Monday, October 18, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

It's time to address the elephant in the room. But before I get started, I want to preface this by saying that I've watched the elephant 'work the room' for a couple of years now and have always bit my tongue. But, the problem seems to be getting worse instead of better. And for that reason, I've decided to address it.

You see, a couple of months ago I wrote a post about how I was changing the direction of this blog to give a more frank account of the joys and challenges of running a planning firm as well as a letterpress invitation company. So, true to this new direction, I'm going to address the caddy behavior and jealousy that I see amongst wedding industry professionals and especially within my own local community.

I'm sure I'm going to ruffle some feathers with this post. But that isn't my intention. Instead, I hope this gives everyone some food for thought and makes each one of use reflect on how we act and treat other vendors within our local wedding community and within the wedding community as a whole.

I've had a couple of really tough months professionally. I have had some significant internal issues that have needed swift and immediate attention. This, on top of a full event dance-card, have made these some of the most difficult since opening the firm 4 years ago.

But, I can honestly say they have also been good months, too. I have learned many things about myself and what I want for my businesses. And I have decided to start running the businesses instead of letting them run me. Sometimes, you can't come to these realizations until you've experienced some tough times.

So, what's my point in telling you this? The point is, some have seemingly enjoyed watching me struggle with these internal issues. It seems that I'm a target for unfounded rumors and false assumptions. Through various ways, I've seen people 'buddy-up' and support poor behavior. And I'm calling it out.

I have worked very hard to get to where I am. I am passionate. I am a hard-worker. And I am dedicated. By the sheer grace of God, I have been blessed with an amazing business that I love passionately. I have been blessed with a success that I never dreamed I would have. And I will never take that for granted. Never.

But, there are planners out there who are not happy to see success. In fact, they'd really like to see failure. And I find this deplorable. The thing is, I don't just see this problem amongst wedding planners. I also see this among other wedding businesses like florists and photographers. Instead of celebrating everyone's success and the great things that the success does for the industry as a whole, false rumors are generated as a way to 'bring them down.'

Chances are if you're not in my local market and you're reading this, you're thinking, 'Holy cow, everything she's saying is applicable to my area, too.' So here's the thing, let's all put a stop to it! Let's celebrate one another's successes and STOP celebrating struggles and failures. Or worse yet, starting rumors that cause struggles and failures. What's good for one florist is good for another. And what's good for one planner is also good for another, too. If we allow it, successes can work together to elevate every single one of us.

So, let's stop the jealousy and the back-stabbing! Instead, let's use the energy that's being wasted on negativity and apply it toward positive advances. Let's not be afraid to admit to one another where we struggle for fear that it will be used against us. But, let's readily admit areas of weakness and help one another succeed.

Now that I've 'outed' the elephant, it's time for everyone in my local community to start playing nice! And I want people in your local community to start playing nice, too. Celebrate each other's successes and stop tearing successful businesses down. It hurts us all!

Phew, I feel better, now. How about you??!!


PS - If this post rings true for you, please feel free to re-post and help me start a 'play nice' movement within the wedding industry!


Genevieve McKeiver Photography said...

Thank you Jodi for being so honest and personal with your post. I think you are an amazing person and I think you do beautiful work. It's sad that some find joy in hurting others, and unfortunately it happens too often. Just remember you are an amazing gift to all of your clients, family and friends.

Russell Climie said...

Jodi -

Amen to your post! Great job putting your thoughts on paper! Alright, if a rising tide raises all ships, then who have you seen have success in the GR area that you're excited about? Would love to know!


Jillian {In Any Event} said...

This is an amazing post. You are an incredible wedding professional and and even more incredible person. I am very proud to be a part of your businesses, and I am genuinely tickled by the successes in our local industry... nothing brings more joy than to see what Grand Rapids can do!

J Horton said...

SO true! I see it constantly with photographers!

Holly Henderson said...

Jody- you not only set the bar, but you continually raise it. You allow everyone working on an event with you to be creative and totally bring their A game. It's incredible

There have been multiple occassions when dumb ol photographers hurt my feelings too. I'm an open book to anyone who loves this industry, but I feel like I am constantly squashing rumors. It's like high school, but I am over that drama girl.
That's not the way to compete. That's just ugly. And when you put out ugliness it comes back smack in your face. :)

So yes I totally agree with you. If we encourage eachother and celebrate success I know our business and personal lives will be glorified.

Shannon said...


I have only recently met you, but knew that I wanted to align myself with you in my business. It was because of your passion to do your craft well, your encouragement to new starts and your honesty that was very evident.
Our desire as top notch vendors should be to be our very best - after all, it's our clients who most benefit. However, it seems those who cannot handle the standard being raised quickly become petty and unprofessional in their comments and conduct.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us...I look forward to working with you sometime in the near future.
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