However you want to describe it, 2020 has been a year. From one of self-reflection and frustration to investing in your business or taking a much needed mental break, wedding pros around the world decided to use this time in a host of ways. And today, we wanted to share how some of our WeddingPro Educators are planning to move forward after one hell of a year. We asked them to reflect on what they learned and how they are going to use those lessons in 2021 and they replied with the most honest answers that we think will inspire you too. Read on to see what experiences, pivots, and lessons learned they are taking with them into the new year!
Jason of Rheefined Company
I started out 2020 boasting that it would be an incredible year. I had a vision and plan to make 2020 a year of clarity and, even though it turned out very different than I expected, I really feel that is what it was for all of us collectively.
At the start of the pandemic, it was scary as each of my clients and I decided to cancel and part ways. (After having deep conversations with my clients and creative partners, we decided it was best to cancel.) And, even though I still feel it was the right thing to do for myself, financially it kicked off a stressful time as we also just finalized our lease for my first studio space dated—no joke—March 15th.
I spent much of this year in pause: reviewing myself, the industry, my peers, and my network. And, I personally found that my net worth isn’t just based on our network, it is really based on the soul work we put into our businesses. I marched in protests, took time to reconnect with lost relationships, severed some ties—I laughed, and cried, and ate a lot. Through many loving conversations, socially distanced meetups, and so many car parades, I really figured out what my purpose is. Yes, planning weddings and designing events is my passion, but it was always about the love of creating space. Creating space for celebrations, conversations, and most importantly community.
We’ve taken the time to recharge and I am so pumped to be launching The Rheeality Podcast and YouTube Channel as well as excited to announce that the Rheefined Company Weddings and Special Events will finally be getting that facelift after our inception! And, maybe the most exciting thing is the launch of RHEEGRP—an all service creative agency where industry leaders regroup to recreate new standards in their brand experience. It is a soul based business leaning into what moves us and we’ll be serving both clients and brands to make sure they are seen and voices amplified.
Nadia of Nadia Anderson CPA
I brought in the new year eating delicious food, enjoying adult beverages, and engaged in thoughtful conversation with a dear friend. As the clock struck midnight we celebrated with a toast and declared this the best year ever! Last week we laughed about the fact that we had no idea what was coming in 2020. However, we’ve learned so many valuable lessons through all the unexpected twists and turns this year has taken. One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is to protect my peace. This year taught me to acknowledge and accept the chaos around me and keep the serenity within me.
One of the main reasons I decided to start my event management company was because I like being in control. This year, all of my events were cancelled, my assistant quit, and every trip that I had planned was cancelled. I questioned my safety as my hometown made national news for the demonstrations that were taking place in response to the murder of George Floyd and countless other Black Americans at the hands of the very people we pay to protect us. I grieved with loved ones who watched those close to them die of cancer, COVID-19, and gun violence. None of that was in my control.
I navigated the financial disruption, the fear and shame of asking for help, and the creation of new channels in business. I worked through the mental fatigue and physical exhaustion of having countless conversations about racial injustice, implicit bias, and generational trauma.
I managed my way through innumerable pivot points in 2020.
And here I am, still standing, at the end of the year still safe and sane.
Actually, I’m in a better place mentally and financially than where I started this year.
I begin most days with affirmations that declare “I am, “I can”, and “I will.” I speak the things I know to be true, even when I don’t feel that they are true. Recently, I have begun to repeat “I can do hard things.” As I reflect on all that has happened this year, this is certainly true.
I’m encouraged by the prospect of what’s to come in 2021. And I’m grateful to be able to wrap up the best year ever and carry this lesson with me.
Bethel of Ceremonies by Bethel
What a year! 2020 has certainly thrown our wedding world for a loop–some parts of the country more than others, for sure. But, one constant has been the same: couples and vendors alike have been less sure of what both the short-term and long-term hold for them. So, there are three things that I’ve been working on this year in my business and will continue to do so in 2021.
Client Communication Plan: Having solid client communication with my couples–and adapting the client communication plan you should already have–is more important than ever. And, this is also contributing to the client experience more than ever, as well. The need for couples to know that you have their back and are there for them (and are not going out of business before their postponed wedding!) is critical to them now. Plus, their need for experienced professionals to guide them through this current uncertain world is higher than ever, too. So, I have re-evaluated my client communications plan and made some changes. I have added new client touch points along the way, which will stay for the longer-term. And, I’ve added in certain temporary or short-term communications as well, a need for my postponed couples or for my couples getting married over the next few months, as health and safety advisories change. Many couples are in even greater need for advice and guidance, in the ever-changing circumstances in which they find themselves, so I’m reaching out more proactively to certain couples to help.
Product/Service Offerings: I added in two new offerings to satisfy short-term needs in 2020, wanting to help couples with what they need now in the way I can do best. Neither of those offerings is likely to stay in my business once the world gets back to some version of normal. But, I’ve been very glad to have been able to help couples how I could–as larger weddings have not been allowed in California and still aren’t–and bring in some version of income and cash flow at the same time, of course.
Systems and Processes: I’ve needed to formalize and systematize certain processes for situations that used to be rare and are now commonplace (postponed weddings) as well as have had to create new templates for contract addendums too. This has resulted in my re-evaluating the different systems and apps that I use for my business–both client-facing and internal use only–and adding new workflows, which have all resulted in me being even more efficient and consistent. This will definitely carry over into how I work with my couples and with new inquiries in 2021 and beyond.
Bron of The Flower Guy Bron
While 2020 was filled with many surprises, I discovered more about myself, my business, and what happiness really means to me. Previously, I gauged my own success based on sales, projections, new opportunities, and collaborations. However, 2020 has taught and reinforced the value of putting yourself first and finding the value in you (not your job, not your family, not your business) YOU! 2021 will be a great year, simply because of my own personal development but also because I’m choosing to be the best and most satisfying version of myself and for myself.
It goes without saying that 2020 pushed us all to our limits and many of us found that we have even more resilience than we thought. We were challenged beyond anything we thought was possible this year, but we’ve come out stronger and smarter on the other side. We encourage you to take some time to reflect on those learnings and make notes to remind yourself about how far you’ve come when you need a future pick-me-up. Better yet, share it on Instagram and tag us at @WeddingPro so that we can cheer you on into 2021!
Photo Credit: Follow the flow/shutterstock.com