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Academy TV is your chance to learn from our Director, Kylie Carlson. The Academy is unique in the fact that we are the only training company producing free-to-air videos for aspiring and novice wedding professionals. It is a great way to get a sneak peek of the quality of education and training you will receive as a student of the Academy.

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The Academy Google Hangouts are a chance for our students to chat with a tutor live on air and give a great insight into what life is like as an Academy student. It is great publicity for our students and a chance to talk about what it is they are trying to achieve, their business, or their job in the events industry.

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The Business of Weddings Podcast Show

The Business of Weddings Podcast show is available on iTunes and is hosted by several of the staff at the Academy. Each podcast brings you an up close and personal interview with a different expert within the wedding and event industry to help you learn from those already out there enjoying success.

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Industry News

15 Minutes A Day to Achieve More

Most of the students who study at the Academy are combining their study with work and/or family.  Many are also business people, or have taken the decision to do the course alongside launching a business. Undoubtedly they also have friends, family and interests outside work and study that draw on their time too. That is life and most of us will say that we are juggling a number of competing tasks, responsibilities and interests.  It is also common these days to hear people say; I have too much to do, I can’t get anything done, I can’t get motivated to do/finish what I need to do.  I know that feeling too. It’s reasonable when you are busy and you want to achieve great things.  But there are many successful people who have just as many, if not more, competing tasks each day and they get them done and juggle those balls.  How do they do it?
Design Your Day
How you juggle your life and stay not only sane, but happy and balanced will be different for you, me and everyone else. We all have our own unique style and mix of things we need to juggle, so one approach does not suit all.  But what I have learned, from other people who make that juggle look seamless, is that they PLAN for how they use their time.  They design their days so that they know what they are doing from one minute to the next and have a road-map for how they will get what they need to do, done.  This is what enables those people to stay focused and not have to rely on being motivated to finish tasks.  They plan their day, block out the time they need and go for it.  I have also learned, that they set realistic and achievable goals for each day and have a good understanding of how long tasks take.
Get Your Focus Back
If you have been struggling with focus and motivation and are not used to planning your days at all, this challenge is for you. Whilst this is a strategy you could employ every day if you have certain tasks or projects you want to tick of, it can also be used as a jumping off point for developing a habit of building time into your day for activities like study, launching a business or running one alongside your day job.
This is the 15 Minutes A Day Challenge
The rules are simple.
The aim is to create some momentum by building a habit of planning for how you use your time.

Choose one thing you want to challenge yourself to do, start or finish. Just one thing. If your goal is big, break it down into smaller steps and choose one to complete in a week.
Review your schedule and find 15 minutes in every day that you can block out.  The same time each day works best for me, but that isn’t the case for everyone, particularly if every day is different. Regardless of how you do it, this step is the same.  Look at the next 7 days and block out 15 minutes of time on each day.
Make a pledge with yourself to only use that 15 minutes for this one task.  This is all about forming a habit so it won’t work if you dodge the 15 minutes on any given day.
Use the 15 minutes on your first day to plan exactly what steps you are going to take on the next 6 days.  I will use study as an example.  If you are working through a module of your course, go to that module on day 1 and break down the tasks within it.  Find 6 things you can do in 15 minute blocks and list them out. Whatever you choose to do, the aim is to start and finish something in each 15 minute block so make sure you give careful thought to the activities you choose on your planning day (day 1).
Come back to the task each day and spend 15 minutes on it. The benefit of the work you did on day 1 is that you won’t be losing precious time working out what you are going to do in that 15 minutes. You already have a plan.

Just do it
15 minutes a day won’t be enough to complete most projects, or even a course.  That is not what this challenge is about.  The challenge is designed to encourage you to see just what can be achieved in small amounts of time each day, when you plan and to encourage you to build up some momentum in your life so you become more focused and motivated.  I use the 15 minute a day approach when I want to tick off small jobs that are starting to pile up, or do some research on a project. I  also use it when I have been away form my normal routine and am finding it hard to get focused again.  But it is also ideal if you have been sitting on finishing something for a while and just can get motivated to get back into it. Often this is because we are looking at the big picture only.  The 15 minute a day challenge will teach you that baby steps taken one after the other, consistently, move you forward too.
You Nailed It
Once you complete the 15 Minute A Day Challenge and see results, don’t stop there.  Do it again, or better yet, build on it.  Can you find 20 minutes a day, even 30 for something that really matters?
If you are a student of the Academy join me in the Academy Live Facebook Group to share your wins on the 15 Minute A Day Challenge. Good luck!
The post 15 Minutes A Day to Achieve More appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
15 Minutes A Day to Achieve More

No Nonsense Quotes to Inspire Your Business Success!

I love inspiring quotes and I often look through my library of books for words of wisdom from those I admire when I am faced with challenges.  There are some that I just love for what they say about life and love, but today I wanted to share with you some of the ones that speak to me when I am thinking about my business and the journey I am on in my career.  Because I work primarily on my own there are times when I need to remind myself of what is important to me and here are just a handful of quotes which do that for me.
“I think you have to take charge of your life and understand that you’re either going to live somebody else’s dream, or live your own dream.” Wilma Mankiller, First Woman Chief, Cherokee Nation
“The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vidal Sassoon, Hairdresser
“Take a punt in life, that’s what I believe.  If you just sit there the days run away.  If you make a few mistakes, who cares?  You can shut yourself in your house and never come out again, or you can hang in there and keep on trying.  You decide which.” Lady Rupert Clarke
“Instead of thinking about where you are, think about where you want to be.  It takes twenty years of hard work to become an overnight success.” Diane Rankin, Author
Have you picked up a theme in these quotes?  There is not a ‘watch the rainbow and it will reveal your dreams’ sentence amongst them.  Like I said, those types of quotes have a place.  But when I think about my work, my business and the goals I have for my financial and business success I need realistic speak and from people who know that hard works brings rewards.  I know life probably looks glamorous for the likes of Beyonce and Madonna, but don’t be fooled into thinking that these women don’t work hard for what they have and it has not come to them overnight either.  There are few free rides in business.
When you are next tempted to wonder where the easy way out is, consider how you feel when you have completed a physically demanding task.  For me, it’s mowing on a hot day.  That is hard work (and I have a lot of land to mow) but when I sit back at the end of the job, with a cool drink and look out over what I have achieved, I feel as powerful as I ever do.  It is actually why I still do it from time to time.  Cheers to hard work!
The post No Nonsense Quotes to Inspire Your Business Success! appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
No Nonsense Quotes to Inspire Your Business Success!

Wedding & Event Qualifications – Do I Need Them?

Today’s blog post was inspired by questions we receive from those of you considering study with the Academy and careers in the wedding and event industry.  If you have been thinking about a career as a Wedding or Event Planner, Stylist or Designer, you may have also wondered; Do I need wedding and event qualifications to work in the industry?

To help with answering this question I turned to UK Academy Tutor and Course Advisor Zoe McKeown, who also works in the industry as a Wedding Planner.  Zoe knows first-hand what employers and clients are looking for from the professionals they work with. Here’s Zoe’s answer to the question of what qualification you will need to work in the wedding and event industry.
Officially there is no one specific qualification that will enable you to work in the industry. It is more about matching your learning needs to a course. If you have more up to date knowledge of the job your confidence will increase and that will give you the best chance to succeed. So decide what you think you want to learn and at what level. It is always best to choose a course that is accredited and recognised in the industry as this will carry the most weight on a CV/Resume. A qualification will allow you to explore your own skills and to see where you can best utilise them moving your career forward. It is always a good idea to take a course that allows you to get full support from an experienced tutor to ensure you get started on the right path with the best advice.
This is the same answer we will give you whether you are enquiring from Australia and New Zealand, North America or the United Arab Emirates.

Put more bluntly, you can call yourself a Wedding Planner or Event Manager right now, without doing a course.  You can save the money you would use for a course and put it towards a website for example. But and this is an important but, if you haven’t gained the skills and knowledge you need to do the job, will you have the confidence you need to stand behind the claims you are going to make about yourself on that website (or on your CV if you are going to go after a job)? Will you know where to start when it comes to working with clients and helping to manage their wedding or event?  Will you be able to convince people to buy your services instead of your competitor’s, who may have the qualification that you decided not to get?  To answer these important, ‘but’ questions, consider the skills, knowledge and experience you have and then review our courses to determine if there are things within them that you need to learn or become better at and then also consider how you are going to give your future clients the confidence they need to choose you, instead of someone else.  This will help you decide if YOU need a wedding or event qualification.

A final word on qualifications.  Sometimes we can talk ourselves out of working towards something, like a qualification, because it seems too big and out of reach.  That is fear talking.  Ask yourself what is it that I really want and how can I achieve it. At the Academy we say; dream BIG!

The post Wedding & Event Qualifications – Do I Need Them? appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Wedding & Event Qualifications – Do I Need Them?

Work-Life-Balance, Exactly How Does That Work?

One of the reasons that people turn to wedding and events as a career is because they are in search of that elusive Work-Life-Balance scenario that is talked about so much everywhere these days. It is quite normal now for employers to talk about how their organisation operates a flexible workplace with great child care options and family friendly HR policies. Another big area is the Virtual Workforce which is often embraced by allot of the larger companies out there. They have realised that many jobs can be done virtually by using all the modern technology we have at our finger tips. They know that without offering these options they are cutting out a large percentage of the highly employable, as more and more people need or want a balance between family and work life.
So what exactly is Work-Life-Balance? Is it a term that has been invented by someone to make us feel even more guilty than we already do about our hectic schedules? Or is it simply a term that makes us really think about the choices we make in our personal and business lives? I am not sure that any of us can say we truly have the perfect balance in our life – I’ve always thought that was a bit like the ‘Holy Grail’ – impossible to find. However, we do have more options available to us now than we did even 20 years ago.
I know that when I made the decision to start my own company in the event planning industry many years ago in London, part of my decision was made because I knew it would allow me to spend more time at home with my daughter as I grew my business. I was 5 months pregnant when I started my business and it was the one thing that kept me sane through my pregnancy and for all those months after she was born. It allowed me to maintain my corporate life without the pressures of having to be up at the crack of dawn and out the house by 7.30am. For the first 6 months, it was easy to fit things in around my life, as I was really only going through the launching stage and doing more marketing than anything else. Once things picked up and I had my first couple of events to plan I made the decision to send my daughter to day care two mornings and two afternoons a week. It was a good balance for me as I was able to get all my phone calls and meetings done whilst she was in day care, and the rest I fitted in around her naps etc. Was it perfect? No, but it worked for me and was definitely better than the alternative. I was in charge of my own day and was earning a good living without having to rejoin the rat race.

What you need to remember about this type of work is that what works for some won’t work for others. Working virtually can be a challenge sometimes and you need to be able to work happily on your own without getting lonely. Mix it up a bit. If you have a quiet week coming up where you won’t be seeing many people then grab your laptop and head for the nearest coffee shop and work from there for a while. People watching can really spark creativity too, so you are killing two birds with one stone. Breaking the boredom of being on your own and hopefully filling your head with ideas at the same time.
I recently came across a great Huff Post article called How To Achieve The Perfect Work-Life Balance. Have a read through it and let me know what you think. To quote Albert Einstein “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
The post Work-Life-Balance, Exactly How Does That Work? appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Work-Life-Balance, Exactly How Does That Work?

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