Running a Business in 3 Hours a Day, Pt. 4

I don’t even know where to start on this one! Im coming off of a crazy busy but incredibly encouraging week at the Pursuit Conference in Rome, Ga. and I still haven’t had a chance to sit and process everything that I experienced there. I had so many wonderful conversations with other creative women and every one of them had something special to say to my heart. My roommate from the conference was SUCH a blessing to my life and I am walking away with a handful of new friends that will be my forever friends…how lucky is that?! 2015-07-14_0079

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to share how I handle unexpected changes in my schedule during the week. Y’all…stuff comes up. I’m not always the best person when it comes to unexpected change and I’d be lying if I said I was super flexible and able to roll with the punches. I have a game plan for every week and although I usually leave room for human error (meaning MY human error), sometimes the weather changes and shoots get canceled, babies are sick and have to stay home from school, or I just plain need a break. I HAVE to press pause and wait until I regain my footing to press forward again. In situations where LIFE is whats causing my routine to change…I just pray and rest and go about my day. I know my children won’t always be little and need me this much. I know when I’m exhausted I usually get a sick. I know I can’t control the weather and I live in Georgia (our weather can’t make up its mind sometimes). All of these things I know. And when schedules get tight and I’m feeling pressed into a wall, I just have to lean on the things that I know.

Now…when gear breaks, cards fail, computers freeze, and a taxes are due…thats an entirely different story! I have had every single one of these things happen to my go to response is always the same.

Fetal Position-snot crying-red wine-repeat.

If only I were joking about that… *sigh. 🙂  I am queen of the panic-and-run-away method so it takes the very will of God to hold me in place when these kinds of negatives things happen. I have a little game plan I have put in place for myself so that when these tough situations arise, I have steps to focus on and instruction ready so I don’t have to sit in that panicky place too long. Here are the 4 steps I take immediately after an unexpected business problem occurs:

  1. Deep Breaths….and pray! If I get ahead of myself then I expect the worst case scenario. I know if I can just take a second to breathe and pray then I will be able to approach the situation with a calm heart and focused mind. Its amazing what not jumping to the worst conclusion and taking a minute to pause will do for my mental state!
  2.  Step away from the project. If I am really caught off guard by a problem in my business, I step away. I walk outside, go for a run, lay down, or just make a pot of coffee…anything to remove the problem from in front of my face for a few minutes. I don’t like unresolved issues or unanswered emails so I can’t let it all rest too long, but a good 10-15 minutes for me to be able to look at the problem from all sides is extremely helpful for me.
  3. Think of the big picture. I swear it would be comical if I could watch myself get in a tizzy when things catch me off guard. My PT recently wrote a script for new running shoes and when I looked at the ailment listed on the script it said, ” OCD and extreme nausea.” I laughed out loud so hard when I read that because my gut reaction to so many problems in life is to freak out and then throw up. Annnnnnd it looks like thats apparent to everyone in my life. But if I can follow my first 2 steps and then take a look at the grand scheme of things I can usually get my heart in check and trust that even if its a bad day, at the end of it I get to go home, rest, and start over again tomorrow. Every fall I look at my calendar and think the numbers for next year won’t add up. I fear I will some how fall short on the number of weddings/sessions I shoot, talks I get to give, conferences I will be a part of, you name it and I’ve counted it. Every year I get to October and feel excited but overwhelmed at the busy I have on my plate. It’s a cycle and when I realize that as long as I trust God to provide me with relationships and clients, I will be just fine.
  4. Turn to community. There are resources at the touch of our fingers tips that are ready and willing to help us with any problems we face in my businesses. From forums to Facebook groups to a trusted group of friends that could just be there to support you; people are key. If a memory card fails I know of a dozen people I can call right away to ask for advice. If a client experiences a tragedy and I want to do something special for them but am at a loss for ideas, I have a hand full of people in my industry that would be happy to help cultivate something specific for my client that would show them  my heart. If my gear gets sent off to Canon and it turns out shooting in Georgia, in the summer, is terrible for glass lenses and MOLD is growing in your image stabilizer resulting in a final bill around $2000 to clean and repair some of it, I know a car load of ladies that will laugh and cry with me because that situation just stinks. Community friends. You were not meant to do life alone and that applies so very much to running a business. Most of my time working is spent by myself in my office in front of my computer, but thats not where my heart soars. That space is not where I feel alive. I feel the most useful and creative when I get to experience people and share stories with them. I’m most like myself when I am surrounded by others so I encourage you to dig in and find that community.

I hope you guys have an amazing Monday! Friday I will be posting about how I manage to dream and pursue new ventures while maintaining by day-to-day schedule!

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