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LOVE. LIFE. TIPS. These posts will help anyone who is trying to keep or get back all of the things that they love in their life and/or business. The tips are packed with ways to manage a hectic life, kids, business, meaning, love...and more. Also, make sure you check out the new Women and Business series! (Click here) Also, see how Day with Davina can come to you. (Click here)
My favorite pricing guide (that I wish I had when I started my business over 8 years ago). You need this guide!
Easy as Pie. Click here to visit Served Up Fresh. (affiliate link)
Thanks for stopping by...and don't forget to leave a comment...or two...I want to hear from YOU!
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The sun was out, the wind was blowing, and spring had yet to arrive. Everything was still waiting to burst back on to the scene after a long and cold winter. This day was gorgeous and felt so like a beautiful, mild California day. It was so unseasonable and we loved it.
I was especially happy for the beautiful day because I knew that Kathy loved California. I really wanted to be able to capture that glowy feel of being out in California in this shoot. Even though Kathy has been across the country and back she longs to see the loveliness of the west coast again...
Kelly, Kathy's sister, came to the shoot for fun and I couldn't resist having the two sisters hang out for a couple of minutes together.
I say Hello.
It's so easy to be caught up in finishing things up when your kids or your husband come home from school or work. I know I have to very consciously close my computer and carefully schedule phone calls to make sure I'm not on either one when my kids come home. I want to be available to them and give them my full attention. I definitely have days where I fall short of my own expectations but I think this list is an excellent reminder of how to give the people you love your full attention and key moments of the day.
Here are the top 10 ways NOT to greet your child (or your husband):
You're on the phone
You're on your computer
You're checking your calendar
Asking what homework they have
Correcting them as soon as you see them
Bringing up something they recently did wrong
Not making eye contact with them
Not smiling at them
Letting your bad mood make you grouchy with them
To see this list, click here.
What do you do to make those key moments important for the people you love?
inbetween moments. LIFE.
can he be any cuter?
A few months ago I had the opportunity to help out with Smile for Life.
Walking into the studio donated to the Smile for Life cause I knew I was going to be meeting a lot of people I had only corresponded with through email. And even though most people I meet think I'm an extrovert I'm really a closet introvert. I can step up when I need to and in a photographing capacity my passion for capturing the heart of a family or relationship takes over. When I'm meeting peers, potential friends, etc. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone.
I love speaking in front of a group, teaching about something that I'm completely on fire about, sharing insights into things that are important to me...but put me into a brand new situation with no one I know...this is not my favorite thing to do. I'm not one of those people that lives for the meet and greet or outshines everyone in a new situation or thrives on going into a brand new situation. I like to observe for a while, check out the terrain, listen, ask questions, and wait. I'm not sure what I'm waiting for but I wait.
People are usually surprised by this bit of revelation. I love the excitement of moving to a new state and would even love to live out of the country...and I like an adventure. I don't like to get to stuck doing things the same way all of the time, and I always want a bit of variety in my life. So it seems like I'd automatically love a new opportunity to meet people I've never met. Not so. (*I read recently in Tom Peters book that he's the same way...so glad to know that I'm not the only one!)
That doesn't mean I don't do it anyway.
I do it anyway.
And I'm always glad I did.
When I drove up to the studio, I sat in my car for a couple of minutes. Said a prayer. Asked that I wouldn't compare myself to everyone else, pleaded that I'd remember my own name, and that I'd be able to serve the people I came to photograph. I walked into the studio and right away Franklin Adams and his wife were there to greet me. With their open friendliness and sweet graciousness in seconds I was put at ease and I knew I was going to enjoy my day of hanging out with other photographers photographing for a cause that I learned blossomed from personal experience.
Smile for Life was born when Franklin and his wife went through the heartwrenching experience of learning that their son had cancer. It's one of those things that no parent wants to hear. Instead of becoming discouraged they fought the good fight; giving to others along the way. Their son is now cancer free.
I love happy endings.
Thank you for the chance to work with Smile for Life!
I am so glad to have met Clair. She's a great, patient, thoughtful mom and a smart, organized, creative business woman. She knows what she's looking for and is great at making things happen to achieve her goals. I've been impressed with her love for her family and her passion for being a small business owner. I knew she was doing great things but when she answered the following questions I was in even more awe of the way she makes time for the people that matter most to her and at the same time can juggle with graciousness and ease the 1st anniversary of her shop, The Bump Maternity Boutique, and all of the other unexpected hurdles there are to jump every day when you have an increasingly successful, hip, chic, beautiful shop.
The Bump Maternity Boutique offers women the opportunity to look beautiful and stylish while they are pregnant. The latest in fashion for a day at the office, jetting downtown for a day of shopping, or going to dinner on the town are some of the lovely pieces you'll find in Clair's shop. You won't want to miss The Bump Maternity Boutique whether you just found out you're going to have your own little bump or if you're just weeks away from actually seeing your little one.
I had the chance to photograph Clair and her family and ask her some questions:
What does an average day and week look like for you between home and business as far as what time you get up, getting your family ready for the day, what days you are at the shop, scheduling time for what is important in business and family, etc.?
Balancing a brand new store and two young children is nothing short of challenging. When we began to really pursue the shop I was pregnant with Macy and Caroline was just over a year old. Looking back at that time, that was easy :) I was working full-time, shopping for the store in my spare time, enjoying my baby girl and pregnant with the second. Macy was born in January '10; while on maternity leave form my full-time job, I spent my days in the store setting up and receiving stock, supplies, equipment and such. We opened our doors in April and I went back to work for a few months. I made The Bump my full time job in June and that is when my time management skills became important. One of my personal goals for owning my own business was to have more time to spend with my family. So it was important for me to schedule my days off to coincide with my husbands time off and to get as much time with the girls as possible. I remember some very rocky mornings where everything felt rushed and hectic, getting my self, a newborn and a sassy 19 month old ready to leave the house. My husband and I took a weekend away, and as we normally do during our alone time, we re-evalute our priorities, goals and overall life. It was then that I decided to find a way 'enjoy' my morning time with my girls and get some true balance.
So my typical day starts around 7am, by this time Carolina has usually climbed into our bed and gone back to sleep, Macy is still sleeping and I jump in the shower before they wake up. Caroline likes to stay in bed after she wakes up so we lay there and talk and snuggle. Then we start to hear babbles from Macy's bed and Caroline gets a big grin on her face and says 'Listen, I hear Macy!' We go in their room and see Macy (usually bouncing and smiling) eager to get out an play. Macy gets out and the girls play in there room while I finish getting ready for my day, usually have to get them snacks and juice because Macy is hungry every minute of the day! So this is the time of my day that use to be stressful and rushed, because the girls go to a day school that serves breakfast from 8:30-9am and I used to rush to get them there. Now we play and take our time (while snacking). Caroline picks out her clothes, which can be quite amusing and I just let her wear what she likes. We have gone to school with big girl panties on the outside of our pants or with a princess dress over our clothes, but she is happy and that makes me happy. I get Macy dressed and we head out the door. The interesting thing is that my relaxed and enjoyable way usually has us arriving at school at 8:45 (same time as the stressful/rushed way) so they get breakfast with their friends and I get a fun morning with my babies! I usually schedule myself to be in the store Monday - Friday 10am-4pm, with an occasional weekend out of town for market. I usually schedule day time coverage at the store on Tuesday so that I can run personal errands, pay bills and manage the house. Tuesdays are also the day that I do office work for my husband's cleaning business. My day in the store can be challenging as I work with customers, receive product, merchandise the store, plan for the next seasons. In between all of that, I am searching for the cutest and latest things in maternity & baby. I have a handful of local, creative crafters that I am always sending pictures of new ideas for products. I LOVE having my own 'esty-esque' shop inside my store, showcasing local talent and providing one-of-a-kind gifts! After my day at the store is done, I pick up the girls from school and we meet 'Daddy' at home for his turn to play! I cook dinner (or attempt to cook dinner, I make no promises) and we all eat dinner together. Because my Macy is a one year old messy monster we go straight from the table to bath time - Macy loves it and 9 out of 10 times Caroline really enjoys it too! They play and splash and laugh and spit water on each other. After baths, we start to have some quite time. We turn off some lights, read books, and rest before going to bed. If we are lucky, Chris and I get an hour to talk and prepare for tomorrow before we are off to sleep.
What keeps you organized?
My iPhone, I update my calendar and set everything to alert me. I have a calendar at home, at the store and on my phone. And thank goodness for emails, I don't usually delete emails because I am constantly searching through old ones for contacts and such. I also make lists! I end up with scraps of paper filled with things to do for the store, ideas I see while I'm driving around or things I need to buy to cook dinner.
How do you make time for your family and also grow your business?
Besides scheduling myself to be home in the evenings and weekends with my family, I love to bring my kids to work. Macy is almost old enough to come to work without another person to help me, which is exciting. Caroline loves to come to the store and help out. I keep her backpack in the car packed with essentials in case she has a rough morning. There have been a few days that she has wanted some extra mommy time and asked to go work with me, and I LOVE that I have the option to say 'yes'. As for growing the business, my business partner is my mom, so it has definitely created a stronger and new bond between us. We talk on the phone multiple times a day, exchanging ideas, thoughts and to-do's and we send a lot of emails late night after the kids have gone to bed. I am lucky to have her believe in my dream and help me get it off the ground. She handles all the marketing, advertising and book-keeping. So that frees up my time to focus on product assortment, generating sales, and training our great staff! Without her I would not have the ability to do all that I do with my children!
What are you most proud of as a business woman?
I am so proud to show my girls that there are so many opportunities out there for women. Also, I proud of the store as a whole. I usually drive around the store looking at it as a customer and am filled with happiness to know that I had a part in creating it.
What five suggestions do you have for women who are business owners and trying to have a more whole, content, and blissful life?
1-Prioritize and re-evalute your situation regularly. Things change and what worked yesterday may not be true tomorrow.
2-Don't let the little things get to you. I have always been able to move past obstacles and create a new plan
3-Set goals! and write them down! We (my husband and I) set goals for business growth, future plans, and personal things too.
4-Get away. (without the kids) Take a day trip, weekend trip or a hour to yourself. I think it is important for us and it always inspires us to come up with new ideas.
5-Have fun! "In the end its not the years in your life that count, its the life in your years" Abe Lincoln
Friend The Bump Maternity Boutique on Facebook! Click here.
pricing made easy.
Pricing is probably one of the most stressful, brain taxing, mysterious aspects of running a photography business.
Well, it doesn't have to be.
Some of you photographers have probably heard me rave about Alicia's Easy As Pie Pricing Guide. If you've wondered how to work out your pricing your products and services...no easy task since there's all kinds of things to consider. Cost of goods, overhead, travel, mileage, home studio, retail studio, digital darkroom time, prop costs, education costs, software, computers, cameras, lenses, photoshop, albums, prints, canvases, cards, client care, organization, office supplies, packaging, furniture...and the list goes on and on when considering the costs of running a business and then running a successful business means it needs to be profitable.
All of these things need to be considered when pricing your products and services...that is if you want to be running a business as a professional and not as a hobbyist.
Enter Easy as Pie pricing guide. I wish this guide had been around when I started my business 9 years ago. Over the years pricing has always been difficult with no set industry standard. I've talked at length with many photographer friends, taken courses, attended professional industry workshops, and reworked my pricing time after time. I love Easy as Pie because the math is simple (just what I need). Basically, all I had to do was fill in the blanks. Alicia explains the advantages and disadvantages of carrying certain products, keeps things simple in her explanations, products, and approach. One of the best parts is getting to see the evolution of Alicia's own pricing over the years. I keep trying to think of something that would have made it better and nothing is coming to me.
If you've felt unsure of your pricing, don't know where to start, or feel like you just keep taking a stab in the dark, are serious about getting your pricing and collections on target, and and need someone to hold your hand then you'll love this guide as much as i do. After hearing so many people have issues and questions about pricing; I think all of the answers are finally in one easy, fun, juicy place to read.
Get it. Love it! Easy as Pie Pricing Guide.
ETA (04.01.11): The Easy as Pie Pricing Guide AND Happy Place Guide are on sale for today only at 1/2 price. Wohoo!!
Interested? Click on the icon below: