|Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce, the co-founders of engage!|
Self-employment is like unemployment because you're looking for a job every single day. You can't neglect that. @toddevents #engage14
— Liene Stevens (@thinksplendid) November 18, 2014
The most viral tweet from this engage! was one I posted with wisdom from Todd Fiscus: "Self-employment is like unemployment because you're looking for a job every single day. You can't neglect that." You cannot get comfortable in the hope that word of mouth referrals will always come, that a press feature will bring in a ton of new business, that a work-trade agreement for a destination wedding will result in half of next year's revenue. Regular business development has to be a consistent part of your business habits.
|Simon T. Bailey|
Part of running a successful business means taking the time to understand your clients. For my talk I spoke on how millennials relate to luxury and then dove into the four consumer types within the millennial generation and how each relate to luxury differently even though each group still falls under the Gen Y umbrella. It’s not enough to know the generational basics of your clients. If you want to succeed, you have to dig deeper and build a strategy that allows room for nuance and segmentation within this consumer group. I also spoke about the importance of owning your expertise when working with this generation of couples. Millennial clients don't want to hire amateurs — they want the very best team of experts collaborating with them on their event. Owning your expertise means not allowing yourself to get comfortable in the way things have always been done. It means pressing in and knowing that true experts have never truly "arrived" and that there is always more to learn. The other side of this coin is that true humility doesn't hide its gifts. A true expert knows their field cold and doesn't apologize for being the best, all while continuing to improve and pay attention to new techniques, technologies and ideas.
When it comes to goal setting, my friend Amy Zaroff likes to recite the mantra, ‘go big or go home.” Brian Worley prefers the line, “go big and stay home.” Ali Phillips, who I can pretty much only contact via What’s App these days as she’s in a different country every twenty minutes, always jokes that she’ll start teaching classes entitled, “Make money the old fashioned way: by working your ass off.” Success may look different to you than it does for others, but it will always mean digging in, working hard, and getting out of your comfort zone.
Photos courtesy the engage!14 photography team, except last photo via my Instagram.