A few weeks ago I put on an old dress, one that I used to love, and it just didn’t look right anymore. I hadn’t worn it in a while, and it was suddenly like it had never been purchased for me: it just didn’t fit right. It was big where it should have been tight and tight where it should have been big. I not only didn’t want to wear it, but I realized that it had to get out of my closet asap, because I should never, in a moment of desperation, try and wear it.
The same is true for some prospective clients and their weddings.
We aren’t in the business of making and selling widgets: the same thing over and over again with no variation. We are in the business of creating, imagining, and producing. Inevitably, when working in those areas you are flexing, strengthening and refining those skill sets and brain muscles and, over time improving.
Yet, so often, I see vendor friends (and we’ve experienced these things ourselves) get stuck in a rut where they get are shooting the same locations or designing the same event (with some variation) over and over. It’s always a challenge because, in this kind of business, referrals are fantastic, but sometimes referrals can easily become plateaus (a circle of friends who are all having the same style of wedding, a venue the refers you but all the weddings kind of end up looking the same, or a gripe because their cousin payed X and now you are asking for Y).
Yes, this kind of work keeps you busy. Yes, for some, simply “being busy” is fantastic. In that case, I congratulate you on having achieved your goal of having a business that is busy.
For anyone else, I invite you to not be afraid of saying no to some kinds of jobs simply because, like my dress, they simply don’t fit who you are anymore.
This isn’t necessarily just about raising prices (though, I don’t know why if you are better at something now than you were 3 years ago, you wouldn’t charge a bit more): it’s about growing and keeping your work and business satisfying. So perhaps that’s raising prices to reduce volume and increase your free time, or launching a line or service option that caters to a new and different clientele, or it’s re-marketing yourself/ positioning yourself as a destination specialist or a small wedding specialist or whatever it might be.
Your value comes in that you have creative skills that make the days of to-be-wed couples better than they would have been without you. Creativity isn’t a widget, it’s a vital part of you that wants nurturing because it wants to grow.