Today's episode of the Business Journey Podcast is a really special one. We're celebrating that I've been full-time in my photography business for ONE full year! There's been so many great moments and plenty of moments that taught us some hard lessons. But, I thought today it might be fun to talk about a few of the lessons I've learned over the last year.
Before we dive into all of that, I want to share my FREE resource with you as you're planning those fall minis! It's planning season, people! This resource gives you 12 great themes for mini sessions. They're all tried and true, so I hope that they help you kickstart your planning this year. You can grab it HERE!
If you don't know much about me or my backstory, let me recap for you. First off, this isn't my first year in business. It's just my first year full-time. I was in ministry before I went full-time in my business. For 9 years, I worked in youth ministry and while I was there, I began my photography business. During my first year in business, I surpassed my full-time job income... which we didn't expect at all. At the time, I was totally content with my church job and kept my photography as a side gig for a bit longer. It was a great creative outlet. At the same time, the Lord began to move our hearts around a move to Nashville, TN. Since my husband is a musician and radio producer, it seemed like a great idea. But, we never really knew when it was going to happen.
Last summer, we were really pushed and realized that was our sign. At that time, I left the church job and became a photographer full-time. Daniel came into the business full-time with me in September. We still can't believe that my business provides full-time jobs for BOTH of us. I never dreamed of this. Honestly, I didn't think I wanted to be home full-time and be with my kids - I just wanted my work and to be with them around that. But when COVID hit, I realized how lucky we really were. And I love it now! I thought sharing some of what we've learned this year might help you - wherever you are in your business!
Working from home full-time is a lot harder than I thought it would be. When you work for someone else, they control most of your job. When you work, where you work, and all that stuff. But when you run your own business, you're the boss! You can control what you do. I'm a naturally self-motivated person, so getting what I needed done wasn't the problem. Instead, finding our rhythm as a family was the tricky part. I know that I prefer scheduled times to work. It's better for me. But with kids and the space we lived in last year, it was hard. Now that we're in our new home, I have an office for the first time. Daniel has a studio. We've started scheduling work hours and have hired a nanny. We've found what works for our family and our business and that's key.
If you've never heard the term, batching is simply a time management principle where you do like things together. Instead of writing just one blog post, I'll sit down and write 4. Then I can go to the next step of the prepping process for all four for the month instead of doing the entire process every time I sit down. Since I only have three days a week to work, I have to be super intentional. So I have laid out my week in a way that allows me focus on ONE type of task at a time so I can prep as much as possible in one sitting. For example, on Fridays, I record my podcasts. I try to record as many as I can at once so it's off my plate.
I already mentioned that we have a nanny, but there's so many ways to bring help into your business and personal life. And believe me, it is always worth it! I will admit that I had a hard time with this at first. I was worried about supporting our family and also being a control freak... but, I've learned to trust that God will provide. I've built a team who help me with all of my business stuff and we have a nanny at home supporting our family. Although I may not know how our income will look every month, I can plan and budget and do my best.
I could go on for days about all of the things I've learned, but I'll end with this one. Being home with my kids has been such an unexpected blessing. I never planned on both me and Daniel being home with them. I was a working mom with kids in daycare. But being able to be home for nap times and lunches together has really been so sweet. If we want to leave the house and go out for lunch together, we can. We can go to the park together and play when we want to. Being able to have that flexibility is SUCH a great feeling. It's also really weird. I didn't have that for a long time - I had limited vacation time, a strict schedule, and now I don't. Now, I can make our life what we want.
This year hasn't always been easy. We've had some bumps in the road, but even in the rough seasons, God is so faithful and He provides for us. I'm so happy that our journey has brought us here. And, if you're on the cusp of going full-time in your business, I wish you SO much luck. Plan carefully, think and be strategic, and enjoy the ride. It's so worth it.
My back story (2:15)
Find a rhythm (6:33)
Batching is key (12:41)
Bring on help (14:06)
Enjoy the blessing (16:37)