Wedding Business Paycheck to Paycheck

Stuck In a Rut

“I have a very SERIOUS problem. I am a Certified Event Planner and (please this is very embarrassing to me) I work as an administrative assistant. Making $300.00 a week.

Yes, please I can literally see your faces right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I do weddings here and there, but after losing my business, I do not have the capital to start over.

I used my Pension, 401K and my savings to open my business a few years ago, and after trusting others with accounting, I lost everything, down to my vehicle and home. I had to file bankruptcy and my credit score dropped down to 550.

So I am here as mentioned in my email subject: STUCK IN A RUT…

Don’t know how to start over without any capital, and now living paycheck to paycheck.

I am so depressed about where I am right now, I can’t seem to get started. I have NEVER advertised since the close of my business, I only work by referrals, because I am so ashamed of not being able to meet the goals and vision I had for myself.

I love being a Wedding Planner, I have all the vendors for everything that I need, but right now I just need to get from where I am to making money so I can quit this job.

Every dime that I am making right now with any event goes right back into bills. So I am unable to put anything towards saving. I cannot even afford to have website.

Please I need you to be totally honest with me as tell me what can I can do. How do I surface to the top of the barrel without getting pushed back to the bottom?

Completely disappointed with where I am.” – Anonymous

Connect With Your Purpose and Take Action

You have nothing to be ashamed about. Your work is beautiful, and you started a business with inspiration and good intentions.

The business is the failure, not you.

Jeff and I have both had failed businesses. So join our club!

The only look on my face right now is one of compassion. 🙂

You ask for honesty. So here goes…

You can’t run a professional business without a professional website. It’s hurting your reputation and preventing you from booking weddings.

You have one big advantage: you’ve started a wedding business before so you know exactly what you need to do. In fact, you know much more than you did the first time around, including the painful mistakes to avoid.

You must confront and heal the damage to your self-confidence in order to rebuild your business. That shame and depression is going to drive away clients.

Can you rebuild and reclaim what you once had? ABSOLUTELY.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s never easy, even when you have the capital.

7 Step Wedding Business Intervention

Here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes:

#1 – Start Immediately: Every day before you go to bed, write down 5 things you’re thankful for.

This is critical for shifting your focus away from “failure” back to gratitude. It fights depression and will even help you sleep better.

#2 – Set aside some quiet time, at least 1-2 hours, to reflect on what you really want.

Write down your dream job/career, pretending there are no obstacles and you can have anything you want.

Is it a business you own? Are you working for someone else? Who do you work with? What do you do on the ideal day?

Write a detailed description of your Ultimate Scenario and be truthful with yourself. Understand that knowing what you want doesn’t mean you have to act on it. But it’s important to acknowledge your wants first.

#3 – Now that you know what you want, are you ready to go for it?

Ask yourself this question, sit quietly, and listen for the answer.

If the answer in your heart is, “Hell, yeah!” you’ll know, even if you still have doubts. That’s okay.

#4 – If your answer is YES you want to re-establish your wedding business, write down exactly what you’ll need to do.

  • How much money do you need to get started with the basics? (website, inventory, business cards, etc.)
  • How can you save up that money? This is going to mean thinking outside the box: a job change, a second (or third) job, convincing someone to invest in you, taking on a partner.
  • Decide how much money you can squirrel away from your paycheck each month and put it in a separate account with limited access. Get it out of your sight so you don’t spend it.
  • Design a simple 4 page site, nothing fancy (you can get on a WordPress theme customized for as little as $500). If that seems impossible, use one of these DIY website options until you’re back on your feet.

#5 – Buy the book Profit First and read it.

Act on it! It will teach you how to create a profitable business from the start.

#6 – Start networking like crazy.

Attend networking meetings and join a board. Show off your event planning skills. Help others and starting rebuilding relationships and earning referrals. Buy some lunches for people who can send you business.

Networking is the cheapest and fastest way to get leads coming in.

#7 – Find a mentor to help you.

This may be someone you already know or someone you meet from a professional group you belong to, or maybe a pro who does event design in another market.

Let them give you advice and encouragement. Let them hold you accountable.

Passion, Purpose & Profit

You need to reconnect with your passion, whether you decide to continue with your business or not. Remember WHY you wanted to do this is the first place. When you move from there, everything will be clearer and easier.

And if you run into any stumbling blocks because you don’t know HOW to do one of these things, ask yourself, “How can I learn how to do this?”

I guarantee there is a book, a course or a person you can learn from. is a great teacher!

What advice would you offer? Leave a comment below.

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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4 thoughts on “How Can I Build My Wedding Business Living Paycheck to Paycheck?”

  1. Ben Gordon says:

    I can relate to this myself. I was in an 18 wheeler accident in 2013, out of work for 7 months of 2014, lost everything I had worked hard the previous 7 years to get, basically starting from scratch, without any form of leadership to start my caricature business. Less than a year later I’m booked on average 2 gigs a month, and already have 4 weddings for next year. I ve already worked weddings and Halloween parties from Virginia beach va, to myrtle beach sc, to charlotte nc, to Greensboro nc since February 2015.
    I’m having to support a family of four and I’m the only source of income coming in. I started with my personal facebook page, and then after my first birthday party I was paid to work, I placed a few craigslist ads, and get the majority of my business from those free ads for now.
    I’ve tried to start my business and had to quit so many times due to life stepping in, but I know I can’t let this stand in my way if I want to succeed.
    If you really want it you can’t let negative thinking get to you. I ve been there.

  2. If anyone can can relate to this situation, I totally understand and know where you are and I have been there as well. I am not totally self sufficient however getting closer each day. I can not agree and emphasize with Stephanie more of the importance regarding needing a website.

    I thought I couldn’t afford a site and I wasn’t able to until I realized I just needed to save the money and create one. That was 11/19/2014 and when I also created business cards and I can tell you my business has greatly increased because of my site.

    If you will email me I will send you my bio and steps I took along the way to grow my business. It will only cost you “time” , because I couldn’t afford anything. It will not cost you anything however it will be an investment from you of your time and if you do these things you will see a return in your exposure which should increase in your business.

    1. Aaron wilson says:

      I would love to see any help your willing to offer. It may shed some light on we’re I’m missing. Where can I email you at?

      1. Aaron,
        Sorry for the delay, I just returned from a destination wedding over Thanksgiving weekend. We also had winter storm damage upon arriving home. I’m just now beginning to follow up in forums. My email is [email protected]

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