Jamie Brewer is the owner and lead planner at Day Lily Events in Evansville, Indiana. Her enthusiasm and fast implementation made her the winner of our Rapid Growth System contest, and I’ve been impressed by her effervescent personality and love for helping others ever since.
Here’s more from Jamie, as told in her interview with me (Stephanie Padovani).
Superpowers: Irresistible People Skills & Big Picture Thinking
I’m a friendly person who is not afraid to talk to people.
For example, I was opening a new checking account in March and got to chatting with the assistant manager who was helping me. I found out she was getting married and told her she HAD to have a wedding coordinator to help her facilitate her big day. By the end of our meeting, she asked me to send her more information, and she is now my client for her September wedding.
I didn’t go to the bank looking for a new client, but I quickly established a rapport with her and saw how stressed she was.
I was able to offer her a solution to her problem, and I didn’t even have to give her a sales pitch. It was more like talking to a girlfriend and offering her advice.
I love to help and encourage people, building them up to leave them better than I found them that day. If a friend is going through something, I’ll lend a listening ear and troubleshoot that problem.
I’m focusing on my wedding planning business now, and I’ve been doing it off and on 10 yrs helping friends and family. I’ve also done small business consulting for the past 1.5 years, but I just can’t get away from the wedding industry!
I have a gift to see the bigger picture with other people. I come in, assess the situation, and say, “Let’s do this!” When I meet someone and they need something, I know exactly what they need.
Photos by Alisha Sims Photography
Biggest Challenge Overcome: Going For My Dream
I think my biggest business challenge to date has just been going for it: taking my idea and my dream and running with it, even though fear and doubt can creep in and make me question myself. I believe in myself, my company, and what I have to offer my brides, so I have to make the choice to keep trying every day.
I don’t want other people’s fears and insecurity to hold me back. All the experiences I’ve been through have shaped who I am now.
I was just a 19 year- old college student when I planned my first wedding start to finish. At the end of the day, the woman who oversaw the catering said, “I need your business card.”
I thought, “I don’t have a business card. I’m 19! I can’t do this.”
I couldn’t see it at the time because I had other worries and other goals. A year or two later she’d hired someone else.
I missed the boat; I don’t want to miss the boat anymore.
Success Secret: Tapping Her Network
Networking has been extremely helpful for me. You’d be surprised at how many people (friends, family, fellow vendors, etc.) you know that can connect you with your ideal client.
Tapping into your network of people you already know, as well as not being afraid to step out and meet new people, is valuable.
The Wedding Party started a few years ago to show there’s more available for Indiana brides than burlap, mason jars and rustic weddings! My photographer friend, Alisha, was involved in it, and this year I’m doing the planning. We have a stylized shoot and we’ve turned it into an upscale wedding show..
I love to learn about other people’s businesses. I’m curious about how things work. Then when someone needs help, I’ll know the right things they need and I’m someone they remember. “Do you need help? Let’s trade on this.”
Jamie’s Advice: Outsource Your Weaknesses
I highly recommend outsourcing those things in which you don’t excel.
Accounting, bookkeeping, photography, website design, consulting…Those are all things that you might not be great at doing.
Sometimes it seems “cheaper” to do it yourself, but how much is it really costing you?
Not just financially, but in client experience and time you could be spending on the heart of your business? You can get so bogged down and you’re not doing what you love anymore.
Know your hourly rate. You could be out there marketing, booking jobs and making money instead of cleaning your office.
If you take the step to outsource a few things, you get to do what you love and increase your business.
If you’re worried about the little thing (like blogging) when you hate to write and it takes you 3 days, consider hiring someone. You might be able to work out trades with certain people, but if not, consider it an investment in yourself and your business.
Charity of Choice: Financial Peace University
I’d like for my $100 donation to go to my church, City Church of Evansville. We are hosting a Financial Peace University class this fall, and I’d love for that money to be used for sponsoring a membership for someone to take the class!
What do you think about Jamie’s experience?