A little bit of an honest post today. Maybe more of a ramble as there is a lot I am thinking. About being a mom and having a so called “work-life” balance and how running a business from home affect our personal lives.
Let me tell you a little story. This past summer we took a family vacation to New Brunswick for 10 days. I do all of my photography work on my desktop at home, I do not even have a laptop. So I knew there was no way I could do any work while I gone. Besides a few Instagram posts, I was off my phone. And I was relaxed and calm the whole time. Even when the kids were screaming and causing chaos, I just did not care. It was bliss.
Then we returned home. Literally less than 24 hours later, I was yelling at them, feeling annoyed, frustrated and irritated. I immediately knew why. (and felt ashamed) My computer was sitting 5 feet away from me in the next room and I was thinking about all the work I needed to catch up on. I had 2 or 3 weddings to edit, 3 more coming up, an album to design, blogging, posting, on and on and on. My work brain had turned back on and since we no longer had a babysitter, and 2 weeks until the big kids went back to school, I was stressed just knowing it all needed to be done and there was no sight in near of WHEN I could get to it.
Guys, This is why it’s important to make office hours. And STICK WITH THEM! Any of you with a home business – it’s a must. Even if you are single, married, have a brothel of kids, or kid-less and pet-less, whatever – it doesn’t matter. If we run our business all willy-nilly and just do work when we feel like it, we will get nowhere fast. And we stress. And take it out on people we love. So it’s important to have guidelines and boundaries.
As I write this I have to be honest and say I haven’t quite figured it all out yet. I still sneak in some work when I can, especially now that it’s crunch time for wedding and family photographers. I now have a babysitter for 5 hours one day a week to watch the little ones. And that time is mine to sit in the office and work. However, I also use that time to try to do ME things too like get a haircut or run errands because all that stuff is easier without kids in tow. End result – the office time is nice, but I need more of it.
One option I am looking at is 17hats or a similar program where I can have client to-do lists all in one place. Right now I use Jotforms for contracts, and Shootproof for galleries and recently invoices. And the rest is in my head or scribbled on post it notes on my desk - which can get confusing. (Esepcially when a toddler steals said paper off your desk and rips it before you notice!)
So as I write this I am mentally preparing a list of Goals for 2018 and how to make it even better.
Goals for Love Bee Photography
Set up a Streamlined business model using a program like 17hats or similar
Outsource my wedding editing – this is a tough one for me since I love editing, and I am unsure if I can give up that control of knowing every image I produce inside and out. However – I amy consider just outsourcing certain elements of a wedding like the ceremony and reception and edit the portraits myself.
Looking into the possibility of taking my photography business full time.
Hiring someone to help with certain tasks like mailing packages to clients. I am not sure what else I can outsource though!
I would love to know what you do to keep your business flowing more easily? How do you keep your business and personal life separate? Are there any programs you use to help streamline? Send me an email, I would love to hear. Or comment below.