Eeek did I do the right thing?? Lessons learnt at the IADWP event in Turkey!

Show notes:

Ever get that uncomfortable feeling when you make a business decision and then think did I do the right thing?

Last week I spoke at the IADWP conference in Turkey and it was the most incredible experience, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have that feeling for a moment when I stepped off the plane.

In today’s episode I’m going to be sharing about what I learnt out in Turkey and how that can help you in your wedding business.

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Becca: [00:00:00] How often do you do something outside of your comfort zone? You know, that feeling when you send an email, raise your prices or try something new and immediately think, have I really done the right thing last week? I had the absolute honor of speaking at the IAD WP conference in Turkey. And despite my many years worth of experience, it was still a step outside of my.

In today’s episode, I’m going to be sharing with you. The things I learned from my experience in Turkey to inspire you and to help you take the next, maybe uncomfortable step in your business. I’m Becca Pountney, Wedding business marketing, expert, speaker, and blogger. And you’re listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow.

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 episode. [00:01:00] I’m going to take you back for a moment back to last Monday, where I landed in Turkey stepped outside of the airport and thought to myself, what on earth have I done? I was so excited about the opportunity to speak at the conference, but I was so busy. I never really took time to think about what it would mean.

I’ve spoken at conferences internationally during lockdown all via zoom. I’ve spoken on stages up and down the UK, but I’ve never been to another country. And. On stage what an incredible opportunity. But all of a sudden, I thought to myself here I am in Turkey about to meet with a whole load of strangers that I don’t know in a country that I’ve never been to before with a totally different culture and quite honestly.

I don’t really even travel on my own. I’ve got no husband there. I’ve got no children there. Thankfully, I’ve got my trusty friend, Kwlly Mortimer there, but in that moment, I thought to myself, Becca have you made the right decision. We all get those moments in our business. Don’t we, where we do something that takes us outside of our comfort zone.

And [00:02:00] we think to ourselves, what’s that with the right thing to do? Or am I going to live to regret it? Well, I can tell you now. And you would have seen if you follow me on Instagram, I had the most incredible time in Turkey. And in today’s episode, I want to share with you all of the things that I learned from my experience out there and how you can take those things into your.

Business. You might not be ready to go and speak on stage in Turkey, but that’s fine. That’s not what we’re talking about, but there’s something to be learned by my experiences out in that beautiful country. So let’s get started. My biggest takeaway from Turkey was what an incredible industry. We’re all so privileged to be.

Part of the wedding industry is like no other industry. We work together as a team to create incredible experiences for our couples for that very, very special day of their life. And like no other industry. We love what we do. Don’t we we’re passionate about weddings and we just love being in that. When I was out in Turkey, I met with wedding professionals and travel agents and destination wedding specialists [00:03:00] from all over the world.

I met people from Argentina, Mexico, the USA. I met people from Oman and India and Latvia. It was just the most incredible cultural experience. And over those few days, the thing that brought us all together was our absolute passion and love for the industry that we work in. People from all different races, religions cultures all came together to one place to talk about destination weddings and to improve their businesses and to learn about that beautiful country of Turkey in that moment, over those four days, it didn’t matter.

There was no talk of politics. There was no talk of religion or race. It was just everyone there for the same reason. I felt so incredibly lucky to be part of that experience for people to be together and all want the same thing, which is to give their couples the best experience and the best destination wedding that they could, it’s really important in business to find your tribe, to find people with the same [00:04:00] ethos as you.

And last week in Turkey was a reminder to me that there are people that ethos across the globe, not just here in the UK. Now as in all industries and I’m sure you will have come across them, there are people that don’t just have this same kind of community vibe about them. And some people just don’t really get it.

And that’s absolutely fine, but it’s so vitally important that. Collaboration. And that common goal is incredibly important to you. You need to find people that share those same values. And last week in Turkey, I really did. I found people from across the world who spoke all sorts of different languages and had all sorts of different backgrounds, all coming together with the same purpose they wanted to meet each other.

They wanted to learn from each other. They wanted to give their couples a great experience. And it’s really important. You find people of the same ethos, wherever you are, whether that’s going to some networking events, connecting people with people online. And I hear it all the time where people say, but I reached out to people and I [00:05:00] had a really bad experience.

Well, try again, because I promise you, there are people out there with the right ethos. I really like to run my communities with this ethos myself. So if you are part of my Facebook groups, I hope that you do feel that welcoming community feel because for me, everyone is of value. No one is competition. We should all be working to support and help each.

For those of you wondering how the event actually worked last week in Turkey, I’m going to give you a very brief overview of what it looked like and why I thought it was so powerful. So Monday was arrival day. We got there, we had dinner, there was actually a party going on, but I was too late on my flight to get to that.

We slept and we woke up Tuesday morning. Now, Tuesday was the conference day. That’s the day I spoke and there were keynote speakers, like I said, from across the world, there were presentations about various countries from the ambassadors where they were. Countries and why they are great places for destination weddings.

And then there was other educators like myself, like Kelly talking about how people could improve their [00:06:00] businesses, build collaborations and things like that. So that was a real learning day. It was a long day, but everyone was there to learn that night. There was a fabulous gala dinner party. And then the next day was all about business to business networking.

So loads of different hotels from across Turkey came down to where we were all staying. And throughout the morning, you had opportunities to go and meet with them to swap cards, to talk about opportunities and in that morning and afternoon opportunities. You got to meet all sorts of really interesting.

The one thing that stood out for me, both through the conference and during those business to business networking meetings was what an incredible opportunity we have for destination weddings. Destination weddings may not be something that you’ve really considered being part of your business, or perhaps you’ve always thought I’d love to do a destination wedding, but never really felt like you had the courage to do it, or the opportunity to do it.

Let me tell you, there is a huge opportunity out there for you. When I was speaking with these hotels [00:07:00] and planners and people from across the world, they were crying out for connections in the UK for people to work with in the UK. And I know that there would be opportunities for you if that’s what you want.

Now this isn’t for everybody, but if there’s something in you that thinks I’d really like to get into this, then let me tell you there’s an opportunity for you there. But if you want it to work, you need to niche because niching matters. If you’re a wedding planner, for example, you can’t just be a wedding planner to everyone.

If you want to specialize in destination weddings to Turkey or destination weddings to the U S or the Caribbean or destination weddings in Europe. Then become the go-to person for that region, that country, that niche learn everything. You can make connections with the hotels, write about it, blog about it, Instagram about it and become the go-to person in life.

We make our own opportunities. So if you’ve got a burning desire somewhere in you to make your business a destination wedding focused business, [00:08:00] then there’s absolutely a world of possibilities out there. But you can’t just do it as a little bit on the side. It has to be something you focus on as we always say, people buy what they can see.

So if they can see that you specialize in that area, then you’re much more likely to get a booking in that area rather than if you’re just specializing in everything. So niching really matters, but there’s a huge opportunity out there. Even if you’re a photographer, a florist, a cake maker, there are still opportunities in destination weddings.

If you want to take them. When I spoke at the national wedding show recently, I spoke to some couples who were getting married abroad, and I asked them how they were finding the planning. And the biggest thing that came out to me was that they found the venue and the catering and everything fine, but they were struggling with how to find the right suppliers to work at the wedding.

They didn’t have those connections out there and it was in another country. I suggested to them that perhaps they could take people from the UK with them and it wasn’t even an option they thought about, but that is an option. [00:09:00] Often these flights can be low cost. And if you want to go and take photos of a wedding in Turkey, then just add on the cost of the flights, to the price.

And therefore you can do it. If that’s you though, you’ve got to work at this, you’ve got to understand the niche. You’ve got to build those connections. When I was talking to the hotels in Turkey, they said there was a lot of opportunities where they were happy for people from the UK to come over and do photo shoots for them.

In fact, I got some details from a hotel, which I’ve passed on to my wedding pro members, lounge members of an actual hotel in Turkey. That’s desperate for a destination styled shoot. Those suppliers, if they jump on that opportunity, which many already have, will get the opportunity to go out there to get photos, to get the most incredible photos of the most incredible location in Turkey that they can use on their social media.

So they can show, look, I can do destination weddings. Now, obviously it’s important that you decide whether that’s for you or not. Some people, the traveling just isn’t possible for some people, they just don’t want to travel and they’re happy with the UK, but if you’ve got [00:10:00] this burning desire inside you, that you would actually like to do more of that, then there absolutely is the possibility.

Don’t wait for it to come to you in life. You have to make your own opportunities. And if you want to get into destination weddings, decide where you want to specialize in and start building the connections. Also connect with the IAD WP. It’s a great organization with people across the world who specialize in exactly these things.

So go take a look at them as well. We’ve already talked about the great ethos and collaborative feel about how I felt last week. And it was a great reminder to me that there is no such thing as competition collaboration is. Whatever it is that you do in the industry, stop feeling like people around you are, your competition it’s not a great mindset anyway, and actually there’s enough work and enough weddings out there for each and every one of you.

So stop panicking about the competition and realize how much you can learn from people who do exactly the same thing. While [00:11:00] I was out in Turkey? I was with my good friend and colleague Kelly Mortimer now on paper, me and Kelly do exactly the same kind of things. Yes. We have our different strengths and yes, we have slightly different packages and things that we do, but essentially we’re both marketing a very similar.

However, I don’t see Kelly as competition. I love Kelly to pieces. I think we can learn a lot from each other and we help and support each other along the way. When we’re out in Turkey, people asked us if we work for the same business and were confused when we explained that no, actually in the UK, we’re kind of competition, but we don’t see it as competition.

We see it as a collaboration, we collaborate on projects such as our wedding business retreat. And then on other things, we do things ourselves. So stop seeing other people that do the same thing. As you, as competition, see them as an opportunity for collaboration, you can learn so much from the people that do the same thing as you.

Why? Because they understand your business. You can talk to them about things like how [00:12:00] they’re finding the cost of flowers at the moment, or how. Decorated the last cake that they did or how they transport their cake to the venue or all those different things. You can talk to them about the insurances they have and how they’re marketing.

And if you see that as a collaborative effort, rather than competition, well, what happened is all of your businesses will get stronger rather than feeling like you’ve got to hide away and not let anyone see what you’re doing and keep this big secret there’s enough work out there for. The thing that makes you unique in your business is you.

So there could be two florists doing exactly the same thing, selling exactly the same packages at the exact same price, but one of you will get the job because the bride or the groom, or whoever is just vibes with you more, they like you more, they get on with you more, they just understand your personality better.

And that’s how life. So have a think about your current network. Are you connected with anyone who does exactly the same thing or something very similar to you? And if they do think about how you think about that person, do you see [00:13:00] them as some kind of threat or direct competition to your business? Or do you see them as an ally?

Someone you can learn from someone you can grow. If you don’t have any connections about people who do the same thing as you, then I urge you to find them, remember what I said at the beginning, not everyone will have that view. And so they may be a little bit less than forthcoming about making that collaboration, but there will be people out there who do have that same ethos.

Again, go into my Facebook group, wedding pros who are ready to grow and post in there, say. Do this, and I’d love to find other people that do the same to collaborate with or to talk with, or to jump on a zoom with, and very quickly that will sift out the people who aren’t interested in that, to those who have that kind of ethos and want to work together.

So go ahead and make sure you’ve got friends and colleagues who do exactly the same thing. Right at the start of the podcast, I talked about what it feels like when you make a decision to do something in your business, that feels a little bit uncomfortable. And how, when I landed in Turkey, I had that feeling myself.

What [00:14:00] on earth have I done? Now? You will have noticed from the rest of the podcast so far that I had an incredible experience. I don’t regret it for a moment. It was the most wonderful time. So why did I get that? Well, I’ve come to learn in business and you may have experienced this too, that in order to move your business forward and to make progress, you have to have these moments of stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

And often when you do something that feels uncomfortable, that’s a good thing. It’s a step to show. You’ve pushed yourself to do the next thing. We can stay in our comfort zone, but nothing will ever change. If we want to make change, we want to move forward. We want to try new things. There has to come a time when we step outside and get that horrible, uncomfortable feeling that moment in your stomach where you think, have I done the right thing?

Like I said before, for you, that might be deciding to raise your prices and thinking, is anyone going to book, or if I become too expensive more often than not, is that feeling that worry, that stops us doing it. [00:15:00] But when we actually go ahead and do the thing, raise our prices and people book, we think why don’t we do this three years?

I’ve had those moments. So often in my business from just starting my first networking events to even starting this podcast, I put off doing this podcast for a year because of that same feeling. Will anyone listen to it? Will it be interesting? Will I be able to get it out there? Will I be able to understand the tech?

It feels very uncomfortable. Therefore, I shouldn’t do it now. 11 episodes in, I absolutely love doing this podcast and the feedback I’ve had from you is amazing. And I know that you enjoy it as well. Cheeky little plug, if you haven’t rated it yet, why not? Go ahead and give me a five star rating that really, really does help me.

But the point is you have to get uncomfortable in your business. So ask yourself for a second. When was the last time you felt that uncomfortable feeling? And if you haven’t felt it for a while, then perhaps you need to do something to step outside your [00:16:00] comfort zone. Perhaps it’s you need to take part in a styled shoot.

Perhaps you need to go live on your Instagram or put your face on your Instagram stories. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to do a podcast or a magazine article or a blog post for a while, but you just think no one will be interested. Perhaps you want to get into speaking or doing more videos for brides and grooms or even educating like I do.

And you just keep putting it off. Perhaps, like we talked about earlier, you want to get into destination weddings, but you’re just frightened about taking that step and niching down. It feels scary. Maybe it’s time for you to raise your prices because you’re just not earning what you deserve, but you feel frightened that no one will book you.

Let me tell you, they will, you have to have the confidence to take that step, have that uncomfortable feeling in your stomach and then push through it and realize what’s on the other side is even better. There was a moment where my brain told me to get back on that plane and get back to the UK. And if I’d had done that, I’d have missed out on those huge opportunities of [00:17:00] meeting those incredible people and learning so much, as well as having the opportunity and the privilege to speak on stage about the power of connections to a room of 200 international.

Don’t be afraid of that feeling. It’s a great thing to feel, even though it feels a little bit uncomfortable at the time. And if you haven’t felt that for a while, then maybe that’s a sign. You need to push yourself to do something different. The final thing I want to share from my experience in Turkey is a reminder to.

Stop comparing yourself to other people. You can only compare yourself to yourself each and every one of us is on a different journey. Again, speaking, even to the other speakers out in Turkey about their own experiences, their background, their journey to getting to that stage in Turkey each and every one of them was incredibly.

Every single one of you is on your own journey. And the biggest thing we can do to destroy that journey is to look side to side and compare ourselves to other people is [00:18:00] very easy to do. Isn’t it, especially in the social media age that we live in, we look at other people’s Instagram, perfect lives and perfect businesses and think how come they’re getting that opportunity.

I want to be doing a wedding like that. I want to be getting more inquiries like they are. I want to be getting the opportunities to be interviewed on a podcast. I want to be doing this. I want to be doing that. What you forget is that they’re on their own journey. Perhaps six months ago, they were feeling the same thing.

Perhaps three years ago, they were feeling the same thing. And now when they look back, they can see how far they’ve. We can’t compare ourselves to other people because they’re all on their own journey. The only person you can compare yourself to is you. So in this moment, I just want you to reflect back.

Think about that moment when you started your wedding business, perhaps it was recently, perhaps it was many years ago when you first started, how proud would your former self be of the person and the business you have today? Most people in [00:19:00] life don’t even have the courage to start a business, let alone to push on to make it successful.

It’s much more comfortable to stay in an office job. Isn’t it? It’s hard being self-employed. Yes, it’s fun. And it has its benefits, but it’s difficult. We have to take risks every day and we have to make decisions all of the time. I guarantee if you look back on your own personal journey, you will be proud of how far you’ve.

So instead of looking around at other people and thinking, I wish I had what they had, stop it and start thinking about what you want to achieve next in your journey. Take it one step at a time, set yourself a goal. Perhaps you want to get a 50% increase on wedding bookings for next year, based on what you’ve got this year.

It doesn’t matter whether this year you’ve only got one or whether you’ve got 10 weddings. If you want a 50% increase, then go for it for the year. After it’s much better to have one wedding this year and five weddings next. It doesn’t matter if someone else has got 35 weddings, that’s their journey. They might spend [00:20:00] 10 years building that up.

You make the difference in your business. So you can only set yourself goals against yourself. So look back at how far you’ve come since you started that business. And now think about what you want for the future. The other thing that destroys this journey on this path for us is that imposter syndrome is feeling like we’re not good enough to achieve it.

So therefore what’s the point of even trying now I’m not perfect. It’s easy for me to talk about these things, but I struggle with them myself in my own. In my industry for a long time, I’ve looked across at other speakers and thought, why do they get all the opportunities? I wish I’d get the opportunity to speak on stages in all these different countries.

I wish they’d asked me to be part of this and it’s easy to compare yourself and think, well, maybe I’m just not good enough. Maybe they don’t like me. Maybe they don’t want me. And then that imposter syndrome starts to kick in, it happens to all of us, even for me out in Turkey. I absolutely loved my experience.

I [00:21:00] loved speaking on stage and having the honor of sharing my message with everyone. But as soon as I get off that stage, I think to myself, did anyone like it? Was it good? Would anyone invite me back? Would I ever get asked to speak again or did I not make the grade? And that imposter syndrome starts to wear us down and make us feel like.

Up, but it’s important. We take those voices out of our head. I’m proud of the fact that I got invited to speak on that stage in Turkey because Becca from a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, five years ago would have absolutely dreamed of that opportunity. And I almost had to pinch myself when I was out there that I’d come so far from speaking on social media, in a little barn in Hertfordshire to being onstage in front of 200 international wedding professionals in Turkey.

What an incredible. And we can only compare our journey to ourselves. I don’t know what’s next for me on my journey. I don’t know what’s next for you, but keep pressing on, keep believing on [00:22:00] yourself and stop letting comparisonitis and imposter syndrome. Get in the way of what you want to achieve. I believe anything is possible.

If you set your mind. And you work towards it. The doors will open. Doors will close, but if you know what you want to achieve, you can compare yourself to yourself. So take 30 seconds now. So just be proud of the journey that you’ve come on to look back on your achievements and not keep looking forward to the next thing, but just think, yeah, I’ve done quite a lot over the last year, five years, 10 years.

And now here’s what I want to do next. Turkey was an incredible experience. If you ever get the opportunity to go on one of these events for the IADWP or any other kind of organization, even if it feels slightly out of your comfort zone, I urge you take that leap, take that step because the connections you make and the experience is well worth it.

We have this incredible international community of other wedding industry professionals and educators. [00:23:00] That we just don’t even know exists and it’s out there for the taking. I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about what I’ve learned in Turkey. And I really hope that there’s something in there that you can take away to inspire you on your own business journey.

If destination weddings is something you want to understand more about and you need to reach out to me, get me in the Facebook group, wedding pros who are ready to grow, or drop me a DM on Instagram. I’d more than happy talk to you about it and talk to you more about my experiences. 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 come meet some new connections. Hang out with me and hopefully learn some new things too, just search for us on Facebook.

Becca xo


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