Even when not wedding planning, time management is critical to everyday life. So you know when we had entrepreneur and business coach, Candice Coppola on our podcast we had to ask her all the questions about time management. At one point in time Candice was running her own business, coaching other business owners and writing two books, so you know if anyone knows about time management, it’s her!
Bustld: We want to know a little more about your backstory and how you got started.
Candice: So, I got into the industry with no experience. I literally didn't finish college. Had no idea how to run a business, never planned a wedding in my life. I think I was a flower-girl once in a wedding, at that stage. But it was something I was really passionate about. I said to myself: you have an opportunity to do something. You don't have to follow the script that's been outlined for you, if you want to start a business, the worst thing you can do is try and if you fail, then you'll figure something else out, but now is your time; you don't have kids, you're not married, so you might as well just go for it, see what happens. I had the support of my family, I spent a good chunk of time, about a year, figuring out what kind of business I wanted, writing a plan, doing all of the background stuff and I launched my company.
And within two years, we were growing a team, we were number one, we were doing the thing, and I learned a lot along the way. I wrote two books. I started coaching wedding pros about eight years ago, so about mid-way through my journey of being a wedding planner. And then, last year, October 2019, I sold my business to a long-time team member. I didn't have as much love for it as I used to, and I decided that the something I wanted to do was to help others have the same level of success that I was so fortunate to have. So that's just a little snapshot of my story.
Bustld: So, when you were working as a wedding planner, obviously, you had a ton of different clients and team members, how did you manage your time with all those different responsibilities?
Candice: Great question. I think time management is something that is elusive to so many people, no matter if you're planning your wedding right now or if you are in the business of planning weddings or any business, really, time management is just such a hard thing to master. Fortunately, for me, I'm a really organized person and my relationship with time is that I believe that I need more time to get something done than I really need. So, the way that I would structure out my business in working with my customers was just to give myself as much time as I needed to get things done and I would always be surprised at how little time I actually needed in order to finish a project or to answer an email, or to jump on a call. And so, I always buffer everything in my life with an exorbitant amount of time and I think that's to my benefit but also to my detriment.
Bustld: How did you manage and make up for lost time on wedding day when things are running behind?
Candice: Again, I think it goes back to my natural inclination that we need more time to do things because when we look at a project or even on wedding day, the amount of time it takes for the bride to get dressed, you say, well, it'll take her 10 minutes to put her dress on, no more than that. But when you really look at the act of getting dressed and all the things that come along with it, it actually takes about an hour for her to get dressed. It's not just the act of putting the dress on, it's what happens after she puts it on, where are my shoes, can you go get this, can you fix my hair, and then it's the reveal and there's all these things that happen around that one moment that have to be factored in to time. So, one of the things that my company always did was we buffered in a ton of time on wedding day even for minuscule things. And customers would push back and say, I don't think we need to have an extra 30 minutes buffered in for transportation, we're only going two miles from the church to the reception. And, you know, just based on our experience loading buses, it's like herding cats trying to get people in. Trying to get people to go where they need to go and then, of course, traffic, construction, and potholes, and this, that, and the other thing, you'd be surprised what a five-minute drive really takes when you're trying to move 150 people two miles, it really does take 30 to 40 minutes to get them there.
Bustld: So, how do you coach and direct your couples on balancing planning and their work life, and their personal life?
Candice: It seems like now, in this era, we have freed up some time, right, because we're all at different stages. You might not be commuting to work right now, you might not be sitting at your desk for an extended period of time, so you have this free time, but we're also using that free time in unhealthy ways, consuming a lot of content and media, and worrying and things like that. So, in terms of balancing your time and planning your wedding, I think, really, genuinely, and I know I'm a pro and I know this is going to sound biased, but if you really want to balance your time well, you should look at outsourcing things outside of your genius zone when it comes to planning your wedding. Believe it or not, there are people out there who love to do what you hate. Like, their whole lives, they've built a whole career doing things you absolutely despise, whether that's spreadsheets or phone calls. Hire somebody to do it for you, it's going to free up your time to focus on the things that matter most to you about your wedding. And, usually, those are things that are focused around design and creativity or thinking about moments and incorporating personal touches, you'll have more mental space to think about those things, really dive into those things instead of worrying about spreadsheets and guest lists and all the crazy stuff that, you know, you might not like to do.
Bustld: So, personally, how do you keep track of everything and what do you outsource?
Candice: So, I have a few software programs that I use to help me manage various projects. I love Asana, I think Asana's great for any business owner and if you're planning your wedding, there's a free version you can use if you don't have a wedding planner to manage different aspects of your wedding. But I love Asana or something like Trello or Basecamp to manage certain projects. So I use Asana to manage all the projects that I have, including marketing and content, the podcast, my customers, all the things. And I also use it to collaborate with my team. So, I try to practice what I preach here and being an Enneagram three, I'm like an achiever, I believe I can do a lot of it myself.
Bustld: So, I think we've all seen it happen, we've all personally experienced it, you know, time kind of slips away from you. How do you pick up and move forward in that situation and get your time management back on track?
Candice: This just happened to me recently, actually. With all the things that are going on in the world and the conversations that have been happening over the last couple of weeks, I really lost track of time. When I wake up, when I do my mourning routine, when I do my morning workday routine, I really thrive in those elements. So, when my routines are thrown off, my time management is thrown off. And it can be really hard to get back in your routine, so I think the first thing that you have to do if you're feeling like time is getting away from you or the next time it does is just acknowledge, like, some time has gone by, maybe I haven't been able to excel in what I set out to do, or maybe I let a few things fall to the wayside or I made some mistakes or I just dropped the ball, but you still have time in the present to start getting back on the horse, getting back on your routines.
You can make up for lost time. But if you're outside of your routines, I think it starts there, getting back into healthy routines for yourself, in your every single day, and daily routines, I do think, are important just for a good head space in starting the day and starting the day with positivity, feeling like you've actually accomplished something. That's why they say make your bed in the morning, right, it's like the first thing you accomplish, and you start your day off with checking something off your list, which can be powerful. So try to dial back into your routines and if you don't have daily routines or rituals, consider some really healthy daily routines or rituals that could help you frame your mind up, start your day and end your day in a healthy place.
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About This Week’s Guest: As a successful entrepreneur who grew a business from the spare bedroom of her home into a multi-country, multi-six figure company, Candice Coppola has navigated the bumpy road of entrepreneurship. After hosting events and mentoring wedding pros for over 8 years, she sold her company in 2019 so she could help others build the business they truly want. She has written and published two books, been featured as an expert in The New York Times and CBS and has been a guest on several other podcasts.