16: Busy Season Reflection

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16: Busy Season Reflection 3

Fall busy season is officially over, and while I’m sure that many of us are ready to step away from our cameras for a few weeks, there is one thing that I’m going to ask you to do beforehand to set yourself up for success next year. In today’s episode, I’m sharing a few key tips you can use to reflect on this year’s busy season, take proper rest over the holidays, and intentionally adjust your business before next fall. 

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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Review the Show Notes:

Taking a few minutes to reflect (1:34)

Reflecting on everything that went well (2:40)

Everything that went wrong (3:48)

Why it is so important to reflect now (5:33)

Set a reminder before your next busy season (8:20)

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16: Busy Season Reflection 4

Review the Transcript:

Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gebhardt. 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

welcome back to another episode of the shoot it straight podcast fall busy season is officially over Can I get an Amen? My friends. In this episode, I’m going to speak specifically to the photographers out there. But please, please, please hear me when I say this. It can apply to any creative business that has a busy season. So if you’re a wedding planner, and the summer is your busy season, this episode can apply to you. If you design and sell planners, maybe the first quarter is your busy season. Or maybe you’re a writer and your quote unquote busy season is whenever you’re writing your next book. The point is if you have a busy season in your business, listen to the main premise of this episode and then read between the lines because it will be valuable to you. So back to the photographers who are coming off of busy season.

First of all, give yourself a pat on the back, you survived it, you have done it, it’s time to breathe. Many of us are ready to step away from the camera, ignore the computer and literally dive headfirst into a deep sleep hibernation. Trust me, I am right there with you. But what I really want to encourage you to do before you wave goodbye to your busy season is take a few minutes to reflect on it. Why? Because it’s so important to reflect on your busiest season of the year. While things are fresh. Reflection is always a good practice. But in this instance, I love it for one main reason. It gives you a laundry list of things that need to change for next year. So today, I’m going to dive straight into some action steps because this is a topic that I think is best taught by just sharing examples and stories. So let’s go with it. First of all, when you’re doing this reflection, I want you to write down everything that went well, this busy season. Okay? Did you sell a lot of sessions? Did you raise your prices and therefore make more money?

Did you only work with a bunch of your ideal clients? Did you sell a bunch of prints or products? Were you able to stay on top of your editing? Did you feel like you still have a social life in the midst of your busy season, those would all be considered wins, right? And maybe you have some totally different ones that are unique to your business, your area. Anything that went right. Anything that was a win, no matter how big or small, write it down. So it’s important to write down those wins. And then I want you to think about how they happened. Okay, some of them may have just happened on their own. Right. You lucked into some things. But most of them happened because you did something to make them happen. Okay, so I want you to remember this step. So that hopefully, you can recreate those same wins again next year, right. The second thing I want you to do is the opposite. I want you to write down everything that went wrong.

Did you have a bunch of super picky clients? Did you hate how your families were dressed for every single session? Were you editing all night? Every night? Did you run out of CF cards? Did your hard drive crash? Were you bored with your locations? Did you have a bunch of mini session dates that never filled? Okay didn’t sell out to capacity. Maybe you were just bored with what you were doing and super uninspired you were phoning it in all season, right? So while it’s important to reflect on what went well, so that you can recreate those things next year. The same is true for what went wrong. You need to know where your season wasn’t ideal so that you can create an action plan for it to go better and or not make the same mistakes next year. This is why it’s so important to do the reflection time before you’re officially done, quote unquote with busy season because I want you to really be raw and honest about how rough things were for you this year. The Fall

further away, you get from something, the less terrible it seems. But when you’re willing to be honest with yourself while you are drained and exhausted, and I mean really like, let yourself whine and complain and pour your heart out, when you can be really vulnerable, and willing to say to yourself, things weren’t perfect. You don’t have to sugarcoat it for yourself. This is about owning what went wrong, so that you can give yourself grace and make a plan to do better next year. What I don’t want to happen is you finishing up your last gallery of the year, shutting it down for the holidays, without any moment or pause to reflect. Here’s why. If that’s the route you go, if you say nope, I’m done. I’m over this, I am literally walking away from my business for four weeks, or eight weeks or whatever, here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to roll into the joys of the holiday season with your family, which is a good thing. You’re going to eat and drink and celebrate and play and sleep and maybe travel. Those are good things too. But when you are ready to jump back into business mode, in January or February, you’re going to be 468 weeks past the exhaustion and the burnout. And you know what happens? The sharp edges will have worn off, things won’t seem like they were all that bad.

And then, as your business you’re moves on in a normal capacity. Before you know it, it’s late summer, and you’re booking for Fall busy season again, you haven’t made a single change to your business, your offerings, your prices, your capacity, because last year seems so long ago. And frankly, you have forgotten about it. And then you know what, at the end of next year’s busy season, you’re going to find yourself feeling the exact same way you do right now. Maybe even worse, I don’t want that for you. I want to see you take time to reflect now. pour your heart out. Now. Be honest and vulnerable. Now write down what worked and what didn’t. Now, don’t do anything with what you write down. Okay, we’re just putting that data on paper. Don’t do anything with it. I don’t want you to go straight into goal setting or making changes I want you to rest and reflect and rejuvenate during the holidays. That’s what they’re for. But I want you to write these things down while they’re fresh. Okay, you’re gonna use that information later.

But just get it out on paper. So again, ACTION STEPS number one, writing down all your wins and how they happened. celebrate the wins. Definitely, even if you are completely burnt out and fried and miserable. celebrate your wins. Okay, I want you to celebrate them. Even if they feel small, even if you feel like everything was on fire this fall except for one tiny little glimmer, celebrate it, write it down. Number two, write down everything you’re feeling right now. Your emotions, the things that were miserable the things that didn’t work, the things that felt broken, be as vulnerable as you can. Because it matters, the more vulnerable you are. Now, when you are writing down all of these things, the more successful action step number three will be okay. And here’s action step number three. And this is my favorite part of this exercise. And apart I want to make sure that you do take everything you’ve written down, the wins, the losses, what worked, what didn’t how you’re feeling all the emotional rawness and drama and vulnerability that you’ve given yourself, write it all down. And then I want you to set it as a reminder on your phone. And you’re going to set that reminder to go off for some time, late spring, early summer.

I want you to pick a date that is before you start mapping out or booking for Fall only you know what that date is for your business? Okay, some people book out really, really early, some people book out kind of last minute, whatever is normal for your business. If you start sending out fall booking emails, you know, let’s say July 15. I want you to set this reminder for like June 1, okay, before any of that happens, here’s what happens. You are going to get that reminder and it’s going to pop up on your phone. You’re going to read through it. And it’s going to be months later, things won’t feel nearly as raw anymore. You won’t be as emotionally drawn to those things anymore. It’s going to feel more just like reading back on something that happened. But what it will do is that you’re going to be able to read that reminder you’re going to be able to read those details with a completely

Clear head because you will be removed from the situation you will be it’s months later, okay? You’re going to read over those details and those emotions and all those things that went right and those things that went wrong. And you’re going to be able to with a clear head, make intentional changes. Those intentional changes will help you and next year in a much better place than you find yourself this year. That’s all I have for you this week, my friends. We’ll see you next time.

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. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gebhardt 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.

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