5 WAYS TO BALANCE FAMILY + BUSINESS

She asked me,
"Do you have any pointers on balancing family and business, since owning your business means clients tend to expect you to work when they need you!  But your family needs to take priority too?!" 
 

- Excitedly Waiting to Read

Hey Excitedly Waiting to Read!  
I hear you girl.  Boy oh boy do I hear you and I whole heartedly feel you, friend.

When I first started my business,  I was, "gung ho" and ready for allllll the clients.

However, being a mother of 3 and married to a U.S. Marine,  I knew I had to have balance between the two worlds in order to maintain equinimity in my household and family.  With that being said, clients do not necessarily know your personal life.  So I had to set boundaries in order to balance the two beautiful realms.

Which brings me to my first Point...

1) SET YOUR HOURS

On social media, on Yelp, your email signature and on your website, or whatever platform you utilize, state your hours of operation for your clients.  Think of corporate retail stores you shop at or have worked at.  They set business hours for consumers and clients for a reason.  So that they can replenish, restock, fuel, etc.

When you do this, they have a respect and understanding why you may not have responded right away.

On my website, under CONTACT I have an automated response that tells a client I will respond within a 24 hour time frame.

2) YOU CAN'T RUN A SHIP HALF OILED

Girlfriend say whaaaattt?!  
Yea, yea.  This is me talking being around the military for 18 years.  But here is what I'm getting at:

If you don't set boundaries and hours be it with clients and your personal life and/or family, one subject will lack or dominate.  However, if you set boundaries for the two subjects, both will be balanced.  Both will run efficiently. 

What I did first, since I was/am responsible for my 3 children and their well being, along with my relationship to my spouse, additionally The Marine Corps and deployments,  I took the time to write a list of my 3 children's schedules and their needs along with my spouses.

Once I had this laid out visually, it gave me an organized focus to schedule business. 

3)  OUTSOURCE

When I came to a place in my business and family life where I was running full time, I did not have as much time for repetitive business functions, actions and taskers, I outsourced to another company(s) to handle my marketing, etc.  I hired another photographer for my team.  The reason I did this is because I alway chose my family as a priority.  NOT TO BE DRAMATIC but at the end of the day or your life,  business and money is a fleeting thing.  I personally want to be a leader and influencer in my industry.  Especially my family.  Our children grow up so quickly in a blink of an eye.

4)  ORGANIZE YOUR WEEK

I take every Sunday evening, with a glass of wine, after my 3 children are in bed to organize my work week, marketing, etc. on my calendars.  In doing so, this helps lessen those "SUNDAY SCARIES"

 Anxiety isn't good look, friend.  But anxiety only comes from being unorganized and overly thinking about the to-do's.  If it is mapped out and confirmed visually, your mind is a bit more clear and your can rest and take peace.

5)  BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF

The Ark, Rome and a Rolls Royce was not built overnight.  Be cool.

I had the tendency when I first started business and balancing family like I had to be at the letter Z before I even did ABCDEFG.  With wanting to be over there instead of focusing on being right here, right now, it caused a feeling of anxiety and stress.  Nothing worth a good- gosh- darn was just fingered snapped into will and existence.  It takes time to cultivate. Nurture.  Grow.  You must trust the process, be patient with yourself in your failures, short comings, successes, you name it be it with business and family.

I had the great privilege with speaking about, Balancing Business with Family Life, along with Attracting the right clients on the BOKEH PODCAST for PHOTOGRAPHER'S EDIT .

You can catch the full podcast HERE.


A little love note to, EXCITEDLY WAITING TO READ, 

Keep in mind we are our own worst critics.  Embrace your wrongs and implement change.  And celebrate your small steps of progress. 

With Big Love,

Lacey O.

 







 

5 REASONS WHY CHOSE HONEYBOOK FOR MY PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

lacey.jpg

Back in 2013, when I first started my photography business in San Diego, CA, I stumbled across The Rising Tide Society by doing a web search of networking events in my area.   I attended one of their monthly meet-ups for small business creatives, held every second Tuesday of the month (#TuesdaysTogether)

Fast forward a year and I became a leader for Rising Tide Society and the founder of San Diego's North County Chapter.  Which this great leadership position introduced me to their Workflow System, HoneyBook.

My workflow system at this time was just not efficient.  I was paying for and using Docu-sign and having my clients pay through Square.  Two completely separate parts that I would have to jump back and forth to.  Oh, and let's not forget that I was writing my shoot dates down in my planner and on iCalender.  Plus, jumping back and forth to my emails to look up clients needed info for contracts.  An all over the place mess, right guys?!

Which brings me to Reason #1 as to why I chose HoneyBook for my photography business:

1) TRACK AND MANAGE SHOOTS EFFORTLESSLY

pipeline.png

HoneyBook calls it the pipeline and my customers call it their personal assistant. When you have multiple shoots to manage it’s so easy to track the status of all your shoots, in one place. Whether it’s an inquiry, a proposal or a follow up action from your client, with one click you can tell if you’re on track. You can also easily assign a project to someone in your team, right from this pipeline.

2) MANAGE INQUIRIES SEAMLESSLY

HoneyBook makes it easy for me to respond quickly to inbound inquiries from my website. It’s easy to create a custom form and embed it easily into your website. When a potential customer fills out the form, HoneyBook automatically creates a new lead and adds it to your pipeline.
Jumping back and forth entering in your leads information can be extremely time consuming.  When you are managing not only your business and your personal life, this proactive perk for your business cuts down greatly and saves you time.

     




 

3) CREATE PERSONALIZED PROPOSALS

Nothing worse for your client is to have them jump around to different platforms for sending/receiving contracts and submitting payment to you.  It should be an easy and efficient streamline of delivery with the booking process.  Because it's all about GREAT customer service! AMIRIGHT?!  Your proposals, contracts and invoices should reflect your brand. their simple templates allow you to upload your logo and banner, customize your contracts and packages, get e-signature, automatic payment reminders and more. 

    


  

4) THE HONEYBOOK CONCIERGE IS THE BEE'S KNEES

You think I'm kidding?!  I kid you not, friend.  They are truly their for you and your success. They  not only help you get set up, on-boarded, and using HoneyBook quickly but they are here to help you put your best business foot forward.  Honestly,  as a small business owner, you are truly the CEO.  You have to learn and know everything to run your business.  Sometimes, learning another facet to your business can be overwhelming because you are doing so much already!  HoneYBook's concierge truly is there for you and you most certainly can apply me singing Joe Cocker's "I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS!" (Sung totally off key, fyi)

5)  A LITTLE INTEGRITY GOES A LONG WAY

Girlfrannn say what?!  Yes.  I said it.  
What peaked my interest with #HoneyBook was the fact that they offer a 14 Day free trial.  You have access to the complete system and their fantastic concierge.  I genuinely feel that they are about your success and what is best for you business.  This is why they generously offer the 14 day trial, with no credit card.  With 65,000 members and growing I feel their integrity they display for our creative economy is what is attributing to such rapidly growing member numbers.

6)  WANT A DISCOUNT AND REFFERAL CODE FOR SIGNING UP?

"Oh, hey Lacey O.  I thought you said there were only 5 reasons as to why you chose HoneyBook for your creative business?"   Why yes friend I did!
 But, since I received such love from HoneyBook, I want to give love! 

When you sign up with HoneyBook you can use my referral link:
http://share.honeybook.com/fQWtq to receive 50% off when signing up!

Like, Happy Valentine's Day to you, right?! 

My Interview on Becoming Love Project

My interview on the Becoming Love podcast went live! 

Tamala Baldwin, of Soul Kisses TV and the Becoming Love Project and I had such a blast and I am THRILLED to be a part of this newly launched podcast that focuses on creating heaven on earth by going within.

I speak about my child abuse growing up and moving out of your comfort zones to create the life you truly want. There are so many people that experience trauma and as a result, may lose their way. During this segment, I share about my child abuse and I offer some straight, unfiltered, bad ass advice to get people going again. 

Give it a listen to learn more about answering moving beyond the past to create the life you deserve. 
http://bit.ly/becominglove2

 
 

What's Damaging Your Happiness + Productivity

 What's Damaging Your Happiness and Productivity | Lacey O Photography

I have had to ask myself this question many times in life and with business when I was feeling off, sad, confused, frustrated and overall not focused.  

I have always been drawn to running at high performance in all topics of life.  I love the feeling of being accomplished, productive, kicking-ass and taking names ; )

But what is being productive?  It is how much output you create from focused effort you put in your Life, Business and Mind.

The brain at a positive state is 31% more productive than at negative state or neutral state.  31% more productive!  Y'all,  I personally would feel great getting 31% more done in my day!  How much better would you feel?!

But how do we get to a more positive mind set? Self Motivation.  

Self Motivation is like showering.  You do not have to take a shower everyday, but hell, it's recommended.  In order to self motivate take a moment to identify and write down:

1)  Your Purpose + Meaning

2)  Why is this your Purpose + Meaning

Now looking at what you wrote down. You have pretty freakin' important stuff, right?!  You have a fabulous purpose in life.  You have fabulous reasons to motivate you.  

But what is damaging your happiness, productivity and motivation?  Here is a list of things to consider.  Write down those that apply to you in life and I encourage you to have an authentic/honest moment and write down things that may not even be listed:

1) Over eating/Under Eating

2) Processed Foods/Unhealthy Diet

3) Alcohol Consumption/Drugs/Smoking

4) Lack of Water

5) Sitting Around/Down Too Much

6) Lack of Focus

7) Toxic Relationship(s)

8) Negative Friends/Family

9) Negative Self Talk/Always Complaining

10) Worrying/Anxiety/Stress

Now that you have identified the things that are interfering with your happiness and productivity, I'm going to bring you back to the topic of, Performance.

When I think of my Performance, I want:

1)  to be productive

2) to be accomplished

3) to create efficiently

4) to feel good while doing it all!

So how do I achieve this high-performance, happiness and productivity?
 
Set a schedule for you business and personal life.  Eliminate the bullshit.

You as a person and in your business are always going to be evolving.  That is a serious process in itself.  It can be draining.  But if you have all these negative interferences (like the list you made) and your time and schedule isn't being utilized proficiently, you have zapped your Happiness + Productivity.  So like I said, eliminate the bullshit.

I take about 15 minutes,  every Sunday night, AFTER THE KIDS ARE IN BED, to write down and review my schedule for the week.  I then divide up my taskers per day, in a check list, that I mark off as I go.  There is a feeling of accomplishment when you check things off.  If you make just one large to-do list, it might give you the sense of feeling overwhelmed.  So that is why I suggest breaking up the taskers into daily increments. 

The final thing I really want to touch base on with you, friend, is toxic relationships.  I truly feel that this effects the majority of our happiness, productivity and well being.  I feel it causes stress, that can lead to overeating, excessive alcohol consumption, etc.  Over all it is a vicious cycle of abuse that is a huge time waster.

I, in my personal life, have eliminated friends and even family members that are hurtful,  all consuming, manipulative, dishonest and self righteous.   When I chose to do this in my personal life, I gained such freedom, happiness and have never cared to look back because what I gained in freedom and happiness was and still is far more valuable than that relationship that was just harming me.

 If it is not a relationship that builds you up, encourages and stimulates your growth, inspiring, encompassed by love... have the self respect, close the door and deadbolt it.  Never invite any of that negativity back in.  

You are meant for glorious and wonderful things in your life, purpose and the people around you.  You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way.

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VIDEO OF 5 THINGS I DO FOR A POSITIVE + PRODUCTIVE MORNING

Mornings are rough.  It can be hard waking up if you are not a morning person. Oh, and let us not forget the to-do's on our mind as soon as we wake up.  These things can instantly cause a negative morning.  As much as I'm not a morning person I'm more so not a person who likes to set up the day negative as soon as I get out of bed.  So here is my morning routine and priorities that I do to set my day off right for myself, family/friends and business.

MY PODCAST FEATURE FOR PHOTOGRAPHER'S EDIT

Today I'm excited to announce that I was featured on Photographer's Edit podcast and blog!

I had a great discussion with CEO, Nathan Holritz of Photographer's Edit about attracting the ideal client, being a busy entrepreneur, and putting my family first before business.

You can get the FREE podcast here at Photographer's Edit Blog:
bit.do/bokehpodcast

Washington DC Photographer |  Lacey O

Also, when you utilize Photographer's Edit for your photography needs, you can use promo code: LACEYOPHOTOGRAPHY to get 20% off your purchase.

PHOTOGRAPHER'S EDIT, EDITING & POST PROCESSING

As you grow in your photography business it is a great feeling.  The thrill of your growing numbers of shoots and clients is obviously ideal.  Until you realize how much time you are spending in front of your computer... editing.  UGH.

Washington DC Photographer |  Photographer's Edit, Editing and Post Processing

My photography business tripled in a year and a half when I first opened in September of 2013. A total blessing but I was constantly in front of the computer editing and I felt I was spending less quality time with my husband and children.  I'd go to bed and lie awake feeling a sense of guilt that I didn't talk to them enough of about their day because I was constantly editing in my office.  I also felt like I was getting behind in other areas and to-do's of my life that were important.  Which causes unnecessary yet added stress.  

I personally feel that your family comes first.  The time you have with your family and all that goes along with running your family is not given the most and best of you, there is no true success.  This is why I decided to out source to Photographer's Edit.  Why?  I knew I had to manage my time better and less stress.

I'm a full time photographer, entrepreneur, Leader for Tuesday's Together in Oceanside, CA for The Rising Tide Society, a mother of 3 and a spouse to a very busy United States Marine. And to be honest furthermore, I'm not a big fan of tedious color correcting.  

Photographers Edit will handle culling, color corrections and custom retouching.  I upload my photos, they tell you how many days it should be completed in (they are super timely) and its emailed to me to my specifications.  You can set your white balance, brightness and contrast through them so that your photos remain consistent with your photographic voice along with 2 presets and it costs about 23 cents a photo.

Since I have been outsourcing to Photographer's Edit I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders with the editing process.  I have more time to spend with family, friends, other areas of business.  This is a huge blessing to me and I'm grateful for such a company in my industry that helps enrich the quality of a busy photographer's life.

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The Rising Tide Society

As I started my journey, 3 years ago, as an entrepreneur in the photography industry I was ignorantly optimistic on what it really is to be an entrepreneur.

I had sugar plum visions of only glitz, glamour and grandeur.  Although those things do come with hard work and time, I had never ever felt more alone in my frustrations and development.

Don't get me wrong, I had a multitude of support from my spouse and friends.  But there was something still missing.  I just couldn't put my finger on what was missing.  I was constantly was talking to God about it and asking for guidance and direction.

I was carrying this alone feeling around for about a year and then one day while I was surfing the web I stumbled across a article about how an “entrepreneur needs community and support.” and recommended the Rising Tide Society

To be honest I didn't read the whole article through.  I was skim reading but when my eyes fell upon the words "an entrepreneur needs community and support."  Man oh man did those words sync with my alone feelings I was struggling with.

 I quickly looked up their website and fell in love with the Rising Tide Society's why, purpose and mission. A society that is about community over competition along with being a place to encourage, support and educate small business owners.

But it gets even better than that!  

Around the U.S. creatives and entrepreneurs meet in different cities on the second Tuesday of every month over coffee and conversation, to learn, build, connect, support and grow. This fabulousness called Tuesdays Together.

I was over joyed and looked up a meet-up group close to where I lived.  I met a lot of great people.  I felt a sense of “ Lacey, you are not alone in your feelings, everyone feels this way at times.”  With that being said, I wasn’t feeling as alone but more so understood and encouraged.  The heaviness lifted! : )

Where I’m at now with the Rising Tide Society I couldn’t be happier.  I was selected by the Rising Tide Society to start and lead a Tuesday’s Together chapter in Oceanside, California and serving those that are in the Surrounding North County of San Diego, California.

I have gained many friends, many resources and continue to grow as an entrepreneur and leader through the Rising Tide Society.  So if you are feeling alone and lost in your entrepreneurship, just know you got a friend in the community that is the Rising Tide Society.

If you would like to learn more about the Rising Tide Society and get connected with a Tuesday’s Together group in your city visit their website at: 
www.risingtidesociety.com

And when you have connected with your Tuesdays Together group, let me know!  Comment below or shoot me an email.  I'd love to hear about it!

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REFRESH YOUR CREATIVE SOUL

With shoots and demands of business sometimes to refresh my creative soul I create something that is not in relation to my trade.  Sometimes I paint a picture, sculpt, do a furniture make-over, etc.  In turn the creative projects restore that balance of fun and I come back to business with renewal.  

What is something you do to refresh your creative soul?

Washington DC Photographer |  Refresh Your Creative Soul

It's Not About The Tools But About Hands, Eyes, Heart, And A Longing In The Soul To Create Beauty. - C. Weylandts

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ALWAYS BE A WORK IN PROGRESS

It's a cool & cloudy ocean morning here in Oceanside, CA...I slept in and feel well rested.  Such a blessing!  I reserve my Sunday's strictly for relaxation & spiritual reflection about myself & business.  Reading this morning,  I came across the words "Always be a work in progress"  I couldn't agree more with the sentiment.  In business, relationships, etc.  There is always room for improvement with being and doing for those that are around you.  It's exciting really.  You strive to be a work in progress you'll always be metamorphosing into something better and beautiful for others.  Food for thought on your Sunday...

"Always Be A Work In Progress"  What is an inspirational quote you love?  I'd love to hear it!

Washington DC Photographer |  Always Be a Work in Progress

"BUSYNESS" VS PRESENCE

Washington DC Photographer |  Busyness vs Presence

In a world where "busyness" is valued more than presence, today I'm posting a photo of how I relax... Taking my children to the park with my husband.  

To be real, I'm a work horse when I put my mind to something.  I forge away until what is in my mind is fully accomplished.  It is a good thing about me & a bad thing.  As I grow in my business which in turn is me growing more in my character, I've come to the realization that no amount of busyness, hustle, grind & success is worth not spending time with those you love.  Time is a fleeting thing & so very precious.  When I make sure to put my family as a priority & give them the very best of me (not what is left over from my busyness) I'm enveloped in peace & contentment. My balance is restored & I can get back to work refreshed. 

 So today,  whatever is your peace & contentment, go with it. Refresh!  Today is a good day to have a good day. ; )

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GET OUT OF THE OFFICE

On an entrepreneurial/creative high, we're getting things accomplished and knocked out of the way. Giving out high-fives left and right!

The following week rolls around.  Same grind.  Then the next.  Then the next. To where it starts to resemble the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray.  Then it happens... loss of motivation.

When this happens to me it's not because I stopped loving what I do.  It's because I have been sitting in the same office, my office, for a few weeks straight.  For a creative mind, that's a no go. I need stimulation with sights, sounds & sunlight.  So what do I do?  I GET OUT OF THE OFFICE.  I change my scenery and work from somewhere else.  It could be a cute coffee joint, a park, a local winery or like this week... the beach.  A change of scenery refreshes the senses and you're still getting your work done.  

It's YOUR business... who says you have to work enclosed by four walls? ; )

QUICK SALAD IDEA FOR THE BUSY PHOTOGRAPHER

Oh the busy photographers grind... answering clients questions, meeting with clients, scheduling clients, arriving at photoshoots and editing. The workflow list goes on and on.  But thats just business... don't forget your personal life (me being a mother of 3 and married to a Marine my schedule is insane!)  Sometimes I get so busy in a day I forget to eat.  Actually strike that,  I'm starving and the epitome of the word "HANGRY" but I grit through it because I have a job to do.  

The more your business grows the busier your schedule becomes the less time you have to take care of yourself... but you must make yourself just as equally a priority so that you can run things with the utmost opitmitization.  

I saw on Pinterest this idea on making layered salads in mason jars!  I prep mine on a Sunday night for myself and my family.  They stay fresh and easy to grab and throw in your tote when you are on the go!  Chop full of energizing goodness that will refuel and refresh you!  

Delish!

Washington DC Photographer |  Quick Salad Idea for the Busy Photographer