A bit ago I wrote about work life balance and how I don’t believe in balance and how I hate the term work life balance but here we are again, with an update on both of those things that I don’t believe in. haha.
The real reason I’m talking about this again is because it is so easy to assume everyone else has it figured out, or they magically have more time, or they have some secret sauce they’re dousing every moment of their day in so that they can get all of those things done and be superhuman. not that any of you are thinking i’m superhuman, but just in case you’re counting yourself out on being able to take on that project you’re heart’s been tugging at you to tackle because of excuses like “i’m-too-busy” i want to show you exactly why that’s not real and also why that’s the best news ever (cause you can change it, thass why!)
also, as moms who also do other things but mostly do mom things, it can be weird to always have dynamics shifting and constantly reevaluate where your energy is going. this is one of my favorite things about my business–I have complete control to make it what i want it to be–but I see so many other mamas especially buying into the idea of overwhelm and oh-there’s-just-so-much-i’ll-never-be-able-to-catch-up.
aight so let’s talk DETAILS (again!):
now my 4 year old is no longer napping at all. she still does quiet time for one hour in the afternoon. then i put on a 20 minute show for her.
so that’s my current work time: one hour and twenty minutes, usually about 4 days a week because there’s inevitably something that comes up (family in town, Gemma was up all night and mama needs a nap, etc.)
I’m also shooting one session per week max, and more like 2-4 sessions a month.
If that still sounds insane that I can do what I do in 5 ish hours a week (plus shoots) then keep onnn reading, cause this time i do have snappy tips. 🙂
1. Social media is not work.
social media is one of the biggest time suckers and dream stealers in our world. you mean to look something up and then ten minutes later you’re jealous of a stranger and second guessing your whole life plus you KNOW you didn’ even look the thing up that you meant to. I’m not perfect at this by any means, but as a general rule I don’t get on social media unless my kids are asleep. It’s just too much of a vortex otherwise, plus social media and phones are straight up scientifically addicting so I have no interest in playing with that fire without significant boundaries. When we use social media to get business, it’s easy to justify the time spent there as work, or at least contributing positively to our businesses. hashtag networking or something? I’m not doubting that instagram can bring you clients, it definitely can, but it’s just something to be strategic about and not put all your eggs in that basket, especially when things like the algorithm are always going to change and the platform isn’t yours. I don’t want to invest a lot of time playing by someone else’s rules that are constantly changing.
So many photographers I talk to are simply recycling someone else’s version of success rather than doing the work to create their own version of success. I understand why, because it takes courage to commit to a version of success and really chase it, leaving all other options behind. It’s much easier to spin in “I don’t know what I want, I could probably do X if I really tried but I just don’t have the time right now, I don’t know how to do it,” and on and on. So where would you love to be next year? What in your work truly lights you up, and how can you do more of that? The joy of having your own business is being able to create whatever you want. There’s no rule that says you have to do social media or mini sessions or have this website template to be a successful photographer, in fact–the exact opposite is true. The most distinct photographers are those who go against the grain, but in a way that’s meaningful to them and not purely for the sake of being different. Creating from your authentic core is the only way to stand out in a saturated market.
3. Calendar out your big projects.
This idea is SO simple and yet none of us really do it–so do you have 10 minutes a week to try a free experiment that might change the way your world turns foreva? yahhh.
You got stuff you want to do “someday” even though you know it’s never gonna happen when you put it in that category. even in the slow season, most photographers I’ve talked to about this don’t end up redoing their website or blogging or figuring out how to move into a new genre of photography–and while there are many reasons those ideas never make it to fruition like good ol fashioned fear, one of the biggest reasons is simply because you’re not planning your time. when you calendar out your big goals into little chunks, all you have to do is follow the calendar. if that makes you feel like a boring robot with no soul i hear ya, and i also want to see the grin on your face when you actually accomplish that thing that’s been on your to-do list for years. it’s not that you don’t have time or that you’re too busy; it’s that you spend your time doing other things. if that’s the way you wanna roll, rock it out, but just tell yourself the truth about it.
4. Automate and outsource.
i still use the findlab to process and edit all my film and so it takes me 1-2 hours to cull, edit, and upload a family session to a client. If I were shooting digital I would absolutely outsource my editing no question. Editing is below your pay grade, m’love. As a mover and a shaker and a biz owner boss you have things to do in your business that will actually move it forward, whereas editing is simply running the hamster wheel. Editing is working IN your business, versus working ON your business. If you want to stay exactly where you are in terms of money, number of clients, the level of work you’re producing, the exact projects you have, then keep doin exactly what you’re doing. But if you want to grow and expand in any area of your work, you have to do something different. And that something different is focusing your limited energy on only the tasks that you are fabulous at, and outsourcing or automating as much of everything else as possible. Even if you are fabulous at editing–what’s your unique fabulousness that no one else can do in your business? This goes back to creating your vision of your business and really chasing your version of success, versus just keeping up with what you already have–a well you might find has run dry once you do come up for air, because you were too busy running around on the back end to ever attract new clients or opportunities.
Aight. Did these ideas help you? Which one are you gonna implement very first? Would love to hear from you, send me an email, seriously.