Owning your own wedding business is great – but if we are honest sometimes it can all get too much and we start to feel exhausted and overwhelmed! In today’s episode I’m going to be sharing with you some ideas to help you avoid getting to this point, and some advice for if you are already there!
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Becca: [00:00:00] Owning your own wedding business is one of the best things working at something you’re passionate about and making money from it. But let’s be honest. It’s not all roses. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes there are long hours, late nights, difficult customers and really stressful situations. And sometimes if you’re anything like me, you feel that you just want to throw it all in and go and get a normal nine to five office.
In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking about what you can do when it all feels like it’s getting too much and how you can avoid getting yourself to that point. In the first place. I’m Becca Pountney, wedding, business, marketing, expert, speaker, and blogger. And you’re listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast.
I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get going with today’s [00:01:00] episode. Okay. Becca, last week, you were talking all about Disney world. And this week you’re talking about burnout. One earth is going on. I thought this was meant to be an uplifting, happy podcast. Well, it is, but my desire with this podcast is to be real. I’m not here just to give you more business advice.
We’re overloaded with business advice and podcasts. Yes. I want to help you grow your wedding business, but at the same time, I want to get really real with you and talk to you about the things that matter and be honest with you about my own struggles. And as I record this podcast today, I’m actually feeling kind of like this myself.
Now, this is my usual problem. I love taking time off in the school holidays because after all I’ve got the flexibility to do that and to be with. And I love it, but what inevitably happens after the two week holiday is all of a sudden I have a mountain of work to do, to try and catch up on the time that I’ve missed.
And often I feel completely exhausted and overwhelmed, and [00:02:00] that’s where I am right now. And I’m sure some of you are feeling the same as we head into a busy wedding season as you’ve just come off the back of school holidays yourself, or perhaps 2022. Just feels really overwhelming in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about practically what you can do to avoid feeling like that and what to do when you are feeling that.
So let’s dive in and talk about it. At the outset. It’s really important. I make clear to you, I’m not a doctor, but I do spend a lot of time with wedding professionals just like you. And I know that lots and lots of you struggle with burnout or at least getting close to burnout. So I went onto the NHS website to have a look at what the signs of burnout are so that you can see whether you’re approaching them or perhaps if you’re feeling them.
The signs that are listed on the NHS website are as follows. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you have racing thoughts, or you have difficulty concentrating on tasks. Maybe you’re more irritable than usual. You may be feeling constantly [00:03:00] worried, anxious, or even scared. It may be that you feel a lack of self confidence, or even that you have trouble sleeping or just generally feel tired all of the time, if that resonates with you and you feel like you’re heading for burnout, or perhaps you’re already there.
Let me urge you listen to the rest of this podcast, but also please go ahead to the NHS website. I’ve linked to it in the show notes, you can read more about burnout there and read all of their advice and tips about how you can get some additional help if you need. In today’s episode, though, we’re going to be looking at what we can do better to avoid burnout, to manage our time better and to have a more healthier lifestyle.
The first thing we need to plan for is rest. Now I know that seems strange, but we actually need to put in time to rest. As wedding business owners, it’s really hard for us to shut off if you’re anything like me, your phone is on almost constantly all during your waking hours. And people can contact you on email, [00:04:00] on Facebook, on Instagram, on WhatsApp, on the phone everywhere 24 hours a day.
Now we can put in some boundaries in order to make sure we have rest. Perhaps you want to set your office hours and and set an out of office when you are not available to reply to emails. This will take off the pressure from you in feeling like you have to reply instantly, perhaps it’s just that you want to make sure you have 2, 3, 4 evenings a week where you don’t work well, put them in your diary as time off.
Otherwise, I guarantee you because I know myself you’ll end up filling those hours with work and you won’t get the. Now I am notoriously bad at resting. I find it really hard to just sit and do nothing. And actually during the first lockdown, me and my husband infested in an inflatable hot tub for that exact reason to rest.
Because when you’re in a hot tub, you can’t be watching TV or on your phone because it’s not a great idea. And actually just sitting out of an evening, looking at the stars and [00:05:00] chatting was so relaxing. Um, if that’s what it takes, it’s worth the investment. So think about what you find restful, what allows you to switch off and make sure you’re planning in time for it.
Planning date nights, planning nights out with your friend and just planning time to. And do very little while we’re on the subject of planning. The next tip I have for you is to make sure you plan in time for holiday. Now, if we were in a normal nine to five office job, and I said to you, how many days holiday do you get a year?
And you reply to me, maybe three, if I’m lucky, I would think you had the worst employer in the world, but I cannot tell you how many wedding business owners I speak to who say they struggle to get any holiday in because they’re either fully booked or just constantly working, editing at wedding shows, making flowers or all the other things that you have.
Now we will never have time to go on holiday if we don’t plan it in because inevitably our diaries get full. [00:06:00] So if you haven’t yet decided for this year, how many days holiday you are going to give yourself as a business owner? Pause this podcast, or come back to it later and write down how many days annual leave.
You’re going to give yourself and then start to plan them in your diary. Now this is something that I do well at the start of the year. I decide when I want to have time off and I cross it out in my diary. So the two weeks Easter holidays. Great big line through my diary to make sure I don’t book in meetings or appointments.
And I make sure I’m off to spend time with my family to get away, to spend time doing non-work things, not replying to emails every five seconds and not uploading to my social media. We need holiday. And it’s really important. You plan it in ahead of time. Even if you shift it, that’s absolutely fine.
But get those dates in your diary and cross them out. Otherwise, what happens is you plan to go away in the summer holidays, get to the summer, look at your diary and realize you’ve got [00:07:00] meetings, weddings, appointments, all the way through the summer. And there’s absolutely no free weeks in order to take a holiday.
So plan them in ahead and make sure when you’re on holiday, you’re actually on holiday. It’s okay to set an out of office to say, you’re on holiday. I know what it’s like. You might want to check the odd emergency email, but try not to reply to everything you deserve a break and you’re going to do better in the long run.
If you take it. The third tip I’ve got for you when it comes to planning is the one I’m terrible at. And I will admit that to you first. I’ve just talked about how I take the time off. I’m good at taking time off to spend with my kids over Easter, but then when it gets to this side of the holidays, I have a mountain of work and appointments to do.
The reason being is I plan in my appointments and I diarize my meetings. But sometimes, actually all the time, I forget to plan in time to actually prepare for the meetings. So for example, if I’ve got a training next week, I haven’t actually booked in any time in my diary [00:08:00] to sit down and prepare the training.
So I end up doing it late into the night. Instead, what you need to be doing is looking at other things that happen in your. Other than the wedding itself. So if you know that you’re going to have to spend a lot of time prepping before the wedding day, make sure you block that time out in your diary.
So you don’t end up putting something else in there. If you know that you’re going to have to send a certain amount of time of hours editing after the wedding. Make sure you are blocking that in your diary as well. I know photographers and videographers that have taken on 30, 40, 50 weddings for this year, but have forgotten to plan in when they’re going to edit and then guess what you end up staying up late into the night or having to pay to outsource it.
If you know, roughly how long it takes you to edit a wedding, start blocking in that time, the moment that you take the wedding booking. And if you don’t have the time, you need to look at other options, either taking less weddings or outsourcing, I need to get a lot better at this. So I’m, I’m not preaching to you because I [00:09:00] need to do it as well, but I want you all to get into the habit of looking at what else comes around the wedding and putting that in your diary as well.
Block it in as time, time to record this podcast for me or. Edit or make the cake or do the flowers or have the consultation, put it all in your diary so that you don’t overload your diary and make sure you’ve also got that time off booked into your diary so that you don’t put those tasks onto your days off.
So far. We’ve talked a lot about planning, but now I want to give you some permission, permission. First of all, to say. No. You have permission to say, no, it’s your wedding business. You don’t have to say yes to everything. I know it’s tempting again. This is something I struggle with, but it’s okay to say no.
And it’s okay for you to set your own boundaries. For example, instead of going to your couples and asking them when they want a consultation and leaving it completely open to them. Give them some set times, make sure you’ve [00:10:00] got an app, like Calendly where you can send it out to them and they can book into your diary.
At the specific times. If you say to me, Becca, when do you want to meet? I might say nine o’clock on a Saturday night. However, if you send me your diary and the only options are Tuesday between nine and 5:00 PM. I’m going to have to rework my diary to make the appointment work. At the time that suits you it’s a much better way round.
If you’re always doing whatever your customers want, you’re going to be working all sorts of strange hours. Now, no one does this in the real world. The dentist doesn’t say to me, Becca, you need a checkup. When do you want to come and I just turn around and say, oh, I’d love to come Sunday at midday. That’s just not how it works.
So why are you doing that in your own wedding business? Calendly is a great app. It will save you loads of time. I’m sure we could spend more time talking about that in a future episode, but if you need help with it, jump into my free Facebook group, wedding pros who are ready to grow and tag me in there
and I can send you some useful links, but it’s okay to say. [00:11:00] The other thing that’s okay to say no to is taking wedding bookings. You do not have to take every inquiry that comes in, even though I know that’s hard. If you feel like a customer is going to be difficult in the initial conversations, if they’re asking too much, if they’re wanting to discount too heavily is okay to say to them, you know what?
I don’t think we’re a great fit. Actually. Maybe you should work with someone else. That’s. Often, you know, with a gut feeling, if a customer’s going to be difficult, and I know you want the money, but sometimes the stress isn’t worth the money that they want to pay you. The other thing you can say no to is taking on too many wedding bookings it’s really important at the beginning of a year or the beginning of a financial year to plan out how many wedding bookings you actually want to take in a year, work out the finances, work out how much money you need, work out.
Exactly how many bookings it would be for you to be what you’re happy with as fully booked. Now there’s no amount that’s okay for this. I know [00:12:00] suppliers that only want to take three. Maybe 10 weddings a year. There are other suppliers that might want to take 50 or more weddings a year. The number doesn’t really matter what matters is, you know, what your number is.
So if you’ve decided you only want to take 10 weddings a year and you’ve already got your 10 weddings booked in for 2022 or even 20, 23 and an 11th inquiry comes. You don’t have to do it. It’s your choice. Now you might want to stretch if it seems like a quiet time of year or an amazing wedding, but it’s okay to say no, I’m really sorry.
I’m fully booked. Give yourself permission to say no. And the final thing I want to give you permission to say no to is doing lots of meeting up and lots of coffees and that. I once was told that you should be having networking meetings like five times a week and coffees with different people every single day of the week.
And as someone who’s quite time poor trying to fit in by work around the kids and all the other things going on in my life, that just felt completely [00:13:00] unachievable. And for me, actually, it wasn’t possible now I love to meet for coffee. I love to chat with you. I love to reply on Instagram, but I just don’t have time in my diary.
Five times a week, 10 times a week, or however many, some people are able to do and that’s okay. It’s okay to say no. As long as you explain why you’re saying no, don’t be rude and just say, no, I don’t want to meet you, but if someone wants to meet you and you don’t have the time, either give them a time when you’re free.
Ask them t#o just jump on a phone call, which takes less of your time than traveling somewhere, or just say, actually right now, I don’t have time, but let’s try and catch up in the. It’s okay to say no. And today I’m giving you permission to say no to all of the above and other things as well. The other thing I want to give you permission for today is to say, it’s okay to take a breather.
It’s okay to take a breather. We are terrible at taking time out. I’ve already admitted. I’m terrible at it, myself. Why? Because we pile [00:14:00] on the guilt to ourselves. We feel guilty when we take a break, we feel guilty when we don’t reply to an email within 10 seconds, but it’s actually okay to take a breather.
It’s okay to take a breather from your entire business. If you want to. I know people that have taken six months off for maternity leave. I know someone that took a year off after the death of one of their parents. And guess what? After that year off, they were able to build up their business to be really successful.
Sometimes other things in life take priority. Sometimes our families need us, sometimes something unexpected comes up with our health and it’s okay. And we don’t need to feel guilty about taking a breather. So whether it’s taking a week off, taking a month off, taking a year off, taking five minutes off to go make a cup of tea or watch something on Netflix.
Don’t feel guilty. Don’t burden yourself with guilt. The only person that’s making you feel guilty is you, the idea of running your own wedding business is having the flexibility to make things work for you. [00:15:00] So don’t feel guilty. Take the time. Now, when it comes to replying to inquiries, people often say to me, if I don’t reply to the email inquiry immediately, I might lose the booking.
I’m not saying that’s wrong. Ultimately often the quicker you reply to an inquiry, the more likely you are to get that booking. However, it’s not always possible to reply to every inquiry really, really fast. If you’re on holiday with your family, you’re away and you pop an out of office on and you lose that.
It’s not the end of the world. Stop beating yourself up. You know what I was thinking about this the other day, because actually, yes, it’s annoying. If you lose an inquiry. But don’t you think it would be worse if you get burnt out and you don’t have the time to spend with your friends or your husband or your children, because you’re always constantly just trying to get back to those inquiries and neglecting everything else.
Actually, it’s also not kind to your current couples that you’ve already got booked if you hit burnout because you’re not going to serve them as well. [00:16:00] So sometimes neglecting to reply to an email immediately is actually going to be more beneficial to everyone around you and yourself in the. The next thing I want to talk to you about today is something I know each and every one of us struggle with.
And if we pretend we don’t struggle with it, well, we’re probably not being that truthful to ourselves because ultimately I think we all fall into this trap and that is the trap of comparison. Now there is no time. That’s more important for you not to compare yourself to other people and other people’s business than when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or nearing burnout.
If you feel like you want to throw it all in, or you feel like you’re not achieving as much as you should be. Do not go and look at your competitors on Instagram or Facebook, don’t go and look at what other people are doing, because it’s just going to make yourself feel worse. We have to remember everyone’s on their own journey and they might be further into their journey than you are.
That doesn’t mean they’re better than you. [00:17:00] It just means that they’re on a different place in their journey. And the other thing we need to remember. It’s social media is a marketing platform. Everyone is going to be showing their best self on social media. So you can’t compare yourself to that because it might not be the truth.
In fact, I’ve heard it when people are looking at a competitors, social media and feeling rubbish, and then discovered that that competitors looking at their social media and feeling rubbish too. We’re always projecting our best selves on social. I had this myself recently, I’d gone through a bit of a rough time.
And, uh, during that one of my friends sent me a text message saying, Hey, Becca so good to see how well everything’s going and how great things are for you and how happy you are. And I replied, what gives you that impression? Because clearly you don’t know what’s going on. And her reply was well from your social media posts, everything looks like it’s amazing.
And you’re super happy. Well, of course it does. If you look at my social media posts, no, one’s going to post pictures of themselves looking miserable and upset [00:18:00] because social media is a marketing platform. You’re there to market your best self and your business. Now. No, one’s going to listen to a podcast.
If I say, listen to my podcast, I’m really miserable right now. And, uh, yeah, it’s going to really cheer you up. No one’s going to do that. So we have to protect our best selves in our businesses, even when we’re feeling a little bit less than best. So remember social media, isn’t ultimately the truth. So don’t compare yourself to it.
If you want to know how someone’s doing drop into their inbox and ask them, but don’t compare yourself and it’s even more important. Like I said, when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out or like giving up, don’t go ahead and do that to yourself. The best thing you can do in that instance, if an account is making you struggle, or you find yourself going to look at what they’re doing, hide them, unfollow them.
Don’t block them. That’s kind of mean, but just make sure that you can’t see it because if it doesn’t pop up on your newsfeed, you won’t worry about it. Stay in your own lane. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Focus on yourself and getting the time, rest and energy back that you. [00:19:00] Finally in this episode, I want to give you some really practical advice.
If you’re really struggling right now with feeling overwhelmed and feel like you’re heading for burnout and everything just feels a little bit too much. Well, when you’re feeling that way, like you’ve got way too much to do often. It’s a sign of two things. Number one, perhaps you’re spreading yourself far too thinly and therefore you’re kind of not doing anything.
If you are on every social media platform and trying to improve your SEO and trying to blog and trying to podcast and trying to run a Facebook group and all of the things all at the same time. And you feel like nothing’s working it’s probably a sign that you’re just spreading yourself a little bit too thin, and you don’t have the time to do everything well, if that is you, here’s a couple of ideas for you.
First up, have a look at what you’re doing right now, and then look at where your enquiries recently have been coming from. If you’re getting a lot of enquiries for wedding shows, or perhaps you’re [00:20:00] getting a lot of your inquiries from Instagram, or perhaps you’re getting a lot of your enquiries are word of mouth, wherever you’re getting the most inquiries, which are converting to bookings double down on that.
If you’re getting inquiries from a place double down and do more of it, if you know, wedding shows work really well for you and you need more. Well do more wedding shows. If you know, Instagram is super successful for you, we’ll spend time doing more Instagram, maybe doing more reels or posting more content more often, whatever’s working for you.
Do more of it. Don’t spread yourself too thinly. If, you know, wedding shows are amazing for you, then why are you spending time thinking about setting up a Tik Tok account, if you don’t have the time at the moment. Okay. It’s fine to introduce new channels and to try new things, but you have to make sure you’ve got the space in your diary to implement them.
Don’t get that shiny object syndrome where you just keep trying new things all of the time and see what sticks, make sure you’re being strategic, thinking about where you’re getting the most [00:21:00] inquiries from and doubling down on. Now, if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, yikes, I’m not getting inquiries from anywhere.
Well, that may be a different conversation. Perhaps there’s something wrong with your marketing or your messaging, maybe that needs reviewing, but maybe ask in my Facebook group where people get the most inquiries from and choose one of the most popular answers and spend time focusing and improving that, get training on that area, improve that area, get help with that area and see if you can convert it so that it starts working.
The other tip I have for you, if you feel totally overwhelmed and like you’ve got way too many tasks and that’s how I’m feeling right now, as I record this podcast, what I tend to do is get it all down on paper. So I get a big bit of white A4 paper, a pen. I switch everything off and I just write.
Everything. That’s in my head, all the tasks I’ve got to do all the things that feel overwhelming. And there’s something freeing. First of all, of getting out of your head and onto paper. Sometimes there’s not as much as you expected. Sometimes there’s more than you [00:22:00] expected, but at least it’s out of your head and on paper.
Sometimes I’ll do that in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, if it’s keeping me awake. So get it all down on paper. The next thing I want you to do is start prioritizing those tasks. So get another piece of paper and start writing them in the priority order. What needs to happen first?
And how many hours is that going to take you? What needs to happen? Second, third, fourth, fifth, and get them down. Cross them off on the original piece of paper and get them marked down. If it’s not a priority and it doesn’t need to be done this week. Maybe make a note in your diary to look at it for next week.
Take it off your list entirely. Spending five, 10 minutes doing this exercise can make a ton of difference. It gives you the freedom in your brain to process everything, to feel less overwhelmed and to realize what tasks are the most important money generating tasks are very important in business. So make sure if you’ve got anything involving invoices.
Booking inquiries contracts. They go top of your list because ultimately it’s [00:23:00] really important that you get the money in to run a business. The other really important task is obviously if you’ve got a wedding day coming up, but if you’ve done what I said earlier and booked in time for that. Before the wedding day, then you won’t have this problem.
So make sure you’re prioritizing your tasks, get them out of your head down on a piece of paper and then start numbering them in order of doing them. And then it’s really important that when you’re doing that work time, you focus. So put your phone in airplane mode or hide it. If you’ve got no self control, like I don’t sometimes and start working through those tasks in number order.
Anything else don’t open your emails. Don’t open your Facebook page. Don’t do anything until you’ve ticked those tasks off. Then give yourself a break. Do those other things. Check your Facebook, check your emails. If you want to. And then come back to your list, put your phone off again and carry on. I promise you you’ll be so much more productive and you’ll feel so much better when you get those tasks ticked.
The other reason that you might be feeling close to burnout, stressed or overwhelmed. [00:24:00] It may actually be a good thing because it means you’re really successful. And you just need to look at how you do things differently. I’ve watched lots of you over the last few years go from very new wedding business owners, not having much.
To do with inquiries, not having much in the way of bookings, having a lot of desire to learn, go through my courses, join my membership and become incredibly successful. In fact, having more bookings or more inquiries than you can. And that’s incredible. And although right now you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
First of all, you need to give yourself a massive pat on the back, look at how far you’ve come over the last couple of years, you’ve hit the dream. You’ve got the inquiries you’ve desperately wanted. You’ve got the booking she desperately wanted, and now you just need to rethink how you do your business.
If that’s you, you’re very successful. You’re getting lots of enquiries in and you’re getting the bookings in and you just can’t cope. Let me suggest two ideas to help you. First of all, it may be [00:25:00] time to raise your prices. If you’re getting loads of inquiries at your current price, more than you can handle, perhaps you need to bump that price up so that you can get more money from less bookings.
You can’t keep on adding bookings in. Otherwise you’re going to get more and more burnt out. So instead raise your prices. If you’re fully booked at the price you are right now, you can probably raise your prices and still be fully booked. If you’re not a position right now that you want to raise your prices.
And actually probably most of you could raise your prices a little bit. The other thing to look at is outsourcing when your business gets to a certain size, you can no longer do everything yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Okay. I struggled with this for a long time because I thought, why do I want to pay someone else to do my social media or my blog posts or my tech stuff?
When I perfectly capable of doing it myself and saving money, well the reason you just don’t have time to do everything. And actually someone else can do some of the tasks for you. [00:26:00] So if you’re looking at outsourcing, look at everything you do in your business and start to categorize things. What’s absolutely essential that you do.
For example, for me recording this podcast is an essential task for me. I can’t get an assistant come and record it for me. It would be strange. You want to hear from me and my. However, if I wanted to, I could outsource the editing of the podcast or the transcription of the podcast to save myself time where I could be doing other tasks.
So there will be things in your business that are essential for you to do, and there’ll be other things in your business that you could outsource and allow someone else to do. Not because you can’t do them, but because you need to free up your time to do the thing that you’re the best at. So for example, it may be, you could take on double the amount of wedding bookings.
If you paid someone else to do your. Or you could take on more wedding bookings if you paid someone else to be a VA for you and to manage your diary, or perhaps if you’ve got someone else to come and work for you to halve the load [00:27:00] on the day, you could fit more bookings in. There’s always ways you can look at outsourcing.
So, first of all, look at what you have to do and what someone else could do, and then look at what you really don’t enjoy doing. Now that might be within your business, or it could be within your home. So for example, very recently I hired a cleaner because I hate cleaning. I’m terrible at cleaning. It takes time and actually, I just don’t really have time to do it well.
So I’ve started paying someone which helps their business. And at the same time, it frees me up for another couple of hours a week. I don’t have that burden and guilt of feeling like I need to spend that time cleaning the home and I’m able to spend that time on my business. So there will be things in your business that you love and there’ll be things in your business that you don’t like, or maybe things in your home that you don’t like.
And you could outsource to somebody else now that’s going to be different for each and every one of you. But if you’re feeling like you’ve got too much work, you can’t stay at this point. You’ve got to do something about it, [00:28:00] whether that’s raising your prices and working less or outsourcing some of that work to a VA, to a freelancer, to a specialist, to your family member, to a cousin, to a student, to an apprentice, to anyone so that you can free up your time to increase your business in other areas.
Now there’s been a lot to take onboard in today’s episode, but I think it’s really important. We talk about these things in business because it’s the reality. Everything’s not perfect all of the time. And if we think that everyone else’s business is perfect, we need to think again, because I know all of you have your own struggles with all sorts of different things.
And if we’re honest, I think as business owners, we’re really prone to working too hard and to getting stressed and burnt out. Let me remind you to go and take a look at that. Um, NHS website, I’ve popped the link in the show notes, if you need additional help. And if you’re looking for the support of your peers, go into my free Facebook group, wedding pros, ready to grow or come and join my wedding pro membership because that’s a place where you can [00:29:00] be super safe, super vulnerable, and we share with each other, how business is really going.
We don’t pretend that it’s all rosy. I’ll see you next time.
One thing I love about the wedding industry is the other amazing people you get to work with. If you want to meet like-minded wedding pros, just like you, then why not join my free Facebook community wedding pros who are ready to grow. Come meet some new connections, hang out with me and hopefully learn some new things to, just search for us on Facebook.