I often talk on this blog about how running your own business can sometimes feel like constantly existing in the eye of a storm. The expectations we put on ourselves and the expectations others put upon us can sometimes be stop-dead-in-your-tracks-out-of-breath-overwhelming. It's a constant balancing act between what is real-life and what is work-life and it's easy to get caught up in things that seem important but have no lasting positive effects. After 3 full years of running this business 100% of my time, in January of 2011 I finally vowed to really get my time and life management under control. It was a big step for me- to admit that aspects of my personal life were running around in circles while my business life was sprinting past them. It was time for me to finally take a look at unnecessary commitments/relationships and simplify my life so that I am able to make time for things that really matter. So far this year, every commitment and decision I make about my business is more or less made from a place that will only benefit my personal life- not swallow it whole.
At WPPI this year I had the chance to hang out in the Colorati booth and chat with photographers from all over who are looking to simplify their life a little. In my inbox there are about 10-15 emails from people asking about how I handle my work-flow and on the trade-show floor, so many people had questions about how to manage shooting, culling, color correction, print orders, gallery releasing, twittering, blogging, face-booking, meetings, marketing, designing promo material, pricing, album design, e-mailing- oh god, EMAILING... I mean, guys, we are crazy, right?!? There is so much more to what we do than show up to a wedding and shoot it and we can't possibly be expected to do it all on our own. It seemed to be a reoccurring theme, "I quit my day-job to have more time with my kids and now I have less time with them!" Now, let me be honest with you all- I am a control freak when it comes to my business. (And if I'm really being honest with myself, I am a control freak when it comes to my life as well.) So, one of the hardest things and one of the most helpful things I've done- is out-source my processing. In hopes to help you all a little bit and to be honest about how I manage to shoot 30+ weddings a year and not drown I will tell you- I outsource! Colorati is right for me- I love their business model and find their whole team to be lovely to work with... there are plenty of other companies that do what they do and you have to find one that speaks to you ... but to everyone struggling with balance- join me this year in taking our lives back from our businesses?
We own businesses because at some point we realized that working from a cubical was not for us. We want the freedom to schedule afternoon trips to Target or week-long vacations without having to put in a vacation request. We want to be able to be home with our kids and work in our pajamas and create. Starting your own business is risky and you have to be pretty Type A to be successful but if everything goes as planned the benefits are well worth the expense. The goal is to own our business, not have it own us! If you guys are interested and would like some help and advice on business related things- shoot me an e-mail. I've started compiling all your questions and will start answering them here every once and awhile. I learn something by experience almost every day and am happy to share. I know how it feels to be in the eye of the storm and would love to share some things that I do to slowly crawl my way out! I honestly get too many e-mails to answer them all in detail (taking back my life, remember?? :) ) but having this blog makes it easy to share answers with everyone at the same time!
I came across this post on the Harvard Business Review blog and it really refreshed my mind and made me get back to the basics of what is worth spending time and energy on and what is not. 30 Things We Need and 30 Things We Don't
Off to Hawaii early in the AM - can't wait to feel the warm breeze!!! Be ready for a "I'm so thankful..." post upon my return. ;) xoxo