Even if you hated every minute of 2020 (which I would understand), I think we can all agree it has been an incredible year of growth. And here’s something I didn’t realize until 2020, growth can be incredibly painful. As a self help junkie and enneagram 3, I am no stranger to working on myself but this year, it was different. It was MUCH harder and I sat with things longer. I didn’t jump from podcast to podcast or from book to book. For a lot of things, I sat with it. I journaled about it. I cried about it. Honestly, I confronted a LOT of stuff this year in my personal life and my business life and although I am glad I can *finally* see the light at the tunnel, let’s just say I hope 2021 looks and feels A LOT different for me.
Wow, that started heavy. Let me super quickly introduce myself in case you just popped on here from Pinterest or Google. I’m Kara and I am the owner of Love at First Travel (a destination wedding planning company) that pivoted into marketing services after COVID. If you are a creative business owner feeling overwhelmed and inconsistent in your marketing efforts – make sure to check out my services page here.
Resources for your business (and life!) in 2021
Now, moving on. I will probably talk more about the lessons I’ve learned and changes I’ve made (if you are into it, of course) throughout the year on instagram. But for now, I’m want to finish the end of the year with something that feels both light AND tangible/helpful for you. I’ve rounded up a list of the top books I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to, people I have followed, and courses I’ve taken. Truthfully, I have tried to be VERY selective in what I included here but have tried to include variety. Both life and business. Both beginner topics and more advanced. I hope you enjoy. And as always, please contact me here if you have any recommendations or feedback. I love my community here on the internet.
You may find that a few people businesses fall into more than one category! It’s nature that if I love someone, I’ve likely invested in their course, bought their book, or listened to their podcast ;). I truly believe we are all the sum of the people we surround ourself with and these are my people.
Books to Read in 2021:
The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge
If I had to recommend only ONE book this year (and I read about 50 books a year), it would be hands down this one. I don’t even have to think about it. You probably don’t know this… but I got divorced this year. Yup, rebrand coming in 2021. This book has nothing to do with that really, but I’ve never felt more like “I can do anything” than I have after reading this book. It will change your life, whether you own a business or not. You deserve to live an “unf*ckwithable life”.
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
If you own a business, you need this. I read it in the beginning of 2020 but then COVID. I recently re-read it and am excited to make more PROFIT this year (because after 4 years, I’ve got the “making money” part down ?), it’s time for me to reap the benefits.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
If you set big audacious goals (like me), this book reminds you that if you just improve 1% a day, you will be 300x better by the end of the year. There is power in micro-steps. I also joined Jordan at Ms of Mindset’s Productivity Lab to keep me accountable to these small micro changes in 2021. Reading a book is one thing, but implementing it is another. Read this, and find a way to keep yourself accountable (the book gives a few ideas!).
This was the most entertaining personal development book I read. Chris Voss is a hostage negotiator, leading the way with “how to get what you want” in business negotiations. In my line of work, I don’t really need the corporate tactics he talks about as much (I can give myself a raise whenever I want), but I did learn a few things and it was an easy read.
Ego is the Enemy by James Holiday
If you read the title and felt a *gulp* in the back of your throat, you need this. Your ego keeps you safe. Your ego is holding you back from your greatness in ways you don’t realize. Although it’s hard to get rid of it completely (we can all dream!), this book has made me more conscious of ways that me and my ego are getting in my own way.
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
I read a few books on racism this year (and will continue to read more) but as a white woman, this was the one that really stood out. It’s written by another white woman, and even though I have made every effort to make sure I am diversifying who I am listening to and who I am supporting, listening to her first opened my eyes and dropped my defensiveness in a way that I don’t know if other books could. She opens your eyes through a deep understanding of “things white people talk about” that you don’t realize are problematic. Another favorite on the topic was “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable“, written by Michael Bennett. Both are relatively short (but powerful) reads.
People to follow:
Okay, this list kind of got out of control and there is about 18 more people I would like to mention. If you are looking for inspiration and information, here’s who I think you should follow in 2021:
She is THE go to person in the wedding industry and runs a powerful mastermind which I talk more about below. If you want to live your best life AND run an amazing wedding business, she’s the kind of mentor you need in your corner.
Follow for advice on running a responsible, profitable business. Stay for the fact that she shares cute photos of her dog Jinx.
Your “everything online business” resource. Seriously, I don’t know how she covers EVERYTHING but if you live for mini trainings on the ‘gram, prepare to binge.
The mindset coach you don’t know you need. Seriously great mindset advice and overall entertaining AF. A “must follow” for levelling up in 2021.
I took their course in 2019 and it was a game changer for my wedding business. If you are a wedding planner, Alia and Teissia are amazing. Also, make sure to join their Facebook group.
Who else is ready to make a ridiculous amount of money this year? I’ve been following Amanda for like four years now. She’s the OG Spiritual Boss Lady. She’s a little (a lot) woo woo but I’m here for it. I’m ready to lean more into this feminine energy in 2021 to be honest. I’ve been hustling too long and I am ready to do things differently this year.
Podcasts to listen to
It’s true what she says. If you want success, just listen to what Jereshia said. I love that she combines important mindset obstacles with real tangible steps of “what to do next”. One of the things that has stuck with me for the last year is that employees hold themselves accountable to a set of tasks, but CEO’s hold themselves responsible to an outcome. This is the mood I want to enter into 2021 with.
This is actually a new one for me but I am loving it so far. Real Psychology (the way the brain works) meets Woo Woo Mindset. As someone with a deep love of psychology, this one has my heart – I’m always down for a good brain hack. And who isn’t ready for epic success and to stop holding themselves back?
I LOVE @karima.creative (she’s the one I hired for my rebrand). Her podcast is conversational but gives great advice (a mix of solo episodes and interviews – which I always love). She’s fostering a community of creatives, and I want to be here for it!
I’m self-admittedly not really a purpose-driven kind of business owner but Candice Coppola’s podcast is unlike any other. I’ve never met anyone as passionate about purpose without being all woo woo. The power in purpose podcast is an incredible mix of running a business with meaning and profit. And as a former wedding pro who sold her business, she is my favorite person to get advice from.
Top Educational Business Investments:
Like I told my email list, I made a ton of investments this year. If ever you are unsure about a business investment, feel free to ask me about it if I’ve taken it and I will give you a completely honest answer. I’ve likely invested in several course (quite a few were high ticket!) but these three have over delivered.
Wedding Pro Insiders with Candice Coppola
A 12 month mastermind experience with some of the most amazing wedding pros I have ever met. Worth every penny. I can’t even begin to explain. It’s like I said in the beginning of the post, you are the sum of people you spend time with. And these are my people. Make sure you get on the waitlist here and join me because I’m in for 2021 too!
Copywriting for Creatives with Ashlyn Writes
In my website audit services, one thing always comes up: you don’t have enough content/copy. The wedding industry is behind when it comes to good copywriting and Ashlyn Writes is the OG Copywriter for Creatives. This course is going to be in my backpacker for a LONG time. Very grateful to have invested!
Live Launch Academy with the Social Bungalow
If you are a wedding pro, you don’t necessarily need this but it was sooo good I had to mention. If you “live launch” new products (digital or otherwise), this course is jam-packed with value and changed the game for me this year. It’s worth the investment. Although this was the top investment with The Social Bungalow this year, I am a huge fan of Shannon and buy every single thing they come out with (and will continue to do so in 2021).
Setting Goals for 2021
So there you have it! This went on a little longer than I expected haha but I hope you found a few things here that you can’t wait to dive into. Here’s hoping 2021 is YOUR year. We all kind of deserve a rebound. If you want to chat about your marketing efforts in 2021, make sure to check out my services here or contact me here. Ready to make 2021 your best year ever? This is the last resource I will mention (and it’s 100% free). Make sure to grab my 2021 Marketing Planner Below.