“Entrepreneurship: If it was easy, everyone would do it.“
The Wedding Pro CEO SHORTS are quick, bite-sized episodes are meant to inspire you as you build the business you’re dreaming of!
[00:00:00] Brandee Gaar: Hey there, CEOs. Welcome to today’s Thursday short of the Wedding Pro CEO podcast. I’m your host, Brandee Gaar, and my mission is to help you, the wedding industry entrepreneur, to build a profitable wedding business that you love.
In today’s short, we are talking about the valley of despair.
I have been talking to so many of you that are building these incredible wedding businesses. A lot of you are reaching out. Just saying, “Brandee, it feels like such a weight right now. I feel like I’m kind of finding success, but then it all falls apart.”
I feel like I am booking lots of business, but I don’t know how to build a team, or, I have been doing social media consistently, but it doesn’t seem like that’s working and it can be so frustrating, right?
And this is oftentimes what we call the Valley of Despair.
So my husband and I invested in a podcast course last summer, so summer of 2022. The creator, Kevin Schmidlin,
[00:01:00] actually talked about the Valley of Despair, and I was so intrigued by it because the way he was talking about it was, as you go through this podcast course, you’re going to start to find that, you start to put the things into practice that I’m teaching you, but then, and it’s, you’re like, this is so exciting.
And then you start to realize, wait, this is actually tough. And then you get into this almost pit of despair where you’re like, “None of this is working. It’s all crap. The course doesn’t work. These things I’m doing aren’t working.”
Then you have two options when you hit the valley of despair. You can either stay there and what often happens, especially with podcasters, is that you end up not doing your podcast anymore.
Or you can say,
“I have seen that these things work with other podcasters, and so I’m gonna keep doing it. I’m gonna stay consistent. It sucks to be down here in this valley of despair, but I’m going to keep doing it and I’m gonna climb my way out.”
And slowly but surely you start to kind of get on the other side of this
[00:02:00] valley and what’s so interesting, the reason I was so intrigued by this is because one, I kind of felt like we were there with our podcast a little bit.
And Building a podcast is a lot like building a business you feel like you’re doing these things and they’re working, they’re working, and then they’re not, and then you’re like, “I don’t know what we’re doing and it’s not growing and or is anything we’re even doing working?”
And so I felt like we were a little bit in that valley of despair, but the more I learned about it, the more I was like, this is what I teach my students, and here I am needing to hear it from someone else about my own podcast. Sometimes we just need somebody on the other side of that valley saying here’s a hand and you can do it, and here’s how.
And so that’s what I really wanted to talk to you guys about today is that all of us have experienced this valley of despair. I love the way this image describes it, so I’m gonna include it in the show notes just because I think it’s so interesting.
But the first phase
[00:03:00] of building your business, is uninformed optimism. So think about that in your own business. Uninformed optimism is what?
It’s when you’re first starting out and you’re I’ve planned weddings for friends, and now I’m gonna kill it. I’m gonna be the best wedding planner that there is. Right? It’s gonna be amazing. And you don’t even know what’s about to come.
So you go into your own business and you were like, “I have planned friends weddings, I’ve planned events in my sorority. I am gonna be awesome. This is everything I’ve ever wanted to do!” And you have no idea what lies ahead. So you’re in this stage of business, this. First phase, which is uninformed optimism, you’re optimistic because you have no idea what you’re doing really.
Like you know how to plan if you’re becoming a planner. You know how to design florals if you’re becoming a florist, but you don’t know necessarily what’s to come with running a business or selling or how to network. You don’t know any of these things yet. So it’s this blissful ignorance as well in that first phase of business. Now the next
[00:04:00] stage of business is called informed pessimism, and this is when you start to realize, “What, wow, wait a second. So if I’m gonna be a wedding planner, I don’t just plan events? Like I don’t just do that? I have to actually like, do social media and understand how to do marketing? I have to do HR? I have to learn how to do taxes and payroll? I have to learn how to hire people and be a great leader and manage a team?”
It’s this informed pessimism where you’re like, “Wait a second. I don’t think that’s what I wanted, I didn’t want that out of my business. I wanted to just plan weddings.” Or “I wanted to just take beautiful photographs.”
But you start to realize there’s so much more to it. And that pessimism starts to set in where you’re like, I don’t think I can do all of this, or I’m not sure if this is what I really wanted when I started this business. Right?
Phase three is where we talk about that valley of despair, so that’s what this episode’s about.
You have two options in this valley of despair. Okay? And there’s really only two ways out of it. You can either quit.
[00:05:00] and just start the whole cycle over again. You quit completely and you’re like, okay, being a wedding planner, being a photographer, wasn’t it for me?
Like That sucked and I don’t wanna do it. Right?
But you still have that bug to start your own business. And so you’re like, “Okay, well maybe I’ll do this instead.”
And so you go right back to the top and you start over, and then you end up in that valley of despair again and you just keep repeating the same cycle over and over again.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
That’s not possible.
Option two in this valley of despair is to push through. To push through the pessimism and all the things telling you that you can’t do it, to push through and to succeed.
Fewer of us will actually make it out of the valley of despair on the other side because it is so desolate down there. Like I am telling you guys from experience, if you’re listening to this podcast or you’re watching us on YouTube
“The last stage is success and fulfillment. This is where you have reached that pinnacle of success that you set for yourself, whether that’s time, freedom or wealth, more time with your family, location freedom, whatever that is for you, you’ve started to reach it there.”Brandee Gaar
and you’re like, “Brandee, this is me right now. I feel this because I
[00:06:00] am there!”
“I don’t know if I wanna quit and start over or just quit- in general.” “I don’t know if I have the energy to push through and succeed. I don’t know if I do.”
And here’s what I’ll tell you friend. If it was easy, everyone would do it. The reason entrepreneurship is difficult is because you have to be able to get through those times in your business where it feels like all the weight is against you, but you keep doing it anyway.
You keep doing it anyway. You keep showing up because if you keep putting in the work, if you keep learning, if you keep challenging yourself, if you surround yourself with great community, you will be able to push through and succeed to the other side.
The next phase, phase four is called informed optimism, and this is where you’re starting to come out. On the other side, you’re starting to see that beacon of hope because you’ve invested in the coaches, you’ve invested in the community, you’ve invested in the courses. You have decided that you are the best investment you will ever make in your business. And you
[00:07:00] know, if you can surround yourself with the right education and the right community and the right people that can help you to get to the other side, you know, you can do it. And so you start to feel that informed optimism because you’re like, I got into that course. I invested in that business coach. I got into the community, and now I’m starting to feel like I have the tools and resources that I need to be able to add a team member or to be able to scale to the next level, right?
I know that I can add to my business. I know that I can become profitable because now I have the tools. So that informed optimism starts to set in, and once you hit that, it’s like, Trajectory that you almost can’t stop. I kind of think about it a little bit as like an avalanche or a snowball. It starts small and it just keeps going and it keeps going and it gets bigger and bigger and you really can’t stop it at that point.
And that is so exciting. It is one of the most exciting parts of business. I love it,
[00:08:00] especially when I’m coaching another business owner and they start to hit this stage because they start to see so much possibility in their business and it’s really when they’re like, “I can kill it!” And I’m like, “Yes you can!”
This is so awesome.
The last stage is success and fulfillment. This is where you have reached that pinnacle of success that you set for yourself, whether that’s time, freedom or wealth, more time with your family, location freedom, whatever that is for you, you’ve started to reach it there.
And you can actually say like my business fulfills me so much. I actually went through all the stages I got through the Valley of Despair and now I’m on the other.
Someone asked me a couple weeks ago, another business owner asked me, what do you hate about your business?
If you could name one thing that no longer existed in your business that you absolutely hate doing in your business, what would it be? And I said, I can tell you with absolute certainty. In all honesty, there’s nothing left
[00:09:00] like I’ve built the business that I dreamed of when I started it, and I love it so much.
I love being able to mentor and coach my team. I love being able to cast vision for our team. I love being able to. Build a team, be able to hire the right people and offer them a career. I love being able to be part of a legacy of a couple’s families coming together and building their next journey. I love it so much.
This is what I’ve worked for and this is what I have always wanted. And so I really am sitting in that fulfillment stage of business. So I’m here to tell you it’s possible, but you’ve got to get through that valley of despair, and I would love to be part of helping you get on the other side of that valley of despair.
If you’re listening to this episode and you’re even thinking that you might be close to that valley of despair or you’re starting to get into it. I would love to invite you to come over to the Wedding Pro CEO community on Facebook. Join us because we love building each other up. We love being able to have the tough
[00:10:00] conversations, but also to be able to build you up and be a cheerleader and say, here’s some tools that might help you. Here’s some resources that might help you.
So come over to the Wedding Pro CEO community on Facebook. You can find the link in the show notes below if you’re not already there. And tell us. I wanna know from you, are you in the valley of despair? Have you been there before and you’re on the other side and you can offer some encouragement to some of the other CEOs in the group.
Are you in that uninformed optimism stage where you’re just starting out and you’re like, “Ah, I don’t wanna be in the valley of despair.”
Tell us what stage that you’re in of your business, because I would love to know, and I’d love to be able to offer you some resources and tools and to be able to cheer you on.
You guys, thank you so much for being here every single week, and I will see you next time.
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I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
small biz coach
I have experience speaking at both live and virtual events, educating creative and wedding entrepreneurs how to step into their role as CEO. If you're looking for speakers for your next conference, workshop, event, or the next guest for your podcast, I'd love to see how we can collaborate!
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