The Obvious but OVERLOOKED Thing Missing From Your Business

August 27, 2015

I get it.  We all want to grow wildly successful businesses.  We spend countless hours per day thinking about how we can do better, be better than the next guy, attract better clients and make more money. We want to be liked, popular, seen and sought-out.  But when day after day passes and we feel less like we have it all together and more like we’re watching everyone else succeed, what then?

I’m sure you wonder how they get there?  Why do they stand out and you don’t?  Why are they so successful and you’re not?  Why do people seem to adore them and not you (because you know that you’re just as awesome)?  Well, my friend, the answer has likely been under your nose all along, but it is SO basic that it’s simply gone overlooked by you (and myself years ago!).

Let me introduce you to my secret weapon that I like to call EXTREME KINDNESS.  (I’m bolding it, underlining it, italicizing it – because it is that important!)

When I learned about extreme kindness, why it’s so important, and how to infuse it into my business (to clients and colleagues alike) everything changed.  I want to share this with you because I know when you start consistently applying extreme kindness to your own business, you will see majorly awesome things begin to happen as well.   And I want majorly awesome things to happen for you!

Why is Extreme Kindness so crucial to the success of your business?

IT SETS YOU APART FROM EVERYONE ELSE
In a world where people are very self-focused and self-absorbed encountering someone who is selfless is pretty incredible.  Being kind is one thing, but being Extremely Kind to others stands out.  How do you practice Extreme Kindness in your business?  Keep reading…

ACTION & RECIPROCITY 
When you practice Extreme Kindness to others and go over and above for them two things typically happen A) it causes others to act; they aspire to treat others the same B) they reciprocate and usually will go above and beyond for you as well.  It truly is that simple.

So how do you apply and practice Extreme Kindness in your business?

ONE // HELP THOSE WHO HELP YOU
This should be obvious, but (shockingly) to many, it’s not.  If someone has taken the time to provide you education, support, resources, and advice which has resulted in helping you move your business forward, be willing to help them when they need it.

TWO // RESPOND TO EVERYONE
Reply to every piece of correspondence (emails, Facebook messages, comments left on Instagram, snail mail, etc.), even if it’s very late.  I know this sounds like a lot (and I struggle with it too, especially during busy seasons) but even if it takes you 6 months to reply, please do!  There is an actual human being on the other side of the screen who admired you enough to post praise or trusted you enough to ask you for help.  A delayed response is better than no response.

You’d be surprised how shocked some people are when I respond to them. OMGGGG I can’t believe you actually wrote me backkkkk!  Well of course I wrote you back!  I am not Madonna!  Why wouldn’t I write you back?!  Even if YOU think you’re small potatoes, someone else out there is probably looking up to you. Your thoughtful reply could be exactly what they need to help push them towards becoming who they were created to be.

THREE // PROVIDE RESOURCES
Try your absolute best to provide people with free tools and resources via videos, free PDF’s, support, a monthly newsletter, webinars, weekly Periscopes – whatever!  I know this goes against what we think we should do, but it provides value and creates trust.

When my wedding planning business was about 3 years old I started receiving an influx of emails from aspiring wedding planners who wanted to ‘pick my brain’.  I didn’t have time to meet or call every single person and spend an hour chatting about how I started my business so I created a YouTube channel.  My original videos (which are no longer up there) were for aspiring wedding planners.

I give away free resources ALL THE TIME.  It is just a regular part of my business.  From videos, to Q&A sessions on Periscope (@thealisonhoward – just did a scope on this today), free PDF’s, my newsletter, to my REFINE Facebook group.  Some people view this as a waste of time.  I view this as you get what you give.

FOUR // LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE OTHERS
If you SEE someone in need of help, be that person who steps up.  Maybe it’s helping with a wedding that isn’t one you’re personally planning, or carrying a photographer’s bags for a shoot, or helping a floral designer who is short-handed.  Keep your eyes and ears open to what’s going on in your community (and beyond) and I promise you’ll have zero trouble finding an opportunity to serve others.

FIVE // GIVE GIVE GIVE….then give some more
I’m not talking about staying up until 2am every morning to answer emails or missing your sons ballgame to help at a wedding.  You have to have boundaries. But there are so many ways every single day that you can give your time, talents, and resources.  Giving words of encouragement is huge!  A compliment, a word of support or praise…  People feel so unseen and your Extremely Kind words could make their day.  Leave nice comments, share love, build others up as often as possible.

If someone has taken the time to directly or indirectly share advice and knowledge with you or has provided you with tools and resources that have helped you succeed, show them Extreme Kindness and help them when they ask for it.  Then GO and be that person to others.

Shine on my friends,

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Post Categories: Business Advice
5 comments - Latest by:
  • Dee Galan Enjoy reading everything you post.
  • Selina Love it!! Such a great post and so inspiring. Thank you Alison, every time I question myself on how to ...

21 Day Fix Results + Egg Muffin Recipe

August 11, 2015

My results are IN and I wanted to share them with you!  I’m embarrassed to say that although I own several Beachbody at-home workout programs (P90X, T-25, Insanity, P90X3, 21 Day Fix & 21DF Extreme) I have never actually completed one, beginning to end – until now!  (Insert applause!!!)

I decided to do 21 Day Fix mostly because my kids have been home for summer break and I needed something I could do from home that didn’t take forever.  I also wanted guidance on portion control because I just didn’t get how much of what I should be eating.  Once I figured out how to use the containers (I got an awesome app to help keep track of everything) it was smooth sailing.  I’m seriously so shocked and excited about my results that I’m doing another round!

So on to the results….

While I only lost one pound (further proof that I am throwing my scale away!), I lost major inches, especially from my waist.  I built visible muscle (which weighs more than fat), and my clothes fit better. The best part was the fact that it was only a 3 week challenge.  This, and the fact that I was a part of a group of women doing the challenge at the same time keeping each other accountable, made it FUN and very doable!  The best thing though was seeing results quickly.  I’m so impatient!

Here is my before and after – SO scary and embarrassing to put on Instagram, and here too – but the results were just too good not to share!  I figure it might inspire someone to work on their own health just like so many have inspired me.  Both of those photos are unedited and I didn’t use a filter. Pretty ridiculous, huh?!  I can’t wait to start the next round and see what my new before and afters look like!

During this challenge I ate a lot of great and guilt-free food and one of my favorite breakfast recipes is below!

Veggie & Egg Breakfast Muffins (21 Day Fix Approved)

Ingredients:
1 Green Container sweet onion, chopped
1 Green Container green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Green Container red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Green Container cooked broccoli, chopped
2 Green Containers fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (only the green parts)
12 large eggs, whisked
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Olive oil or coconut cooking spray

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Saute onions in spray over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add peppers and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes more.  Add mushrooms and continue for about 2-3 more minutes.  Then add broccoli just to heat through for 2 minutes.
3. While veggies are cooking, whisk eggs in a large bowl.
4. Once veggies are done, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.  Add them to bowl with eggs and stir well, adding salt and pepper.
5. Coat large muffin pan with olive oil or coconut oil spray.  Using a 1/4 measuring cup, fill each muffin cup.
6. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes,  Remove muffins once the tops are fluffy, high, and golden brown. Pop them out with a butter knife or spatula.
Serving – 2 muffins
I red, I green

I added a little to each for 1/2 a blue – awesome!

Are you on your own health journey?  I’d love to know so I can follow you and cheer you on!

Shine On!

 

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Post Categories: Health & Fitness, Recipes
2 comments - Latest by:
  • Dee Galan Enjoy reading everything you post.
  • Selina Love it!! Such a great post and so inspiring. Thank you Alison, every time I question myself on how to ...

In The Midst Of It All + Egg Toast

August 4, 2015

I’m trying to remember that I don’t have to be 100% perfect at everything.  This is so difficult for me. I’m a perfectionist.  A fixer.  I want everyone to love and be happy.  I recently discovered this whole ‘fixer’ thing about myself since moving back to my hometown this past September (that’s clearly been a personality staple of mine since age 5, but apparently I was unaware).

My sisters and I were recently handling an uncomfortable family situation.  A big ol’ family BOMB was about to go off.  I’m the oldest sister, Kari is the middle, Megan is the youngest.  As we were dealing with said bomb something interesting happened:

I was the one up close and personal with the bomb, trying to diffuse it, to keep it from hurting anyone, carefully and methodically handling it.  Calm, composed, practical, reasonable.  I was Jack Bower.

Megan (the youngest), ran away from the bomb as fast as she could.  She didn’t want to be anywhere near the explosion.  She ran and didn’t look back.

Kari (the middle) saw the bomb, but turned her back on the bomb and simply – almost casually – said, “What bomb?”  If she could not see it, it did not exist.

I’m sure you identify with one of those personalities (or maybe you are the bomb – I hope not).  The thing is, this is how it’s always been but I didn’t know any of these dynamics still existed because I’ve been gone for over a decade.  Read: I haven’t been living near family in 12 years.  Something happens when you go back to where you began – you take on roles you once had and shoulder burdens you once carried.  You easily slip into that old familiar typecast, as if no time has passed at all…

So during this season, in the midst of it all I’m learning about myself and about relationships and boundaries and balance and how gracious Jesus is.  It’s such a time of transition personally and professionally.  Every single day I have to set deliberate objectives for my marriage, parenting, work, family, fitness.  It’s exhausting.  I’m exhausted from being an adult sometimes.  Anyone else?

One thing I have found that calms me – one very random thing – is food.  But not in the unhealthy I-need-Taco-Bell-right-NOW sort of way.  Healthy food and food styling is the calm I’ve found during this season.  This is the most random blog post ever so hang with me.  (In my defense, my kids have been at home with me every single day this summer for nearly 3 months; I’m grasping at anything that evokes sanity. hehe)  I’ve always loved cooking, but in the midst of all the craziness I get this deep satisfaction from preparing delicious healthy food and making it pretty.  It just makes me feel good.  I’ve always done this, but more now than ever.

I’ve been sharing meals like this on Instagram and Facebook because they are so good and pretty to look at.  : )

10 MINUTE EGG TOAST

Ingredients:
-1 slice Ezekiel Bread
-1/3 avocado mashed, lightly seasoned with sea salt, pepper, hot sauce, finely diced purple onions (if desired)
-1 – 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped (I use two and really load it up)
-dash of dill
-dash of paprika

1. Mash avocado and mix in preferred seasonings
2. Toast bread and spread avocado mixture on top
3. Sprinkle hard boiled eggs over avocado mixture
4. Top with a dash of dill & dash of paprika
5. Enjoy!

What do you do to calm down in the midst of it all?  I’d really love to know.

Shine On,

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Post Categories: Health & Fitness, Personal, Recipes
1 comment - Latest by:
  • Dee Galan Enjoy reading everything you post.
  • Selina Love it!! Such a great post and so inspiring. Thank you Alison, every time I question myself on how to ...

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Welcome

I'm so glad you're here!

I'm Alison and I have been a professional wedding planner since 2007. After planning and coordinating over 200 events I am taking a bit of a sabbatical to regroup and focus on the events in my own life while I also work on some new and exciting opportunities.

If you are an aspiring wedding planner I hope you find my experiences and insight helpful. If you are a wife and/or mom in the trenches, I get it and hope you feel less alone as I share my own stories of marriage and motherhood. If you are a fellow blog lover who just happened to find yourself here, enjoy!

Thank you for sharing your comments and thoughts - I love hearing from you!

Shine On,
Alison