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    What’s the value of an idea?

    by Alan Berg, CSP
    Certified Speaking Professional®

    Take a look around you. Everything you see is the product of an idea that someone had at one time. Your desk, your chair, your computer, your shoes, each of those started as someone’s idea. If you’re like me you have lots of ideas on pieces of notepaper, or on a white board in your office. There’s no lack of good ideas. The ideas have no value until someone takes the actions necessary to make that idea a reality.

    We act upon our ideas all the time without consciously thinking about them. Some of our ideas are simple. Some are complex. Some will take a lot of time and thought and some can be accomplished quickly.

    Action, action, we want action

    If you started your own business, that was the product of an idea. If you’ve created a new way of doing your job or craft, that was the product of an idea. Where the magic happens is when you put that idea into action. If you think about doing something, but don’t take any actions, the idea has no value. Not only does it have no value to you, it has no value to the countless others who could benefit from it.

    Have you ever seen a product and said “I had that idea”? Most of us have. The reason you’re thinking that instead of profiting from that idea is that someone else acted on their idea, while you didn’t. The difference isn’t the idea. It’s action.

    When I published my first book, “If your website was an employee, would you fire it?”,  I had so many people say to me “I’ve been wanting to write a book. How did you do it?” I told them I wrote it one word at a time. I started writing and then I wrote some more. Then they ask me “How were you able to get a book published?” I found an editor and sent her my book. Then I found a designer. Then I found a printer. Then I wrote a check to each of them and a few weeks later I had a pallet of books delivered to my garage.

    One step at a time

    Each of those steps required action. Had I only thought about writing a book instead of putting the words down on paper, or in my computer, there would be no value to the idea. Had I written it without giving it to an editor or designer, there would be no value to those words. Had I not actually printed it then no one would be able to benefit from those words I had written… not even me. I get benefit from the feedback I get from those that read my book. The idea to write a book became valuable through a series of actions.

    Are you thinking about updating or making a new website for your business? Are you working towards a higher certification or level of training so you can do a better job for your clients? Are you thinking about writing a book or learning a new language? Are you thinking about losing weight or stopping smoking? Those are all good ideas. What actions are you going to take, today, to make your idea a reality? It’s probably not one step it’s a series of actions. Most projects can be broken down into many actions and once you think about them as smaller actions you’re more likely to move forward.

    So what ideas have you had this week that you’re not yet acting on? What’s the potential value of the ideas you’re having right now to you and to others? If you take no action, they have no value. If you take some actions they could be priceless. I look forward to hearing of your successes.


    Are you too busy to be successful? A look back and a look forward.

    by Alan Berg, CSP
    Certified Speaking Professional®

    Last year I did a survey to get an idea how you’re all faring as the economy recovers. The good news out of the survey was that, at least at the beginning of the year, most of you felt your 2013 was going to be better than 2012, or even your best year ever. That was very encouraging news after quite a few years of, what felt like, a black cloud hanging over all of us.


    The beauty of the wedding industry is that it’s recession-resistant. It’s not recession-proof, as many of us discovered. Even in the depths of a recession couples are still getting married, but things change. However, I’ve been in and around this industry for over 23 years, through many good times and many bad. What I’ve found is that, despite the economy, there are always those who find a way to survive, and even thrive, in any economy.


    How’s business?
    I remember meeting a wedding pro on a flight to Las Vegas for a conference, back in 2009, the depths of the recession. We’d known each other for many years, way back to when I was publishing wedding magazines in New Jersey. I asked him “How’s business?” and he answered “Fantastic, and it scares me.” When I asked why it scared him, he said it was because he didn’t know why it was so good, while others around him were crying wolf.


    Seize the opportunity
    I told him that I had a pretty good idea why business was so good for him. He’s always been proactive and never afraid to invest in his business, good times or bad. He would take the highest visibility ad placements and best bridal show booth placement.  While others were finding a rock to crawl under, waiting for the recession to pass, he was grabbing every opportunity to stand out. Fortunately for him, his competitors were literally giving him more business by pulling back on their marketing and placements. What do you do when things are looking bad? Do you pull back, or do you take the opportunity to grab market share, while it’s easy?


    How do you define success?
    Each of us defines our success. For some it’s defined by money. For others it’s the time we have with family or for personal endeavors. For others still, it’s creative or technical measures. What is it for you? What defines your success? There’s no right or wrong answer. Success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.


    What was your goal for last year? Was it a certain number of weddings and events? Was it a particular gross sales dollar amount? Or, was there some other measure? How did you do?


    Survey says…
    So, it’s that time again. I want to see how your year ended up, and how you’re feeling about the coming year. How was your 2013? Did it live up to your expectations? Did you make your goals, exceed them or fall short?


    I’ve set up a special link for event pros. The anonymous survey is only 10 questions, plus a couple for demographic info. Share your voice. Share your success. I’ll be sharing the results of the survey in a future blog post. It will only take a few minutes of your time. Thanks, in advance for participating.