Do You Understand Marriage?

Posted in Marriage on September 9, 2010 by chadalanevents

I’ve decided to write another series, this one dealing with Marriage and what I feel a wedding should embody.  So many people have allowed weddings to become common. A wedding itself may be common place in your life, but the divine union created at a wedding ceremony is something that should never be considered common, normal, or ordinary.

In this series I will discuss some of the things I have learned over the last 10 years of my own marriage.  Some of the things I have learned the hard way, some came natural, and some I’m still struggling to learn.  but it is extremely important that both, husbands and wives, understand what marriage truly is and how to create a marriage that can survive the most perilous situations.  Remember, your vows will say “For better, or for worse” but do you really mean it? Do you really understand it? Can you really be there in the worst?  There is only way you can answer yes and truly mean it.  And, we will begin our journey in the next post with a discussion on Love…you thought you knew what it was! So did I.

The Enemy of Great is Good – Part 4

Posted in DJ/MC Industry, WPI Certified Wedding Event Planner with tags , , , on August 9, 2010 by chadalanevents

As we continue in this part 4 of “The Enemy of Great is Good” series I want to bring the subject to a personal level.  This time we will be discussing the separation of Business Life and Personal Life.

This isn’t the easiest concept to live by even though on paper is sounds so easy.  In our lives, and as entrepreneurs, we often find our decisions land in the middle since we share so much of our personal life with our business life.  The problems we run into, and sometime never even know they are problems, are easy to fix but take discipline to keep fixed.

The first issue is the separation of business.  By this I mean keeping your financial houses in order.  Do everything in your power to keep you business finances away from personal finances…or should I have said that the other way around.  It is very easy to look at your business and say to yourself “it’s all my money anyway.” While this statement may be true, for you business to grow and prosper you must treat is as a business. And though you are the owner, you must remember you are also an employee. It is a discipline to keep these two apart, trust me I deal with this one every day!

The second issue is the closing hours of business.  When your business is supposed to be closed, close it! Too often I find myself working well beyond the time limit I have placed on my business life and that’s a no, no! I can’t let my personal life suffer because I’m a workaholic.  Besides, my family is far more important to me than my business.  You must give yourself time away from business to clear your thoughts and allow your brain to organize the days’ work.  If you don’t do this then you overflow your brain and you lose thoughts and ideas. Did I mention burn out?

Whatever you make a priority will always dominate your life, for me that’s my family.  You must always remember to define your roles and responsibilities.  Then, you must live by them. It is a concept that sounds so simple, yet when you go to put this in practice you will see how just how difficult it is.

This is just the surface of the issue of keeping business and personal separate, but I hope it gives you a starting point for making changes and starting fresh.  But I ask you, what has been the most challenging aspect of keeping your business and personal separate?

The Enemy of Great is Good – Part 3

Posted in DJ/MC Industry, WPI Certified Wedding Event Planner with tags , , , on August 2, 2010 by chadalanevents

So, in the last post in this series we talked about being involved in your local industry association and in your community. Today I want to bring you the second principle of being great.  This lesson again, was learned while helping my friend rescue his business.

Are you a Mentor? If not are you being mentored? You should have answered yes to at least one of those questions if not both. If you didn’t answer yes, then let’s work on a few things to fix this issue.  I bet you just asked yourself “Why do I need a Mentor?” Thankfully this is an easy answer. Everyone needs a coach; we can’t always see the things we need to fix or the details that are holding us back.  The best example I have is back in college while I was in music school. I had a coach that spent hours with me just hammering me on fundamentals. She constantly was yelling at me to fix my bow pressure, watch my finger positions, and to ease up on my wrists during my bow strokes. She drove me insane! In all honesty I was too young and too stupid to appreciate the lessons she was teaching me. However, I see now the importance of having that person standing by you, helping you fix the tiny details which build a better you.  We often get into a groove will performing our duties and working in our businesses, and this groove can lead to patterns and sometimes it can lead to bad habits.  The worst thing that can happen is we can be doing things wrong and not even be aware we are doing them at all.  This is where having a coach and receiving feedback and critiques can elevate you from good to great!

The second part is being a Mentor.  It doesn’t matter where you are in your business or your career you can always be a Mentor to someone.  Being a mentor is like being a teacher and I’ve always said to others “that if you truly want to learn something teach it.” Over the years I have been a Mentor to quite a few people and with every person that I have been involved with I have always grown personally and professionally.  Each experience was an opportunity for me as well.  I always found something I can do better or a new way of presenting an old idea.  Being a Mentor was and is one of my favorite passions.  I love to teach and I hope that shows in the classes I teach at the University of Texas at Arlington.  I bet some of my students would happily tell you about their experiences…right?

So from this lesson I want to leave with a thought. How far can you elevate yourself without someone helping you? As you think of this question also think about how far you could elevate yourself if you had someone always watching and giving you feedback on your business. So I ask you, what are your experiences with being a Mentor or a student?

You might also want to check out Preston Bailey’s Blog on this very subject

The Enemy of Great is Good – Part 2

Posted in DJ/MC Industry, WPI Certified Wedding Event Planner with tags , , , on July 26, 2010 by chadalanevents

As we begin the discussion on ways you can move from good to great I want you to keep an open mind and allow yourself a chance to change some of the things that are keeping you from being great. The examples that I have taken from helping my friend turn his business around are simple, but doing them takes discipline so as part of this series I am going to share with you some of my own issues with that very subject.

First, my successful friend was a regular attendee at the local association meetings and was involved in his community.  He was taking the time to share knowledge with his peers and enrich his local community.  I often hear people complain that they get nothing from local association meetings, and all I can say is you get what you give.  It’s a shame to see so many good people struggle because they have such a closed minded approach to business.  If you have ever said “I don’t need to go to those meetings because I know everything and they can’t teach me anything” then listen up cause I’m talking to you. A close minded business man is one that will constantly struggle and/or eventually fail.  I know a person in our local association that always complains about content, they say that its always missing “meat” that all the presenters ever do is push products.  While some presenters do have products there is always “meat”, you just are already in the mindset that you can’t learn anything so you don’t LISTEN! If you would come to meeting ready to FIND “meat” you will!  You will see what you want to in everything so leave your preconceived notions at the door and be ready to learn.

The second part of this point is that my successful friend is involved in his community.  If you aren’t participating in your local community in some form or fashion you are doing your business a disservice. By opening yourself up to the community you bring awareness to your business and build relationships that will bring you business.  But ultimately, the success for community involvement is when they refer to you as the expert in your field and other seek your advice.  This status will bring you closer to a “celebrity” figure and will create community and industry buzz.  Approach with caution in this area as the work and time to get to this point is great, but bringing it all down can be as simple as an unreturned phone call.

So I leave you with this to think about.  Are you involved in your industry? Are you involved in your community?  Are you close minded?  Are you good or great?  So tell me, what are you doing?

Fall 2010 Certified Wedding & Event Planner Course

Posted in WPI Certified Wedding Event Planner with tags , , , , on July 18, 2010 by chadalanevents

The 2010 Fall Certified Wedding & Event Planning course has been added to the schedule for the University of Texas at Arlington. Please remeber that there is a limit to the number of students and just like the Summer class enrollment goes very fast, DO NOT WAIT TO REGISTER! The summer class was closed 3 weeks before the start of the class and I suspect this semester will go even fast as the word is out on the extreme value of this course…just ask my students!!

The Enemy of Great is Good

Posted in DJ/MC Industry, WPI Certified Wedding Event Planner with tags , , , on July 17, 2010 by chadalanevents

I got to thinking here lately and I truly came to the realization that the enemy of great is good.  I’ve hear this saying before, and it was inspirational at the time, but it never resounded in me the way it does now.  Over the last few months I’ve been really working hard with my students while also beginning the new Preston Bailey Certified Wedding and Event Design course.  That’s when I caught myself thinking about what the missing ingredient in success is with so many in our industry.  Why are so many businesses failing? Why is there so many that are struggling? And why are there not more success stories in our profession? And then it really hit me, “The Enemy of Great is Good.”

In our industry there are an ever increasing number starting up and joining our ranks.  Of all the people in our industry a vast majority are really “good” at what they do, key word being good.  Why then, if so many of our colleagues are “good” why have they not gone further in their professional lives?  The reason; they have become content with “good.”

There comes a point in our careers when things start going good, business is consistent and we think to ourselves “Wow, I am good.” Now the last part may come in different forms but ultimately we are content with business and business is good.  This is where the majority of our colleagues get off the train so to speak. Unfortunately this station is a place where business failure comes easily, contentment here is dangerous because business is giving you a false sense of completion.  Business has only two stages, growing or dying.  Contentment leads to death. So do you think this is an extreme statement? I hope so, but truthfully it isn’t so farfetched.

I have personally known a couple people that were exceptional at what they did; unfortunately they didn’t understand their own value and they became content with business as usual.  Two years later, one of my friends was on the verge of bankruptcy and the other was on their way to breaking one million dollars in their second year of business.  What was so different in these two people? Why was one good and the other great? As I began helping my friend gain control over his dying business; it became obvious rather quickly the differences. 

The next few blog posts will be a series discussing how to take your business from good to great.  As I post the series I would love to hear all about the things you are doing to make your business “Great.” So I ask you, how are you going from good to great?

Saving Money, One Reception At A Time

Posted in Wedding Advice, WPI Certified Wedding Event Planner with tags , , on July 16, 2010 by chadalanevents

In today’s’ economic uncertainty more and more couples are looking for ways to cut cost and still get the wedding of their dreams.  I’ve heard of many things that Bride and Groom’s are doing and unfortunately many of the things they are trying wind up costing them more money in the long run.  Saving money on your reception can be easy, but it requires you to do a little work . 

I often find budgeting to be the biggest issue with saving money on a wedding reception, why? Well that’s an easy question! Most Bride and Groom’s have no idea what they want to spend, what they should spend, or what they CAN spend on their wedding.  And, if you don’t know, how can you ever save money.  The first thing every Bride and Groom need to do is come to the truths of what they are willing, able, and comfortable spending on their wedding day…there is no wrong answer to this question. Secondly, before any ideas are considered, before any plans are made you need to make a list of everything that makes up a wedding and prioritize the things that are important to you.  This is basically a double duty list.  On the one hand it will give a ranked system of where your precious budget dollars will be allocated and on the other hand it is a list of the things you are willing to live with less of, to give to the things you want more or the areas where you can shave off dollars and cut back the budget all together.Another way that couple can save money on planning the wedding of their dreams is to hire a wedding planner.  I often hear couples say that they can’t afford a wedding planner, but you really must know that any wedding planner worth their weight can not only save you enough money to cover their fees but the expertise they bring will help save money on time, mistakes, and stress.  And let’s face the fact, stress is bad; physically, emotionally, and mentally…let someone else deal with it.

One of the best ways to get more bang for you buck is to meet with the vendors that you truly like.  Do not let price deter you from a consultation with your dream vendors…I know you just went “What!” More often than not higher priced vendors bring you much greater value to the money you are spending. They often offer a greater level of service, more attention to detail, deeper levels of personalization, and more benefits than other vendors.  Even if the higher priced vendor is way out of your budget range you can use them as a reference point for comparison, but remember, if this vendor is in a category where you have a high priority then work on ways to afford their service, you will not be disappointed.

One place to watch out for when saving money is doing things yourself.  There is nothing wrong with doing some of the wedding items yourself, where most people mess this up is they do not have a clear vision for the wedding and wind up buying all sorts of things hoping that something will inspire them and stick.  Money spent is money forgotten and this is exactly what happens!  If you are going to be doing some things yourself develop a clear vision for the project.  Know exactly what you will need, plan the project materials and only buy what you have planned on, do not improvise your shopping list!

And lastly, the best and sure fire way to save money on your wedding is simply to pay cash.  No I don’t mean make under the table deals.  Avoid using credit at all costs!  If you go and put a wedding on credit you easily spend thousands more in interest payments, not to mention the worst thing a new marriage needs is the pressures and stress of debt.  Start your marriage with a clean slate.  If going big is truly important, start a plan, save your cash, and wait.  A big wedding filled with glitz is not worth debt, especially credit card debt.

Ok, so my top 5 ways to stretch your wedding dollars are very simple. 1 – Develop a realistic budget with weighted priorities. 2 – Hire a planner to assist you in purchasing decisions, developing your budget, and avoiding costly mistakes or missed details. 3 – Don’t let an initial price quote deter you from meeting your dream vendors. 4 – Plan any and all DYI project thoroughly before you go shopping. 5 – Avoid debt at all cost, pay cash, negotiate, and let your planner work to get you the deals you want with the vendors you must have.

So how have you been creative in saving money on your wedding?