plain talk

why i have email on my phone

My good friend, Michelle Loretta wrote a blog post on Why I Took Email Off My Phone on her fabulous business blog, Sage Wedding Pro’s. Let me warn you, that while I believe Michelle is brilliant in many, many things … she’s a little crazy. Like this blog post for example.

Fundamentally, I understand what she is saying. I’m a social media junkie. But even I get a little tired. I have backed off a little this summer (my stupid Klout score reflects that). We need to take time to read a paper book (*gasp*), take a walk, clear our minds, etc. And I totally agree.

However, this is why I disagree with her.

The main reason I work for myself is the ability to be remote and work. This was my goal from the very beginning. I have a beautiful studio (newly painted), but I also work at our summer camp (where my view is a flowing river), at a coffee shop, waiting to get my tires fixed, etc. I love it. I’ve done the corporate cubicle thing which included outside sales (whoopee, stuck in a car). It’s not how I pump out my best work.

And this is WHY I pay a data plan with an iPhone (before a Blackberry) to be able to respond to necessary emails during work hours. My clients do not need to know that I’m not sitting behind my desk in my studio. All their files our on my Dropbox and easily accessed.

I must disgress, notice I said “work hours”. You MUST set and adhere to work hours when you work from home/remote. Trust me, if you don’t you will become a slave and lose your mind. Ours is 9am-6pm, Tuesday – Friday. I recently started setting the “vacation responder” to let clients or potential new clients (you know they always seem to email inquiries around 2am on a Saturday) know that if they email us Saturday-Monday, we are not in the office.

Of course, I will sometimes still work during off hours. It’s my choice. If I drive my mom around for doctor’s appointments all Tuesday morning, then I may need to catch up on work from 3-8pm. This is the glory and hallaleiugh of being self-employed and remote. Note: I save my return emails to be sent out during our business working hours.

Back to Michelle’s post; her point was not to be checking emails all the time. Totally agree. Instead of turning her email function “off” on her iPhone I suggest something else.

First I have like a dozen freaking email accounts and they all come in to my iPhone via Google Gmail. So on a weekend, I want to see my personal email, it’s like a phone call from a friend except with a lot of stupid spam. BUT, you can actually choose which emails show up on your iPhone when you first open your Mail button.

Take a look at mine:

 

My gmail accounts are all personal. I can click on Accounts/Gmail accounts/Inbox and that is all I see when I click the heavenly blue Mail button. This is opposed to selecting All Inboxes.

So when I’m on vacation or extended period of time and want to catch up on things, I can choose just to see incoming emails from my personal emails. Cool, huh?

One more thing, cause my twitter friends were calling me out as we discussed and debated this subject. I have insomnia sometimes. Sucks. I sleep four hours, wake up for several and go back to sleep for two more. So in the middle of the night (although experts tell you not to), I will read my Facebook or Twitter. Something social and light. I’ll read a blog. It makes me tired. I do not check my email. How is this possible? I just don’t do it. I have learned that getting an email in the middle of the night will make your brain start overworking thinking and sleepy time will never come again.

Shutting off email on my phone would mean that I would miss out. Just yesterday I was sitting in the chair getting my hair done at 10:30am, I purposely checked my email hoping to hear back from a potential new client that was checking our references. The email came through, it was nice to know that I just sold a full service wedding for 2013. Of course, I could have received a bad email; but that’s just the yin and yang of it all.

Now if I had small children again, I might have a different viewpoint. Mine is a permit-driving, sixteen year old which is balking as to why HE doesn’t have a smart phone. I told him to get a job.

What are you thoughts? Where do you stand on this issue? Is Michelle right? Are you addicted? Do I have a point?

ps Don’t forget to put your real email signature on your smart phone so you don’t “look” remote to your clients.

happy email checking!

working on the site…

You may see a few changes around here … working on the website for a more simpler, cleaner look. So if you see a few things broken, please don’t be concerned.

Also working on some great new things for upcoming conferences!

happy selling!

… play nice wedding vendors!

Have you seen this blog post from my fabulous friend, Sasha Souza on her Sparkliatti blog? A new wedding planner pretends to be a potential “new bride”. Hmph.

Just in case you think I was exaggerating in my last post. There is no need for this type of actions, my sweet friends. Let’s play nice and not waste each other’s time.

happy selling!

don’t approach other vendors like this…

When starting out with your new business, there is a never ending stream of questions that have to be answered. Believe me, it doesn’t get easier as you move forward.

I’m sure that anyone who has been in business for more than a few years has received an email simliar to this one (please take a moment to read):

Um, where do I begin with this.

I suppose the planner that received this “inquisition” should be grateful that she was NOT contacted by a local aspiring wedding planner. While it was suppose to be “general ideas”, I counted 15 specific questions.

Receiving an email like this is similar to someone walking into your home, seeing your children and saying, “My gosh your children are so beautiful. Do you mind if I take one of them?”. Building a business and growing one is very similar and personal to raising a child.

What deeply concerns me is when I see new business people acting lazy and not putting any effort into learning the art of starting a business for themselves. Would you contact people that you have never met before and ask for money? The earned business knowledge and the time it would take to truly answer all these questions, is worth a dollar figure. I get it. This industry looks so easy and glamorous. Everyone wants to be a photographer, planner, baker, DJ, etc.

TEACHING MOMENT: A better approach would be to FIRST try to build a relationship with another business person that you respect and may have more experience than you. Let this relationship grow organically till you both have trust. THEN you can ask a few questions and MUTUALLY share information and ideas. You must have something to share with others, even if you are new to the industry.

There really is no excuse to send out emails like this. You have so much opportunity at your finger tips! Facebook, Twitter, online groups, conferences, workshops and more! So it is simply ridiculous not to take advantage of these opportunities. But you need to work for it!

I’ve asked for help and have shared information (just yesterday morning I sent a copy of my corporate agreement to another planner who I have not met in person, but have forged a relationship online for several years. We’ve even exchanged Christmas cards last year). My BFF, Jennifer Ramirez-Jasiczek who lives in Texas, shared a lot of her information when we “first met” online 9 years ago. But trust me, we first built a relationship. It’s an investment worth having.

Emails like this, however, will close the door. Forever.

Your thoughts or experiences with this? 

ps It also sucks to ask for comprehensive notes from another vendor who invested in attending an expensive conference. They shell out the $3k and you ask them for all their information. What are you giving in return?

pss Thanks to Elisa Delgardio with A Flair for Affairs for sharing this email with us.

happy selling!

excuses are like (fill in the obvious blank) …

Hello lovely event professionals!

It has certainly been a minute since my last post. I have been struggling with some personal family issues (don’t light a candle for me, all is well) and have finally been putting my “house” back in order. I’ve debated writing an honest and transparent post about it and perhaps one day, I will. The only reason I would is to let you know that I am right there with you. Personal struggles definitely affect your business and every other aspect of your life.

May I be perfectly honest? While the rest of the country seems to be on a tiny, minuscule upswing from this wretched economy, my little corner of the world has been struggling. You see, I live in an area that is kind of like a bubble. When the “coasts” and the “big cities” are feeling the impact, we don’t … until a few years later. Much like wedding trends.

Of course, every year I freak out. Will I book enough events? Will this come through? Will I get new business? It’s the same old song and dance. Life of the self-unemployed.

I’m seeing the trend of brides and grooms that WANT your fabulous services, but ask to pay 2010 prices. Perhaps they have their own budget problems. I can complain about it (more like whine, while I drink wine). But what’s the good in that? And what’s a little planning business to do?

Number One: I will admit, I’m a little behind the ever constant evolution that needs to happen when you own a creative business. See above the first paragraph for this reason. But that does not mean defeat. Just need to work a little harder.

Number Two: I will stop making excuses. Boo-hoo and all that. Done.

Number Three: I am now working hard with my team to change things up. Okay, so here are my prices … but what can I offer my clients that is so special, that our services no longer become a “want” but a “need”. I want them to lust after us.

I’ve said it a thousand times, we do not target the “luxury market”. However, many of our clients are financially wealthy. So, we are rethinking what we will do to WOW! that potential client and draw them to us. I read one of Sean Low’s blog posts recently and he mentioned that you can’t raise your prices, just to raise your prices. That resonated with me. It’s true, for what we do. (ps I will finally get to meet this business genius speaking at Backstage Bridal Pro Academy later this year. Are you coming?)

So what’s going on in your neck of the woods? Is everything a bed of roses or are you not getting inquiries? I hear the real talk, behind the social media. You aren’t fooling me with your “We are fully booked” comments.

So get off your ass and get out there. Seriously, close this blog and go do something. Right now.

I am.

happy selling!

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