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.
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,