Want to know how to blend your brand and culture perfectly?

Want to know how to blend your brand and culture perfectly?

Want to know how to blend your brand and culture perfectly?

Creating blend in your brand and culture is made easier when as a creative entrepreneur you acknowledge there is an unequivocal and indestructible link between what you do, and how and where you talk about what you do. We’d like to ask you the following questions though;

  • How does this affect you as a creative entrepreneur?
  • Why is it something you need to consider and identify?

All our brands have characteristics, the creation of this starts with the unique qualities we breathe into it from its inception. Our personalities, personal beliefs, loves, passions, innate skills and interspersed style play a huge part in where our “business” comes from.

 

  • What about culture though?
  • Why does something so every day come into play when we create an offering to clients?
  • Do you realise how it does, and do you understand how to factor it in, gracefully in gentle and beguiling layers
  • Are you aware of how powerful it can be and why you must harness culture in your creative business?

 

    We as brands and people play a part in the lives of our customers, we talk to their beliefs, we influence them with what we offer, the problems we solve for them, alongside the values, loves and passions we communicate and demonstrate. We distinguish ourselves with colour, graphics, language, and carefully selected words. We work to assimilate ourselves into our ideal clients lives with promoted and carefully nurtured associations, alongside curated products and persuasive sales programs.

    Book on changes and a pair of glasses - blend your brand and culture - here is how!

    Your brand has a unique set of qualities you own, which make a meaningful difference in the lives of our perfect customer. Your brand is not about duplicating what your competition offers, because you feel their audience is where you want to sell your products.

    We assure you, you immediately lose your unique style and approach to innovation, thought leadership, purpose and business philosophy if you create your business and actions via mimikry? Why? Basically because you are impersonating someone else, not being you.

    Where is your acknowledgement of any kind of cultural values if this is how you started and how you act on a day to day basis in your business?

    Basically, the success of your company and the reputation of you as its owner is driven by the ability to attract, connect and solve. It is built on your awareness of the cultural space you reside in, and what you offer to that cultural space, alongside your ideal client.

     

    Culture;

    • Encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we sit at the table, how we greet visitors, how we behave with loved ones, and a million other things
    • The word “culture” derives from a French term, which in turn derives from the Latin “colere,” which means to tend to the earth and grow, or cultivation and nurture. “It shares its etymology with a number of other words related to actively fostering growth
    • Culture has become key in our inter connected and disconnected world. It is made up of many ethnically diverse societies, but is also riddled by conflicts associated with religion, ethnicity, ethical beliefs, and, essentially, the elements which make up culture. Culture is no longer fixed in place, if it ever was. It is fluid and constantly in motion, making it difficult to define any culture in only one way. While change and cycles are always inevitable, the past is also respected and preserved.

    Source – Cristina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College.

    We are picking out some key places where you would blend your brand and culture, to ensure by the end of this blog, you understand why the consideration of your overall cultural place must take place alongside any brand clarity and brand work you complete for your business.

    The first is meaningful work, the second is strong leadership as a business owner, the third is customer awareness and holistic engagement, the final one is cultural and customer mismatch and mapping. Read on to go through our thoughts, to understand how to blend your brand and culture.

    ANYA RAND, ATLAS SHRUGGED

    “I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.”

    ^

    Meaningful work

    We’d love all creatives and creative business owners to naturally feel they know, understand and have the power to control what they need to do every day so serve their sector, culture and clientele with a deeper purpose. We believe this ensures they make a positive difference with their company and brand to people’s lives.

    Seth Godin

    “The competitive advantages the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion. All of these attributes are choices, not talents, and all of them are available to you.”

    ^

    Strong leadership

    Without it, clients will be lost, confused, and will not know if you are a “viable” option for their investment. Creative and confident entrepreneurs and brand leaders have enormous impact and power on a sector’s culture. They receive recognition for their diligence, research and purposeful marketing, as well as their clear approach to what it is they provide. A big clue is when you do this, you provide something with your work that every person loves to have, that is a human’s fundamental need to feel important. Demonstrating that you understand your clients is one of the single most powerful gifts you can provide both you and them. Having them feel connected, recognised and empowered, results in what? Your ability to sell to them, nurture them and delight them.

    Basically we believe creative entrepreneurs like you can not really talk and engage your ideal clients and customers, unless you have first analysed your ideal clients and customers.

    ^

    Customer awareness and holistic engagement

    We don’t believe success is simply about selling and marketing differently from other companies: more daring ads, more new products, and more assertive and dynamic use of social media marketing.

    • We believe it is about you powerfully demonstrating connection and authenticity
    • We know it is about how you conduct yourself in the sector and culture you work in
    • We hope it is about how you embrace it’s endless opportunities
    • We’d rather it isn’t about whether you cut corners and compromise your values
    • We’d love it to be about demonstrating boldly your commitment, and understanding of and to your ideal client.

    The biggest key is doing the analysis on both your and their culture – because this fundamentally has to match. To stand out to your customers, and stand away from the crowd in a hyper-competitive marketplace. You and your clients have to be a cohesive “power couple” working together in an iron-clad relationship.

    Being aware of all of this, creating all of this, living all of this in your business allows you to have what we call a holistic engagement force.

    You can take all that you know about you, and all that you know about them and combine it perfectly. Running rings around your competitors, swooping up your ideal clients in a hazy feeling of perfection, correlation and connection.

    • How do you possibly lose when you place your business in this position?
    • How can you possibly be invisible?
    • How can you not have interaction with your online marketing and online presence?

    You can’t. This success therefore translates into sales, which then translates into revenue and profit. This is also what we call a measurable and sensible business approach and plan. Can you afford not to be aware of how much this matters to your business, and how you must take the time to put it in place?

    ^

    cultural and customer mismatch and mapping

    How do you and your clients develop that sense of empathy? We believe you can’t be special, distinctive, and compelling in your marketplace unless you create something special, distinctive, and compelling – right?

    • How does your brand shape your culture?
    • How does your culture bring your brand to life?

    These two questions should have your brain whirring.

    We believe a strong, diverse culture contributes to strong, diverse and aware brands and vice versa. We also believe an extraordinary brand or brands support and advance diverse and extraordinary cultures.

    We hasten to add that culture can be;

    • Friendly or competitive
    • Nurturing or efficient
    • Traditional or dynamic
    • Fast paced or slow and considered
    • Artistic or pedestrian
    • Local or international
    • Liberal or narrow-minded

    What if you unite the culture you connect with, and your brand? What if these places are driven by the same purpose and values? How would it feel to weave them together into a single guiding force for your business?

    • Would it make guiding your business harder or would it mean you would win over the competitive battle for customers and sales?
    • Would it allow you to future-proof your business from failures and economic downturns?
    • Would it produce an organisation that operates with integrity and authenticity?

    We say YES to all of them. Blend your brand and culture

    When you think, process and operate in your unique way internally, you can produce the unique identity and image you desire externally.

    What would happen when you understand and embrace the distinct ways you create value for customers. Or the points that differentiate your brand from your competition. Or what is added by your unique personality and social/cultural compass. We believe without a shadow of doubt your business is made even more powerful.

    When you put all this in place, you cultivate a clear, strong, and distinctive brand-led culture surrounding you, protecting you, driving you forward.

    However, if your culture and brand are mismatched, you will produce the wrong results, you will lose connection and you won’t achieve what you deserve.

    Without using your brand purpose and values to orient your culture efforts, achievement is not the only throw away, as you are likely to not only lose money but also waste money.

    To address these gaps, align and integrate and blend your brand and culture and your culture, we’d suggest you answer the following questions;

    • Do you know how to identify and articulate your brand aspirations?
    • Do you want your brand to be known for delivering superior performance and dependability?
    • Do you want to challenge the “normal” way of “doing” in your sector?
    • Do you want to assume a position with your brand as a disruptor, an influencer or a guide?
    • Do you want your brand to make a positive social or environmental impact?
    • Do you know how to identify the values your organisation could embrace to build and compliment your mission?
    • Are you a brand working on, communicating and cultivating a culture of achievement, excellence, and consistency?
    • Do you know how to identify the sense of purpose, commitment, and shared values needed to connect with your ideal client?
    • Do you know what to do after you have clarity on the values necessary to support your desired brand type and ideal client?

    We’d love to know the answers to these questions, remember you can email us here or use the chat on our website to reach out anytime.

     

    Rounding up, and remember these points;

    • How you operate on the inside links directly to how you want to be perceived on the outside
    • Brands differ on hierarchy, levels, experience, desires and motivations. As a result of this, there is no single right culture for your business, it’s something you have to feel
    • You have to do the work to identify the cultural elements enabling you to achieve your desired brand identity, and then deliberately cultivate them. This takes effort patience and analysis
    • When your brand and culture are aligned and integrated, you increase practical efficiency, accuracy, and quality
    • You improve your ability to speak the language of customer loyalty with your unique assets, assets which can’t be mimicked
    • By doing this important work you will move your organisation closer to its vision
      Your brand and cultural place reflect each other in an complimentary way
    • The culture you connect to goes further than your brand to determine how your business is perceived by both customers and colleagues.

    Satisfied clients are the direct result of a strong culture and are the reason a business will succeed or not. Relating to your ideal customer as a business owner is you using your culture and brand in perfect harmony, creating brand connection and impetus.

    By relating to your customer as a culturally aware business owner you will ensure it’s easy to relate to your brand on a deeper level, leaving no reason for your clients to go elsewhere supporting your competition. What do you think now about the process and work associated with creating blend in your brand and culture?

    Why do I always feel so stressed when I am multitasking?

    Why do I always feel so stressed when I am multitasking?

    Why do I always feel so stressed when I am multitasking?

    “The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complcated object in the know universe” – Michio Kaku

    We’d like to think that we can multitask — respond to emails, text messages, toggle between multiple tabs on a browser and scroll through social media feeds, whilst working on important tasks — but, our brains would say otherwise.

    According to neuroscientists, our brains aren’t built to do more than one thing at a time. And when we try to multitask, we damage our brains in ways that negatively affect our well-being, mental performance and productivity.

    Here are some ways you should be wary of multitasking as it has the potential of killing your brain processing and your actual productivity.

    ^

    Multitasking reduces efficiency and mental performance

    I read an acticle by Earl Miller, a neuroscientist and one of the world’s leading experts on human cognition, attention and learning. He says “when we toggle between tasks, the process often feels seamless, but in reality, it requires a series of small shifts.”

    The small shifts you are asking your brain to process is putting it under immense stress. For example, how many of us have swapped between replying to a DM message and writing an important paper. Doing this drains precious brain resources and energy.

    Miller’s advice is to stop multitasking altogether, because “It challenges our natural ability to be produce, causes us to make errors, and damages our creative thought processes… As humans, we have a very limited capacity for simultaneous thought, we can only hold a little bit of information in the mind at any single moment.”

    Apparently it has been discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus on a task after an interruption. That’s is just one interruption! Imagine the amount of time that could go to waste from repetitive interruptions throughout a day.

    So our suggestion is to think next time you’re about to switch between tasks, reconsider.

    ^

    Multitasking reduces focus and concentration

    The author and scientist Daniel Levitin says, “Multitasking creates a dopamine-addiction loop, effectively rewarding the brain for losing focus and for constantly searching for external stimulation.”

    OMG, I don’t know about you but that explains so much to me…

    Levitin suggests that the same regions of the brain that we need to stay focused on a task, are also easily distracted.

    Each time we multitask. It could be as insignificant as quickly browsing the internet, whilst writing a blog post. Scrolling social media feeds, whilst fact checking a report. Replying to emails whilst editing a picture. What are basically doing is we training our brains to lose focus and get distracted.

    Here’s the bad news. Just like the effects of a stimulant, our swanky brain cells become addicted to the dopamine rush from switching tasks and losing focus. As a result of this, the switching and the dopamine – it is basically nearly impossible to rationalise, deal with and break the cycle.

    Dick Masterson

    “Fucking two things up at the same time is not multitasking”

    Hector Garcia Puigcerver

    “We often think that combining tasks will save us time, but scientific evidence shows that it has the opposite effect. Even those who claim to be good at multitasking are not very productive. In fact, they are some of the least productive people. Our brains can take million bits of information but can only actually process of few dozen per second. When we say we’re multitasking, what we’re really doing is switching back and forth between tasks very quickly. Unfortunately, we’re not computers adept at parallel processing. We end up spending all our energy alternative between tasks, instead of focusing on doing one of them well. Concentrating on one thing at a time may be the single most important factor in achieving flow.”

    ^

    Multitasking creates stress and anxiety

    Various studies have shown that multitasking increases our brain’s production of cortisol, the hormone which creates stress in the human body. Once we’re stressed it is likely that we will quickly become mentally fatigued afterwards.  How many of you have had an exhausting and demanding day, and felt utterly bone and brain tired when you get home.  The immediate result of this tiredness is, anxiety builds up. Which leads to a stress build up, a likely fight response from your and your brain takes over. We know not multitasking is also stressful, how the hell do you get everything done?

    Did you know that one of the main stressors in a creatives life is the “email inbox”. Excess cortisol is produced, when we switch between reading and responding to emails. If you struggle with stress and anxiety, declutter your email inbox as soon as possible. Perhaps colour code the emails and only deal with responses a small number at a time.

    ^

    Multitasking also hurts decision-making skills.

    Let’s talk about constantly switching between tasks, and that fact that we have a very precious “willpower muscle”. Switching is basically depleting it on a tak by task, switch by switch basis.

    Decision fatigue may sound rediculous, but it is a common psychological phenomonon referring to the deterioration of quality decisions.  It usually and regularly happens after you’ve made a long series of decisions.

    Alongside this depleting behaviour, multitasking could also lead to impulsive behaviour and bad decisions. Levitin says “One of the first things we lose is impulse control. This rapidly spirals into a depleted state in which, after making lots of insignificant decisions, we can end up making truly bad decisions about something important.”

    If this sounds familiar, you may also be experiencing a significant lack of self-control when it comes to your ability to achieve your goals. The focus, commitment, constant work and behaviour it takes to nail something you have set yourself, especially when it has a timeframe.

    Protect Your Brain and Productivity.

    Shall we wrap this bomb shell of a post up? We just want to tell you that your brain is just not built to multitask and manage that never ending barrage of information it faces on an hourly, daily and yearly basis. The best way to protect your brain is to practice single-taking, is to schedule your time and take care of your brain and body.

    Focus on one thing at a time and take breaks every hour and half to regain your energy.

    Work in a distraction free environment — keep phones and media devices out of sight.

    Multitasking feels good, but it isn’t worth your time, energy and certainly, not your brain.

    Phases of the Purchase Journey

    A checklist for your finished journey map

    Once you have the clear parts assembled and a hypothesis map created, use this checklist to make sure your map hits all the right notes. You will find below a link to a specific product we offer which would allow us to map this journey for you, and would allow you to invest just £99 to have this work completed for you

    • A customer journey map focusing on key personas and ideal clients?
    • A clear brainstorm covering your purchase/interaction process across all sales channels?
    • A bullet list of both mechanical and emotional customer measurement data options (thoughts, feelings, pain points, emotional responses, etc.)?
    • Moments of Truth option maps? Have you looked at where you can be innovation, and groundbreaking. Where you can take steps through your strategy as the leader you really are?
    • Does it include elements that are customer-centric and insightful, remember to think and examine your business, sector and niche holistically.

    Mapping your customers journey – 5 guiding principles

    Mapping your customers journey – 5 guiding principles

    Mapping your customers journey – 5 guiding principles

    If we told you that having a customer journey map is a vital part of your marketing plan would you believe us?

    A customer journey map is a vital resource and an integral part of your strategy to attract customers. It is also a great starting point to understanding where your marketing voice should sit. You see ensuring you have this clear visual story showing and demonstrating where people interact with your brand allows you to refine and beautify your voice as a creative entrepreneur.

    See we told you! A customer journey map is not only part of your “big marketing picture” but it will help you “the creative” gain a clear, easy to use business picture and leverage the understanding you have of your customers. It can also act as a bridge between the clarity of thought you have of what you do, how you do it, how you sell it and how your buyers invest. 

    With this single key, you basically unlock the process capturing your client’s invest journey from first hearing about you, to writing you a glowing testimonial. How can that not be valuable?Let’s recap quickly;

    • Journey maps are a vital resource allowing you to tell the visual story about how people interact with your brand and business.
    • They allow you to gain a deep understanding of your customers and are a bridge between what you do and what your clients buy from you and invest in.

    Looking at the potential power a journey map has, do you now see why they are so important. If I told you, you can capture an entire customer experience for a large company in one meeting sitting – would you pay attention ?

    You would be right in assuming it is – not a little task, but then nothing this strategically important should be right?

    Done well, a client journey map can empower creatives to work cross-functionally and iron out all of your customer experience issues.

    They will also serve as a significant long-term asset guiding your brand for the next 2–3 years. Done poorly, journey maps can confuse, misalign, and likely to be cast aside fairly quickly.

    We hear you, we know – you have no time! This is no small task, you don’t know how to start! However in your business brain, I bet you now see how valuable this kind of information is.

    Done well these maps fuel the purpose you can grant your business, and empower you to develop a supporting community around you. They can also allow you to lift your confidence therefore enhancing your creative prowess, as well as allow you to cross-functionally collaborate for the good of your sector, culture and business. Done poorly, they may confuse, misalign, and alter your marketing efforts in a non-holistic way.

    Here are the must-have parts of a customer journey map. CAVEAT – As with all frameworks, there is not a one-size fits all map. There are however, sections and wording you can cross purpose, analyse and strip out. Ensuring you can move forward with your plan despite obstacles and pandemics!

    A customer persona/ ideal client

    A marketing persona or ideal client is a semi-fictional representation of a group of your customers. We suggest you have four in totality. They are based on research and data from your existing customers, and analysis of where you want your business to go. An ideal client and persona is a heuristic representation, showing, describing and bringing to life an essential segment of buyers.  These personas and ideal client characters bring your business to life through both demographic and psychographic profiling. Where you take time to identify not only the people who will respond to your services, brand and tonality, but also the kind of people you want to be present in your business. Those clients who will understand, appreciate and invest in what you do.

    Phases of the Purchase Journey

    This part of the journey details the process customers follow from finding out about you, to purchase, and beyond. In real life, this isn’t a straight line, and different parts will overlap. You can divide the journey into discrete steps, with clear markers. We have found that with creative brands, there are usually 6–8 phases in a purchase journey, but there can be as many as 10. When designing your map, you cam include more, less, or different steps. We believe this depends on your sector, niche, industry, product, and of course ideal customer type.

    Touchpoints

    That exciting and thrilling point of contact, the first interaction, and of course the all important information gathering moment. Touchpoints can be owned by the brand (such as a social media post or website), or reflect part of your carefully thought out brand experience in some way (such as testimonials or Facebook reviews).

    Customer Thoughts and Actions

    Capturing the combination of what customers do, think, and feel is why journey maps are so useful. Customer testimonials (social proof) helps investors and adopters understand customers’ perceptions. It also gives us a steer as to where we should start improving the experience. Social proof paints a vivid, passionate and compelling picture of your customers and their experiences. Ensure you keep this end point in sight with each paying client, converting their positive experience into social proof is one of the key things you can facilitate for your business. Also ensure your clients are aware that leaving spite driven negative “social media” feedback is not something you will accept and all post sales negotiation is done in person, in line with sector guidance and contract terms.

    Pain Points (what’s stops your customers investing)

    Here you capture the most significant issues that customers have when pursuing their mission. Each pain point can be allocated to part of the customer journey. You can then associate it with a touchpoint, add it into a brand message and ensure you work hard to counteract what has been said. While performing qualitative research, you’ll find that customers are honest about their complaints. The challenge usually comes when you try to interpret what they have said and turn it around. Not picking up on these pain points can ensure that you don’t deal with issues efficiently, and never evolve your marketing messaging.

    The customer’s emotional journey

    Ahhh… ssssecret sauce!! What makes customer journey maps, really interesting and hugely helpful. By understanding the Oooh and Ahhhh and Aggghhhhh in a customer’s emotional journey, you’ll identify those areas for improvement.

    Opportunities for Improvement

    This is where you can build on the pain points, emotional journey, and customer feedback to start painting a picture of the future. This is where you communicate how you solve these issues with consummate professionalism, an ease of language, no pressure and effortless sales techniques.

    Moments of Truth

    These are the moments your brand has the biggest opportunity to influence customer decision, opinion, and action. These usually occur when the customer first encounters you, when they initially purchase, and initially work with you. They then in turn react to how everything works, how the “experience” comes together and how supported they feel.

    Seth Godin

    “If you can bring someone belonging, connection, peace of mind, status, or one of the other most desired emotions, you’ve done something worthwhile. The thing you sell is simply a road to achieve those emotions, and we let everyone down when we focus on the tactics, not the outcomes. Who’s it for and what’s it for are the two questions that guide all of our decisions.”

    Mapping your customers journey - 5 guiding principles, unsplash, women arm in arm, customer marketing, customer strategy

    Five principals for creating your journey map

    Customer journey maps may vary in specific sections and design, but they all share several guiding principals:

    ^

    Write them from a customers point of view

    Anything created like this should be written from a customers point of view, not your point of view. The purpose of the journey map is to form a story and interpretation of the space between marketer and consumer.

    ^

    Combine mechanical business facts with creative emotion

    This is where you find your absolute magic. When you perfect the mix of business fact with creative emotion, you will be in prime position to absolutely communicate with effortless perfection everytime.

    ^

    Connect with your ideal clients on multiple levels

    This is where you communicate with a full marketing strategy, with a complete holistic approach directed firmly towards your ideal client. Without this critical piece of work, how will  you and how can you connect on this level, and experience these immensely fulfilling understanding results?

    ^

    Use visualisation tools

    We absolutely LOVE Trello for this, we use it when we need to brainstorm a project, or look at channels and processes – as they sit perfectly together. If you are seeking a full understanding of your business map in a way you can track efforts and map other projects this system is perfection.

    ^

    Seek help from an expert

    We would highly recommend that you work with someone to support you whilst analysing your business, and we believe this can and will make a huge difference in the process, and the success of the outcomes. It can allow you to look at things differently, work out what matters and what does not, and see what you are potentially missing through lack of confidence or focus. 

    Phases of the Purchase Journey

    A checklist for your finished journey map

    Once you have the clear parts assembled and a hypothesis map created, use this checklist to make sure your map hits all the right notes. You will find below a link to a specific product we offer which would allow us to map this journey for you, and would allow you to invest just £99 to have this work completed for you

    • A customer journey map focusing on key personas and ideal clients?
    • A clear brainstorm covering your purchase/interaction process across all sales channels?
    • A bullet list of both mechanical and emotional customer measurement data options (thoughts, feelings, pain points, emotional responses, etc.)?
    • Moments of Truth option maps? Have you looked at where you can be innovation, and groundbreaking. Where you can take steps through your strategy as the leader you really are?
    • Does it include elements that are customer-centric and insightful, remember to think and examine your business, sector and niche holistically.

    Wedding creatives – Why are you so baffled by us?

    Wedding creatives – Why are you so baffled by us?

    Wedding creatives – Why are you so baffled by us?

    “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them.” – Steve Jobs

    That is genuinely the best question I can come up with relating to the lack of support our amazing industry is facing at the moment, and it is affecting wedding creatives massively. I recently found myself writing this open letter to local MP’s, fingers flying on my keyboard, face cast in a frown, brain thinking of all the incredible wedding creatives I hold in my heart, who are struggling and lost. Wedding creatives are distraught, emotional, desperate, and lost.

     

    “We” as a country are enduring, experiencing and living through a crisis of gargantuan proportions. I appreciate it, I understand it, and I feel it every day. My brother is a front line doctor in Liverpool, my parents are both in high risk categories, and my teenage children have not been at school with their friends for what feels like an eternity (I know I am not the only one with similar experiences).

    I understand and appreciate what you are seeing, experiencing and feeling. I understand the weight of the confusion, stress and sadness you carry. I hear the doubt in your voices, unsure of the future of your business. I understand the stress as you talk through decisions and experiences. I pick up on your emotional experiences as I read your social media and blog posts. Every day I am witnessing such bold strength I am more in love with this industry now more than ever before.

    We are ALL in uncharted waters, yet I know hope prevails.

    Sadly, I am also witnessing the other side, the side where marriage is broken, where “We do’s” are sad, lonely, restricted and isolating. Where doubt and cutting numbers of guests is causing distress. Where postponement is on the lips of every hopeful in love person in the land. Do we, don’t we, what can we, what can’t we, how can we, how can’t we and worse – what can we cut?

    Wedding creatives – Why are you so baffled by us?
    ANYA RAND, ATLAS SHRUGGED

    “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

    I have worked for nearly 30 years in the UK, proud of the prestigious career path I have etched for myself, after leaving school with only 4 GCSEs, and a BTEC in Business and Finance. I have 16 years as an EA and 13 years in the wedding industry under my belt. Now however, my efforts are focused on tenaciously holding together a community of wedding creatives, and acting as a mentor to creative businesses in the wedding industry. I don’t always get it right, and I can never quite predict the behaviour I see from creatives so incredible yet so self deprecating. Until now the Worldcom fraud was my biggest work crisis, with September 11 following very closely and emotionally behind (I worked at Morgan Stanley on the dealing floor in the early 90’s) so that day is permanently etched on my soul. Never did I think something else would impact my work career in such a significant and profound way as these experiences.

    Across our industry we are finally seeing leaders willing to take a step forward, and demonstrate that they have a voice which needs to be paid attention to and respected. Leaders who are embracing a more provocative and influential approach to the support our industry deserves and needs. In my 13 years in the wedding industry, believe me I have looked for them, hoped for them and sought them out (always being partly inspired, but never feeling connected or welcomed).