51: Getting Back to Work After the Summer with Brittnie Renee

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51: Getting Back to Work After the Summer with Brittnie Renee 3

This one is for the moms. If you are anything like myself or today’s guest, Brittnie Renee, you are more than likely so ready for the start of the school year and to switch off from summer mom duties. In this episode, Brittnie and I are talking all about getting back into work mode, doing an audit on your time, and dealing with mom guilt as a business owner. 

The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight

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This episode is brought to you by The Aligned Photographer, my brand new online course that will help you shape and expand your photography business to feel uniquely yours. Course modules include information all about pricing for profit, marketing, setting goals, creating a sustainable schedule, email, boundaries, and more. The course also includes monthly live Q&A calls, where you can get all of your business questions answered by me, Sabrina Gebhardt. Sign up today with 10% off exclusively for podcast listeners with the code: PODCAST

Review the Show Notes:

Get to know Brittnie Renee (3:12)

Creating structure during the summer (4:59)

Working in your business over the summer (10:20)

Shifting your schedule and work routine from summer to school (16:53)

How to do a time audit (17:57)

Easing back into work mode (23:16)

Struggling with mom guilt as an entrepreneur (25:36)

Words of encouragement for moms as school starts (32:14)

Rapid-fire questions (39:31)

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Capture The Chaos: Hacks To Be More Productive In Your Day To Day Life

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Review the Transcript:

Sabrina Gebhardt
On today’s episode of the shoot it straight podcast, I am interviewing my new friend Brittnie Renee. We are talking all about getting back into work mode after you have been doing the mom thing all summer long. We talk about a bunch of really great things in this episode, including how to do a time audit and what that is. We talk about mom guilt, we talk about how to prepare for a successful fall season. And I inadvertently got Brittany to drop a really big surprise announcement hidden inside this episode. I’m telling you right now, if you have been balancing entrepreneur life and summer mom mode for the last couple of months, this episode is going to be for you. Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gephardt. Here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business motherhood and life. myself along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to the shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Welcome back to the students straight podcast my friends today I have a new friend that I’m interviewing. And I’m excited because we actually have some crossover, some relationship crossover, I think we’ve been kind of orbiting around each other on the Instagram for a little bit. And again, we’ve got some friends, that crossover. So it’s it’s like your new friend, but kind of not. I know I love it. I’m so excited that we have an excuse to really chat today and kind of get to know each other. So this episode is airing at the tail end of summer. And if the listeners are anything like me in which they are, they are craving getting back to school and back to routines, especially when it comes to being business owners. Right? It is just it can feel like absolute chaos in the summer. In my house. I call it the wild wild west. And that’s really what that’s the best description I have. I tell people this all the time and like don’t judge me. But my favorite day of the entire year is the first day of school. I love holidays. I love birthdays, but the first day of school trumps it for everything. It’s a joyful day where I’m proud that I survived the summer, but also hallelujah, it’s a little bit quiet. And I can start to like think straight. Right. So today we’re talking all about getting back into work mode after the summer. And my guests Brittany loves to teach photographers how to be overwhelmed and find time to run a successful business. And we’re going to take that a little bit further to the transition from summer to the school year. So before we dive straight into all these questions, I’m really excited to see where this goes and to hear your thoughts on everything. Brittany, introduce yourself.

Brittnie Renee
Hi, I’m Brittnie, my photography business is Brittnie Renee photography, because my last name is too hard to pronounce. So I just stuck my middle name in there. And most people think my my middle name is my last name. So I got a lot of Miss Renee, Miss Renee. But now my name is Brittany Renee, photographer I’ve been a photographer for I don’t know, since the Stone Age is it feels like 12 years, 13 years, something like that. I’m doing mostly family and newborns. And a few years ago, I’ve lost track of when I started I started coaching photographers, and it’s been quite a journey to figure out where just like with it with photography, right? coaches need their own niches as well and really kind of been evolving over the last three or four years to get to my niche. And I’ve finally figured out what it is. And it’s all about productivity and scheduling and just beating that overwhelm like you said, so I coach photographers to do that run their business in less time more efficiently. And I also have a podcast called Capture the chaos. You said your house is like the Wild Wild West. We call I call them I call it chaos. I refer to myself as a chaos Wrangler. Actually, I’m wearing a shirt that says chaos wrangler right now. I love that I love it. It’s it fits and then I don’t remember if I said what my podcast is called. It’s called Capture the chaos. Also I have three kids.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a lot. It’s three kids is a lot I do as well. And it’s always something you know, it’s always something that’s the best way I can put it. Okay, so first of all, I know that probably for you and everybody that’s listening summer days are really different than school days, right like the footprint of what a summer day looks like. Feels like how it pans out is totally different in this in the school year and then in the summer. So How do you kind of structure your summer differently than your school days? Like, let’s start with that first?

Speaker 2
Well, Summer. Summer, is, you know, really great. There’s a lot of cool days, it’s a lot of just being lazy and relaxing. But I am not a relaxer at heart, right? I just I love to work, I love what I do. And I really have to force myself not to work. And so going into summer from the school year, I have to force myself to learn to slow down. And we at this point of recording this we are at an entire month in the summer, and I’m just now figuring out what it feels like to slow down. And I’m gonna probably get my feet under me right in time for school to start again. But my summers, I try to let it be loose, you know, let like not have too much of a routine, I try to have a morning routine and an evening routine. And that is it. Every week, it’s gonna look different this week, my kids are in camp. Next week, we’re going to be on vacation the next week, we’re going to be out camp again. And then we won’t be at camp, it’s just no week looks the same. And that’s really hard to plan. You know, like a, if you’re a time blocker, if you like time blocking, you can’t time block an entire summer because it changes every week. So my summers look chaotic, I guess flowy is a good word for it. And then moving into the school year, I like to have a weekly routine. But I also don’t like to be super constrained in my weekly routines even when I have one. So I like to be loose on those as well. But my favorite thing is to have a morning routine and an evening routine. And that is like my bare minimum of life. I feel

Sabrina Gebhardt
like the summer especially for the Type A Enneagram three people who like to work right, this is both of us. I feel like the summer is really hard because it lacks any form of structure and every week is different and every day is different. And what I have found works for me is I literally have to like give myself a pep talk every single week and every single day. And I’m like, This is what today looks like. And I literally I have this mantra that I say to myself in seasons of overwhelm. And I feel like the summer, as joyful as it is can feel very overwhelming in a weird way, right. And this mantra is, I have an abundance of time, I am not available for overwhelm. And I literally like I journal it every morning and I just kind of carry it with me. And that helps that helps me to stay where my feet are. And just recognize that like, today, my kids might be on screens a lot, because I have a lot of meetings and a lot of things tomorrow, we’ll go to the pool, and we’ll do something fun. And next week, maybe it’s camp or vacation or whatever, one week at a time, one day at a time, right? And then like you when the school year starts, it starts to feel more like a footprint, right? Like every week starts to feel similar. And for me at least, like my tension comes down a little bit, the anxiety comes down a little bit I can breathe because I know what’s going to happen. Right?

Speaker 2
You said you said we’re both Type A’s, right? So I wouldn’t consider myself a type A, well, maybe I am type A but I identify as a type B, maybe I’m or I’m a type B that knows how to act like a type A I don’t I don’t know. But I’m definitely schedules and routines never came easy to me. That’s something I’ve had to practice at. And there was a point in time, only a year ago where I was so overwhelmed with all that I had to do that. I just couldn’t. I just like broke down and started crying like I just couldn’t handle it anymore. And it was getting figuring out those routines for myself that really has changed my life. I mean, I’ve always enjoyed working and that’s part of the problem, you know, is I didn’t know how to balance working with my job.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, yeah, I I feel like that is I feel like that is so true. Because a lot of people a lot of creatives, they don’t identify with structure and routines and with habits. But people both seem to believe that you either have it or you don’t. You’re either organized and have structure or you’re, you know, free flowing creative, but like habits and structure are is a learned skill. Anybody can learn it. And then the other part to that is a lot of creatives by nature will think oh my gosh, don’t put me in a box, right? Like this is too much structure. But actually, when you have the ones that support you, it creates more freedom, right and more time and space to do the free flowing stuff that creatives love.

Speaker 2
Yeah, absolutely. You just it it having a routine gives me more time. Yeah, like exactly what you said, I have so much more time now than I did before. I’m not necessarily I didn’t cut a lot of things out of my schedule. I didn’t. I didn’t change much. I just condensed it and organize it in a better way. So I’m not scrambling every moment of my day trying to figure out

Sabrina Gebhardt
what to do. Yeah. So again, we’re talking about transitioning into school. Hear, but just so that listeners can really see the difference. I do want to talk about summer for just a minute. So we know summer is lots of time with the kids lots of time with family, travel, carpool, just, it’s all of the things. And running a business feels really hard in the summer, because those chunks of time that we used to have are literally non existent. So share with me for a minute, how are you working in the summer? Like, what? What are your days or your weeks? Like? How are you making it work so that your business isn’t just completely shut down.

Speaker 2
I did a lot of pre planning back in the spring. So all of my podcasts episodes are recorded for the entire summer, I did most of my Instagram posting back in May, I think I have a little bit to catch up on to fill in the holes. But for the most part, I don’t have to do any of that. I’ve also lowered my bar, my bar so much, you know, it’s okay. If I don’t send my weekly email letter to my coaching clients, you know, they’re probably not reading right now. Either. They’re busy. You know, I’ve just really lowered that bar. And it’s, I guess, triage of a business triage got to pick what’s most important right now, the most important thing is to get my photos edited, send them out to my clients meet with my coaching clients, like that is my bare minimum in my business. And it’s working, you know, like, that’s, that’s all I can hope for at this point in the summer.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, yeah, I think. So I’ve been in business as long as you have. And I think that is something that realization is something that comes with being in business for so long, knowing that you can scale way back on your to do list and your expectations for yourself. And like it’s not going to burn down, right, like your business is still going to be there. I do the same thing. I actually had a podcast episode drop, I don’t know three or four weeks ago about like how to survive the summer as a business owner. And it’s basically that tip, lowering your bar, lowering your expectations, and then giving yourself grace for when you don’t even get that stuff done, right? Because summer really should be a focus on your family and your kids and making memories, right. And your clients are going to understand that and your coaching students are going to understand that and your audience understands that. And it’s okay, you can hit the ground running when they go back to school. But summer is such a short brief period that, yes, you need to work a little tiny bit, but like that to do list should be very, very small, you know, do you have like set days or times during the day that you’re trying to do stuff during the summer? Or is it literally just like, I’ll figure it out this week? I don’t know. I will figure

Speaker 2
it out week by week. So I’m trying to sit down on Sundays and look and say, Okay, this week, my kids are in camp, right. And so I know that I have from nine to 12 every day to get some work done. So I gotta figure out what’s most important to get done, I’m gonna get done during that time. If I have extra time after that. Great, I’ll do the other things. The obviously the week when I go out of town, I’m not going to be working at all, like, that’s just not going to happen. And then the weeks where my kids are home, all right, got a plan, when are they going to have screen time, because that’s when that’s when we like to do swimming and all the fun stuff in the morning. And then we come home around two, and that’s when I let them have their screens are tired, they’re worn out, and then I can sit down and I can work and not feel guilty about being on my computer, which that mom guilt for running a business. That’s like a whole nother story. Right? Right. That’s a

Sabrina Gebhardt
whole other conversation. That could be really, really long. Yeah, mine’s kind of the same. I’m doing the same kind of thing as far as like reevaluating week by week and looking at like, Where can I pull pockets of time, I am in a season of life where my oldest is 15. And then my middle is 12. And my youngest is eight. So like they’re all self sufficient, right? Like I’m not chasing toddlers or changing diapers anymore. They can entertain themselves, the oldest can babysit the younger ones. And so that’s kind of helpful. But like you said, there is still a little bit of mom guilt of like, well, I mean, I’m home, I should be doing something else with them. I should be taking them for activities or the pool or all of that. But I’m taking it week by week, I will say the other thing that I’m doing and this, I mentioned this on Instagram a few days ago, and it was kind of surprising to people is that in the summer, my boundaries of when I work are different. I allow myself to work on Saturday or Sunday if I need to, because I’m with my kids all week, all day, right? And my husband knows that. Like he gets to go to the office and I don’t get anything. And so there are some weekends where I work a fair amount, I’ll go to a coffee shop, I’ll lock myself in our bedroom. And that’s just a, like a support system that we’ve created. And normally I wouldn’t do that during the school year, but during the summer, if that’s the only time I can find that’s okay, you know?

Speaker 2
Yeah. Also, I’d say What do they say don’t shut on your business. Exactly be doing this. I shouldn’t be doing that. And another thing you just mentioned you have your youngest kid is as old about about as old as my oldest kid. So we’re kind of in a little bit different seasons, right yours a lot, a lot more independent than mine, mine are fairly independent, then you probably have people who, who are still in that, like toddler changing diapers, that baby face, that part of our business looked a whole lot different than it does now. You know, I there’s no way I could have had a morning routine, because I didn’t know what time that baby was waking up and how many times I’ve been up throughout the night. And so that’s just something to keep in mind. Like, yes, I can get up and know what my mornings gonna look like and be able to plan the entire week. And, but when you have a baby, or you know, you’re still kind of like in the trenches, I guess you could say, that’s, you know, gotta give yourself the grace there and just know that that’s, it’s probably not gonna look like that it’s gonna look different, and it will change and it will get better.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, 100%. Yeah, I mean, every year of my business has looked different than the year before. You know, when I started, I did have little ones and was still having babies and figuring out the naptime and the babysitters, and whatever. And it has changed and morphed every single time. This is the first full calendar year where I’ve had everybody somewhere, right. And it’s very, very different. You know, last summer, just one year ago, I still needed a nanny to help with the youngest. And I finally don’t need that any like, it’s just every time is different and being willing to reevaluate and be okay with whatever it’s going to be right. Because it’s not it’s not forever, right. So again, we are finally heading back to school. Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord, it’s time for new routines. It’s time for new structure and everything. I feel like back to school has a really similar energy to like January and New Year’s energy, right? Everybody’s like, breathe a sigh of relief, oh, my gosh, how can I make this amazing and some people want to burn it down and immediately, like, have all these new things that they take on all these new habits and routines? How are you planning to shift your schedule and your work routine? Now that school is starting? What does that look like shifting from summer to school,

Speaker 2
I like to do a time audit every time a season changes. So I’m a big fan of time on its own. I know people, they think about a timeout, and they’re like, oh, that sounds terrible. But I need to know what I’m doing. I need to know what I’m doing in my day to day life, in order to know where I can create pockets of time. So I need my priority is my family, my kids and what they’re doing. So I timeout it not only my business, but also my family life. And I figure out when I need to do certain things, when I naturally find time to do certain tasks. And then I can fill in those empty pockets with things for my business or rest time for myself. You know, so first things first is doing a time audit and then kind of chunking my times together. So like all the kids stuff together that I can all of the business stuff together that I can and so like creating certain time blocks.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Cool. So your time audit, is this like something that you’ve created like a worksheet for or have you done a podcast on it? Like can can you talk through a little bit of like step one, step two, like what does that actually look like for somebody that’s never done that?

Speaker 2
So yes, I have done a podcast on it. I honestly couldn’t tell you what episode it is off the top of my head, but

Sabrina Gebhardt
I’ll look it up. I’ll look it up and put it in the show notes.

Speaker 2
And this is something I haven’t really shared with people. Okay, so you are actually okay,

Sabrina Gebhardt
sorry. Sorry.

Speaker 2
I gotta, I gotta say it at some point, I am working on creating a planner. Yeah, I’m really exciting. Um, I figured that was the best way to like, get this method or, you know, getting help, help as many people as possible get organized in their life. So it’s a work book planner. So it’s not only just a planner, it’s going to be like an actual planner, not not a computer planner. Um, but it’s also going to teach people how to plan when they’re photographers, specifically for photographers, maybe it’ll branch on to other business owners, but for now, it’s gonna be for photographers. But my first step when it comes to time blocking and I do have a worksheet that’s, that’s where that stems from, is I have a little grid and has Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and I write down every single thing that I did on Monday. And then I wrote down what time or how long it took me to do it. And then I go on to Tuesday and do the same thing. I mean, include where you’re driving, how long you’re spending driving, if you’re like driving your kids, how long have you spent meal prepping? How long did you sit on the couch and scroll Instagram? Like be honest, okay. Right. It might shock you a little bit how much time you spent on social media. working right. Well, great. So that’s the first step for me is doing a time audit. And I know it seems kind of counterintuitive because I’m doing this after the fact I don’t for me personally, I don’t pre plan right so I mean I loosely pre plan. So I go into the school. I’m gonna go into the school You’re knowing, okay, my daughter is going to be in school on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday that the boys are gonna be in school these days I’m picking up. So yes, I have that part done, there’s gonna be a lot of random things that are starting to pop up that I want to do that time audit for. And that’s going to start with the first or second week of school when I do that. So I’m not going to hit the ground with a perfect schedule, the first week of school, it’ll probably come the second or third week of school whenever I start to figure out what this looks like. Do any questions about that?

Sabrina Gebhardt
No, I love that I love that you don’t start the school year with a plan that you let the school year start and then ease into something because I feel like that is a recipe for success. Because like I said, a lot of people start the school year with like that New Year energy and they create this whole big plan, and they’re gonna burn their life down and they’re gonna start a new one on the first day of school before they’ve really settled in. And they’re taking on too many changes. And it’s a recipe for failure. Because

Speaker 2
you get mad You’re like, I hate to do it. So I can’t I can’t do this whole planning thing. Yeah, of course, because you didn’t know what you know what was gonna actually look like, like, today, I had from the time I dropped my kids off at Camp to the time we met, I was like, I’m gonna go on a walk, I’m gonna take a shower and clean my room. My husband’s like, well, well, Brittany, you’re not doing all that stuff. And that time, I was like, You’re right, because like, I just have these two big ideas, and I want to get all this stuff done. So I was like, You know what, you’re right, I can take a shower, and I can clean up my room. Oh, it’s gonna be a disaster. You know, like, if I were to go into the first day of school, I’m like, I’m gonna do all these things this entire week, I feel defeated because I couldn’t get it all done. And so I like to, I like to have realistic goals usually, or try to.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, I think those realistic expectations make a huge difference. Because when you set your bar way up here, like it’s, and you’re starting way down here, there’s too much, you can’t even reach that first rung, right, as opposed to setting really low, easy expectations and then climbing your way up. Friend, if you have a brand new photography business, or maybe you’ve been in business for a few years, but you aren’t thriving, I think I can help. Let me introduce you to my new course the aligned photographer. In this self study course, you will learn practical and tangible ways to lead with your heart so you can focus on capturing your magic. In these seven modules, you’ll learn things like pricing for profit, marketing, setting goals, creating a sustainable schedule, email marketing, building boundaries, and more. Plus, there are three incredible bonuses built in to really take things to the next level. Lessons are a mixture of video lessons, audio trainings, and printable worksheets. Plus, every module has a resources page full of free things to help you take the topic even deeper. The best part, in my opinion, are the live monthly q&a calls where you show up and get all of your business questions answered by me. So if you find yourself in a photography business that is burning you out, that isn’t making you a paycheck that is uninspiring, and just not everything you had hoped for, then definitely check out this course. And as a special bonus, just for my podcast, listeners use code podcast at checkout to save 10%. And now back to the episode. So like we said, people try and set these huge expectations to rewrite their whole work week, when school starts, instead of maybe just starting slowly. So I think what you would say here is to start with maybe the first week or two a school to do time block or time auditing. And look at what your school your life is going to look like, is there anything else that you would step into those first couple of weeks to kind of ease back into work mode?

Speaker 2
Yes. So then I would like I said, I take them and I put them put all the tasks that I did into, let’s say, six blocks, okay, so I would have my home block, I’d have myself self and husband block and have my kid block work. And I literally I have boxes, right and I list everything that would fit under those blocks. And so then I don’t know, highlight it, highlight each block to be a different color. And so when I’m looking at my weekly schedule, I’m like, ooh, blue for self gym care, I’m going to the gym this day, and then then yellow for the kids. And I’m gonna have a little block there. So I like to color code things a bit color coding fan. So that’s kind of what that would look like I would put everything into certain block chunks and then I can kind of puzzle them into a calendar.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Got it, got it. I love that I just I really love that you don’t dive into the first day of school with like this massive plan that you allow yourself to just kind of ease in because the school year is long, you can take a minute to get settled and you know figure out what’s going to work for you. So I want to pivot and talk about kind of a side topic here that we’ve kind of touched on just a little bit already. So here on the shoot it straight podcast, I love to get to the heart of stuff, not just the surface and there is definitely a guilt piece to this right so you You said you love working, I love working to. And as moms and spouses and partners. There’s a lot of guilt there for a lot of women because entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, we love our businesses, it’s like we burst another child. And it can cause us to work a little bit too much feel guilty about what we’re not doing that we think we quote unquote, should be doing, which we’ve already discussed, where you shouldn’t shed your life. And there’s, there’s guilt there. And I think it’s a really common thing that female creatives struggle with, and not everybody talks about. So, I would love to hear a little bit of your story. And then also, like, how did you get out of it? What encouragement do you have for women that are kind of feeling that?

Speaker 2
So yeah, I have experienced a lot of non guilt, especially when my babies were little. And I was trying to build this business and also raise babies. And both of them take up a lot of time at that time when you’re growing a business. And when you’re raising those little tiny toddlers, it takes a lot more energy in the beginning, like now things you know, my kids are a little more self sufficient my business a little more self sufficient. But back in those days, it didn’t really feel like that. And even now, you know, your kids are like, at school or whatever, they’ll fill out this little Mother’s Day card. I like mom, you know, this is it, how old is mom, she’s 40 or whatever, whatever. For I think it’s what my daughter said, My daughter said I was four. Like, that’s cute. Anyways, and then Mommy likes to and my both my kids, my son and my daughter said, work on our computer. I’ve been trying so hard not to spend that much time working. And they think that all I do is work. And it kind of made me feel guilty for a minute. I was like, Oh my gosh, they think I just work all the time. Mommy, mommy enjoys working on a computer, she likes to go take pictures, you know. And I was like, it kind of slapped me in the face a little bit because like, I’ve literally been working so hard on condensing this part of my life not working when they’re around as much not, you know, just spending more time with them. And they still think that I’m doing all I’m doing is working. And I look back and I’m really not working that much. I think that they see what they’re saying is they see how much I enjoy doing this and how much joy it brings me. And it’s just something that I do like Daddy goes to work, you know, that’s what he does. Right? So why should I, as a mom have to feel guilty when my husband can go to work and not feel guilty about it. He can bring in a paycheck. That’s what I’m doing. I’m bringing in money to support my family. It’s not Oh, just you know, so I can go shopping. If that’s what you want to do. That’s cool, too. You can go shopping with your money like shoot this herb that right? Why do I need to feel guilty about it? Like, this is something that’s important to me. And it’s bringing a better life to my family by earning this money, right? Like it’s taking us on vacations. It’s buying my kids clothes and sending them to preschool sending them the camps like, so I just I’ve learned that, since my husband doesn’t feel guilty about going to work. Why do I need to feel guilty about we’re going to work as long as you know, I’m doing it for me or for my family and I’m having good intentions for what I’m doing. I try not to feel guilty about that.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, I think so there’s two things that I want to kind of piggyback off of that. Number one you mentioned, you know, the husbands don’t feel the guilt. I’d say 98% of husbands don’t feel a lick of guilt about going to the office or traveling for work or working long hospital hours, or whatever they do. I think part of those lines are blurred because we work from home. We work from home and most photographers I know have built their business hours around their mom hours. And so it’s this weird spiderweb that like most spouses, husbands do not have the same problem, right? Maybe now in the post COVID world where a lot of people who work from home now maybe that’s starting to get blurred a little bit, but I think that’s a huge thing is that we have such a hard time changing the hats I have. Right now. I’m working. Yes, it’s from home, but I’m working. And then right now I’m in mom mode, right? And it’s all just meshed together. The other part of it is, I know at least for me the first few years of my business. Let’s see at the time, I had a three year old and a one year old. Okay. And that is like in the depths of it’s hard, right? Like you’ve got diapers, you’ve got people waking up at all hours, people just it’s a hot mess. And then I was still having we still had another baby after that. So, motherhood felt so hard then, and as much as I loved it and I love my babies and I’ve loved every moment with them. You don’t get the same positive feedback you do from being a mom that you do from being a successful business owner. I’m over here getting text messages and emails from clients who are like I’m sobbing. These images are amazing, right? I or coaching students who are like, you have totally changed the way I look at my business, I’m so happy I found you. You’re constantly getting this positive reinforcement over here from this baby that you’ve birthed. And then over here, while you love your actual human babies, you’re not getting that positive reinforcement. Nobody’s telling you the job all the time. Right. And so I think that’s part of it is then we try to lean a little over to the work side, maybe work a little more than we should. But that’s where we’re getting that positive feedback. And so it’s, it’s easy to want to spend a little bit more time over there. Right. Have you found that?

Speaker 2
Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. And then so you start spending your time, okay, I’m, I’m a words of affirmation, girl. So if you’re telling me good job, and I love what you’re doing, definitely don’t get that from my guests. Okay, they don’t they don’t want to say, Oh, Mom, you’re such a good mommy. My kids don’t do that. They don’t even say this is going to shock people. But my oldest son has literally in his entire life never said, I love you. That’s just it’s not him. And he’s like, I don’t I mean, that’s complicated. I know he does. He gives me hugs all the time. He loves me. He’s UPS all my kids are obsessed with me. Okay? They have a different way of showing how they, unfortunately, mine is words of affirmation, and they don’t give me that. So I have to learn to understand what their love languages and it’s affection. So much affection. Oh, many hugs. So it’s, it’s really easy to be like, Oh, I’m gonna get all this like words of affirmation from my clients over here. But then I get guilt because I’m like, Oh, my gosh, am I not doing enough for my kids? Or like, am I going to ruin them? By not spending enough time with them? Like, am I spending too much time over here trying to grow this and then they’re going to turn out to be terrible teenagers? And like end up in jail or something? It’s like, then my mind spirals? Like, all the way down. Right? Oh, yes.

Sabrina Gebhardt
I guess guilt is hard. I know. It’s hard. It’s hard. But I think I think again, we’ve said this once before in this chat. You and I have been in business for a really long time. And I think that’s that is something that comes from longevity growing out of the massive guilt. Do I still have moments of guilt? Absolutely. But it is not this all encompassing thing that I’m carrying around anymore. And I think that just comes with time, right? It comes with time and settling into your new role as a mom and an entrepreneur. Okay, so for the busy mom, who is everyone listening for the busy mom who is balancing kids, and their house, and their business and their community and all of the things school is starting and she is ready to hit the ground running. It’s going to be fall busy season, she’s ready for a little routine and some peace and quiet. She survived the summer, what are your tips to encourage her as school starts?

Speaker 2
First of all, most of the people in your group are or your listeners are photographers, right? That’s what you said, Yeah, I found this last summer. This past summer has been one of my slowest seasons of photography. Ever. Like it’s insane. Like after the pandemic, I was slammed like it was insane. The next season was still pretty busy. And but this summer, I’m like, Whoa, what’s going on? And I know that that’s not just me. I don’t know. Yes, everyone is Yeah, it is insane. And like it’s a little scary, right. And so usually, I get really excited for Fox, I’m gonna come and be busy, it’s gonna be great. And I know that that’s going to be the case again. But it’s still a little scary coming out of this season, right? Like coming out of like a really slow season. And I’m trying to be like, really open and apparent about that. Just because I know, when you’re slow and it feels like everyone else isn’t it’s kind of scary, you know, as a business owner, like what am I doing wrong, right? It’s not huge. It’s not you right now. So but to prepare for a good fall, I like to, again, pre plan everything right? Like I have a calendar, I know when I’m going to work, I don’t want to overwork, I don’t want to panic, and then start taking too many sessions, because I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is all I get. And then again, lose that balance and like lose the time with my family. So I am a big, big proponent of booking calendars. So you know, set the days that you want to work and your clients will take those days, don’t feel like you have to accommodate everyone’s schedule all the time. Like if you say here are the days that I’m willing to take sessions, give that to your client, that ticket also it removes that back and forth. So I mean that cuts out days worth of emails to say here’s what I have, take what you want, or book what you want, and it saves so much time so having a booking calendar, it’s like incredible so that would be my first thing is get your booking calendars ready to go for the fall seasons Udemy sessions or mini session booking calendar, if you can block time or when you’re editing you know have your editing time have your you know, pre plan your marketing if you’re able to post Instagram posts early go ahead start doing that now. Think about what it is that you’re you’re going to obviously December’s like Christmas see so if you have photos from last Christmas for posting like scheduling those to be posted in December, that way you don’t have to think about all these extra things that you can literally focus on family, all the family fun ball things you get to do pumpkin patches, I never get to go to a pumpkin patch because I’m always so busy. Oh, well, that’s not true. I’ve gotten last couple of years because I planned it. Right, right. And then having that booking calendar, so you don’t have to go back and forth with clients. I mean, how many emails? Do I save? Not having to go back and forth, but you be able to say this day, this day this day? No. Okay, here it is one email done. So that would be kind of where I would start, I would create that booking calendar, go ahead and pre plan your marketing, blogs, Instagram posts, all that all the good stuff.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, yeah, I teach the same thing, do as much in the summer as you can. So that in the fall, when you are busy, you’re really just taking photos, editing photos, taking photos, editing photos, right, everything else is taken care of. But I love what you said, about creating a booking calendar. And underneath that is knowing very firmly what your availability is. Right? It’s knowing what that is. And then when you have a booking calendar, or, or if you choose not to, but you have set available days, knowing when you’re at capacity, right. So that that’s hopefully you do sell out, and then it’s turning people away or pushing people into next year, right? Because that’s where we slip up, right? Especially like you said, we’ve had this really slow summer across the board across the country across niches, right? Everyone is having a slow summer, because photography is frivolous, right? It’s not something that it’s an expense that can go I get it. But coming off of a really slow summer going into fall, I am predicting fall is going to be as busy as normal, because people still need they still want to check that box. They’ve just been putting it off. And so it’s going to be really easy for women to fall into the category of oh, I had a really slow summer now I need to say yes to everything and really overdue and then you it’s too late right then you you regret it and you in the year in a crash and burn situation. So

Speaker 2
I feel like fall is that. Like it’s there’s just so much fun to be had you get to go to pumpkin patches and trick or treating and like trunk or treats and then you move into Christmas stuff and giving and stuff at your kids school and it’s going to see Santa like all that fun stuff. And if you overbook yourself for the fall season, and you’re taking sessions, five to seven days a week, and then you have to spend time editing that, where do you get to do all that stuff like that’s, that is not why I’m photographer, I’m not a photographer so that I can burn myself out and not get doing any fun stuff. I spent many years like that. I’ve had several years not getting go to the pumpkin patch with my kids and just like not enjoying fall, and I want to be able to enjoy for a lot of people. It’s like their favorite season, because all the fun stuff that you get to do so. And then you said something to the like, your calendar fills up, like in the good way, you have a booking calendar, you have your capacity, and that fills up and you start pushing people to next year. So something that I’ve been able to do, like keeping a set booking calendar, and filling up and go into capacity and not taking any more after that is pushing people onto my email list. And they know that if they don’t get a spot in July from my email list, they’re probably not going to get to get a session with me. And then they tell their friends that and so their friends get on my email list. And I’ve had one person and last year it was their first their first year with me. Their friend had been coming to me for years. And she said, she told me I better book in July, otherwise I wasn’t gonna get a spot. And like really, should I really do that? And she’s like, Absolutely. Oh, yeah, she did. She booked in July. So she got a full session a full session spot with me, which was full, I had no more room for availability. So you can use that to kind of like push your email list to get larger. Hey, you didn’t get a session with me get on the email list. You get first dibs next year, or next, or next time I open my booking calendar.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah. And the other thing that that does is not only is it growing your email list, which everyone should be doing, okay, that’s a whole other podcast episode. But other than just growing your email list, you are training your clients and your future clients that you will not book past capacity like you are holding your boundaries firmly. And when you train them to do that, they respect it. But when you are constantly like let me squeeze you in mmm that then you’re training them that you don’t hold your boundaries, and they can walk all over you basically.

Speaker 2
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s just so many benefits to having your capacity. So like we could go I could do a whole nother podcast episode now.

Sabrina Gebhardt
So far we’ve made a list of like four other chats to have so okay, this has been such a great chat. I love to end my interviews with just some fun kind of rapid fire questions to get to know you a little bit more. So let’s do that. What is your current favorite coffee shop order?

Unknown Speaker
Sugar free mocha with oat milk.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Okay, I love it. What is your dream vacation and I’m gonna I’m gonna put a side note no kids.

Speaker 2
Oh, during vacation. Oh kids. It’s definitely laying on the beach somewhere so probably like Bali, you know where they have the little huts on Yeah,

Sabrina Gebhardt
over the water. Yeah. Where it takes you like two days to get there. Yeah, absolutely. Then stay for two weeks, please. Thank

Unknown Speaker
you. Yeah,

Sabrina Gebhardt
please. And thank you. That sounds fabulous. Okay, thinking back over the course of your business and like all the things, the changes and the detours and all that, that you’ve gone through over the years, what was a decision or an investment that you made? That was the biggest game changer for you?

Speaker 2
While we’re on the topic, it was getting getting a schedule like a routine going finding a routine that works for me that was like has quite literally changed my life. So I love

Sabrina Gebhardt
that that’s very on brand for our conversation. That’s perfect. I love it. Okay, if you were not a photographer, slash business coach, slash new planner, developer slash t shirt designer. What would you be doing?

Speaker 2
I want to be a tea. I would want to be a teacher, an art teacher specifically. So I say stay on branded things.

Sabrina Gebhardt
I love that so much. I love it so much. Have you ever done like, substitute teaching in for our classes?

Speaker 2
Oh, no. Absolutely not. I haven’t. Yeah, I should. I should. I went to school I started going to school for to be a teacher. And they scared the living daylights out of me. There was one I it was not the class. I shouldn’t take the first class I should I took what it was issues and professional teaching. If you want to be a teacher, that’s not the first class you take. Okay, so it scared me out of it. I was like, I don’t want to this.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Oh my gosh, that’s crazy. Yeah, that should be like an ending class. Like when you’re almost done. Okay, this has been such a great chat before we completely wrap up. Why don’t you share with the audience how they can connect with you.

Speaker 2
I live over on Instagram at Brittany Renee underscore photos. So you can find me over there. I have a podcast. So you can catch me on the podcast every tuesdays catch the chaos and can also email me I guess I love to get some emails.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, it’s I do too. Because I feel like emails are all business these days. And every once awhile you get one that’s just kind of fun. And you’re like, oh, this was so nice.

Speaker 2
You know, this is I guess, a plug for you. I don’t know. So maybe encouraged people do this. My favorite emails to get is when someone reaches out and they’re like, hey, I really love your podcast and I am really grateful that I found it. That is like the best 100% So please don’t hesitate to send emails like that. That’s yeah,

Sabrina Gebhardt
guys, email us. Please email us. Okay, I love it. This has been such a fun chat. Thank you so much for being here today. And until next time, my friends we’ll see you later. Thanks so much for listening to the shoot it straight podcast. You can find all the full show notes and details from today’s episode at Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash podcast comm find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gebhart photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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