2018 has been about investing in me as a small business owner, a move to stop a negative mindset and get me on the path to achieving my goals and celebrating success. Time to face up to my personal project fear of failure and success.
I signed up for two coaching courses, one was to get myself out of a fog that has been holding me back, emotional trauma of which I could not let go. A wonderful lady Naomi Martell-Bundock helped me understand my reactions to certain situations and break patterns of behaviour and to take back control of my life, to become grounded and reconnected to what was going on around me.
The second course was three months of intensive business coaching – a business makeover – some of those exercises challenged long held beliefs as well as getting me focused on goals and vision. It is actually reassuring knowing I was not alone in my thoughts or experiencing those confidence wobbles and it was not wrong to have big dreams for our businesses.
What was not an option was that those dream were not acted upon, that we do nothing, and we take no action towards making them happen. Really we need to be selfish about these dreams as these are for ourselves, our progress and motivation. They must be achievable and they must be measured as we need to know we got there, there must be a difference to the status quo.
Knowing me and my ideal clients
One of those exercises was to identify my ideal client and how to reach them – this was a bit of a revelation as I was very much of the mindset that those inquiries that came in with healthy budgets were my ideal client – not so!
Knowing their choices, where they make their purchases and why, their profession, hobbies, social life, where they live and where they look for inspiration all this information is going to help me speak to them and to understand their priorities.
Now I know who I am talking to I am working towards how they will find me by rebranding my website which will be out in the new year.
I want to be their wedding and event planner of choice for UK and Italy events. My goal is to be top of their contacts when they are planning a major occasion and celebration. It’s fighting and winning talk.
I am saying goodbye to the legacy stuff and showcasing only recent work and visionary stuff through styled photo shoots in my portfolio.
Networking & relationships
The impact of belonging to a group of likeminded business owners is invaluable, aside from all the info shared, the collaborations and friendships that grew out of our small group of 17 entrepreneurs is still continuing months after the course finished.
Seeing the number of successful collaborations amongst my small group gave me the motivation to reach out and I was not sorry. The supportive network of photographers, wedding cake designers, fellow wedding planners and talented illustrators helped me move from over-thinking and analysing to taking action. I went looking for a team to help me achieve one of my dreams.
Building the team
The A-team on this styled shoot was a mix of UK and Italy based suppliers.
It was coming to the end of the wedding season in Italy and I used my contacts to advantage because of the tight turnaround. I was very nervous about approaching them but I felt pretty chuffed with myself for overcoming the negative voice and gratitude to those who said yes to helping me.
I am a huge believer of people coming into our lives when we need them. This happened for me at the end of the summer, when I met Danielle Donnelly who had made public her wish to do more styled shoots abroad.
Some furious typing and many chat windows later we had 20th October booked in our diaries to fly out to Italy and do that styled photo shoot!
I met Danielle and photographer Louise at Stansted airport in the very early hours, by the time we were ready to board the plane I had a tiny insight into their lives, they are incredible women who have young families as well as run their businesses.
Louise home schools her two children and Danielle has a fabulous wedding shop in Plymouth. It is a hub of bridal treasure some of which was in Danielle’s suitcase waiting to shine on my photoshoot!
Waiting for us in Italy was Carmela who is a long time friend who has featured in many of my weddings in Italy. Carmela’s partner Massimo has a large props and decoration company and Giuseppe is one of the florists I work with in Sorrento. The hair and make up artist, Joanna, was someone I knew from social media and met for the first time on my shoot. I learned of her experience on commercial photo shoots which I have stored away and will use for future projects. And the fabulous couple who featured in my vision for this project was found by going live on social media Victoria and Adriano travelled down to Sorrento from Florence.
The venue was the outstanding Art Hotel Villa Fiorella in Massa Lubrense, one of my favourite venues in this part of the world for numerous reasons. I have worked with them before and knew they would go all out to ensure we had what we needed for the shoot.
That was one photo shoot team and venue in place.
Collaboration over Competition
My objectives for the shoot were to:
- gain insight as to what makes a successful shoot. I have big plans for the future.
- get the shoot published and for all the contributors featured online or in a magazine.
- inspire elope couples as I am often asked how their day will look with just the two of them.
Projects without frontiers, goals without fears
Geographical location is no longer a barrier to working across regions, countries, hemispheres and time zones.
I was also reminded me that as individuals we are capable of so much more and adapting. If I can bring together an Anglo-Italian then I can do this anywhere.
This experience reminded me of my days as an adventure tour leader and being fearless, often leading groups to places I had never visited in person but knew only through research and preparation my only tools a map and prompt cards to guide. This job changed my outlook on life, and it is how I met my husband – Nothing changes, if nothing changes! I recall thriving in this environment.
The spirit of adventure still motivates me. It is what inspired me to leave the corporate world and start my own business and to not give up, to celebrate successes no matter how small.
A take credit for being in the wedding industry 10 years but now is the time for change.
The styled photo shoot is a step in a new direction and the planning focus is different to wedding event planning, I have enjoyed that. There are other projects in the pipeline, a new website and rebrand for the new year, branching into the UK event scene with another styled shoot happening in London in January with a new team of creatives and building up my new UK suppliers list It’s addictive.
This was my word on my coaching programme. I have noticed I am getting better at quietening the “can’t do it, don’t do it” voice and taking positive action.
Here’s a hint of what we created on the photo shoot and we look forward to sharing more with you after it is published in January .
Support small business
Check them out the phenomenal team and give them a follow. Your support is what keeps us going. We would love to hear what you think about the shoot so please leave a comment or get in touch.
The A-Team Suppliers List:
Wedding Planner – Accent Events Limited – www.accentevents.co.uk
Venue: Art Hotel Villa Fiorella – www.arthotelvillafiorella.com
Photographer – Mrs Jutson Photography – www.mrsjutson.com
Stationery & Styling – Faithful Designs at The Wedding Hub – www.thewedhub.com
Model Bride: Victoria Nelson -Victoria Nelson Art – www.victoria-nelson.com
Model Groom: Adriano Pancari ( drummer and shiatsu treatment)
Symbolic Celebrant – Carmela Ceremonies – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hair & Make-up: Joanna Falanga – www.makeupartistsorrento.com
Florist: Giuseppe & Luisa Terrecuso -Fiori Sorrento – www.fiorisorrento.com
Dress – Wendy by Saja at Rock The Frock Plymouth – www.rockthefrockbridal.co.uk
Suit and accessories – The Vintage Suit Hire Company at The Wedding Hub – www.vintagesuithire.co.uk
Wedding Chairs & Decorations: Wedding Chairs & Co – https://weddingchairsandco.com/
Handfasting Cord – Magenta Rose Designs at The Wedding Hub – www.thewedhub.com
Hair vine – Clair Austin England – www.claireaustinengland.com
Executive Coach & Well-being – www.coresense.co.uk/so-what-is-take-back-control/
Business Coaching – www.fayecornhillcoaching.co.uk/