Mindset

Getting Through a Tough Season In Business

When it seems like everyone’s booked except you.

Event design by    Stefanie Miles   . Photography by    Cameron Clark   .

Event design by Stefanie Miles. Photography by Cameron Clark.

“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.

Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.

For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.


In addition to proposal season being just around the corner, we’re also in the midst of a decline in wedding spending.

While some would like to pretend this isn’t happening, it is a FACT that spending is down industry-wide – around the world, not just in North America – in every wedding budget category with the exception of the Ultra Luxury wedding market (budgets of $500,000+ not including the honeymoon).

If you’re feeling like everyone on Instagram is slammed with work except you, please know this is not the case. It is a weird, unpredictable, difficult time for the majority of wedding pros worldwide. Many of your colleagues are stressed, too, whether they show it publicly or not.

It’s a tough time to be an entrepreneur in the bridal industry, but if you’ve made it this far, you can make it further. I know this because when I think back to when I started my company, I’m amazed at how gutsy I was. 

I’m not the only one. You were amazingly gutsy, too:

Try not to go into engagement season dejected or feeling left behind. No matter how hard this season of business may be, make sure to remind yourself that you can do hard things. You already have. 


A previous version of this post was first published March 2017

Competing With Your Mentors

A great mentor will always cheer for your success.

“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.

Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.

For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.

Michael Phelps and Joseph Schooling in 2008 (left) and in 2016 (right)

Michael Phelps and Joseph Schooling in 2008 (left) and in 2016 (right)


Three years ago, you may have seen the story of Joseph Schooling, a swimmer from Singapore who, as a kid, idolized Michael Phelps. Phelps served as an inspiration and unofficial mentor for him — pushing him to be better.

Then in the 2016 Olympics, Schooling swam against his mentor in the 100m butterfly race, taking home the Gold, with Phelps receiving the Silver.

I am a huge advocate of having mentors — I don't know where I would be in my own life if not for the men and women who have inspired me, held me accountable, and shared their hard-earned wisdom with me, both officially and unofficially.

That said, as you grow in wisdom, as your talents and skills improve, as you continue to educate yourself and produce the best work you can, you will come to a point where you will go up against your mentors for jobs, awards, or other opportunities.

There is absolutely nothing wrong or unfair about this.

Successfully competing with people you hold in high esteem has as much do with your mindset as it does with talent. Once you get to the level where you are competing against people who were mentors, you will have to give yourself permission to do so. If you don't, you will self-sabotage and you won't succeed.

Notice that I said give yourself permission, not get permission from your mentors. You don't need permission from them — your goals belong to you.

As you prepare for engagement season, think through what you want to accomplish next year but that you feel is too big a dream. Where are you holding back because you’ve bought into the idea that you always have to stay at least one tier below where a mentor is?

Maybe you aren’t charging what you should because it would be a higher rate than your mentor charges.

Maybe you’ve been hesitant to move into the luxury market because you don’t want to upset a mentor who works in that segment.

Maybe you’ve been turning down speaking invitations because you feel like a mentor owns a particular niche and although you are now an expert as well, you don’t want to “steal the spotlight.”

You can be respectful of and grateful to a mentor for all they’ve taught you and still go after what you want.

True leaders create more leaders and great mentors will always cheer for your success. If they don't, it's time to reevaluate their right to speak into your life.


A version of this post was originally published August 2016.

Being Generous In Your Everyday Life

The one question that will build a habit of generosity.

Photo by    Cameron Clark   .

Photo by Cameron Clark.


Generosity is a habit, and one that is first developed by noticing opportunities to add good to the lives of others.

If you want your subconscious to be working on identifying ways to be more generous while you go about your daily routine, ask yourself the question (out loud), "How can I add good to the lives of others this week?"

You may be surprised at the opportunities to make life easier for someone that seem to pop up out of nowhere. These didn't really come out of nowhere, you're just training yourself to notice them more often by asking yourself this simple question and allowing your brain to get to work.


Originally published May 2013