How to push through when you’re feeling drained or challenged
Running a wedding business can be one of the most gratifying things you can do. You get to be your own boss, flex your creative muscles and help couples celebrate one of the most exciting days of their lives. And while most of the time we like to keep things light around here, sometimes we all just have to admit that running a wedding business can also be one of the hardest things you can do. So today, we asked a few of our WeddingPro Educators for their words of wisdom. Whether you need this advice today, tomorrow or 6 months from now, we hope you find the comfort and motivation you need to push through when things get tough.
Solutions are not under your duvet
“I’m usually a very upbeat person in my life and I generally seek joy in all things I do, but like everyone else, I have hard days. In the past two years, those days sometimes turned into weeks, and in the middle of 2020, it was quite honestly several months. During those times it felt easier to hide under my duvet and just wait for all to be OK again. But, as my father always tells me, solutions are not under your duvet—you have to get up and change the way things are going as best you can. To do that I came up with 3 steps I use when I feel that way, and hopefully, they will help you as well!
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
The truth is you need to embrace the idea of change as the only constant. Like the book “Who Moved My Cheese;” understanding when it is time to shift is vital.
Pause. Focus. Determine. Implement.
(a) Pause and pay attention to what is happening around you. Don’t waste time wallowing and wondering why.
(b) Focus to see exactly where you are and what the options are for moving forward.
(c) Determine a path forward that leans into your strengths.
(d) Implement an action plan and then do it.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Shift your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right about your life. The universe always gives more of what we focus on. Make a blessings list and include your friends and family, the places you’ve been and the lessons you’ve learned—and don’t forget to include being grateful for the blessings to come. An attitude of gratitude opens the possibilities for more and fortifies you for the challenges of change yet to come.” Brian Green of By Brian Green
Give yourself the allowance to learn and fail
“Running a business and living your life can be a real challenge at times. So, I think it is important to recognize both the wins and the woes, the lows and the highs—it’s all a part of the experience. That being said, getting through a hard time is probably the time to give yourself some grace. Be honest with yourself and give yourself some credit that you are trying, building and doing because that is a huge win. It also really helps to find a community and keep the people who will celebrate and grieve with you close because those are the people who are going to help you through. But most importantly, give yourself the allowance to learn and fail, ultimately win and experience the greater moments because you chose to follow your passion and pave the path unforged. You may get dirty and scuffed up on the trail to treasure, but the experience and rewards you’ll receive on the way to that goal or destination is what makes your life LIVED. Oh, and also, have all the snacks.” Jason Rhee of Rheefined Company
Great things don’t come easy
Our businesses, while incredibly rewarding and wonderful, are also hard. Very hard. We work holidays. We work nights. We work weekends. Then we work the weekdays to prepare for the holidays, nights, and weekends. But it’s not just the hours. It’s the magnitude of the moments we create and the emotional intensity surrounding them, that can wear us all down at times. In other words, there’s no do-over for much of what we do in the wedding industry, and there are a lot of emotions that come with that.
That’s why a ton of people in our industry say they’re always or very often burnt out and why we’re the #6 most stressful industry to work in.
I speak often now on things like time management and people skills, but I’ve certainly been knocked down by the job schedule, challenging relationships, and the trials of being a small business owner. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. I love our industry. I love the people I work with, and the people I work for. I love the impact we have on people’s lives, and I love knowing I help create moments that last a lifetime. That inspiration fuels the grind for sure, but I’ve learned three valuable practices that help me push through the hard times. Here’s how I get the funk out when it’s not grooving:
- Ask for help. I recently read that 70% of business owners want to do things themselves. Which is likely part of what got them going but is also what can be a downfall. We shouldn’t do it all, even if we know how. We all need help. And we need perspective. Asking for help not only lightens our workload but helps us see another viewpoint or approach. Look, I’ll be honest—it took me too long to learn this. And I still struggle to ask for help at times. But I know I need it. I know I’ll benefit from it. And I know there are plenty of pros out there who would love to provide it.
- Focus on your behaviors and what you control. When things get overwhelming, the finished result can seem so far away or so hard to get to. It’s easy to get engulfed by everything needed to get to the finish line. But I’ve learned to focus on the behaviors. It started with the help of a great coach (see step #1) and has been repeatedly reinforced through application. When I focus on what I can control, it removes stress and reminds me that I will get there. To be cliché, it really is just one step at a time.
- Remember the results. There’s something wonderful waiting at the other end of this tribulation. I know that sounds like hogwash at times and doesn’t always seem like much help in the middle of a mess. (Especially if that mess doesn’t seem to have any upside.) But as I write this, I have a team member struggling with something horrible that’s also impacted our business and clients…and it’s hard to see a positive. But we’re all reminding ourselves that we’re going to get through this. This too shall pass. And, along the way, I try to keep in mind why I do this. Whether it’s the result of an individual event and the moments that come from it or it’s the perks of being a business owner, I try to focus on the results waiting for me once I push through this problem. There’s a positive outcome and certainly a learning opportunity, at the other end of this tunnel. Don’t lose sight of that.
The long and short of it? Great things don’t come easy. If they did, everyone would achieve them, right? That doesn’t seem so inspirational when in the depths of something difficult, especially when you’re not even looking for great—you’re just looking for air. I get it, I really do. But you’re never in this alone, even when it feels like it. Someone somewhere has either been through it and wants to help or is going through it and you can push through together. So, start with asking for help. Then focus on what you can do, and remember there will be a positive result, even if that’s just learning how to battle adversity in itself.” Troy Adams of Carolina DJ Professionals
Need a few more pep talks to help you push through? Here is advice to help you deal with imposter syndrome from other pros who have been where you are.
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