By starting the day with an ACCOMPLISHMENT you’ll start ahead, instead of feeling like you’re playing catch up all day long.

    So often we let distractions rule our workflow and instead of starting ahead we’re playing catch up all day long.

    Don’t focus on the lack of time think about the things you do have time for. Switch the mindset.

    Try starting work promptly. Half an hour or an hour wasted on procrastination or distractions is costly.

    Remember if you value your time then other people will do the same. And when things get tough time wise try switching your email off for designated times each day. I do this all the time and it works. Especially if I’m working on something that needs my completely concentration.

    There’s nothing worse than being pulled out of your flow because it takes you time to get into that flow in the first place. By switching of emails, or any distraction, and focusing purely on the task at hand you’ll automatically find you’re getting more done.

    Stop keeping To Do lists in your head.

    Creating To Do Lists for Productivity

    Write things down. Give your head some space to breath. I have several lists that I keep on Evernote so I can look at them whenever I need them.

    I have one that’s a daily list of all the things I need to tick off for that day. I have a weekly and a monthly one so I can also see the bigger picture.

    By writing things down you also stop stressing over things you think you might have forgotten about.

    As soon as something pops into my head it goes onto a list so I never forget. This in itself is a great time management hack as we all spend way too much time worrying about what we might have forgotten.

    Keep it real and keep it flexible.

    Let’s be realistic here… nothing is perfect.  Trying to perfectly control your day isn’t going to work any better than having no plan at all.

    I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had a day all mapped out only to have something urgent come up that needs my immediate attention.

    You WILL have interruptions.  You need to have flexibility in your schedule or it won’t work.

    Don’t try to pack your days too full. Be realistic with your time.

    A packed schedule doesn’t make for a productive schedule.

    Plan tomorrow the night before.

    It’s that simple. Nothing complicated and no big secret, but you will be amazed how many people don’t do this.

    So before you finish off for the day you need to put tomorrow’s plan together. There’s no better time to do this because everything is still fresh in your mind.

    You know the things you haven’t got done, you know the things that can come off the list and you’ll know the new things that have come up.

    There’s nothing worse than starting a day without knowing ahead of time what the plan is. You’re already an unorganised mess before you start.

    I like to plan out every hour of my day so I can be really productive with my time. But that doesn’t work if I try to do that the day it’s supposed to be happening.

    I do the same thing with my week. Every Sunday before I go to bed when I’m feeling relaxed after the weekend I sit down with my planner and write out all the things I know I need to achieve for the week.

    I like doing this because unlike when I plan my days the night before my mind isn’t focused on work. So I come at things from a different angle and a new perspective. It often gives me clarity on something I might have struggled with the previous week.

    I know some people don’t like the idea of doing anything work related on a Sunday and I get that. But believe me when I tell you it will change your work life.  You’ll start the week ahead instead of rushing to catch up.

    Once I have my weekly list of things I need to achieve I give them priorities and from there I allocate them days of the week.

    The trickiest part is the time allocation for each task. It’s never as straightforward as 90 minutes for blog writing, 30 minutes for email, an hour for social media or 45 minutes for a Zoom meeting. However, I can estimate roughly how long these things will take me. Plus, you’ll find it all evens itself out at the end of the day. Often one thing will wrap up quicker than you anticipated, which makes up for the one thing that took way longer.

    Now this isn’t a fool proof plan. Every now and again you have a bitch of a day that just blows your plan out of the water. However, what this system does do is give you the best shot at a successful day with a schedule that will keep you on track and hold you accountable.

    Ways to be productive in your Wedding Business

    Is it really possible to do more work in less time?

    The short answer is: Yes! It’s very possible.

    Each day we waste enormous amounts of time without even realising it. And I’m not just talking about big chunks of time (that you do notice), like time wasted watching TV.

    I’m talking about tiny little bits of time you’re constantly wasting every single time you try to work. All those tiny little bits really add up!

    First things first you need to simplify your process.

    The simpler your routine is, the more efficient you’ll be. Including unnecessary steps distracts you from the task you are trying to focus on. How do you do this? Don’t try to multi-task. As much as possible, focus in on the one specific thing you are trying to accomplish.

    My mantra for running my business is, “Focus on one thing at a time.”

    Next you need to create routines that will help your efficiency.

    In a former life I used to teach kids to play the piano. It was a great way to earn money whilst I was studying.

    Time after time I listened to them slowly struggle through the same, simple songs and they never got any better, despite practicing at home. The problem was that the student would read the notes on the sheet music and play them with whichever finger happened to seem convenient at the moment. The problem with that? Well not were they not using the most efficient fingering pattern, but also, by using a different pattern each time, they were effectively having to relearn the song from scratch each time.

    The same happens with you and your work. You know what you task is and you know how to do it. However, if you do it differently each time, then your brain is having to figure out so much as you go along.

    Learning something new takes a lot more time and effort then doing something that you already know how to do well. By creating routines, you can become much more efficient in your work!

    Complete your tasks in the same order each day.

    For example, I always do my creative work (writing blogs, creating new copy, etc.), first thing in the morning from 6 a. m. to 9 a. m., because I know that’s when I’ll be the most efficient at it.

    I write a rough outline of what I’m creating, then I research, then I refine my outline, then I write in intervals. That’s just one example of a routine I’ve created to help me be more efficient with my time and way more productive.

    Take Time Out from Your Wedding Business

    Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law?

    In simple terms it says that any task expands to fill the time available. So if you give yourself all day to clean the house then it will take all day. If you give yourself an hour it will get done in that hour.

    Parkinson’s law goes hand in hand with deadlines. I know that if there’s something that doesn’t have a deadline attached to it then it gets pushed to the bottom of the list. In fact, it might not get done at all. Deadlines help us to supercharge our productivity.

    Why do deadlines work? Because they help you to focus. Distractions really slow you down! If your attention is being pulled in too many ways then it slows you down. When you introduce a deadline your brain knows it needs to focus on that one task in order to meet the deadline.

    Deadlines make you more efficient, but they also can be stressful.

    Telling yourself, “I have to schedule all my social media for the month by 5pm today” can set you up for failure. This is where the pomodoro technique comes in.

    What’s the pomodoro technique?

    Its named after the Italian word for “tomato.” Little piece of trivia. Apparently, in Italy it’s really common for kitchen timers to be shaped like tomatoes. In the 1980’s a man called Francesco Cirillo invented a time management technique utilising these cute little kitchen timers.

    So how does it work? Set the timer for 25 minutes, focus on your work until the timer goes off, take a short break, then rinse and repeat. It’s such a great way to knock deadline stress on the head. When you use Poms you’re setting small, achievable deadlines.

    Each Pom becomes a mini deadline. You’re just committing to “Focus on one thing at a time” for 25 minutes. Honestly, it’s a gamechanger. Look it up. Google it. You’ll find loads of information on it and how to apply it but I’m telling you it works.

    So finally, I wanted to touch on staying motivated when working from home. Let’s face it most of us have our office at home as wedding pros, especially right now. But, and this is a big but, getting yourself motivated everyday can be an absolute nightmare.

    Motivation for me is about state of mind and mindset. How I feel about myself has a direct relationship to how I perform.

    So I want to share five really simple motivation tips that keep me focused, productive and motivated working from home. And bonus they’re so easy for everyone to implement.

    No 1 – Get dressed in the morning

    Yep you heard me right GET DRESSED. Stop spending the day hanging around in your trackies or your PJs. This is the number one reason that stops people performing and staying motivated.

    I know we’ve all suddenly developed a Covid wardrobe but I’m telling you now it’s killing your productivity.

    Would you have gone to work in your PJs?

    Think back to those days before lockdown? Did you have a work wardrobe and a weekend wardrobe? The chances are you did. And there’s a reason for that.

    The way you dress directly affects the way you feel about yourself and that in turn affects your productivity.

    As I said it is all about your state of mind. I know because I’ve tested this theory. The difference in my productivity on the days I have a shower early and get dressed is so much better than when I spend the day in my track pants. Or worse still, don’t even bother to get out of my PJs.

    No 2 – Exercise

    Exercise Helps Productivity

    There’s no way to sugar coat this one. Get off your backside and do some exercise. Now it doesn’t have to be a marathon just something that gets your heart pumping.

    Take the dog for a walk, do some sit ups, go for a bike ride, whatever it is, exercise is one of the best ways to stimulate your mind.

    I know running your business, home schooling your kids and dealing with lockdown takes all of your energy and focus. You’re a busy person who doesn’t have any time for working out. Or you just hate exercise. Trust me I hear you.

    But exercise not only releases endorphins it’s great for relieving stress. It helps you sleep better and it boosts your overall mood. So stop being a couch potato and build in 30 minutes of exercise as many days as you can manage and watch how your motivation levels soar.

    No 3 – step away from the housework

    I know it’s tempting to unload the dishwasher, put the washing on, pull out the hoover, tidy the lounge, prepare dinner or whatever else it is that gets your attention.

    Stop it. Set some boundaries. Work time is work time and home time is home time.

    Nobody is going to notice if you don’t tidy up and start dusting.

    Would you have whipped out the hoover when you were in the office? No you wouldn’t so don’t do it now.

    No 4 – know when to walk away

    Some days it just isn’t going to happen, and that’s fine. So don’t force it. Give yourself permission to leave your desk. We all have those days when it just doesn’t work. The more aggravated you become, the less motivated you’ll be.

    It’s ok to take breaks. Lie down to read a book or take a nap if you have to. Sometimes a bit of rest is all we need to stay motivated.

    No 5 – create consistency.

    Kids thrive on routine and we’re no different as adults. So, create some consistency and routine to your working day.

    Start each day off the same. For me, that’s getting up, going through my morning coffee ritual, reading my overnight emails, checking social media, exercising, showering and then going into my home office.

    The same applies to the end of the day. Create a ritual that helps you to switch from work mode. That might be spending time with your kids, cooking the dinner, taking a bath, having a glass of wine, whatever it is this will send a message to your brain that the working day is over. It creates a clear boundary between your work and home life.

    And always remember to close the door to your office so you can’t see your desk. Don’t let work overflow into your lounge and definitely not your bedroom. I know it’s tempting to work from your bed and be snug. Try not to do it. It’s not productive and it’s teaching you to always be at work as there’s no boundaries between work and home.

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  • The Mindset of a Successful Wedding Business

    A successful wedding business isn’t made it’s built.

    Have you ever wondered what it really takes to run a successful wedding business?

    I think everyone would answer that question differently. But for me, it’s all about mindset.

    I can’t speak for everyone but I know deep down that the only reason I’ve had the success with the Wedding Academy is that I’ve always believed in every, single, idea I’ve put out there.

    Not only that, I’ve believed in myself and my ability to make it happen.

    Now I’ll be the first to tell you that probably fifty percent of the ideas I’ve put out there have failed.

    ‼️ ‼️  Yep, you heard me. FAILED. ‼️ ‼️

    You see part of being an entrepreneur is the ability to take risks. Risks that might not always pay off and in some cases can often be big, fat, flops.

    But you have to learn to sometimes fly by the seat of your pants and go with your gut instinct on something.

    Procrastination is the devil and it will bring you down.

    In business you can’t afford to sit there debating the pros and cons of something for days, months and years.

    If you do, the time will have passed and that wonderful idea you had will have been done by someone else.

    I speak to so many people every single week who are thinking about making a career change into the wedding industry.

    What do you think the number one thing is that holds them back?

    Fear of failure. It’s the death of so many potentially amazing businesses.

    Let me tell you something…

    NEWSFLASH…ALL OF US ARE AFRAID OF FAILING

    I am too.

    Do you not think that I don’t have sleepless nights over the decisions I make regarding the implementation of new ideas within my business?

    Of course I do.

    The difference is that I act upon my ideas instead of just thinking about them.

    Yes! I have sleepless nights. I have moments of incredible self-doubt and times where I’m just bloody scared about the repercussions of what I’ve done.

    But ultimately, I wouldn’t change any of it because within all those moments, all those fears, are moments of sheer joy.

    Wedding Business Mindset

    Being an entrepreneur is the biggest rollercoaster journey of your life. I’ve been to Six Flags, Alton Towers and numerous other parks like them with some HUGE rides.

    But let me tell you, none of them give you the ride that being an entrepreneur gives you.

    It simply can’t be rivalled.

    But you have to be brave. You have to make the hard decisions, the scary ones and the ones that keep you up at night.

    Bottom line you have to be prepared to fail.

    When the shit hits the fan, and it will, it’s about how you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on regardless.

    You have to believe in yourself and your own abilities. That’s the mindset of a successful wedding CEO.

    You MUST be prepared to try, try, and try again.

    Be willing to rework things when they don’t work first time around. And trust me when I say they usually don’t work first time around.

    In Silicon Valley there is no such thing as failure only an opportunity to learn. We can all learn from that attitude.

    The biggest reason people fail in business is lack of self-belief.

    It isn’t about their lack of knowledge or not being good at whatever it is they sell or offer.

    I’ve been in business for 25 years with two different business that have both been successful.

    Why have I had success?

    I’ll tell you why. It’s simple – because of all the failures I’ve had and continue to have every, single, year.

    Being in business isn’t about being perfect because it’s NEVER perfect.

    Take it one step at a time but stop procrastinating and getting in your own way.

    And this applies to EVERYTHING in life.

    Be ready to fail and then learn from those mistakes.

    Don’t be willing to give up at the first hurdle.

    Give things a try and if they don’t work, then sure, have a cry, eat lots of ice cream, binge watch Netflix, but and here’s the big but, then move on.

    Listen to your gut. It very rarely let’s you down.

    But please don’t give up on your dream of a successful wedding business. It’s there for the taking you just have to believe, put in the hardwork and have the faith in your own abilities.

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  • How To Charge Luxury Prices in Your Wedding Business

    If you’re in wedding business I’m sure you’ve wondered how to raise your fees and charge luxury prices.

    Well here’s the thing. When it comes to pricing it usually isn’t about the actual price but more about the perceived value.

    What do I mean by that?

    Well, in 2018 Payless Shoes, a bargain basement shoe brand, decided to do an experiment. They wanted to prove that people will pay over the odds for something if they believe the value to be there.

    They enlisted the help of a growth accelerator company to rent out what used to be an Armani storefront in a luxury Mall in Los Angeles.

    Then they filled the store with a range of their shoes all priced between $19.99 – $39.99 and came up with the store name of Palessi Shoes.

    And created a website for those smart cookies who were likely to Google the brand and then invited 60+ influencers to come to the store.

    The results were amazing.

    At 1800 percent mark-up the newly formed Palessi made $3,000 of sales in the first few hours.

    The influencers were eating up the shoes and loving them. They were even overheard talking about how elegant and sophisticated the range was.

    Not one pair of shoes sold to those influencers was an actual designer shoe. They came from the current Payless collection and weren’t worth more than $39.99.

    Now once they’d proved their point Payless refunded the red-faced influencers for their purchase. But not before they’d created one powerful advert for their brand.

    So what does this all add up to?

    Customers will pay premium for an experience. If you want to charge luxury prices as a wedding professional you need to create an extraordinary experience.

    Those influencers believed they were in a designer store looking at designer shoes with a designer label.

    In reality they were in a discount store looking at cheap shoes you could get on any high street for under $50.

    It really is about perceived value. What’s valuable to you won’t be valuable to someone else. It’s about creating an experience for your wedding clients that they see as valuable to them.

    In order to do this, you have to know your ideal client and what will flip the switch for them.

    Find out what they’re drawn to

    Maybe they’re drawn in by exclusivity and feeling part of a secret club or society. They have that desire to feel special.

    Perhaps it’s all about the packaging and details. They love the feeling of everything being hand delivered in exquisite wrapping.

    For some it will be about the company you keep and how they get to be part of that company by association. This would apply if you’ve had any high-profile clients, for some this is a massive drawcard and they’ll pay to be part of that story.

    For others it’s about being part of a cause. Maybe they’d want to tell their wedding story by working with a vendor team who produces environmentally friendly weddings.

    Ask the question. What is it your ideal client values above all else? What experience can you create that will get them doing what those influencers did at Palessi?

    This isn’t something you can just skim over. You’ve got to dig deep and really analyse what unique experience you can create that will speak to their greatest desires.

    If you’re stuck think about what gets you pulling out your credit card and paying over the odds for something?

    I know for me one of those things is Apple. I’m well aware I could have a superior phone at half the price but that’s not what I want. I’d rather pay over the odds for an iPhone.

    What do you need to create to give your clients that dream experience they’d happily pay the price for.

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  • Taking Time Out from Your Wedding Business

    Taking a Break from Your Wedding Business

    Last week I took some time away from my business and my normal every day life.

    And I wanted to tell you why.

    After over more than 20 years in business I’ve learnt that in order to have a healthy business you need to have a healthy CEO at the helm.

    These last few months have affected us all differently.

    We all know that 2020 has been a strain in more ways than I care to count. It’s a year that will go down in the history books. And it’s certainly not the year I thought it would be when I was happily saying goodbye to 2019 on New Year’s Eve.

    However, it’s still a year like any other, just with a few more ups and downs and challenges to face.

    Now I’m known for being a bit of a workaholic. I love my job. It’s that simple. But loving what you do isn’t enough to sustain you full time.

    I’ve learnt to understand that despite what I’ve always thought, I’m not superwoman. I can’t do it all. Well not without it having serious repercussions.

    And do you know what?

    Two weeks ago I realised something. I was tired and not feeling inspired or creative the way I usually would be. This for me is the tell tale signs of fatigue and potential burnout.

    Now in the past, I’ve ignored those signs. I thought I was invincible and that as long as I got enough sleep every night I’d be fine.

    I was so wrong.
    Everyone, no matter who you are, needs to switch off for a while, however hard that might be.

    Stepping away from your wedding business and your life and allowing yourself to ‘just be’ is incredibly powerful.

    Your business won’t collapse. Things will continue to operate without you. And the best bit, you’ll be ready to take on the world when you come back.

    Of course, in the time of Covid 19 you can’t just hop online and book the first overseas holiday that takes your fancy.

    I’m not in the business of being reckless with my life or other people’s so overseas travel was out the window.

    But I needed a break. And as much as I love my home here in France with all the best will in the world I won’t stop working when I’m here.

    For me to fully switch off I need to leave the house and get away from it all.

    Now I’ll be the first to admit I’m lucky with where I live. France is a huge country with some amazing places to visit.

    But if I wanted this to be a true R&R experience it needed to be somewhere peaceful. Somewhere I could just chill out, wind down and be me. And for me, my happy place is by the ocean.

    So I looked up ocean getaways in France around 200kms from where I lived.

    And I found the perfect place.

    A little slice of paradise called L’Amelie near Soulac-sur-mer on the Atlantic coast.

    This tiny little beach house on the sand dunes had uninterrupted views of the ocean.

    It was just what I needed and more. I went to bed listening to the sound of the ocean. I could even see it from where I lay in bed.

    Time out from your Wedding Business

    Almost as soon as arrived I felt myself unwinding. As we watched the gorgeous sunset on that first evening my body almost gave a sigh of relief.

    Until that point I’d still been questioning whether I should be this indulgent.

    But really it isn’t indulgent. Everyone deserves to switch off. Everyone needs some downtime. It’s unhealthy for you and your business if you don’t.

    I didn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking whilst I was there. I did a 10km walk on the beach every day, ate and drank what I wanted and had a two hour siesta each afternoon.

    I even read three books. I’m now an absolute Kate Mosse addict and how she draws you into her world of Carcassonne.

    All in all I’ve come back feeling refreshed, rejuvinated and raring to go again.

    Now I realise not everyone can do what I just did and simply head off to the ocean for a week.

    For some it’s a case of finances. For others it’s family, children or other obligations.

    But for me, as I’m approaching my 50th year, I’m now in a position where my family is all grown up. My only responsibility is to my hubby and my dog, Lottie.

    So I urge you, in whatever way you can, remember to take a break from your business and your life.

    That might be as simple as going on a daily walk to a place that inspires you. It might be curling up and reading a book in the sun. Or it might be treating yourself to a long bath with a face pack.

    Whatever it is do it. Give yourself permission to take some time out.

    We all need it and it doesn’t have to cost the earth or involve going on holiday.

    Remember what I said. A healthy Wedding CEO makes a healthy wedding business.

    Your mindset in your business is so important. I’ve heard from so many wedding pros recently finding it hard to stay positive and motivated.

    Even though it goes against what you might be feeling with a non-existent wedding season now is a good time to reset, recharge and refuel.

    Get yourself ready for what we hope will be a bumper year in the wedding industry in 2021.

    But more importantly, give yourself a break and allow your mind to get to a healthier place.

    If you’re struggling and need some help come and join our Facebook Community, The Weding CEO Club. Every Wednesday I host ‘Cocktails with Kylie‘. It’s fun and we discuss anything and everything related to marketing your wedding business.

    Join Wedding CEO Club Facebook Group

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