The breakthrough research I’ve conducted with brides were influenced by two of those experiences that affected my own life.
The first experience began when my family, and I as a child, immigrated to America.
Coming from a foreign land, the only language I knew was Dutch. As most children of immigrants, my parents spoke to me only in their native tongue.
Sure, they tried injecting the English language but let’s face it, they couldn’t speak English very well themselves.
So, when I began grammar school, I wasn’t exactly fluent in English. As it turned out, my speech was so poor, by the time I was in the 3rd grade, my teacher pulled me out of class and placed me in speech therapy. The teacher told me she simply couldn’t understand what I was saying most of the time.
I can still remember like it was yesterday, being with the speech therapist going over and over the correct pronunciation of words and putting them in a sentence that made sense.
The strange thing was I couldn’t understand why I had to attend therapy. I couldn’t comprehend the fact that my own verbal communications were awful. I truly thought I sounded just fine.
|“It’s not how clear you think you’re speaking, it’s how other people interpret what you’re saying.”
Finally, after 3 months of daily therapy at the age of 8, these sessions made me realize, perception is reality. The therapist repeatedly told me, “It’s not how clearly you think you’re speaking, it’s how other people interpret what you’re saying.”
At the time, I didn’t realize how valuable that life lesson was.
You see, when it came to my own speech problem, I thought I was getting my point across. I believed I was communicating in an effective way. Then, to top it off, I still couldn’t see my problem after a professional pointed it out to me.
The weird thing is that my whole experience with the speech therapist was repeated almost 45 years later while doing research for my book, “The Ultimate Bride’s Guide For Buying A Wedding Cake.”
In the beginning, I spent 4 years examining how and why brides choose certain wedding cake designers. It was through this process I was shocked to discover most wedding cake artists or bakeries didn’t even have a written system in place for selling their wedding cakes.
It seemed odd that virtually no one had a marketing system for selling the most profitable item in a bakery or cake boutique. In other words, they were selling wedding cakes based on what they thought the bride wanted…or were selling them based on what THEY wanted to offer.
Further, I found that very few bakers had any type of training in sales, let alone training to sell wedding cakes.
I couldn’t wait to reveal this insight to the bakers who provided information for my book. I thought they would be elated to have the “inside-track” to increasing their wedding cake orders.
|“It’s not how clearly you think you’re communicating, it’s how the bride perceives what you are saying.”
“Instead, most of these bakers had the same “speech impediment” I had as a child. They didn’t understand they had their own communication problem.”
This time, I became the speech therapist by pointing out, “It’s not how clearly you think you’re communicating, it’s how the bride perceives what you are saying.”
Surprisingly, most of them looked at me the way I looked at my speech therapist for the first time…with a blank stare.
Well, we’re all past 3rd grade and unlike my teacher, I’m not about to pull them out of their bakery offices and drag them to my office for lessons on how to be more effective with their marketing and sales techniques.
Just like I couldn’t recognize my speech impediment as a child when it was pointed out to me, lucky for you most bakers don’t recognize their communications impediment. That simple fact unlocks a huge door of opportunity for you.
Now, let’s move on to my second experience.
When I turned 49 my father revealed he had pancreatic cancer. Within a year and a half, he passed away. During those last months, he gave me the gift of one of my best life lessons—the lesson of sharing.
Toward his later years I was told he and my mother were writing a book to share with us, their children. They wanted us to learn “life lessons” from their experiences and capture the knowledge it took them a lifetime to accumulate.
Their hope was that we not only look back at their lives, but to gain a full understanding of how low a person’s life can be and how joyous it can become.
Dad told me over and over again, all people have remarkable lives. We all have experiences and knowledge that needs to be passed-on to future generations. He thought it was a shame so many people come and go from this world without sharing all the valuable wisdom in their minds.
Prior to explaining his philosophy of sharing, we would sit for hours every Wednesday over the course of many years talking about everything he could recall and why it was important for me to remember. We spoke about war, political history, growing fruits and vegetables, how to raise children, religion, sports, business, investing, inventions, and on and on.
| “…share everything in your mind and heart. Just like money, don’t take it to your grave. Share, share, share.”
Once he told me he had incurable cancer I was able to understand what was really going on in all those discussions.
I thought we were just having engaging conversations. I didn’t know he was getting ready to pass the torch by sharing his 87 years of incredible experiences and knowledge.
During our later times together he suggested I should share my unique skills and knowledge in the fields of psychology, marketing, sales, communications and bakery science.
He said, “Make sure you share everything in your mind and heart. Just like money, you can’t take it to your grave…share, share, share.” And don’t wait too long. You never know…”
Well, it’s been about 15 years since he taught me the valuable lesson of sharing knowledge. So, I’ve decided it’s the right time to share the incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom gained from my 12 years of wedding cake research with over 150,000 brides.
To benefit from my knowledge and continuing research, I present to you the “American Wedding Cake Sales Academy.”
It’s my mission―my personal promise to do everything in my power to help you reach your goals whether they are financial, personal or both.