With such large changes across the board, how has this caused yet another great industry pivot? Here is how the loss of one business helped fuel a personal fire to pivot and transition to continue to grow.

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About Our Guest:

Bobbi Brinkman

CEO & Creative Director at Bobbi Brinkman Photography

Bobbi Brinkman is a wedding photographer based out of Georgia but used to travel frequently for work. COVID-19 has shifted the entirety of her world and taught her the deeper meaning of industry pivot. Now she works not only to keep her own passion alive but that of others in the wedding industry until a normal can be established.

This is only one branch of the creative industry world, but perhaps with this one glance you can see how greatly we’ve all been impacted and it might just help you make your pivotal business decision.

Episode Transcript:

Halie Morris  0:00  

All right, Hello, and welcome to Everyday Business Solutions. Today we’re going to be talking about how the creative and service industries have changed in response to COVID-19. My name is Halie Morris. I am your podcast coordinator and host. I hope you know me by this point. 

Today I have with me Bobbi Brinkman, and she is a wedding photographer and also podcast host herself. Bobby is going to really delve into exactly what I said; how the creative and service industries around her have shifted and changed. So Bobby, would you like to tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Bobbi Brinkman  1:06  

Well, sure and again, Halie, thank you for having me on the show. Kudos to you you’re gonna be fabulous doing this. I think it’s something that all small businesses, especially with COVID-19 need to pivot into. The fact that you guys, with software and everything else you do, with the fact that you’re supporting other small businesses by making awareness and just making people aware that there are struggles no matter how big or small that as a small business in whatever community we’re here to help each other through all this good bad COVID-19, not COVID-19, hurricane, snowstorm, whatever, right? 

So again, thank you for doing that. Small businesses everywhere will appreciate you. So I am Bobby Brinkman, currently living in beautiful St. Simons Island, Georgia. So it’s tropical and warm, getting ready to go into hurricane season (update: it is currently hurricane season), which is a whole nother topic for pivoting. 

But as you mentioned, 40 years I have been a creative entrepreneur. I’ve been a wedding photographer all those years. So I work with weddings and events. Needless to say, as you know, full well in Ohio, it’s come to a screeching halt. We had 27 weddings, as we usually do. Every year we stick between 27 and 30. As a destination wedding photographer, I travel the country. So I had one in Ohio, Chicago, etc. I travel. 

So not only did it affect local weddings, like in everybody’s small states, small cities region, it affected the travel portion, which is a trickle down effect to the hotel industry, the airline industry. So the trickle down effect from one event, just one wedding being canceled, the number of small businesses that’s involved is huge. 

So along with being a photographer, and small business owner, I’m also a speaker and educator. So traveling, doing live events, speaking workshops, also came crashing to a halt. Imagine four years later in an industry that is recession-proof because everybody is always getting married. Right? What do you do now? And that’s how our conversation started about, do you have software in place? Do you have automation in place? What’s going to help you now that you can’t serve, and do your calling? 

Like myself and many other small businesses, again, small being Airbnb, VRBO, anybody that is related to putting on an event, having people come to an event, how do you get them to event, it just snowballs and it trickles all the way down to even the person, like you guys, who offer software. Maybe now we can’t get that new software. Maybe you guys are working on a great product for what we wanted to be doing in 2020 and 21. 

Now we need to pivot and I laugh and say that pivot is almost as used as much as Coronavirus in 2020, but I think it’s something that we all have to do. I also believe that as entrepreneurs, that’s what we started. We started with a pivot, we wanted to pick from what we were doing to something else. I think we’re always pivoting and shifting. 

Again, companies like you guys you had to pivot too. You may have to work at home, share what’s different, use that one-on-one connection with your clients. I’m sure there’s a lot of clients for you guys, too, did exactly what I was saying, can’t move forward with it. How am I going to move forward with this software, but also I got to reach out to people like you and say, we’re stuck. Do you have automation? What’s something we can currently create together? 

So now you might be venturing out into a whole nother area that you didn’t think was possible, or that you didn’t think you could, but again, entrepreneurs- we all took that first step and had the faith that we can do something. So here we are, again, reinventing ourselves.

Wedding photographer pivot

Halie  5:00  

Of course, we shifted completely to remote so our internal operations changed a bit. We change settings, which is actually the discussion I had with our CEO. We changed settings for us, but our customers’ livelihoods sometimes just completely shifted. 

I know when New York locked down they were all on the ‘Do Not Call’ list. You couldn’t use your calling campaigns the same way because everywhere had shut down. So we had anybody who had calls to go out to New York for our auto dialer, we’re panicking because now their whole list is shut down for that area. They weren’t the only ones. 

It is crazy because then you see if they’re affected, who’s affected, and who’s affected because of that, and they’re all slowly kind of locked down. With all this craziness have happened, obviously and with your entire industry kind of receding for the moment. What was your initial reaction? How did that hit you when that happened?

Bobbi  6:05  

It hit me hard and I think it hit anybody that’s been in the industry for five or more years. I think if you’re brand new, you really lost your craft. I mean, you thought, Oh my gosh, I just may be left the nine to five or now I can’t leave a nine to five. What am I going to do? So I think for somebody like me is- I date myself here- I went through with 911 and I went through the big stock market crash, which for most people, parents still pay for the wedding. So when mom and dad lost all their stock money, weddings were put on hold, but it was different. 

I think we as an industry, and as I think as all humans do, we weren’t afraid to go do something because we might not have had money or we couldn’t have maybe spent an extra night at the movies. But we weren’t going to knowingly maybe get sick or knowingly cause harm to ourselves or something else. The safety factor and premise that by saying, we all know driving to the movie theater, something could happen. But this is, you know, this could happen if you attended this, this and this. 

So my other initial reaction was, what are we going to do for the couples? How are we going to serve our clients? How are we going to serve our fellow industry people? Because money stopped. There was no reason for anybody to pay because in the wedding industry as you know, and for the most part travel as well. It’s a luxury, you work hard to go on your vacation, you’re going to take it. 

You may have worked hard to plan your wedding, but you don’t need to spend the money on it. It’s a choice of what you want to spend the money on. So all of a sudden, you’re just like, I got bills to pay. My couples are not going to continue to pay me but I’m contracted responsible to do something. Now the mess comes if nobody has pandemics in their contracts. So the fear comes in, will you lose everything? Will you be able to save something? Will your clients move forward? We as an industry pretty much jumped on the campaign of rescheduling, don’t cancel. 

For a long time on all my social media I had, save a small business don’t just cancel, let’s start thinking outside the box. So no more 300 person weddings. Well, you’re in Ohio. Right off the bat, he was like, you can have 300 personal weddings, just six feet apart, but you only have X amount of space in a venue. There are so many rules and guidelines and nothing’s the same in all the states. 

As an industry, we had no guidelines. Well, this is what’s happening in Ohio, but this is what’s happening in Georgia. Well, wait, that’s what’s happening in New York. Now, you’re not supposed to call and bug anybody, if you could even get through. Then you have to go, “Hi, I hope everything’s okay. Are you rescheduling?” and hope you don’t hear “Oh, my mother just got COVID-19 and passed away.” 

Now, it’s a shift. We had two grooms in New York, and got COVID-19. One is still very very sick. We’ve had three photographers that have passed away from this. It’s real and we know it’s real. As a small business owner, you have no choice but to serve your couples or your clients, serve yourself and you’ve got to wear that hat. 

You have to lead with empathy, but you have to be a business person. I think because I’ve been around for a while, I was able to transition and help guide and say, let’s take these weddings, and let’s pivot them. They’re not going to be the same. The days are not gonna look like it would have, but you can still get married. 

Because the other thing that we tried to adapt was, weddings are canceled, but those marriages. The marriage does still happen. Not all states have a JP (Justice of the Peace, who can perform civil marriages). You may not be able to come here, but you’re still going to be able to have your party. 

So how can we salvage income coming in? It’s talking to those individual clients, saying, okay, you’re going to get married on this day. Let’s move you to this day, go to Ohio and get married in Ohio, or get married in New York. But let’s come down here. Let’s have your reception. It’s going to look different. All our services are going to look different. Instead of just writing each other off, let’s try to figure out a way that you can have a great day, we can still serve you, and we can also still supply income and support our families. 

I think that the impact right off the bat, my concern was for our clients, and of my fellow industry people. Then I quickly realized that no matter what I could do if we didn’t have venues, or we couldn’t get people to point A or point B, that it was a much larger picture than I initially thought.

Halie  10:31  

Yeah, because if you don’t have a venue, you don’t have a location wedding, you don’t have caterers. You don’t have any of the people who might come in and serve the food or maintain the space or any of that. It’s not even just you. All of a sudden it’s, and it’s not even just your couple, it’s all of these people who relied on that paycheck.

Bobbi  10:54  

Right. It’s like right now, Georgia is still on the travel ban. If I went to Ohio. Your governor said I have to quarantine 14 days. While I could still serve my client in Ohio, who was getting married here on the beach, contract-wise, I can say I can still do my job. 

But I can’t now legally and safely come to Ohio and you get married in your backyard. I can photograph in the backyard, I can photograph you in your front yard. I can continue doing that. It’s not going to be what you paid me to do, but I can still do my job. So that’s where the business hat has to come on, even though I understand. 

Again, it’s a business, and let’s face it, you guys know you’re still in an industry that gets reviews and referrals and word of mouth. People got nasty. People went to the media and started saying, hey, so and so didn’t give my money back or this venue said I can’t have this and started attacking hotels and caterers. You know what? We live in a world of Google reviews. We live in a world of Yelp reviews. 

All of a sudden you’re attacked for just trying to take care of yourself, but also trying to help. Where was the dead-end? I can’t go any further because the government said I can’t do this. City and state guidelines that I can’t do this. So you had to dig deep, pick up that phone and think outside the box. You had to say how can we work this out together and what can we do? 

We started with 27 weddings. I was able to shift 19 of them into the fall. I can tell you that of those 19 now as of the last couple weeks based on where COVID-19 is on August 13, we are now down to nine weddings because 10 people just felt it is not safe enough to travel here to the beach. They don’t want to put people on the plane yet. 

We just had our first reschedule wedding this past Friday. There was a couple from Ohio, ironically, and 19 people. Out of 175, they have 19 people. It went from a six-hour day to a two hour day. That’s what we’re seeing. 

I anticipate that all those nine weddings that are left and one has to be in Miami, one happens to be in St. Louis, one happens to be in North Carolina, I anticipate they’re going to pick up the phone and say, we’re just not going to go forward. Then what happens is those that reschedule aren’t going to reschedule for the third time. They’re going to be in a cancellation situation. 

Then those that are rescheduled, we’re now working for 2020 and 2021, with the same amount of pay that we did for 2020. I don’t want to harp too much about the pay, but this is a small business, so our dates as wedding vendors are our inventory. What I sell are dates. I’m going to show up on this date for you. If you now move your day to 2021. Yes, all the listeners that are listening, we did get paid for that date and 2020 but now I’m working on 2021 on a day that I can no longer take money. 

Again, you have to put your business hat on and try to figure out how I can keep making these weddings smaller and serving them. Also, it’s going to take until 2022 for us to start catching up again and getting back to what is “normal.” In the next couple of years, we’re playing catch up financially, to rebuild our businesses. I’m sure you know this where you are. Businesses every day, wedding venues are closing, catering companies are closing. We’re seeing it every day. Restaurants are closing. We can only take so much. 

If you’re not able to serve the clients, then you don’t have a business. If they can’t get to you for legality reasons or state mandates, you don’t have a business. I think that’s really hard as an entrepreneur because you want me to do everything. I’m possible. That’s why you’re an entrepreneur. You want to go out there and get it. You want to create something that people need, you solve the niche, you found a problem, and you’re ready to serve. But you can’t.

Thank You For Shopping Local - Help Small Businesses During the Industry Pivot

Halie  15:09  

Yeah, it’s crazy, because we’re all affected. We’re all affected, period. But we’re all affected so differently, and it’s become this year, there’s kind of a necessary selfish mindset because you have to think of your health and safety first. Then it is sort of divided on those who seem to care and address it with severity and those who say, well, either they don’t care or they don’t believe it’s real, because they haven’t seen it yet. 

They haven’t seen the effects of it. They think these numbers are just being thrown at them. I’ve met people like that. “Well think this is just a government conspiracy.” Okay, that’s cool, but you just have to kind of keep to yourself and wear a mask. You could potentially be saving lives if they’re right and if not, you’re mildly inconvenienced for a time. 

Then you have the flip side, which is if they’re keeping to themselves for a while and we’re truly locked down it was, you can’t go get your haircut, you can’t go have these events. You can’t do anything. You were literally limited to your house, except for a small case of situations. 

It’s crazy because for example, we have a family friend, she’s also a hairstylist. It’s one of those same things like the reaction she gets for customers because they have to wear a mask in the chair. They’re so mean to her and she’s like, “Listen, if you don’t do this, I could lose my business for good.” It’s a law (mandate).

Bobbi  16:41 

Not only could you die, but you could take away my income and it’s the same with teachers or anybody else. We definitely don’t want to get political here, but it boils down to couples also starting to get a bad rap because couples would write to me and say wedding planning is already overwhelming. 

Now I have to wonder, do I risk having 15 people come in? What if somebody gets sick? Then lawyers are involved? Well, make sure you get a waiver. Make sure you don’t sue this person. It’s all of a sudden you’re wondering if it’s worth it? Then if we go ahead, Bobbi, and have our wedding, are we selfish? No. How about just the two of you get married, come down here and get married. 

That’s what’s important. At the end of the day, no matter if you want to be married 100 times or five times or don’t even do a marriage- at the end of the day, it’s the fact you got married. The party and everything else is wonderful. But you also didn’t want to go through your whole life- if you wanted to elope, you wanted to elope. You weren’t going to be planning a wedding. 

It’s kind of like if I wanted to go on a vacation out of the country, and I saved my whole life to be going to Europe for a month. Now I can’t go to Europe. It’s really hard when you’re like, “I did everything right. I’ve done everything. I followed the rules. I’m doing this and I also want to keep supporting everybody in the community. I want to keep the vendors working. I want to have somebody come and cater to my house,”

It boils down to, is it worth risking your life to do that? And is somebody afraid that that’s going to happen? Nobody wants to be the one who says, oh, at my wedding, Uncle Steve got sick and died. That can happen all the time. Yeah, we know that you can. There’s always somebody seeking a wedding or things can happen. 

Then you take the other side of that if nobody’s going out socializing, how are you going to be dating? So how are you going to have weddings? I mean, where are the engagements? Where’s that happening? People forget about that. We’re just gonna date on the app and then go, oh, we met on zoom. Let’s have a zoom wedding. We spent three months talking in zoom. You just never meet your husband and go oh, when we can come back together we’ll buy a house together. 

Halie  18:51

I saw a post that said, “why can’t we support people who just want to have virtual relationships?” but it’s not a relationship.

Bobbi  19:10  

It’s crazy.

Halie  19:13  

It’s so strange. It’s such a strange world. I think it goes back to if you have this industry who is just trying to abide by the laws and take care of their business and do as much as they can, for you as the consumer, that I feel like you should be grateful. It boils back to, you have to respect that because when you run your own stuff, whether it’s a business or just your own life, you’re just trying to, most the time, abide by the law, and do what’s best for yourself and whoever you’re interacting with. 

It’s the same thing as we do, Compliance is one of the top things we really make sure that we work with. Our products that we put out are actually there to help other businesses stay compliant. They do a lot of that work for them. So compliance is a huge thing for us, that legal side. 

But also, we always make sure we cultivate our culture, and that we’re there for the customer. We tell our sales team, we tell our customer support team, if they want to cross-sell, that’s great, but the opportunity has to come to you and it has to be there. It’s not something that you imagine is there and then you force a product on somebody that they don’t need or want, or have the capacity to handle at this time. 

Bobbi  20:23  

Especially now you have to be mindful that everybody’s small business budget is tight. If I come to a software developer as you or I walk in the door, and I’m just lost, and we had a conversation somewhere or somebody says, Hey, have you talked to this company? Have you talked to these guys? They have everyday solutions

Out of the blue, you might say “Hey Bobbi, did you know we have a software that might be able to get all your clients right now and you could send information out or send ideas out and help about the outside of the box?” Then maybe with me, we’re doing my education or my speaking, 

I could sit down with you and brainstorm and say, How can I streamline that to where I’m not spending a bunch of money, but I’m also not spending my time, and I’m reaching the right person. So it goes back to small businesses connect to small businesses. That’s why we love being b2b. 

It’s because I may not need you right now, but I can tell somebody that you’re available, or I can say, “Hey, have you guys talked to these guys about solutions?” So that’s the other part with COVID-19 is that the people that run small businesses, we can’t get in front of other people. We can’t get in front of other clients that may not need us right now but could say to somebody, oh, well, you know, Bobby’s a photographer if you need product shots right now, while your business is transitioning. This is a time to get new headshots. We can go outside and try something. Let’s put the mask on, go to your new business, and refresh your office. Let’s get new headshots for your people. 

So still doing my craft, still being able to support myself, offering a service that a company like yours would need. We missed that too in  COVID-19. We’re not able to get out there and continue that networking, just brainstorming and that like-mindedness. I mean, we can sit in zooms. 

Right before I had this with you, I had a zoom pro panel of nine other industry people. We took questions from engaged couples who have no idea what to do. As we talk, and we brainstorm, they were like, Oh, my gosh, I never thought of that. We’re the professionals. That’s why you hired us. We’re not the bad people. We’re trying to help and do good. It goes back to the number one rule of just being kind in general. 

Be Kind on a laptop wallpaper next to a yeti mug

You don’t know what path somebody’s walking on. If we go back and start that way, we’re gonna get through this. I preach all the time that there is “fab” (“fab” and “fabbo” are branded terms used frequently with the Bobbi Brinkman Photography experience) on the other side of this, but we have to be patient to get there for whatever lesson we’re supposed to be learning. 

As a small business person who wants to serve the community and our clients, this is really hard, devastating, heartbreaking, and overwhelming not just for me and my family, but also for all the people that have supported me all these years. They keep rooting for me to keep going forward and keep telling potential couples of others, but people are also afraid to book a wedding. I mean, I’ll get a call, but now they’re like, well, we’re thinking of 2022. 

I think you and I both know that you don’t want to really have a two year engagement. That doesn’t happen that often. I mean, why wait? I think that’s hard, but that’s again, there’s things like what you’re doing here and putting small businesses out in front of other small businesses. It just reminds people that there’s a business for that or that person is struggling. 

I never thought of the trickle down. I never thought that I was maybe being affected by them not being able to get on a plane or that my not going to that resort is actually not being able to have that, you know, bellhop or anybody else keep their job. Furlough is happening everywhere in every industry and it’s heartbreaking.

Halie  24:17  

It is. It’s kind of crazy because it has such a domino effect. That’s the one phrase I keep coming back to because that’s the best way to think of it. When one falls, it does go down the line then. There have been positives. 

Like you just mentioned. You just sat on a panel where you bring experts right in front of people who have these concerns. That’s something you probably didn’t do before. Tell us more about that. Tell us more about that experience of creating that kind of panel and that kind of experience for your consumer and how it’s impacted you.

Bobbi  24:53  

I think a lot of people, no matter what industry, are afraid to go on social media and do anything. They ask, “what do I say?” Obviously going on there saying, hey, last week’s wedding, we’re doing this or Hey, don’t forget or book this now, we have a few days left. 

Now, you have to be so careful not to harm somebody because the last thing you want to say is, Hey, I don’t care COVID-19 is going on. People are still getting married. Well, then somebody’s going to comment that people are dying. So you’re like, Oh my gosh! You have to be careful when you put a few things out there. I started putting more things out like, hey, I’m here to help. 

My tagline has always been cheering on creatives to be fab. Oh. When I motivational speak or I talk, it’s, Hey, remember that you’re fabbo. Anything you’re doing. Your purpose and your value. Whatever industry. I have to think back and I started putting out Hey, I’m here to help. On social media, we’d be like hey, hope you have a wonderful Monday. Kick butt or get some coffee and I’m here to help. 

So I started throwing those things out there and started getting some couples to go, Hey, I’m not hiring you. I’m in Nebraska, but you have a lot of good information. What do you think about having a wedding? What’s it going to look like? If we move our wedding to the fall, I have to get fall flowers. Everything changes. It started being, “will my guests pay more in airline travel.” 

I just started putting it out there going, Hey, if any other vendor would like to get together on Thursdays, let’s do a lunch break. Let’s do a brain session. Let’s do a brain dump. Let’s have brunch and lunch. Let’s have lunch and learn. So about eight or nine people will chime on, and then they all send out their list. We get about 20 or 30 couples, you know, every Thursday at lunch. 

They come on, and they just come up with the questions. They’ll send it to us via dm or on Facebook. Then we all take turns. Today we had about 17 couples that chimed in to listen and we had like eight or nine vendors. Some go and some come. It lasts about 90 minutes of people actually eating sandwiches at their desks. 

It’s one of those oh my gosh, I never thought about that moment. (Things that were talked about were..)  Maybe you can get a Vrbo or Airbnb. If you only have eight or nine people, buy one that has a pool, get married by the pool, and you’re still all together. The photographer could still come safely. You put a little DJ in the corner if you needed to, or let’s go find a place in the mountains that gives you a little bit more room. 

It may not look exactly the same, but if your guests are willing to come, they feel like getting in a car for an hour or 90 minutes, and they’ve already been quarantined with their family, now they can get a cabin with themselves and you’re sitting outside. Is there a risk? Sure. But by the same token, that’s a solution to their problems. 

Most couples aren’t even thinking about that. I’ve always wanted to be educating and motivating. That’s just always been a call of mine. I do believe that. And taking photos because I always say that photography found me. I didn’t find it. 

I think it goes with the storytelling process and that I have the privilege to be the historian, but I think I’m also privileged to be of service right now. If I’m not taking photos I can least help some other struggling vendors who are just lost. You really do know more than you know. We always say we don’t know what you don’t know. We also know more than we don’t know we know.  

I think when you’re put in a situation to figure out how to get out the box, you’ll figure out how to get out of the box. Because when it boils down to it, that’s where an entrepreneur is. You didn’t want to be told what to do or be asked what to do. You wanted to come up with the idea that you bring to life. It’s just the same thing as you do with this. You get some people together and you get people to move some mountains. We said earlier that while we’re on the same storm, we’re all not in the same boat. 

People are struggling differently, the boat might be sinking, others are rising. So as a community of service professionals in the wedding, event, and hospitality industry, the more we can come together and just be available for couples to ask questions, here we are. So ask a question.

Halie  29:06  

I totally agree. I think that our ability to adapt is incredible. I’ve always seen movies where it’s like, oh my gosh, there’s this big change and everybody’s devastated for years and years, but I said, but that’s not what happens. 

People adapt. They take up a new normal. They figure out a path that works for them, as long as they’re willing to. Where we don’t help ourselves is if we overwhelm ourselves. So that’s when we actually do shut down. But again, usually, you start to figure out how to pivot. If you don’t figure out how to pivot you don’t make it and most of us have enough of survivor’s instinct that we figure that out. It’s just that understanding that in a hopeless situation, you can still come out with positives. 

I’ve talked to a lot of people where they’re like, there’s really good things that are evolving and we’re seeing a lot of shifts and changes and things that have been years in the making that people have been dragging their feet on. Things like that. It’s been very cool to see that in such a crazy year where we’ve had everything’s cake and murder Hornets and everything else that you have. I don’t even know what.

Bobbi  30:18  

It just came through you guys. Whatever it was. it took trees down and you’re like, what is all that?! They called it a land cane (Referring to the Dereho that hit Iowa in August of 2020) that came through Chicago and Iowa. A land cane, which is insane.

Halie  30:32  

It skated right around us. 

Bobbi  30:34  

Exactly! You’re exactly right. The number of people that are going to invent things that we didn’t know we needed. There are plenty of businesses that are making good money. A couple of weeks ago, in Alabama, they owned a pest control company, and they’re swamped. 

I’m like, Well, you know why? And he says, you’re gonna say it, aren’t you? I’m like, all the kids are at home eating every day all day. Think about it. People are at home, and they didn’t realize it, but they had a couple of bugs there even though they didn’t realize it. He says, so we picked up so many new clients that never wanted bug control or pest control. 

Now that they’re home, they’re like, I just saw a little bug, or there are mosquitoes, there are flies out here because they’re never home and they’re busy. So you’re going to have people adapt. I think we’re gonna have wonderful ideas. I know so many teachers who have adapted homeschooling programs that they’re now going to be able to have that as a separate way to scale their business. 

I’ve seen online little boutiques do the videos in the store now and say, Hey, this is what this model looks like, three different sizes. I have a mask on. They’re still able to go online in their store and buy online. If you have something that you want, we’ll always find a way to do it. If you don’t want to do it, you’ll find an excuse not to but if you want to do it, you’ll find a way to do it. 

Whether that defines us as being successful or not, if you want something bad enough, you’ll do it. If you want to see the change, you can’t keep waiting for somebody else to make the change for you. If you want something different, you’re going to have to go get it yourself. 

It does go back down to the entrepreneurial spirit. We’ve all had to figure out- I know for a fact that I miss my family, unable to see my nieces and everything, but I can tell you that I know a number of my friends who have never had so much Saturday mornings with their kids watching cartoons. 

There’s been a lot of good things come out of this. Let’s face it, dogs are the happiest people in the world. How many walks do you want to take me on today? Look at pounds and they all got adopted. So there were good things about it. I just think as business owners you don’t realize you get so busy. You’re walking to get a cup of coffee from Joe every morning and things happen. 

Then all of a sudden you don’t see Joe till later on and now you haven’t seen Joe for three weeks. You realize, I never really said how’s your family? I never really said, what are your kids up to? I think it’ll be different when we get back to a semi-normal way of being able to walk, go to a drive-in movie, or go to a concert. 

The experiences that we’re missing are things that our generation said, this is what describes me, but I think this generation that’s starting off in six to seven eighth grade, they’re going to have a whole different thing that is going to describe them and what they’re going to succeed in. 

We’re in a generation right now who’s not had an iPhone. Think about it. They don’t know what it’s like to not have an iPhone. I think great things will be coming from those that have survived and lived through this and if you look at it, the kids think nothing of putting on a mask and doing something. You adapt because you don’t question it.

Halie  34:04  

Yeah. I have a six-year-old sister. People are like, “well, we can’t force them to wear masks” but yeah, you can. I tell the six-year-old she has to wear a mask whenever we go into a store and she says okay. She’s really proud of it. People say, “Oh, you got a doll baby. You want to put a mask on a doll baby?” and give her a tissue to cover its mouth. She said, Yeah, I have to do that. I have to make sure they’re safe.” Hey, we taught you to do a little bit more. You just have to wear the mask and she’s adopted. And she’s six! 

So I feel like it goes back to you have to want to and you have to make the decision to. I taught my younger brother- he’s 19. Now he’s going into college. I taught him or I’m trying to teach him that it’s a decision to be happy. It’s a decision to be progressive and positive about what you do, whatever that is because he’s dealing with a very difficult time. He gets very stuck on it. It’s okay to feel those emotions. It’s not okay to say stuck on those emotions.

Bobbi  35:08

You have to choose joy. It has to be a choice. You have to choose to want to be happy. You have to choose to succeed or choose to go right or go left. You have to choose to be happy. 

I’m still gonna make some changes, I’m going to be looking forward to doing this, this and this, but I’m going to also take care of myself and I’m going to make sure I tell people I care about them more. Or I’m going to say, Hey, man, when I haven’t seen you for a while, I’m going to take the time to see you. I mean that’s a work life balance for a small business owner every single day.

That’s the struggle that we all go through. I need my business to thrive for my family, but I want my family. So I try to always teach and I try to live by working on your business. You know, work on your business, not in your business. Yeah, streamlined automation, software, everything like that can help you. But you’re still going to be you. 

People invest in people they trust in and people they believe in. If you continue doing that we will get through this COVID-19 thing. It’s just going to look different. But I think I think most of the business will survive. Because I think people in the community will support them. 

Halie  36:22

That’s it! Spread the positivity when you have it, spread the resources when you got them, and we’ll all come out stronger and better. When you share, you don’t come out with less as people think. No, you double what you both have. 

All right. I’m going to go ahead and wrap up with you. I think we’ve touched on a lot and we’ve given people a lot of food for thought, a lot to really consider about these industries that have been impacted the hardest, and how we affect each one. What our impact is as not just consumers, but as other businesses and how we act and choose to move. So yeah, I’m hoping that as we roll into new waves of normal that we do it with our best foot forward. 

Bobbi  37:11  

Keep supporting your small businesses there in Ohio. I mean, that’s the thing. Go out and cheer and have parties and plan some weddings, but you know, make them be smaller. Use the local vendors and the pros that are in the area. Then get those small businesses that have been struggling. You know, maybe you never thought about having a coffee bar at your wedding. Now go to that local coffee shop, say hey, can we have a coffee bar, and let’s try to bring everybody together in a positive way and little by little. Because if we all do good, we can all do well. So that’s what we have to do. So you know, I appreciate sharing a little bit about our industry and I appreciate you having me here to enlighten everybody about the industry.

Halie  37:52  

I’m happy to and I think this is something that will be great for people to know. So thank you for coming on again. 

Bobbi  38:11  

Fantastic and again, everybody stays safe. Thank you.

Halie  38:55  

Yes, thank you, Bobbi!

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