Vision

When You Should Be Stubborn

And when you shouldn’t.

Photo by    Cameron Clark   , Wedding Design by    A Charleston Bride

Photo by Cameron Clark, Wedding Design by A Charleston Bride


Every business owner is, to an extent, stubborn. You probably wouldn't get very far in business if you weren't. Most new ideas are met with resistance, even the best ones.

When shopping carts were first invented, grocery stores had to hire models to push the carts around so customers would see them, stop being afraid of something different than their hand-held baskets, and start using them. The customers were being stubborn out of fear. The store owners were being stubborn out of a need to increase profits.

Some stubbornness comes from ego. I've sadly watched companies close their doors over the past few years because they refused to try anything new when it came to business. Their newer, younger competitors used social media so to them taking a class on it was a step down, an acknowledgement that someone else may have been doing something that worked better. Digging their heels in because of ego left them ill-prepared to weather the storm when the economy and consumer habits shifted and many suffered irreparable damage to their businesses.

Other stubbornness comes from real vision — a gut feeling that what you are working on is a big idea that has legs even when others don't see it. To me, this stubbornness is valid. It brings a willingness to be misunderstood for a while, a willingness to allow others to think you're just wasting your time. In the end, however, you have great results because you stuck it out.

The trick is being honest with yourself about where your stubbornness is coming from. Is it based on a dream that you believe can become reality or is it based on fear and ego?

Don't underestimate the power of your ego as it will kill your business faster than anything else. Conversely, never doubt your ability to justify. Labeling each idea as not worthy to be pursued and never being stubborn about your valid ideas will also kill your business by causing you to stagnate.
 


Originally published July 2011

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