April 5, 2013
I have a busy schedule, like everyone. Weddings, engagement, family, commercial sessions and the hours of editing. I love photography, but it isn’t my life. My life is with my husband, family, friends, puppies. Its hard saying no to things but my reward for it, is a life. I could fill every weekend with things, miss climbing a 14er, going on vacation, riding my bike with friends for sessions… money. But money won’t by you any more years or lifetime moments with friends and family. I love my clients and will pour my life into them, but I will guard my time with husband. I had a breaking point a few years ago when I did 77 weddings. In an instant from Jan-Nov the year flew by, my relationship with my husband suffered and I was happy with my business success but miserable and alone, and exhausted. I went to a conference in Oregon called For the Love and reconnected with me God and had me slow down. Restructure my life to be my life oriented. The next year I did 37 weddings but I still needed to focus on my family. I would drop whatever I was doing to take clients call, do sessions when I already planned something with friends because it was my only weekend. I was bending over backwards to make my clients happy without making time for the people that I care about most. Its a sad statement to say but it really wasn’t til last year that I did get a grip on my personal time. 6 months in advance we plan a month long vacation with my hubby and me and we went to Europe. I turned down, so many sessions, weddings once I booked the dates but the month with my hubby in Europe was priceless. Not only did we bond immensely and reaccessed my business interactions, I started saying no to traveling all around Colorado. TO give you an example I went from Driving nearly 30k miles to doing 18k miles last year. I was only driving where I needed to drive, I wasn’t doing a back and forth from Fort Collins to Denver in one day. If I went to Denver it was for multiple meetings and shoots. It was amazing how much more of a life Erik and I had. We hung out with friends, we climbed 14ers, we went camping. AMAZING! and not only did I have a life, I made the most money I have ever did last year by limiting myself rather than trying to take on the world. In Europe Erik and I gave myself office hours, meetings happen late sometimes but we have a date night every week, doesn’t matter whats going on in our lives- 1 night a week is time with just my husband and I. I leave my phone in the car or at home because if I take it, I will look at emails, answer calls… my husband is more important. When he goes to work starts my photography day, I work from home and when I don’t do sessions, I edit, blog post and such but during my day when I am done with ALL the business stuff, I don’t have to be at home working. I can go and be FREE! the joys of owning your own business. So I go for a walk, play with the dogs, go to the gym, do yoga, ride my bike, have lunch with Erik, sometimes see a movie that Erik will not see because they are too girly, get my nails done, work on the house, have fun. When Erik comes home if I am still working I put down what I am doing and exit the office and give Erik my attention. By no means am I perfect at it, the evil phone takes my time away but our marriage is awesome. For some of our closest friends we have scheduled weekends with them months in advance, sounds sad but if we didn’t schedule it we can’t protect certain weekends. We look forward to those weekends, and I protect them. Whatever weekend we make plans for I guarantee it I can find some shoot to do.
I am the happiest I have been in forever and I am 2 weddings away from being booked for the year, which is awesome 🙂 And I am loving life.
I don’t do my SEO I outsource it out to Greentent Marketing
I do my own album designs and edits
But each year I have planned a month of vacation and travels
The point of life is to have fun, each year I do weddings and other sessions but my life is with my friends, family, husband and see the world.
My challenge to fellow photographers and busy people: what if you gained everything that your working towards but at what cost. No photos of your family, no adventures, no memories- but lots of money and a successful business- that won’t make you happy.
Your job should make you happy, don’t get me wrong- i love what I do but … a big but I love my friends, family and hubby more.
Is your job making you happy! Is the money worth it? Are you living your life how you want? and stuff won’t make you happy. A road trip to the mountains can be just as fun as Europe, playing in a lake can be just as good as the ocean it all matters who you are with.
No mount of stuff will make you happy, people will make you happy.
Make time for people, make sure to take pictures with your people. Don’t wake up and see you have no friends, no personal photos, and your locked away in your house on your computer talking to fictitious friends on Facebook.
So if you learned anything what I have said, let me know. TAKE THIS NOTE TOO: I am more successful now than I have ever been before and I have a life.
What really matters more?