Today’s interview is with my friends Stephanie and Jeff Padovani from Book More Brides, or “Jeffanie” as I accidentally called them on call I was teaching. They really love it when you call them that!! Enjoy learning more about them as individuals as well as their fabulous business!
Natalie Bradley: What made you passionate about what you do? What events do you feel brought you to this point in time?
JEFF: Helping wedding professionals was a natural progression for us. We had a lot of success with our own wedding business, so our wedding friends would come to us and ask for help. It was just natural for us to start doing it professionally.
STEPH: I’ve always been passionate about helping people. My favorite thing about working weddings was helping brides and grooms to create the experience they really wanted, but I was never really passionate about weddings themselves. (Apologies to all my wedding addict friends in the biz!)
As we were naturally helping other wedding professionals by sharing the resources and strategies that were working for us, I got to indulge my passion for communication and teaching. So that’s why my energies shifted to Book More Brides, so that I could combine those loves.
NB: What do you love the most about your business?
JEFF: Seeing people grab a hold of an idea and seeing them actually succeed. I love helping people be happy!
STEPH: I love the challenge of figuring out how to communicate an idea in a way that’s easy to understand, motivating and actionable. It’s so gratifying to work with someone and help them identify their “stuck” spots (usually fear or a limiting belief) and move past it. Then we get these amazing emails about how they’re creating the life they’ve dreamed of! That’s what it’s all about.
NB: What is your background? Do you have a college or higher education degree? If so, is your degree related to what you do now?
JEFF: I have a life long obsession with marketing and sales. In third grade I convinced my friends to give me their old comic books so that I could resell them at a profit. I used to make my own signs so that I could sell my toys and tell kids at school, “I have a toy sale coming up for one day only.” I had a lot of toy sales, and failed at a lot of them, but I loved it. When I wanted something from my mother, I was unstoppable, and I’d wear her down with my pitch.
Now I love helping wedding vendors use marketing to overcome their challenges and get people to buy their stuff. My greatest marketing campaign was getting Stephanie to date and eventually marry me.
STEPH: I actually have a Bachelors in English and Creative Writing. Is it related to what I do at Book More Brides? Absolutely!
I write every day. My specialty is email and written communication. Helping people with my words and my voice is what I’ve always loved to do. In particular, I love crafting marketing that communicates value and gets people to act. Copywriting, neuro linguistic programming, the psychology of learning, all these are topics I want to study as much as I can so that I can improve.
NB: What are your favorite hobbies and interests?
JEFF: Guitar! It’s more than a hobby; I’ve been playing since I was 13 years old. I still perform at wedding ceremonies and cocktail hour.
STEPH: I don’t have any “normal” hobbies, but I’m pretty much obsessed with exercise. The more challenging, the better! Yoga, weight lifting, plyometrics, running…you name it, I’ve probably tried it.
NB: What’s your favorite time of year and why?
STEPH: Jeff, you are a cad! I love the summer because I get to run around barefoot.
NB: What’s your favorite social media place to hang out virtually?
JEFF: Facebook, because all my peeps are there. It lets me indulge my voyeuristic side and see what people are up to without actually having to talk to people and be near them. I’m only kidding. Sorta.
STEPH: LinkedIn is actually my fave. Everyone is so professional, friendly and focused on their business. I love helping people out in the groups. Okay, does that make me a total dork?
NB: What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
JEFF: I’m obsessed with zombies, and everywhere I go I’m scoping out the exits in case of the zombie apocalypse.
STEPH: Uh, Jeff, everyone already knows that about you. Most people wouldn’t know that I’ve written a memoir about my rather traumatic childhood, and a novel about a “real” vampire. And I’ve been going to bed at the same time since I was 12 years old.
NB: If you were a superhero, who would you be and why? (I know – random, but fun!)
JEFF: I’d be Conan because he was always a hit with the ladies and he got to bash people’s heads in.
STEPH: I think Professor Xavier is pretty cool. Mind control! I’d use it to help people blow past their inner obstacles and make their dreams a reality.
NB: When did you start your business? What made you get started?
JEFF: We started Book More Brides in 2010. People were getting results with the help we gave them, and we said, “Hey, let’s make it official!”
STEPH: I’d been studying internet marketing and creating information products (that’s books, videos, and other training materials) since 2005. I wanted to apply what I’d learned to helping our wedding vendor friends.
NB: How do you “get it all done”? What’s your biggest tip for other entrepreneurs?
JEFF: You never get it all done. When you’re done, you’re dead. You get some tasks completed, then pause. Break things down into small tasks and they become much more manageable than one huge task.
STEPH: Jeff’s got this one right. You CAN’T get it all done, not by yourself. Get in the habit of outsourcing and delegating. Start with the tasks you absolutely can’t stand, and challenge yourself to create systems and processes so that other people can do the mundane stuff so that you can focus on what you love to do most. That’s the only way you can grow past your individual limits of time and energy.
NB: What’s your niche and specialty?
STEPH: We help wedding vendors who are really good at what they do…but not so great at promoting it…build the thriving wedding business of their dreams without using pushy sales tactics or working 14 hour days.
NB: Who do you like working with the most (type of person)?
JEFF: Someone who’s willing to admit their weaknesses and acknowledge that no one is perfect. Once that’s out of the way, we can learn and grow.
STEPH: I love working with people who take action! (People like you, Natalie.) (No I didn’t pay Stephanie to say that!!) The action doesn’t have to be perfect, mostly it’s not, but they’re always doing something. She who takes action will get there.
NB: If someone wants to work with you, where do you suggest they begin?
JEFF: Shoot us an email. Tell us about the biggest challenge or frustration you’re facing right now, and where you’d like to go.
STEPH: Check out our website at BookMoreBrides.com. If you like what you find there, jump on our email list. We love to share information and tips.