Why Confidence Counts More Than Anything

business coaching covid-19 May 19, 2020

I’ve been here before
Does anyone else wonder if instead of Instagram it will be TikTok that’s a part of the new normal? Or will we go back to scrolling photos of amazing experiences and destinations instead of giggling over lip syncs?
You’re probably thinking, “What?! Sam’s writing about TikTok, now? Times really are crazy and the new normal is anything but business as usual.”
Relax. I’m not touching TikTok with a 10-foot pole. I’m the first to tell you I don’t discuss areas I’m not expert in – and my 11-year-olds would be mortified if I even brought it up. (“Sorry, Daddy, it’s just not okay!!!”)
Life’s not filled only with extraordinary
Maybe that’s what’s refreshing about TikTok over other social media outlets right now. It’s fun and funny. 
Facebook’s too political and filled with notifications from Groups where others seem to be doing all the things and making us feel not good enough. The Pinterest ideas we dream during lockdown are unrealistic until life returns to normal. And no one’s living their best lives, so Instagram isn’t nearly as fun.
I’m just as guilty as the next when it comes to sharing the good parts of life. I think, “People who want to know more about me want to see beautiful scenery and people having fun.” And so you see what you see in our IG feed.
Your best business life?
It’s the same thing when I go over what I want to share with you in these newsletters and blog posts. I think, “People who want to know more about how to succeed as an event pro want to learn valuable advice and how-tos.” And so you read what you read in our weekly newsletter and blog.
But it occurred to me that you might be interested in other things too. Things that aren’t solutions. Things that aren’t advice on what to do. 
Maybe you want to know about the problems I’ve experienced. Problems that taught me what not to do in business. 
Times are tough now – and they have been in the past
This year is the first in over a decade where we haven’t felt the unbridled optimism created by a booming economy. 
Many event pros are seeing real hardship for the first time. In just our own client base, out of 30+ 1:1 clients I’m actively coaching at the moment about 2/3 were in college or high school when the 2008 recession hit.  
I’m not an old man (40 is the new 50, right?), but relatively speaking I’ve been around longer than most in the industry. And I’ve seen more hard times too.
Because it hasn’t always been rainbows and unicorns 
Like an IG feed that shows only the best of what you’ve experienced, I’ve created a newsletter and blog filled with ways to make your businesses better. And I know it’s been helpful for the thousands of wedding pros who read it every week and want solid tactics to make more money.
But you should know that the advice I offer isn’t only based on what worked the first time. No, much of what I teach was learned in theory and then honed through fine-tuning after failures.
Like you, I wasn’t born knowing everything and I wasn’t born a salesperson. I had to learn too. I had to develop skills too. I had to practice too. 
Sales were flat before they grew 400%
One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of was increasing event sales by 4x at the resort I sold for between 2006-2013. You know what though? I didn’t get out of the gates very well. Actually, we were flat in the first three years, which is surprising because those were the best economic years of the bunch.
Or maybe not. After all, I was the same guy who didn’t read the DMV study guide before the learner’s permit test. (If you want to full story, ask my dad. He’ll be happy to tell you, as he has hundreds of others, how I thought I just “knew” what I was supposed to know.) Yes, I failed. 
I struggled to find my way with wedding couples. For the ones I booked I lost many many more. I failed to get the sale literally hundreds and hundreds of times over the first few years. I’d been successful my entire life, but I couldn’t find a way to sell wedding couples even in the best of times. 
Finally, I got good – and then great
When the Great Recession hit in late 2008 sales got even harder. I realized it was going to take more knowledge and skill than I was born with if I was going to win the business. Eventually, I found my way and we went from 30 to 50 to 60 to 80 and finally to 100 events each year. 

Who knows…maybe the reason I focus on the solutions you need to know is because that’s what I wish I had back in 2008?
Then again, maybe it’s a defense mechanism to hide my struggles from the past. You could ask my therapist, but she’s sworn to secrecy.
A favorite story for you to remember
I’m going to end with one of my favorite stories – and one of the big reasons I started doing coaching and consulting work.
A gal’s walking along the sidewalk and a sinkhole opens up underneath her. She falls in 20’ below the street level. 
“Help! Help!” she screams. No one hears her.
Then a priest walks by and stops at the edge. “Help me,” she pleads. The priest looks down, pulls out a piece of paper, scribbles a prayer on it and throws it down to her.
Then a doctor walks by and stops at the edge. “Help me,” she pleads. The doctor looks down, pulls out a piece of paper, scribbles a prescription on it and throws it down to her.
Then I walk by and stop at the edge. “Help me,” she pleads. I look down and then jump in the sinkhole with her. “What are you doing?!” she says in disbelief and confusion. “I’ve been down here before and I know the way out,” I tell her. 
I know the way out
The approaches I teach work because I’ve been where you are. It’s not exactly the same, but I’ve been at the bottom of the worst economy in our lifetime. I’ve been at the bottom of the learning curve trying to find my way. I’ve been at the bottom of the climb up to success before it gets easier. 

And I’ll be there with you as we all start to claw our way out of the sinkhole COVID-19 has left our businesses in.


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