68: How To Avoid Burnout With D’Arcy Benincosa

68: How To Avoid Burnout With D’Arcy Benincosa 3

How can you create better boundaries and avoid burnout? For today’s episode, I’m sharing my conversation with D’Arcy Benincosa, which originally aired on her podcast Play It Brave. We’re diving into practices that create a sustainable business, understanding your capacity, and mindset shifts to level up and avoid burnout.

This episode originally aired on Play It Brave with D’Arcy Benincosa.

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 Round Table, a community built for female photographers who want to continue growing their business while forging industry friendships along the way! Every month, you get access to three new pieces of content covering a vast variety of topics from myself and guest speakers. Come join us and get access to the content and private Facebook community!

Review the Show Notes:

Sabrina’s experience with overwhelm and burnout (3:12)

Structuring a business to be sustainable (8:25)

Practices to sustain the business owner (12:54)

Coaching someone out of the cycle of burnout (16:33)

Starting to say “no” (20:26) 

How to realize your actual capacity (25:42)

Mindset shifts to level up (31:45)

Personal questions with Sabrina (34:20)

Root to Rise mastermind (41:07)

Connect with D’Arcy:



Episode Links:

Episode 63: Money Month Guest D’Arcy Benincosa on Money Mindset

The Round Table

Root to Rise Mastermind

Beyond Burnout Freebie

68: How To Avoid Burnout With D’Arcy Benincosa 4

Review the Transcript:

Sabrina Gebhardt
Welcome back to the shoot it straight podcast my friends. In today’s episode I am sharing a chat that I had with my friend Darcy Ben and cosa over on her podcast play at Brave, we were discussing how to avoid burnout. And well, the discussion was so good, and so many amazing nuggets came out of it that I wanted to make sure that you heard this episode. So I brought the chat over here to shoot it straight and I am so excited for you to dive in. Let’s get started. 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 to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.

D’Arcy Benincosa
Today on the planet, great podcast, I have an amazing woman and amazing coach, amazing photographer here. Today, we are going to be diving into some of the most important things that any business owner can learn and know and implement into their lives. So I want to welcome to the podcast, Sabrina Gephardt. I’m going to brag about you for a second Sabrina, and say that you have been a photographer for long over a decade, you’re based in Texas. But you also have developed this amazing system for coaching women. And you host a podcast which I have been lucky enough to be a guest on called shooter straight, which I love. And you really have gotten to this place of helping women understand how to one, avoid burnout, how to build business sustainability, which is something very few people talk about, we talk about how to build a business. But how do you create a sustainable business and what is a sustainable business even mean, you are very much a leader of the heart, you are able to follow your heart you have a lot of beautiful heart energy, you create safe spaces for women to grow to expand. And I’m just so excited to have you here on the podcast because I was pulling my audience last week, what’s the one thing you wish you could change and I was like your physical body your overwhelm or burnout. You know your money. And by far and away the one that everybody said they’re feeling the most, and they don’t know what to do is overwhelmed. overworked though, welcome to the podcast.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Thanks. This is literally my favorite. This is my favorite topic to talk about. So I’m so happy to be here.

D’Arcy Benincosa
Well, I feel like anybody who has an expert on how to help people get out of burnout has had to go through the painful experience of being burned out being overwhelmed and being overworked. And I kind of want to hear your story about that I have my own story. And what finally brought about the change that has helped you have this sustainable business. So let’s start with a little bit of your origin story. You know how work was going and when you maybe started to realize I do not have a sustainable business? This is not okay. Yeah.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah. So my origin story in regards to burnout is a little bit of a two part. So the first few years of my business, I fell into the same trap that so many photographers do, saying yes to everyone that wanted to give me money, no matter whether it was aligned with me or not, and really living in that scarcity space, thinking that I had to do everything myself thinking that I could not have somebody else step in to support me because nope, I’ve got it. Right, and trying to wear all the hats. And that really quickly led me to realize that I was not going to make it long term because I could not keep functioning at that level. So the first part was hiring a coach for the first time and really starting to have somebody kind of take me alongside of them and say, Hey, these are the things that you can outsource. These are the things you don’t need to be doing. There are faster, easier, better ways to be doing things. You can only say yes to clients that you align with and start doing all of that work. And so that was first and I will tell you at that point, I thought I was running a really awesome sustainable business. I was charging much higher rates. I had a very specific limited client availability. I was only saying yes to certain projects. I knew exactly what I was and wasn’t photographed. thing, I had an assistant, I was outsourcing editing, I was doing everything right on paper, right. But what I didn’t realize until life threw me a bunch of curveballs was that actually I wasn’t in a sustainable place at all. And in late 2017, there was this domino effect to the started in my life, I was on vacation, and on my way home from vacation, my appendix ruptured, and I had to have an emergency appendectomy. And that’s through my clients schedule off. Because you know, coming home from vacation, when you’ve had all this long time off, you generally jump straight back into work. So that kind of threw a kink into my schedule. And then within just a few weeks of that, I traveled down to Houston to see my grandmother because she was dying. And she was my person, my soulmate. And I was with her when she passed, she passed at the same moment, the same evening, the same day that hurricane Harvey hit Houston. So not only was I there to grieve her and grieve the biggest loss of my life, but I literally became trapped in Houston for a week. So then I had more delays, more scheduling, on top of all of the emotional stuff. Yeah, we came home from that. And very quickly, you know, long story short, we ended up selling a house buying a house, then we ended up moving into a rental. So we can renovate said house that we bought, which if you’ve ever done a major renovation, which I know you have to have a lot, okay. And then, in February of the following year, the very last domino to fall for me was almost exactly six months to the day after losing my mom, or my grandmother, my mom passed away very unexpectedly. And so it was literally just bam, bam, bam, bam, six months of a lot of trauma, grief, stress, extra life things beyond the ordinary. And as you can imagine, trying to balance what was already full beforehand with three kids and a husband and a business and friends and community. And then having all of this on top of it. It just pushed me over the edge. And Darcy, I actually was able to keep functioning for a few more months thinking everything was okay, because as you know, I’m an Enneagram three, I’m a worker, I keep going, I keep doing. And it wasn’t until the following summer that one morning, I woke up and I had this very, very vivid vision that I was drowning. And I was in a rushing Creek. And I could not grasp anything. I was trying to grasp roots and sticks and rocks to pull myself out. And I couldn’t. And that visual, that was literally my wake up call that pulled the curtain back. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m not okay. I’m not okay at all. And so thus begun the work of putting my life back together, learning how to prioritize myself, but also putting my business back together in a way that I could manage and love again, while taking care of myself.

D’Arcy Benincosa
Oh, yes, yes to all of those things. I you know, today, and I just have learned to make decisions differently after my own major burnout. And it sounds like, not only are you making different decisions, but you’ve changed the structure of some of your business as well. Can you sort of tell me how how, what was it before? And how did you structure it to be sustainable? What were some of the parameters you put in place the new modes of operation for yourself?

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, so like I said, I thought it was doing everything great on paper, I was doing more than the quote unquote, average photographer certainly was. But the biggest piece that I was missing was margin. And margin is what allows for life to happen. Whether good or bad margin in your schedule, in your day, in your time and your commitments, is what allows for, you know, kids to get sick unexpectedly or unexpected hospital visits, but also the good things, right, like the friend that wants to meet for lunch and wanting to do a last minute road trip. On the weekend, I had no margin. I thought my schedule was sustainable because it was buttoned up and it looked good. And I wasn’t working every night and I wasn’t working every weekend. But my days were still our, to our to our to our. And so the way that I’ve built it now has so much margin in it. And there’s lots of things that support that margin, right, like raising your prices, having more support systems, knowing what to say no to even when it’s a good opportunity, you know, and so that’s the big overarching theme is how much margin can I have? How much margin can I have because I am sustainable now. My business is sustainable now and I can breathe.

D’Arcy Benincosa
And are you so like, how did your day you use To go hour to hour now do you have time in your day where you just have free hours and you just kind of let it be so it can be filled with what you decide in the moment.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah. So the way that I do my schedule now is most days, I’m not committing to being at my desk until like 10am. I’ve got kids and carpools. And I work out in the morning and all of that. And I don’t want to have to rush into things, right. And so it’s a very leisurely, if I get here before that, great if not, that’s okay. And I am done by 2pm. So that I have about an hour before I have to pick up my youngest from school, that’s when our afternoon evening starts. And then the other thing that I am really big on is adding in whitespace into my calendar on the regular. So normally for me, that’s Friday mornings or Thursday afternoons, and it’s literally a four hour block that I leave open. And I don’t fill it until it gets to that time slot. And I truly am asking myself, What do I need in this moment, maybe it’s an app, maybe it’s a walk, maybe it’s I’m really loving the editing and the gallery I’m doing and I’m excited, and I want to finish it. And that’s okay, too. But letting myself have that flexibility of what do I need in this moment, and allowing myself to take whatever it is without feeling guilty about it. Ah, we’re

D’Arcy Benincosa
speaking the same language, I My life changed. And I didn’t make this change until the beginning of last year, where I’m like, I don’t work before 10am I don’t have any appointments, no schedules like nothing before 10. So that I have time in my morning, like you said, to get a good breakfast, get a walking, get a meditation and, and sometimes I do show up and I’m like, You know what, it’s a I’ve already been awake for two hours, I’m ready to go, let’s go into the office. But generally, just having that rule of 10am has been a huge game changer. And I love that you leave open space. I do too. I like Fridays, I think Fridays are just a good day, you can, you know, be really productive during the week. And those are a good day to really see where you’re filling called What feels called to you. The other thing I have started to do, just I mean, I’ve done it for a while but I love it is I take the last week of every month. And I know podcasts are being recorded. No social media, like I don’t have to produce anything. And while I might take it off, I could still like go do a photo shoot or go do something creative or go to a networking event. But nothing is boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, right, like where I’m hour this hour that this interview this thing. And that has been a game changer for me. Yeah. As it allows us to just not be doing doing doing and and to be a little bit more, are there practices you brought in since experiencing that really rocky six months, besides having margin that now, kind of sustain you personally that really feed you that fill your cup so you don’t reach crisis again,

Sabrina Gebhardt
right? Yeah, I am literally the queen of self care. I mean, I’m super bougie like that I do all the things and I used to feel guilty about it. But now I don’t. Because I like to describe it to people like you’re carrying a bucket of water. And if your bucket is literally filled to the brim. Number one, it’s super heavy, it’s hard to carry around with you. Number two, it splashing everywhere as you go about your day, it’s you’re making a mess. Number three, there’s no room for anything else to come in. And that’s kind of what it feels like when you are super overwhelmed. And then that burnout space, you are just you’re literally all you can focus on is carrying your bucket, you can’t take anything else on you’re just trying to stay afloat. But when we have access self care or practice whitespace or create margin in our schedule, it allows that water level to come down. So that number one the buckets lighter and easier to carry. Number two, you can carry it throughout your day and you’re not making a mess, you’re not dropping balls, you know, it’s not just all of this, oh my gosh, everything’s going wrong. And then number three, there’s room for life to happen for you to get the call from the school nurse that Johnny’s sick or to you know, have to do whatever and so I practice tons of self care to keep the water level low. And I will say that I think you know that a lot of people struggle with practicing self care when they’re in a good space. Like it feels like something you only should do when you’re really struggling and you need to take time off and rest and get a massage or whatever. But really it’s the at the art of continuing to do it even when you are doing really well. So you asked what I do I do literally everything I journal I do yoga, I go to the sauna. I see a chiropractor. I have a naturopath. I like to walk I try and exercise every day. I read every night before bed. I mean, I literally like, check all of the boxes, and different things feel good at different times. But most of those things happen on a weekly or monthly basis on the regular regardless.

D’Arcy Benincosa
Yeah, I love it. I, I think it just kind of goes without saying, you know, I was gonna say once I hit the high of my burnout, which was, I was losing all my hair, I had gained 60 pounds, couldn’t lose a single pound, I was exhausted, I had fatigue, like, my hormones were a mess, I just worked my body to destruction, I will never go back there. Like, and I’m sure you’re at that place where you’re like, This is not worth my life, I’m not going to go back to this place of burnout and overwhelm. So for people who have had that kind of, you know, rock bottom place, I think it becomes very, like we understand the upkeep, the maintenance. i It’s like maintenance phase, right? Like you go through the, like we both had to go through probably a lot of major self care. Like I had to take months off of work. I had such incredible brain fog. I couldn’t even write an email like it got bad. Now I’m back to healthy. But I understand how fragile it is. And to maintain that. Yeah, non negotiable self care routines. As a coach, which you’re a phenomenal coach, you’re phenomenal speaker, you’ve helped so many women. What do you how do you coach people to start doing these things for themselves when their brain is telling them I can’t stop working, I have to work to survive. I have to make this happen. I have to get this one last thing done. I’ve got to do this and then it will get better. I’ll put myself first you know that you know this certain the cycles. When you’re in a cycle, it’s really hard to get out of the cycle until you hit a wall. You and I both were probably hard headed and hit walls. How do you help people before they hit the wall? Or as they’re hitting the wall? Like how do you bring them out of that cycle of thought that is destructive?

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah. So there’s there’s a lot to be said about the pause. And so many women do not pause, right, we are just going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. And really encouraging them and teaching them through like let’s let’s take a beat here. Let’s just take a breath and look at everything that you’re saying everything that you have going on. And let’s talk through some of this fear this urgency, right? This this unwillingness to stop because if I stopped the whole world crumbles. Is that actually true? And so taking the pause and then asking the questions, number one is the story that your brain is telling you true, right? If I stop, if I take time for myself, everything will fall apart? Is that actually true? 99.99% of the time? It’s not right. It’s a story that we’re telling ourselves. But then also taking a look at what are you doing that maybe you don’t need to be doing right now? Like what have you what have you taken on as a burden, or a stressor or something that you have added onto your plates that could be sat down, maybe not forever, but just for right now to allow you some margin to breathe. And then the other thing is really coaching them through. If you take a pause if you decide to take a week, if you decide that you are just you need a you need a solid week to reset. Okay, what’s the worst thing that’s gonna happen? Yeah, you know, I mean, sure, you can’t stop mothering, you can’t stop paying your bills, you can’t stop eating. But you can put a lot of the things that were juggling down, you know, you can take a week off from your email, you can take a week off of social media, you can take a week off of sessions, you can take a week off of editing, and the world is not going to crumble down around you. You know, and just and it’s really just an awareness because our brain tells us all of these stories, right? And they are stories, our brain tells us all of these stories that we’re the ones that have to do everything. We’re the ones that were the only one that knows how to do these things. And these things and these things over here. We’re the only one that can cook dinner for the family. We’re the only one that can talk Johnny and we’re the only one that can wear all the hats. And that’s actually not true and getting them to just unpack and have a discussion about okay, but is what you’re saying true? What would happen if we just put these things down? What would happen if you you know, set these things aside for now what would happen if you just took a pause across the board, took a pause and let yourself reset. Normally that is enough for them to to physically like the shoulders come down like you see the shoulders come down and you see them take A deep breath because they start to have that realization of, Oh, you’re right. I was stuck in this spiral. And it’s not actually true.

D’Arcy Benincosa
Yeah, sometimes I just needed a good snack. I had to do it myself. I was like you are your own worst enemy this art create, you know, it’s the Taylor Swift song. Hi, I’m the problem. When we have that realization, it’s like, okay, and I really loved what you said earlier about what I say yes to and what I say no to what were some of the things that you had to start saying no to? That maybe seems hard at first, but then helped put you in a better groove? Or do you have a guideline for people like what can they start saying? No to so they can get to the bigger yeses?

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah. So I truly believe that everybody knows what they need to say no to. Right. It’s it’s an instinctual thing. It’s the stuff that you hate to photograph. It’s the inquiries that come into your inbox that you see, and you get that feeling. And you’re like, oh, man, her again, you know, you know, or you can tell by the language in the email that you’re like, oh, man, this is not something I want to do, but I’m gonna respond and send my pricing anyways. Okay, so I feel like we truly know the stuff we need to set down, we truly know the things we need to walk away from the outside of business. It’s also a lot of times, I see that women have committed to groups like like social groups, or whatever, just different things that we’ve added to our plate, because we feel like we have to whether it’s being on the PTA at the school, or being in the church group, or being in this volunteer organization, which they’re all great things. But when you are in a place of burnout and overwhelm, and you’re trying to clear things off to create margin, it’s also okay to walk away from some of those things for a little bit, no matter how good quote unquote, they seem. And for me, I had a little bit of both, so I had certain sessions that I had on my calendar. So again, in my story in the timeline, this was all during fall, which is his family photographer, busy season, which was what I am, so I was rescheduling a lot. But I was also just flat out refunding a lot because I got to a place where I was like, there is no there are not enough days left in the year there are not enough hours. And those things, this was an extreme extreme situation. And I wouldn’t recommend it. But they came along with heartfelt emails of this is literally what I’m going through, this is what’s happening. I am so sorry that I cannot serve you. I hope to serve you in the future. And guess what, they all came back to me, they all came back to me with well wishes because humans are good, you know. But so it was at the time, it was getting as many commitments off my calendar as possible. But going forward with my business, I walked away from a couple of organizations that were good that I used to love that I was no longer excited about that didn’t really feel aligned with me anymore. And that freed up space on my calendar, I stopped shooting certain things. So I said, Okay, what are the things that I absolutely love? This is all I’m saying yes to I’m not saying yes to the things that I kind of enjoy, right? That wasn’t good enough anymore. It had to be things that I really, really loved. And that created a lot of margin too. And then I brought in a lot of additional support in my life and in my business. Right. So allowing people to help with carpool with my kids, allowing people to have my kids over after school to play just so I had more time allowing my husband to pick up the slack. When before I wanted to do everything. And it was just literally about where can I allow support? Where can I find margin in all of the facets of my life?

D’Arcy Benincosa
Yeah, I think that it sounds so simple. Like just say no, right? I find that women especially can feel so obligated or what I’ll listen to either clients or friends. They’re like, well, I have to do this. And I have to do this especially coming up to the holiday time. Like I have to go to this dinner and I have to go to this party in this party. And it’s like, nobody wants you there if you feel obligated. I mean, maybe a really needy mother in law. I don’t know. But like, generally, people I always say this to when a friend sets a boundary or they’re like I just can’t or is that okay? I’m like listen, people with boundaries respect boundaries. Exactly. I would never say you need to do this or guilt trip you into something if your boundary and your capacity is no, then I support you fully as a friend like people with good boundaries have no problem when other people set boundaries. In fact, you’ll attract more people with boundaries the more you said, so I all I just hear people saying they’re obligated. i That is a big no for me. I do not do anything out of obligation anymore. I just feel like it’s not a good energy. It never, I never bring my best self. When I’m obligated, I never show up as the meat that I want, when I’m obligated. And if I can do it from an absolute serving of open heart, or it really feels heart felt heart centered, and I can go at it from my heart versus my head, then I do way less. But what I do is so much more fulfilling, it brings in the relationships that I want, it helps me still feel connected. Because do you feel like when people say, I mean, this is an obvious question, but I want your take on it when people are like, I can’t say no, a lot of it is just FOMO. Or they just think they can do it all? Or how how do people realize what their actual capacity is? Yeah,

Sabrina Gebhardt
I think I do think there’s a little bit of both of those, right? There’s a little bit of FOMO. There’s a little bit of like, feeling like they have to but I feel like it’s a habit, they have the habit of always saying yes to everyone, right, like people that don’t ever want to quote unquote, let anybody down. Right? They’re the people who if they get an invitation, they’re gonna go if their kid gets an invitation, they’re gonna go and I think it’s, it’s more of a habit than anything. But you’re right, like stopping to, to ask like, is this something that I even want to do? Is this something that I have time for? Is this going to? Am I going to is future me going to thank myself for saying yes to this commitment when I have to roll up to this party? Or this this event? Or am I going to dread it? And then trusting your instinct, because it’s okay, it’s okay to think I’m gonna dread that. And then, you know, say that you can’t be there. One thing that you said earlier, people with boundaries, respect people with boundaries. 100%, I have a student that I just coached through the same thing of over commitment, and she had an inquiry come in. And this inquiry is She’s a branding photographer. So this came from a local business. And this inquiry came in, and she did not have the capacity to do what they were asking. And she sent a kind, respectful know, of, you know, I am at capacity, you don’t want whatever she said. And the coolest part Darcy is that the the business owner responded and was like, wow, I am so impressed with you knowing your capacity and you kindly bowing out and having that boundary. And I was like, see, we can teach other women that it is okay to say no, by being an example, you know,

D’Arcy Benincosa
when it will actually build your business. I remember I learned a lot about capacity after hiring several Facebook ads managers, they all took me on, they all took, you know, at least 3k a month. And none of them actually had the capacity to do the work. They were always behind. They didn’t get the ads up, right. And this is just one example. I’m sure it can happen in photography, it can happen in any industry, where people are like, yes, yes, yes. The problem was seeing all those yeses is you will ruin your reputation. Because do you think I refer them? Anybody? No, they did not get me as a client again. And they had nothing but excuses. And one of them was so bad. We actually I have never asked for a refund. But I’m like, you’ve got to refund me half my money you have you have failed at these points. And they saw that and they refunded me and apologized. And they’re probably still learning hard lessons. But it it really, I have very honest conversations with anybody I’m going to contract onto my team do anything in, in my business is I am not going to deal with somebody who is burned out and overwhelmed, because you will. I care too much about my business to bring that kind of energy and that kind of work. It’s not even work ethic. And because I think a good work ethic is when you can ethically do well, everything you’re committing to doing well. And when you’ve got when you said yes to so many jobs, and you didn’t plan in how to edit them, or you’ve said yes to so many things. And now you’re five weeks behind on getting people back there thing like that becomes in my mind a big business issue. Yeah. Have you? Have you noticed that in your own coaching, like, what are some of the hardheaded things that you’ve had to help people see like, actually, this is hurting you?

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, yeah, you’re right. We cannot serve people to the best of our ability. We cannot connect with humans to the best of our ability when we’re burnout and fried and just trying to get from one hour to the next hour from one job to the next job that’s not doing any favors for us for our business for the people that we’re working with. And that’s a real shame. Because I don’t know about you, but the heart of everything I do is connection. I want to connect with my students. I want to connect with them. My clients, I want to connect with my family, right? I just want to live this beautiful life full of connection. And I can’t do that if I’m overworked, my students can’t do that if they’re overworked. So the exercise that I kind of alluded to earlier of getting my students to figure out what their capacity actually is, is the first thing that we work on. Because newer photographers tend to look at their calendar and see a bunch of open evenings or every weekend is open. And they just think that they can put clients there and they forget to do the math on what about all of the backend things you’re doing, right? Like, how many hours does one client actually take, it may not be a one hour family session, but it’s actually 12 hours of work, when you consider all of the things you’re doing. And then, like I mentioned, making sure that they’re building in whitespace, and margin, and not filling in clients into every spot possible. When I worked through this exercise, most of my students ended up realizing that their capacity should be about half of what they’re currently doing. Which that which then leads to we see you need to raise your prices and see you need to outsource some help and all of that, right. But it’s a really eye opening exercise that if people don’t do they think why am I not managing this? Well, I have all these evenings and clients here, why? Why am I why do I feel like I’m struggling? It’s because you’re trying to do too much in too small of a time and you’re not allowing yourself time away from work time away from clients time to for yourself time for your family, you know, and all of that all of that matters.

D’Arcy Benincosa
It matters so much. And I think that when people hear it, they’re like, Yes, I know. But I do think they get kind of afraid to raise prices or to change things or their mindset, things that you do to help people get ready for an uplevel upgrade. Yeah,

Sabrina Gebhardt
so we talk a lot about the worthiness thing, you know, a lot of people freak out at, oh my gosh, but then that’s gonna make me the most expensive person in my area. And am I worth being charged that, and there’s a lot to unpack there. And you know why they struggle with that worth. So working through that. But then also, I know this is really important to you making sure that their work warrants this price increase, right, making sure that their website that the way they show up in the world, that the work that they’re creating their consistency, their workflows with their clients, right, their client communication process, all of those things are aligned. And then it really is just about educating them about buyer habits. So back in my previous life, I was a jewelry buyer. And so I was in the retail corporate world for a long time. And so I teach about these different retail strategies and how they relate to photographers. So one of them is like the it’s a theory or strategy of high low pricing. Like when you think of the gap. The gap always has something on sale. Yes, you would never go in and buy jeans at full price, because you know, they’re gonna go on sale in like seven days. Yeah, so the way they price their business is that they’re making their their needed profit margin at the sale price. Okay, and but they’ve trained the world to never pay full price for something because if we wait, it’ll go on sale. So that’s the same with these photographers to feel like they constantly have to do low price mini sessions or discounts or coupon codes, you’re training your audience to only pay a little bit and to get this, this excellent experience from you. And working through that. You know, that’s a really big one.

D’Arcy Benincosa
I think that one’s huge. And one thing that I’ve really realized, like one thing we implemented in my business is, we were just giving people too much time to buy. Or we we now we’ve done several things with the email list and with my audience that says, hey, you need to buy from me quickly because it will go away and we will not give it to you once it’s gone. Like and just having different offerings, but really staying tried and true to what you’re putting out there. Because you do train your audience. You do train your clients, how to treat you how to respond to you, all of the things. Okay, I know we’re gonna wrap up here pretty soon I want to ask a couple of things. So one, is there like a piece of advice or something an AHA that you received in your life as a business owner that just has made a world of difference to you? Oh

Sabrina Gebhardt
my gosh, there’s been so much like I said at the beginning, hiring my first business coach was a game changer. And you know, that when you hire a business coach the first time there’s a lot of sticker shock involved. But I mean, there’s a lot but it’s a huge game changer because it’s one of those things you have to leap First, you have to have that faith in yourself, and trust that you are making a wise decision. And this is for the better the betterment of you and your business and your future. So making those big education investments, but this is the, here’s a little nugget I’m going to give you because this has, this comes up for me day to day, and I share this all the time. But there is a little mantra that I carry around, and I share it with my students, and it’s about this subject of of being overwhelmed. But when you’re having a day that feels like your list is super long, and it’s all like kind of complicated, and you just feel like you’re not getting anywhere, and there’s fires coming at you. I’d love to just carry around and say to myself, I am not available for overwhelm, I have enough time. And I literally just say it over and over and over again. And the way mantras work, you know is that it just it kind of slows down your nervous system. And it slows down your breathing, just the repetitive nature of it. But also, the words are a little bit of a reset for your brain that like, Okay, I am in control of this, I will get the priorities done, it is fine. I am not available for overwhelm. And that’s just something that has come up for a few of my students this week. So that was the first thing that I thought of. I love

D’Arcy Benincosa
that I think I think we do have to just kind of tell ourselves to calm down because there is that fear factor in our brain that will run amok if we don’t know how to talk to it, and bring it back from the ledge and help. You know that part of us that does give into fear, feel really safe. You know, the podcast is called play at Brave. And I always love to ask everybody this question like, What are ways in your life? It came about when I was writing in my journal, I’d much rather play at Brave and play it safe, right? I want to take the big risk. I want to live my life with courage. What are some things that you’ve done, or one thing in your life that you feel felt took a lot of courage and that you felt the fear and did it anyway, and it turned out to be one of the best things? Well, the

Sabrina Gebhardt
first thing that is coming up for me as when I took the leap, I was already an educator. And I had been in business for a really long time. 10 years at that point. And I knew in my heart that I was ready to do launch an offer that had an in person retreat component to it. And you know, because you do events is not events, but retreats as well, you have to put up a whole bunch of money before, you know. And we do them. Similarly, in that there’s a lot of luxury involved. And we want our attendees to feel pampered and special in beautiful spaces. And I knew that I needed to and I knew the timing was right. And it was something that I always wanted to do. But I also had number one never launched an offer. That was that ticket. And number two never had put that much money into something that could questionably get not wasted. I mean, I could have gotten it back. But it was very, very scary. And but it was so aligned. And it was so I was in such flow at the time that I just knew I knew it was the right time, I knew that it was time to do this. And so I just did it anyways, I booked the house and hired the chef and scheduled all these things and put all this energy into a sales page and all of that and launched it out into the world. So it is currently the favorite thing that I do in my business. I’m now I’m in now in the third run of it getting ready to launch the fourth run of it. And it has been a game changer for my business. But also for me as a human. It’s it fills me up just as much as my students, you know, and but it was a really scary, it was a really scary leap to take. Good

D’Arcy Benincosa
job. I love hearing when people work through their fear. And it turns out to be like one of their favorite things they’ve ever done. And then if you’re binging a movie or a TV series, what what is your binge? What’s your go to? What’s that series that you just put on that you love again and again and again?

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yeah, um, so ironically enough, I don’t watch a ton of TV, because I like I prefer to read like I have an addiction to screens. And if I watch TV, I won’t turn it off and then I’m asleep. But the one TV show that I’m loving currently is Emily in Paris. Yes, it’s such a guilty fun. You know, it’s in Paris, there’s fashion, there’s romance, there’s drama. So I love I love that. And the movie that I will watch on repeat over and over again, is either Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley or Love Actually,

D’Arcy Benincosa
we’re the same person. I wasn’t gonna ask you books, but I’m like, Oh, I’ll do I’ll do movies and TV. But I also love like just knowing where people find inspiration and art and is there a place you go to be inspired? Maybe it’s just still known with your journal, maybe it’s a certain artists that feeds you, where do you? Where do you recharge and get inspired again? In your work? Yeah,

Sabrina Gebhardt
um, the, the number one answer is always traveling. I don’t do the exotic international travel that you do just because of the season of Wi Fi men with all of my humans at home. There are certain places that we go year after year, and I get to travel and photograph some of my clients. We do family sessions around the country, I go on vacation with them. And traveling and seeing new things and being in beautiful places, whether it’s nature or cities, and just the change of scenery. The change of routine is wildly inspiring for me.

D’Arcy Benincosa
Yeah, I agree. I think routine is so beautiful consistency is so beautiful. I’ve learned that to avoid burnout, I do need routine I do need to remember to eat right, I do need my supplements, like I need to exercise every day. But then also shifting your scenery is such a beautiful reset in a lot of ways. I know you do an incredible mastermind it Do you launch it every November, tell us a little bit more of what your mastermind holds for people, you work a lot with newborn and family photographers, you provide a lot of resources for building a sustainable business and having a beautiful, sustainable mindset. Tell me a little bit more about that. Yeah,

Sabrina Gebhardt
so my heart behind the mastermind, when I created it is that I want you to better your life so that you can better your business. So it’s the marriage of personal development and business development. And at the time, there wasn’t really anything in our industry that did that. But after going through what I had gone through, I realized how important it is to do both. And people often when they’re looking for education or coaching, want to focus on the business stuff, but they think they can get by, you know, if you struggle with boundaries in your business, you struggle with boundaries. Personally, if you struggle with, you know, mindset and your business, you also struggle with that personally. And so creating a container where we can work on both. And we can work on the heart stuff and the personal development stuff and then transition into Okay, so now how does that apply to your business. And so it’s a really magical container. And we do four months of calls. And there’s guest experts every month, we read personal development books together. And I do Voxer coaching with my students one on one. And that’s where we get really heartfelt and tears and really personal things. And then some of the students choose to come to a retreat, which is where we have like this amazing weekend with a chef and private yoga and we stay in a beautiful home. And we’re we’re normally in a beautiful location. And then we photograph sessions together and do all the great creative work and stuff. So it’s like a girls weekend plus photography. But some students choose just to do the online component, you know, maybe the weekend doesn’t work for them, or they can’t travel because they have little, little tiny babies at home. And so I do have students that choose to do that as well. But it has been magical, watching women come through the program, watching women do the program multiple times, because they just want to do it again and again. But it’s also been really cool because as you know, coaching stretches you to, you know, it really stretches you as a person. And so that’s been a really beautiful part of the experience that I wasn’t expecting in in this container. And I tell this story a lot. But whenever my retreat weekends are over, this is how I know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing because I shut the door and the last guest leaves. And I burst into tears every single time and it’s a beautiful, joyful, gratitude filled tears of I can’t believe I get to do this. I can’t believe I get to hold space for these women. And it’s just it’s almost feels religious to me, you know, it’s that deep. Just I know I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now. And so it’s pretty magical.

D’Arcy Benincosa
I think it is very magical when you can be in that space where your life’s purpose is expressing itself where you feel completely in flow and aligned and your life has been changed by being coached. I always have a coach it’s something that up levels me it’s something that pushes me I need somebody to see the things that I am not seeing about my behaviors, my actions, my thought patterns, and reflect back to me how to bring that back but to me what makes me happiest in life is when I’m making progress is when I’m getting better every single day without I’m not like putting the pressure on me. It’s just a natural evolution of stepping into my highest self casting off the things that don’t work, changing the belief like one thing that I think is so important that every coach does you do it I do it is how to drop this stuff. story that we carry around that things have to be a struggle, and hard and stuck and difficult, and how do we move into flow and ease and purpose and our passions and you do that so well, I remember we met at photo native earlier this year. And you had a whole table of women who were in your mastermind who came to photo native to support you speaking. And I was like, this has to be such a special woman to be able to lead and create a community like you have created and it is a community where I could just tell by the people you attracted, this is a powerful place to be. So if you are listening to this podcast between November 1 and 10th, you can go register for the route to rise mastermind, if you are listening to outside of that you can sign up to be on the waitlist. Or Sabrina, where else can we find you check you out? Learn more about everything you have to offer.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Yep, so my website is just Sabrina gephardt.com There’s all kinds of resources there. There’s links to podcast episodes. And then I spend a fair amount of time on Instagram at Sabrina Gephardt photography and you can always come say hello, I personally love to voice DM I like to feel like I’m really talking to you. So if you send me a message, and I respond with a voice memo, that’s normal.

D’Arcy Benincosa
I think it’s perfect. We want those connections. And another fun thing I was on your podcast earlier and we had an incredible conversation, the two of us about how we look at money, how we see money mindset, how that also affects business and life. And these two topics really go together. So you can also go check out Sabrina’s podcast you can of course start with our episode, but there are so many episodes there that are full of just wealth and wisdom for everybody. So Sabrina, thanks so much for being on the podcast today. I so appreciate your energy, your insight, your passion, and I love your boundaries.

Sabrina Gebhardt
Thank you for having me, my friend. It was so great to chat with you. Before you leave today, I have to tell you about the round table. This is a community I built for female photographers who want to continue growing their business while forging industry friendships along the way. If you enjoy my teaching style on the podcast, then I know you will absolutely love the roundtable. In this group, you will learn practical ways to move your business forward while finding community and accountability with like minded photographers. Every month you will get access to three pieces of content over a broad variety of topics. In the past, we have covered things like pricing, editing, goal setting, website reviews, social media, and even videos for me behind the scenes at real sessions. Members have also had the opportunity to learn from incredible guest speakers and industry leaders on a huge variety of topics. I pride myself in giving you just enough education every month to keep you growing and moving forward. While not overwhelming you with content. Oh and the private Facebook community is absolutely incredible. Consider it your space to ask all the things get all the support and make real life business besties. If you’re ready to join us and take this podcast relationship a bit deeper, you can head over to Sabrina gephardt.com backslash membership and enroll today.


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