Some people call me an OG of wedding business marketing, but deep down I'm just another person wearing PJ bottoms on Zoom. I swear a lot, I share my struggles, and I don't pretend to be better than anyone else.
Overwhelm is something that is very prevalent among wedding professionals of all kinds. If you’ve felt like you’re drowning at any point, welcome to the club! Everybody gets to this point sometimes but how do you get out of it?
In this podcast episode, I’m going to guide you through The Machete Method which is a process I developed for myself years ago to deal with overwhelm. I’ve turned it into an easy-to-follow process that any wedding pro can apply to get out of overwhelm quickly. And that’s important because overwhelm should not be a constant and you can absolutely build a successful wedding business without working all the time and driving yourself crazy.
Put on your Indiana Jones hat and grab your machete because you’re going to be hacking and slashing your way through an overwhelm jungle like your life depends on it. Because really, it does.
In this episode we’ll cover:
I call this The Machete Method because you’re going to slash away at things like you’re chopping a path through the jungle with a machete and your life depends on it. Before we get started, click here to download your workbook so you can follow along.
I want you to think about this before you start filling out your workbook.
If you were sick and couldn’t go full out and you needed to put things on maintenance mode a bit, what would be the 1-3 things you need to do on a given day to keep things moving? Cut everything else out for the time being.
I’ve had to figure this out for myself because I have bipolar disorder and if my brain isn’t working the way I need it to, I can’t work. I have to strip down to the bare bones of what NEEDS to get done to keep the ship afloat. It becomes easier and easier to protect your time the more you do this and the more things you categorize whether they are need to do’s or want to do’s. This is an incredibly important skill to develop so you can quickly and easily tell the difference and quickly dig yourself out of overwhelm without a lot of mental energy.
It’s time to get ruthless with your time. You’ve got to slash and hack your way into a clearing. I want you to go into survival mode with your time. Nothing that isn’t absolutely essential makes the cut.
Ready to get ruthless and reclaim your time? Let’s do this!
Getting these tasks out of your head and onto paper will begin to relieve the anxiety of keeping track of everything swimming around in your head. When you try to store your to-do’s in your head, it causes a lot of anxiety. It definitely makes me feel anxious! Instead, get everything out of your brain so you can clearly see what needs to get done and when.
At this point, you can determine the priority of each task. You can’t tell which tasks take priority over others when they’re all just floating around in your mind. Put them in order of priority along with the due dates.
Rubber balls bounce so it’s no problem if you drop them but glass balls will shatter. We tend to get into the mindset of everything being a glass ball but I promise you, not everything is a glass ball! Most tasks are not glass balls. Take your list of tasks from Step 1 and mark each task with a R (for rubber ball) or G (for glass ball).
An example of a rubber ball task, one that will not destroy your business if you don’t do it, is posting on Instagram today. Will skipping this today absolutely destroy your business? No, of course not. There are lots of tasks like this that feel urgent but really aren’t. It’s not a big deal if you skip a day or a week.
Your glass balls are things like hitting a deadline you promised a client, getting client invitations to the printer so they arrive on time, and making sure you’re sleeping enough even though you’re busy. Once you start dropping balls like these, there are real consequences.
Identify which tasks on your list are rubber balls and which are glass balls. If you wind up with a lot of glass balls, I challenge you to question that. Glass balls are absolute make-or-break sort of tasks. Responding to all of your emails is not a glass ball task. That can wait a day or even a few days. You can use an Out Of Office response to let people know when you’ll get back to them.
We tell ourselves that everything is a glass ball and that leads to overwhelm. If all the tasks are the most important thing, then nothing is important. So identify which of these tasks you can let drop, even if you don’t like it or it makes you feel uncomfortable. I’m not asking you which of these tasks would be fun to drop, I’m asking you to save your ass by getting really serious about what you can afford to drop, even if you don’t like it.
There are rubber balls you can leave bouncing for the next few weeks and they won’t have a huge impact on your business.
Is your engagement on social media going to drop if you don’t post for 3 weeks? Yes.
Is that the biggest deal in the world right now? No.
Let’s protect you as the CEO instead of protecting something like engagement.
Which rubber balls can you leave bouncing for the next few weeks without it making a huge impact on your business? Star each of those tasks on your list.
You’ll be able to actually pick these balls back up soon because you’ll be out of that overwhelm crisis mode.
I know this might sound crazy but I love doing this so much. Quitting things strategically is gratifying and frees up your time.
Are all of these tasks actually important to you reaching your goals? Do they all move the needle? Chances are, there are things that you’re doing that aren’t actually aligned with your goals. Stop doing those things entirely.
Which of these things that you’re doing aren’t working? For instance, if you’ve decided to start marketing on TikTok and you’ve tried different approaches but it’s just not working for you, stop doing it. The goal is to do less of what isn’t working and more of what is.
Too often, we fill our to-do list with things that aren’t working and don’t really matter. If you can cut down to just the things that actually move the needle in your business, you’ll make progress faster and you’ll work less. This is a conversation we have continuously inside The Wedding Business Collective. because we all tend to act like crazy people at a buffet and just pile more and more onto our plates. If you focus on doing more of what works and get really strategic about them, you get exponentially better results without much additional effort. Those are the results I love to see!
Mark the tasks that aren’t important to reaching your goals and do not move the needle with a big ol X.
You’re going to stop doing these things entirely. You can come back to them later but right now, they’re not important enough to take up your precious time.
As the CEO of your business, you are the most important asset and you have to protect that asset at all costs. Where do you tend to self-sacrifice? We all do this but we do it in different ways.
Do you skip meals?
Do you get way too little sleep?
Do you neglect your exercise routine?
Use the space in your workbook to list out areas where you tend to self-sacrifice and commit to stopping that. It’s much better to cut tasks and press pause on things than to sacrifice yourself because eventually, you’ll burn out and be of use to no one, including your clients.
You have to put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others. Preserving your ability to work IS part of the work.
It doesn’t matter if you have a team or not, there are always ways to delegate things.
I don’t know if you’re in a relationship but I find a lot of women (and most wedding pros are women) take on too much and don’t allow their partners to take an equal load. If you do have a partner, let them know that you need them to take a few things off your plate.
If you don’t have a partner, who do you have that can help you with home-related tasks (the ones that NEED to get done, ditch the nice to have’s right now)? Parents? Siblings? Friends? Even asking for help for 1 week or 2 can allow you to catch your breath.
I often find people who are stretched in their businesses are overcommitted outside of their businesses too with volunteer activities, activities at their kids’ schools, too much on their plate in the household. Cut as much of that as you can right now too and tap into any family or friends you have that can help you out there. Even an app like Instacart can save you time you’d spend grocery shopping!
Use the space in your workbook to brainstorm things in your business AND personal life (like grocery shopping) you can delegate and who can delegate them to.
Once you get out of overwhelm, you need to restructure your approach to time management.
This is where some courses inside The Wedding Business Collective will come in super helpful. After you slash everything you can, you have to rebuild and restructure with clear boundaries so you don’t wind up in this position again.
If you decide to join us inside The Wedding Business Collective, I want you to immediately dive into these courses in this order:
These will help you get a grip on your workload, streamline it, and save more time than you thought possible. They will show you how to carve the time to work on your business because that is the most important thing to do if you want to grow. You have to carve that time out and ruthlessly protect it. Nothing gets to infringe on that.
It’s possible to dig yourself out of this situation but you have to get ruthless about what is a NEED to do vs what would be nice to do. It may be uncomfortable to put things on the back burner for now and say no to things but it will be a crash course in trimming the fat and saying no that will serve you forever.
It is entirely possible to build a wedding business that doesn’t require you to work ALL the time and doesn’t put you through this level of stress and overwhelm but you need to consciously design it that way. I help wedding pros of all kinds book more weddings AND build their business in a way that doesn’t leave them feeling burned out and overwhelmed. Join me in The Wedding Business Collective and I’ll show you how and support you along the way!
Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes (You’ll just need to click the blue “View In iTunes” button and then click the Subscribe button when your iTunes opens.)
And please take 2 minutes to leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes immensely! Thank you – I appreciate it!