Thursday, July 24, 2014

Successful People

People are just people. Famous people are just people. Wealthy people are just people. Successful people are just people. 

It's important to have mentors, and it's important to have role models, but it's important not to set people up on a pedestal. No one is better than you as a person and creating an idol out of a successful wedding professional or successful business person is a fast way to quench your creativity. Also, they'll inevitably disappoint you at some point. If they don't then you're probably not being objective enough in your view of them.

There is no reason that you can't be as successful or more successful than the people you look up to. There is no reason you can't be known as a trendsetter (trends are trends because someone said so; be the person who says so). There is no reason you can't be the person other people look up to. That truth is one of the hardest to accept, in both life and business, but it is also one of the most liberating.

Are you living your life in such a way that other people want to emulate or learn from YOU? And if not, why not?



Originally published February 2009.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Remembering What You Want

Discipline is remembering what you want. -- David Campbell

We eat this, not that and commit to exercise because we remember that what we want is to feel and look good.

We say no to certain types of projects and clients because we remember what it is we want to have more room to say yes to.

We create personal boundaries surrounding our businesses because we remember that we want to have more focused time with family.

We schedule in time for reading/exploring/art museum visits because we remember that what we want is new ways of thinking and that will only come by exposure to varied and new ideas.

We schedule in time for marketing tasks because we remember that their benefits accumulate over time and that it's best not to wait until the well is dry to start looking for new life-giving sources.

Discipline isn't a dirty word nor an impossible feat. It is making choices, day by day, hour by hour, that keep in mind what we really wanted in the first place.


Originally published October 2012

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yes, You Have To Fight For It

You may have seen this quote making the rounds on Pinterest: "When it's real, it's effortless."

It's terrible advice.

These concepts of "easy having" and "easy living" have permeated our culture to the point that many of us believe that good things -- real things -- should show up magically and without much fuss. Then when they don't, we decide they're not worth pursuing and write them off as "not meant to be."

This is one of the most toxic lies we believe and it prevents people from experiencing sustainable joy.

Parents fight for the well-being of their children.
Couples fight for their marriages.
Societies fight for their values and ideals.
The oppressed fight for their freedom and voice.
Entrepreneurs fight for their companies.
Artists fight for their ideas.

Anything and everything worth having in life requires tenacity and grace. If you want something real -- something that matters and stands the test of time -- you will have to pursue it. You will have to fight for it.


Friday, July 18, 2014

What You See Is What You Get

I'm always amazed at how Beka Rendell of Styled Creative and Kimberly Fink of Treatmint Box see things. They can walk into any dilapidated venue and see it transformed into something magical. They can take a piece of what the rest of the world would consider garbage and turn it into art. They can take a handful of seemingly disconnected items and combine them into what becomes the next must-have trend (their hanging ribbon escort card "table" --  once published in Martha Stewart Weddings -- is now recreated at weddings every weekend by planners across the United States).

This industry is full of people with this kind of talent: Todd Fiscus, Marcy Blum, Calder Clark, and Preston Bailey to name just a few.

All of these people can look past the dirt and stains and see a beautiful end result. They can see the cohesion that the bigger picture provides and are able to see where things fit in the grand scheme of things. This skill transcends events and design.

We see what we look for. If you look for cynicism, you'll find a cold, hard, gloomy world where everyone is completely focused on themselves. If you look for the silver lining, you'll find a world of joy, creativity, generosity and simple pleasures.

This isn't to say that looking for the good erases the bad. Far from it. Looking for the good simply allows the bad to be viewed in the appropriate context: as a part, not the whole, and often as something that can be restored or given a second chance.



Originally published March 2012

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Wedding Statistics from Splendid Insights

New wedding market reports with unbiased insights and wedding statistics are now available from Splendid Insights!

The reports include the four regions of the United States: Southern, Midwestern, Western and Northeastern and include responses from over 14,000 straight- and same-sex couples who married in 2013. The states included in each region were determined by the US Census for consistency in cross-referening other data.

The 2013 US Southern Wedding Market Report is 39 full-color pages and includes unbiased wedding statistics and bridal research from brides and grooms in the South who were married in 2013. States included in this region were determined by the U.S. Census Bureau and include Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. || Purchase for $79

The 2013 US Midwestern Wedding Market Report is 39 full-color pages and includes unbiased wedding statistics and bridal research from brides and grooms in the MidWest who were married in 2013. States included in this region were determined by the U.S. Census Bureau and include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. || Purchase for $79

 The 2013 US Western Wedding Market Report is 39 full-color pages and includes unbiased wedding statistics and bridal research from brides and grooms in the Western United States who married in 2013. States included in this region were determined by the U.S. Census Bureau and include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. || Purchase for $79

The 2013 US Northeastern Wedding Market Report is 39 full-color pages and includes unbiased wedding statistics and bridal research from brides and grooms in the Northeastern United States who were married in 2013. States included in this region were determined by the U.S. Census Bureau and include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. || Purchase for $79

Other wedding market reports from Splendid Insights can be purchased here, including reports segmented by wedding budget range.