wedding dress
Last week Jeff and I stayed at a gorgeous, high end hotel.  It had all the amenities you’d expect and then some, including valet parking.

We figured we didn’t NEED someone to valet our car back and forth to the parking lot since both of us are fit and healthy.  The walk in the 108 degree Arizona heat would do us some good.  (Ha!) So we declined.

When we got the hotel bill, I was surprised to note a “self parking” fee.  

“Check this out,” I said to Jeff.  “They charged us $10 a day because we didn’t use their valet parking.”

Jeff snickered.  “That’s how they get ya.”

That’s how they get ya.  It’s a phrase Jeff and I use as a sort of inside joke when a business hits us with a surcharge, extra fees or tactics that influence us to spend more money.

It’s said in the voice of a grandfather wagging his finger, “See!  I told you they were going to get our money somehow.”

We say it as a joke, but then I started to think about what that means.  It’s indicative of an attitude that “businesses are out to get you” and take every bit of money possible.

I started wondering…

Do I believe that on some level?  Should I really be saying that if I want my own business to succeed?

The words we say have power.  They influence our patterns of thinking and our behavior.

They also tell the world a lot about you.

After reading this article about 15 statements poor photographers say, I started thinking about the statements poor, struggling wedding pros say that the successful ones don’t.

Read this list and be honest with yourself about whether you’ve said one of these statements and what it means about you.

1.  “All couples care about is price.”

You say this because you’re frustrated and angry that couples aren’t booking you.  If all they care about is price, then YOU don’t have to be responsible.

The truth is that couples pay for what they value.  Just turn to a bride who’s spent $3,000 on a designer wedding dress but won’t spend $700 on a DJ for an example.

If couples aren’t paying your price it’s because they aren’t seeing your value.  It’s your job to change that.

2.  “I don’t want to gouge anyone by charging high prices.”

The motivation behind this statement is FEAR.  If we stay small and keep our prices low, we don’t have to face rejection.

It’s an indication that we don’t believe we’re worth more.

Charging higher prices isn’t “gouging” if couples are willing to pay those rates and they have a choice in who they hire.

3.  “I don’t have the money for marketing.”

If you don’t market, you don’t make money.

Saying this dooms you to a cycle of struggle because you’re focused on NOT having money

Marketing is essential for your business, but there are always free and inexpensive marketing strategies.  It comes with a cost of either time or money.

Saying you lack the cash is just an excuse.

4.  “I don’t have the money to hire someone.”

This excuse keeps you from investing in your business like a serious wedding professional.

Learning to outsource is essential if you want to grow your business past the hobbyist level.  

I’m not saying you should spend money you don’t have, but there’s only so much you can do as a man/woman show, and you’re bound to stay poor if you keep this mindset.

5.  “I hate selling.”

If you don’t want to be a salesman, you shouldn’t be a business owner.

Nothing happens in business until someone buys, and for that to happen, you need to sell.  So you better get used to it…and get good at it.

6. “There’s too much competition.”

We know you have competition, but blaming them for your lack of success doesn’t do you a lick of good.

Suck it up and admit that you’re the one responsible for whether you book weddings or not.  Only then can you empower yourself to change.

7.  “People will never spend [fill in $$$ amount that’s more than what you’re charging] on a wedding.”

When we were rookie wedding pros, our price was below average.  As we grew in experience and reputation, we raised our price.

“No one will ever pay that much for a DJ,” one of our trusted mentors said.

Why did he say that?  Because he wasn’t charging that much and he was afraid to raise his rates.

Oh, he was wrong, by the way.  Couples were willing to pay more than double that initial price to hire us.

8.  “I can’t afford a professional website.”

You spend hours lecturing couples on the values of hiring a wedding professional, writing articles and composing arguments on your FAQ page.

You warn couples about the dangers of hiring an amateur.  And yet, you decide to build your website, one of your biggest marketing assets, yourself?

It’s time to practice what you preach, my friend.

9.  “I’m not in this for the money.”

Great.  You should stop charging, then.

This is like saying, “Money’s not important.  I like struggling.”

It’s a sign that you have a belief that money is bad, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not.

Do what you love, yes.  But making money is a positive thing, an exchange of value that’s a win for both parties.

If you’re not okay with making money, money’s not going to be okay with you.

10. “I’m only getting budget weddings.”

This one is playing the blame game again.  Whose job is it to attract leads?  Who’s responsible for attracting clients with bigger budgets?

That’s right: you are.

Poor wedding pros whine about it.  Rich wedding pros do something about it.

11. “I’m a control freak.  I could never hire anyone to help me.”

Being a control freak or a perfectionist is NOT something to brag about!

It keeps you small.  It keeps your business from growing to the next level.

No business can grow to its full potential without getting help to expand beyond the limited time and energy resources you have as a solo-entrepreneur.  Stop hiding behind the excuse.

12. “Bridal shows/Facebook Ads/social media/fill-in-the-marketing-strategy doesn’t work.”

There is no one type of marketing strategy or advertising that works for every wedding professional all the time.  There are simply too many variables, and poor implementation will cause anything to “not work.”

For every wedding pro who condemns one type of marketing, you’ll find another who raves about its effectiveness.

The truth is that you don’t know how to make it work.

13. “I don’t have time to market my business.”

If you don’t have time to market, you don’t have time for a business.

Marketer is one of the many hats you wear as a business owner, and if you don’t do it (or pay someone to do it for you) it doesn’t happen on its own. 

Say What You Want to Believe

The next time you find yourself making one of these statements, think about what it means.  Think about how it influences your behavior.

How’s that working for you?

Maybe it’s time to bite your tongue and talk like a rich wedding pro instead.

What do you think?