Without a plan, the summertime can feel like the wild west. You’re off your routine, taking care of kids like it’s your full-time job, and still trying to run your business. In today’s episode, I’m sharing the six things I consider in order to plan an intentional summer. I’m hoping that by sharing my successful summer planning tips you an get ahead, plan for summer now and enter the season with confidence and intentionality for both your life and your business.
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 build for female photographers who want to continue growing their business wile 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!
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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.
Welcome back to another episode of the shoot it straight podcast. So it might be spring where you are. But this is actually the best time to start thinking about what summer will look like for you. Especially if you’re a mom, if you’ve been a parent for at least a couple of years, then you know that summertime can feel like the Wild West. Your kids are running around. Everyone is hungry and bored all the time, routines are completely thrown off. Random kids are at your house at any given time of the day, driving kids to camps and playdates and activities can feel like a full time job. And then there’s your business. When the heck do you have time for your business?
And oh, my goodness, what about summer travel? Yes, summer can feel like a whole lot. And if you aren’t prepared for summer, it can feel like an absolute hot mess. That isn’t what you want your summer to feel like, I may not know you in person, but I can bet that you want summer to be fun. You want to enjoy the longer days and the pool, you want to make memories with your kids. And you also want your business to continue to thrive and have some sanity and travel with it. The good news is that all of those things are possible when you plan for it. When I start to map out my summer, I try to keep the following things in mind. Let me run down the list. And then I’m going to circle back around and go into each one a bit deeper. So when I plan for summer, I’m considering six things, my expectations, my availability, my commitments, my travel, my sanity, and my intention. All right, so let’s start at the top of the list. When I say that I consider my expectations. What does that mean? Well, in this sense, I mean both my expectations of what summer will look like and the expectations that clients and students have for me, I know that summer is a unique beast. Sure, the days may be longer, and there are less extracurriculars or our family, but I have way less time to myself than during the school year. That translates to me having less time to respond to client inquiries, and less time to edit and call and finish galleries. My overall turnaround time during the summer is slower. And that’s something that I always communicate with clients during that season. I set the expectations in advance that things just move slower in summer. And because I’m upfront about it with them, they are understanding and supportive. When I think about my expectations, I also mean the ones that I have for myself, I have to really lower the bar for myself, I’m less productive, I have less time for self care, I have less peace and quiet, I have to lower the bar and expect that my routines and rhythms will feel very different in the summer than during the school year. When I set that expectation for myself upfront, I am more likely to feel like summer is a success.
On the flip side, the summers that I don’t prepare myself, I feel like I’m frazzled and frustrated the entire time. All it takes is a simple shift in expectations. The second thing I plan for when looking ahead to summer is my availability. Again, this looks very different in the summer than it does during the school year and for good reason. During the school year, I try and schedule as many weekday sessions as possible to utilize my children being at school. However, during the summer, I actually prefer weekend sessions. I spend all week with my kids and a weekend session is a nice excuse to get away from mothering for just a few hours. The other thing that shifts with my availability is childcare. With kids at home every single waking hour, I have to spend some time being super intentional, finding reliable childcare, or enrolling my kids in camps when possible. I know that three kids, I am going to be super busy and I’m going to need additional support to survive the summer. Yes, of course I want to spend as much time with them as possible, but I do need them to engage with others from time to time. And summer. nannies are a heck of a lot more fun than boring old mom. When my kids were younger. I used to fret over this a little bit. I tried for you yours to just make summer work on naptime. And it never did. I finally allowed myself to hire sitters, and it was such a gift to both me and my kids.
They always have a blast with sitters because they’re allowed to do stuff that mommy always says no to like science experiments and painting projects, and other cool stuff that I just generally try and avoid. Today’s episode is brought to you by the Roundtable, a community built for female photographers who want to continue growing their business while forging industry friendships along the way. learn practical ways to move your business forward while finding community and accountability with like minded photographers. Every month, you get access to three new pieces of content over a broad variety of topics. In the past, we have covered topics like pricing, editing, goal setting, website reviews, social media, and videos from 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, you can head over to Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash membership and enroll today. And now back to the episode.
The third thing I plan for is my commitments, summer may be fun, and at a whole season to itself. But there are things that are still happening, right? I still have students and coaching calls, I still want to work out every day, I still have date nights with my husband and my kids. I still encourage my kids to participate in church and school social functions. There are still commitments that we have in the summer. And it’s a priority to me that they get on the calendar well in advance so that they actually happen and we can stick to them. So number four is travel. This is a really big one for my family because we like to travel a lot. Not only do we take an annual beach trip and a Colorado trip every summer, but I also traveled with my clients to photograph them all over the United States. And I normally take one of my kids along on each of those trips. This means that we are gone a lot. And with every trip there are logistics to consider. Right, not double booking travel with client sessions, finding house and dog sitters, booking the actual travel, arranging for childcare if anyone is left behind while I travel with clients like it’s a whole lot, but for my family, travel is super important. And I always want to maximize our time away every summer. This often looks like booking more sessions than normal during the weeks that we are home so that we can fund the time away, or working extra hours on the weeks that we’re home so that I can completely unplug when we travel. Travel was one of those things that takes a heck of a lot of effort. But it’s always worth it to me. And lately our summer travel has become even crazier, because my oldest is a high school athlete. They have so many summer commitments, and her fall sport actually starts weeks before school starts. So we have to shift our family travel to the early part of the summer. But planning ahead for these things makes a big difference and what kind of travel memories we can make every single summer. The fifth thing on my list is planning for my sanity. Summer is wild. And I definitely have to give myself a pep talk at the end of the school year every year. If you’re one of those moms who cherishes summer and loves every second of freedom and fun. This one might not land with you. But if you’re one of those moms like me who really does thrive better in the school year routine, then this one’s for you. I know that my time is super limited in the summer. And that also means that my self care time is super limited. During the school year I am pretty much the self care queen.
I work out daily. I have quiet times daily. I get to the sauna at least once a month. I go to therapy monthly I read every single night. I do extra yoga and take walks when I can. And I plan whitespace for myself regularly. I hate to say this but most of that goes totally out the window during the summer. The only thing that I personally religiously stick to in the summer is reading and getting sleep. Most everything else simply goes because I don’t have the time. But I know this ahead of time. I know it going into the summer I give myself a pep talk before summer starts and I plan for some self care whenever I can carve out the time. I know that comes summer the self care will be super light, but I’m allowing myself a whole heck of a lot more grace and ease Use each day and every week. And that does seem to do the trick for me. The last thing I try and plan for every summer is my intention. When the summer ends, what do I want to have accomplished? How do I want to have spent my time for me and the season of life, I am with my oldest and high school. My summer intention is almost always connecting with my kids and making memories as a family. That’s it. Maybe someday it’ll be writing a book, or taking a sabbatical or getting in shape or learning a new skill. But now, it’s all about racking up the memories before my oldest launches into the world. And having this intention is so important, because it keeps me aligned and focused on the goal at hand. I can run everything through this filter. This definitely does not mean that I’m a fun mom all the time. Quite the contrary. But I do try and lean more into memory making and being present with my kids. For us. That generally looks like traveling a lot.
A daily afternoon swim with the kids saying yes, whenever I can later bedtimes after a family movie, and weekly visits from the ice cream truck. It isn’t much but knowing what my intention for the summer is really helps my overall mindset. So to recap, when I start planning my calendar for summer, I think about the following six things, my expectations, my availability, my commitments, my travel, my sanity, and my intention. I really hope this was a helpful episode for you. I hope that you’re able to spend some time thinking through and planning an intentional summer now before you book a single client. I hope this gives you something to look forward to and a little confidence going into the summer and I also hope it inspires you to be intentional with your time and your relationships this summer. That’s it for today, my friends. We’ll see you next week. Before you leave today, I have to tell you about the roundtable. 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.