Business Planning

The Reality of Being An Original

Everyone wants to be a pioneer. No one wants the scars that come with going first.

Wedding floral design photo by    Cameron Clark

Wedding floral design photo by Cameron Clark

When up-and-comers decide to do things differently than how the industry has always done them they get labeled as arrogant and naive. Then, when their methods work, they get labeled as lucky.

When people with established businesses decide to change course and try a different tack, they get labeled as desperate.

Everyone wants to be known as an original, as the idea guy, as the first mover, as a pioneer. No one wants to talk about the fact that pioneers have scars.

Scars from mistakes made and errors in judgment.

Scars from overwhelm and letting things fall through the cracks.

Scars from partnerships gone bad, relationships soured, and trust broken.

Scars from losing a lawsuit over your intellectual property and seeing your labor of love awarded to someone else.

Scars from an unexpected, prolonged slow season that resulted in laying off talented people.

Scars from the gossip of competitors who refused to discipline themselves to do the work that results in positive change.

Scars are a reminder that not everything in business is instaperfect or #bosslifegoals, but the most important thing to remember about scars is that they are only created by wounds that are allowed to heal.

Do what you need to to stop the bleeding, stitch yourself up, and keep moving forward. Don’t expect people to fight fair. More importantly, don’t allow that to make you cynical.


Originally published December 2014

On Being an Original in the Wedding Industry

When up-and-comers decide to do things differently than how the industry has always done them they get labeled as arrogant and naive. Then, when their methods work, they get labeled as lucky.

When people with established businesses decide to change course and try a different tack, they get labeled as desperate.

Everyone wants to be known as an original and a pioneer. No one wants to talk about the fact that pioneers have scars. Many of those scars come from the gossip of people who refuse to discipline themselves to do the work that results in positive change.

Don’t expect people to fight fair. More importantly, don’t allow that to make you cynical.


Originally published December 2014

Improve Your Team's Performance + Increase Your Profits

Bella Bridesmaids' annual retreat for their franchise owners

Bella Bridesmaids' annual retreat for their franchise owners


One of my favorite parts of my job is helping companies improve their team's performance and increase their profits by providing training and strategic insight to their staff during their annual retreats. 

In the wedding industry, most annual retreats often happen during the months of November - February, at the end of the year after the October rush of weddings, or in the first two months before the new year truly gets underway. Both seasons give business owners a chance to give their teams the opportunity to relax and further bond as a team, review what worked and what didn't over the past year, and set a strategic plan for the year to come.

I highly recommend making time for an annual retreat, whether you have a team or not. If you're a solopreneur, even just taking a weekend by yourself at a hotel or AirBnB 90 minutes away can help you disconnect from your familiar routine so that you can spend some focused time on setting goals and planning how you will successfully achieve them next year.

If you are looking to bring in outside expertise to your retreat, I'd love to help. I've personally trained thousands of wedding, event, tourism, and hospitality industry pros from around the world over the years and lead strategic sessions for annual retreats for multiple companies each year. 

Because it's August, people are busy finalizing details for Q4 of 2018, including their end of the year retreats. If you're interested in strategic guidance, team training, leadership development, or giving your staff a deeper dive into the topics you may have heard me speak on at a conference, you can drop me a line here. I'd love to chat with you.