Cultivate2014header2 A little more than a month ago I was at the Jekyll Island Club in Georgia to attend and speak at Cultivate Retreat.  It was three days of inspiration, information and making new friends.  I wish I would have taken more pictures than I did, but at the same time, the shooting break was nice.

Truly, I had the nicest time and would highly recommend it to other wedding professionals.

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Teachings

I thought I’d share a few of my takeaways from the teachings/some things I’d like to implement:

+ Take 30 minutes at the end of each work day to set myself up to have a great next day (clean up my workspace/set my to-do list) (thanks, Rhi!)

+ Don’t look at emails until designated email time

+ I should measure my success based on my own standards – not on what everyone else thinks is success  (thanks, Shay Cochrane!)

+ All business decisions should be made through the lens of our core purpose (thanks, Ashlee Proffitt!)

+ Strong brands don’t experiment with trends

+ Take Lara Casey’s The Challenge

+ Check out Marie Forleo and Sage Wedding Pros

+ Develop our Studio Manual (thanks, Ashley Baber!)

+ Develop a new client welcome kit

+ Make my list of “friendors” (i.e. friend vendors :) ) and develop ways to support/encourage their businesses (sharing their social media posts, referring them in a sincere and personalized way, etc.) (thanks, DJ Jacob!)

+ Create stock images for my monthly goal posts

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Speaking

When planning for my talk in the weeks leading up to the retreat, I was really struggling with what my topic would be.  I was so back and forth of whether to speak about the client experience (what I am most comfortable speaking about) or overcoming discouragement (what I knew God was telling me I should speak about).  I kept trying to convince myself that I should just speak on what I was most familiar with, but couldn’t shake that feeling that I was supposed to get vulnerable and share what had been on my heart and what I had been dealing with for many months prior.  I titled my talk “I Will Fight: The Journey Through the Drought” and spoke about strategies to overcome the droughts of life and business.

I went into it truly believing that there was going to be at least one person in that room that really needed to hear my words, which gave me the confidence I needed to go ahead with it.  I’m so glad I went the way that God had asked me to – I received so much great feedback from many of the attendees.  The gals over at Ivory and Beau (wedding designers and bridal boutique owners in Savannah, Georgia) wrote such kind words in their blog post here.

I am incredibly grateful that I was given the opportunity to speak at this retreat.  The truth is, I really enjoying speaking and look forward to doing it more.  Thank you so much to photographer Corinna Hoffman for the photo of me below.

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So there you go!  Cultivate 2014.  :)