An Education in Global Planning
July 10, 2014
Over the past six months I have visited over nine countries and about seven different states. Everywhere I go teaches me something new–something I love! One thing I have noticed is that all of the great planners around the world want the same thing, which is to provide outstanding service to all of their clients. At the same time, we all want to grow.
Dedicated planners do everything possible to make their clients happy and are willing to give up much of their personal lives to do so. The fact that I have been able to appreciate the process and culture in many of these countries is not only a blessing, but extremely fascinating to me. Yes, I’m a nerd and I can’t help it. Being the perpetual student I am, I have even taken the time to understand the way in which many planners conduct their business globally and wanted to share my notes with all of you.
This post is inspired for — and by — them.
Sadly, one of the things I have noticed in other countries is the lack of community amongst planners. This truly concerns me, and I feel as though it deserves to be the main topic of a post. Now, before I get started, let me state clearly that I also see some of the same issues here in the states, albeit a bit more disguised. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the community of worldwide planners that there is strength in numbers. Speaking candidly, we all have different target markets and there is surely enough room in each of them for everyone to be successful. I know it might be hard to believe (particularly if you are starting out or struggling) but if there is anything that I’d like to teach up-and-coming planners, it is this: Respect for your peers, and industry folks alike will automatically set you apart from the rest.
Consider these points as you navigate the path of success:
1. Be patient, Your time will come. Rome was not built in a day and I’m a firm believer that all things happen when they are supposed to, not when you want them to.
2. Focus on your next steps, not what your competitor is doing. I find that when you emulate, you miss out on opportunities to show your potential. Don’t sell yourself short. It’s easy to get caught up in this trivial game.
3. Celebrate your competitor’s victories, for they represent a standard that will guide you in the future. Use these successes as examples instead of challenges.
4. Don’t ever be afraid to share your knowledge. We all learn from each other, even if it’s not publicly acknowledged.
5. Strive to be as authentic and transparent as possible. Your intent or motive will eventually be uncovered.
6. Learn to let go of clients that do not represent your brand. Instead, refer them to other planners that serve that particular niche. This automatically builds your credibility and provides a sense of community and support.
7. Whatever you do, release any notions of grandeur. Being humble is not only key, it always trumps status, no matter what country you are in.
8. Remember That The Mouth Speaks What The Heart Feels. Learn to be sensitive to others, and their struggles and needs.
9. Let it go. We all have moments and days when we don’t communicate effectively or will have other things going on in our lives that distract us from being our best selves. If you get caught up in someone else’s, work for a solution and move on. Grudges, negativity, and drama are blocks on the road to success.
10. Be a Mentor. When a planner with less experience approaches you with a question that you have the answer to, remember when (and why) you started. You will remember the times when you wished there was someone you could turn to for the answer. As Maya Angelou said, “When you teach, you learn”.
The moral of the story is that whatever you do, always do it with love and show that love to your peers. We are all in this together. The better we get, the more successful we will all become. When you share love, knowledge, and happiness, they do not decrease in your life, but multiply instead.
With a Happy Heart,
Kathy Romero is the Vice President and Global Wedding & Event Planner for Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.
(Photo Courtesy of Emily Gilbert)