This blog post is one I’ve struggled to write for some time and I’ve been knocking it around in my head, trying to figure out the best way to approach this subject openly and honestly.
If you’re reading this, chances are high that you’re a small business owner in the wedding industry. (unless you’re my mom– who I am quite sure is reading this, too. Hi mom!) As you build your business, you look to industry professionals who have made a name for themselves to glean advice and guidance on what you can do better. The industry is lucky to have so many talented, open-hearted and wise entrepreneurs willing to be transparent about what they know that works. I am fortunate enough to have learned a lot from many of them!
With that said, there are also a lot of people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
Simply put, I want you to be wary of false prophets.
I know you’ve seen dozens of Facebook Ads recently pontificating how someone “transformed their business overnight,” or “doubled their Instagram following in a week.” My advice is to steer clear. With that said, the coaching, mentoring, and consultant arm of the industry has grown A LOT over the past 2 years. Not everyone who offers such services are qualified to do so. Period. (<— I’m saying that in my Melissa McCarthy Spicey voice!) When it comes to not only your hard earned money, but also YOUR reputation and the health and wellness of YOUR business, it’s safe to say the stakes are VERY high. The advice, opinions, and facts of the experts you listen to in the industry can shape your business for the better, and sadly, for the worst if they’re just plain wrong. I want you to take advice from people who are genuine and honest — tried and true — and transparent. People who actually have success financially, not success they’ve defined by their inflated ego, portfolio and praise.
So, what do you look for in an expert before you take advice from them– whether it is free or paid? Before you call Miss Cleo, I want you to look for some with a proven track record. Good reviews. References of other entrepreneurs they’ve helped. And of course, your gut instinct. If something tells you that someone is off, well, they probably are. Go with your gut.
People will ill-intent or those who hide behind helping others for their own benefit tend to fade away, eventually. But before they do that, they end up duping a group of people– and I want you to avoid being one of those innocent bystanders.
I’m so glad that the wedding industry has become more transparent, open, and helpful over the last several years. When I first started in 2007 the industry was guarded, and it was literally impossible to get advice from anyone even remotely close to your ‘hood. These days, people are sharing so much with one another in an honest effort to help each other. Let’s keep that going.