If you run your own events, you’ll know how important it is to stay motivated and maintain positive momentum.
As your own boss, possibly in charge of a team, you need to always be pushing on and leading the way, even when the going gets tough.
Allowing yourself to get bogged down by negativity and listening to those self-limiting beliefs are the biggest barriers you have to success. Not only can they stunt the growth of your events, if they’re not dealt with, your negative thoughts could lead to their complete failure.
The crazy thing is, they’re only thoughts; you are completely in control of them. If you keep telling yourself ‘you can’t’ then you won’t, but think positively and you can find new strength to tackle challenges. You have the power to make a change!
Below are are 9 common self-limiting beliefs held by event owners. If you’ve ever thought any of these, now is the time to recognise that you can destroy these beliefs. Do so, and you can unlock the full potential of your events, as well as realise your own potential in your personal and professional life.
Related: 20 Proverbs that all organisers should live by
My ideas aren’t good enough
So you have ideas for your event, but you’re unsure about implementing them in case they’re not well received? This kind of self-doubt usually stems from some kind of rejection in the past. Perhaps it was a teacher who told you you’d never make anything of yourself, or a former boss or colleague who always dismissed your ideas.
Unfortunately, accepting one person’s opinion as the truth can lead you to make presumptions about what other people are thinking, such as “they think it’s a rubbish idea, they’re not interested.”
The real truth is you’re not a mind reader and you don’t really know what others are thinking. Just because one person once gave you negative feedback, doesn’t mean all people will feel the same or that everything you have to contribute is not good enough. Remember your ideas are as valid as everyone else’s, and the best way to demonstrate that is to put them forward, and help execute them to a successful conclusion.
Things always go wrong for me
Organising an event is full of challenges. Things will always be sent to try you, but that doesn’t make you’re inherently unlucky, inept or bad at your job. Life is a learning curve and it’s how you deal with (and bounce back from) the challenges that matters.
Don’t filter out the positives when reviewing your performance. One single mistake doesn’t cancel out all the other great things you’ve done. It’s really important to develop a balanced outlook, recognising both the positive and the negative so you see the reality of the situation. Take time at the end of each day (or each event) and make sure you list out all the positives, rather than only thinking about and focusing on what you could do better next time.
Related: How to stay positive when things don’t go your way
I’m not going to attract enough attendees
Wasting time worrying is one of the most counter-productive things an event owner can do. All your energy should be directed into making your event a success. If you’ve given your all to marketing your event then there’s every chance it should sell-out.
Sometimes we can get swept up in negative thoughts; progressing quickly from bad to catastrophe (i.e. I won’t sell enough tickets and then I’m going to be in debt and then I’m going to have to give up my dream) even when there’s no evidence this situation will actually occur.
And if you do find yourself with slow ticket sales, why not try some of these 31 ways to rescue a failing event, and see if they don’t make a difference?
Remember you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, and you’ll never sell a single ticket unless you make the event live. After that initial step, you’ll no doubt find the motivation to make it work.
I’m not influential/experienced enough
Do you feel that you’re not well known enough in your industry to make an impact with your events? Maybe you think you need the pull of ‘personality’ to be a success? Or perhaps you don’t think you have enough credentials to be taken seriously?
Just because you haven’t won prizes, don’t have multiple degrees or thousands of social media followers doesn’t mean your experience isn’t valuable.
Don’t focus on what you haven’t achieved, look at what you have and what you’ve learned along the way. If you’re passionate about your subject, you have something to share with others and there will be many people willing to listen.
Related: 7 Ways to stand out from the crowd and get noticed
I can’t put up ticket prices
Asking people to pay you can be uncomfortable, as you’re essentially putting a value on yourself (especially if your event is a workshop or class). This can lead to organisers undercharging for admission to their events, or refraining from adding new features because they feel they can’t pass on the cost.
Believing in the value of your event is essential if you want to succeed financially. Understand what you’re offering to attendees (is it the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing through yoga, or enrich their lives by learning to cook Thai food?) and don’t be afraid to charge a fair price. If you’re unsure what a fair price is, take a look at your nearest competitors to find a benchmark, or check out our guide to pricing strategy.
Remember that undercutting competitors and underpricing can lead to a ‘race to the bottom,’ limit how much budget you have to spend on creating a genuinely memorable experience, and even make your event seem less valuable (and desirable), so don’t always think ‘cheaper is better.’
I’m bad at negotiating
The ability to negotiate doesn’t always come naturally. It’s a skill that can be developed and honed. However, there will always be venues and suppliers that are more open to negotiation than others.
If you come up against someone who is particularly immovable it can be easy to blame yourself. Often, we take one incident like this and overgeneralise how it applies to other situations; you may decide, “I’m bad at negotiating”.
Once you’ve given yourself this label it will influence all future negotiations. It’s important to recognise each situation is unique and not allow the outcome to become a forgone conclusion.
Related: How to negotiate with anyone
There’s too much competition/ my competitor is better than me
If what you’re doing is worthwhile, sooner or later competition will come along – and it’s a good thing. Having a monopoly makes for lack of innovation, and ultimately a poorer experience for the customer.
Don’t get bogged down in negative thoughts about what others are doing; instead focus on what you can do differently and better. Distinguishing yourself is all it takes to keep and grow your market share.
One must also remember not to make unfair comparisons – your fledgling event is never going to have the resources to challenge that massive conference and exhibition, but it doesn’t necessarily need to. Find a niche audience, focus on one particular area and provide something more personalised than the big boys can.
And don’t forget, if others are running successful events in a market your interested in, that generally means there’s demand (which is a good thing). You should probably be more wary of trying something where there’s no proven demand, even if it’s tempting due to a lack of competition, because it may be there’s also a lack of customers!
Related: How to Beat Your Event Competition and Stay on Top
I have to have X, Y, Z to be a success
It’s good to have goals, but they can be demotivating if we fail to reach them. If you tell yourself you have to generate a certain amount of revenue, secure a certain keynote speaker, or get 10 out of 10 in your attendee feedback in order to have succeeded you’re actually setting yourself up for failure.
When we view things as black or white, i.e. it was either a ‘good’ event or a ‘bad’ event, we miss all the stuff in the middle. Avoid this all or nothing thinking to maintain your motivation.
Related: How using systems not goals could transform your event success
I can’t manage a big event
Financial growth is dependent on expansion – taking on more staff members, committing to a bigger venue – but many event owners are very reluctant to do this. They prefer to stay small and manageable, rather than taking the plunge.
When faced with the prospect of something you’ve not done before, such as managing a team of employees or relinquishing some control, it can seem very scary. The thought of it creates an emotional response – fear.
But our emotions aren’t always based on reality. Therefore, when planning the future of your events, it’s essential to recognise if the decisions you make are rational (based on business intelligence) or based simply on emotion. In short, don’t let fear hold you back!
Related: 10 Reasons why today is the best day to start your event
Self-limiting beliefs will hold you back from achieving the success you dream of. While you don’t want to become overly idealistic (as this will lead to disappointment), aim to find a realistic way of thinking instead of being unnecessarily negative.
Take each negative thought and ask if it’s rational. Remember, you don’t know the future, so don’t create self-fulfilling prophecies. Think about the future of your events in a way that will support their chances of success.