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Our thoughts & yours

This is not a RANT or maybe it is?

By Gwen Helbush, Where To Start, Wedding Management

The number of click-throughs to A Little Rant posted 8/15 surprised me.  Apparently I have to lose my cool to get your attention. (Sigh)  Well, I hate to disappoint but I don’t lose my cool often so you will have to be content with my considered thoughts.

Recently I asked for help with topics for this blog on Facebook.  I didn’t get a big response but of those I got I thought I would tackle this one first.

“I'd say write about the new movement of "community over competition" that's a hot topic!!!”

It is a hot topic, but it is not new.  I like using community rather than industry when speaking about our business and I never use the word competitor.  As a matter of fact, Marie Rios and I founded BAWN for just that reason, roughly 16 years ago.  We were frustrated as I imagine many of you are now that everyone around us seemed to be cynical and competitive with the very people they should be working with not against.

At the time by most people’s definition Marie and I were competitors as independent wedding planners in the Bay Area so why on earth would we work together?  There were a lot of reasons these are the main three.  One, we did not see each other as competition but rather as colleagues. Two, meeting negativity with more negativity was not going to solve anything. Three, we were (and still are) solution-oriented thinkers, thus BAWN was born.

I hear you, Gwen why are you telling us about history? I mention the history of BAWN to put into context that we are in a very cyclical business.

People come and go, they change companies and professions.  One day you might be working at a hotel, and the next a catering company. Or you might start a business of you own and then go back to working for someone else, many people leave our business and even more join us. It is very close to impossible for any of us to know everyone in the community or for them to know us.

Your point of view has a lot to do with how we treat each other.  An employee has a very different opinion than a company owner.  A new business owner looks at things differently than a well-established business.  I’m not going to bore you with a laundry list of all the possible viewpoints because I think you are smart enough to figure them out for yourselves.

What I want to discuss is why we need to put those views aside for a moment to think about the “greater good” and how working together will help us all.

Why you ask should you care about the “greater good”?  Allow me to use an often quoted idiom by President John F Kennedy “A rising tide lifts all boats”.  If our wedding community benefits from something, then we all do.

How do we do that you ask?  There are many ways and I’m going to work on covering them in future BAWN Blog posts.  For now here are just a few off the top of my head education, communication, and understanding.  Continuing to educate ourselves not only about what we do but also about what all our colleagues do is vital.  Communication, we need connect with each other.  How is not important, talk in person, on the phone, email, written note, text, or carrier pigeon it doesn’t matter just keep the lines of communication open.  Understanding, think about how what you do affect the rest of the team, work toward understanding what you need from others and then give that to them.

Let’s take action, words have power.  I’d like to try a little experiment to see if we can lift our boats a little.  Let us start by using Wedding Community when referring to us as a whole and my colleague when speaking about others in our wedding community.  If we make these small adjustments, I bet we will see a positive change.

If we do our best to think of each other as teammates with a common goal rather than competitors trying to thwart each other, then everyone wins most of all our clients.  After all the clients pay the bills putting them first by working well together means happy clients, happy clients equal more money for EVERYONE.

OK, maybe it was a rant or was it?