Listen, anyone who tells you that it’s easy to run a business and still have a life is not telling the WHOLE truth. The reality is, there is always something to do, so if you wanted to, you could really spend all your time working on your business at the expense of the rest of your life. I, for one, prefer NOT to do that. I went through a phase when I worked all the time and ran myself completely ragged. During this time I was racing to get everything done, and all I did for myself was create MORE work. When it came down to it, I had to take a step back and figure out a few things – how can I have the business I’ve been dreaming about AND still have a life?
Now, most of these tips are applicable to ANY business – regardless of whether or not you’ve hit the 6-figure mark! If you’re looking for ways I’ve managed to run a business and still have a life (so maybe you can, too!) Read on.
Here’s how I run a multi-six-figure photography business and still have a life:
Run a business and still have a life tip #1: Systematize For Success
I have systems for almost EVERYTHING, so I don’t end up wasting time on mindless tasks. Every business has many repeatable steps that happen for almost every client interaction, session or sale. When you notice there’s something you do over and over again, it’s an opportunity to set up some systems so those tasks can run on autopilot. These systems can range from programs for your invoicing and social media scheduling, templates for emails and social graphics, and workflows for your sessions so they run smoothly and seamlessly. Take every opportunity you can to streamline your business and you’ll free up time for what matters most.
Manage Your Time Well
Speaking of freeing up time, time management is a MUST if you don’t want your business to take over your life. If you aren’t diligent with your time, you’ll end up spending waaay too much of it on tasks that don’t require that amount of work. An example of this might be – if you need to cull a bunch of images, block out an hour of uninterrupted time to do it – DON’T put on a movie on netflix and try to multi-task. It’ll take you 4 hours instead of one, and you didn’t really get to focus on either activity. Wouldn’t you rather cull really well in a less stressful way, and then watch a movie without thinking about work? (#popthepopcorn)
Outsource (when you can afford it)
Another important aspect of time management is being able to notice when you get to the point where you can’t do it all AND grow into the business you want to be. When this happens, OUTSOURCING is your BFF. It takes some guts to admit you can’t do it all and trust me, I know outsourcing is scary at first. Take the time to find someone you trust to do the tasks you no longer have time for or don’t particularly enjoy, and make sure you can afford their help. This is a crucial step to helping your business to run smoothly and feel like you have a life at the same time.
Become EXCELLENT at Setting Boundaries
The final key to running a 6+ figure photo business in a way that allows you to still have a life is setting boundaries around your work time and your free time. I recommend having ‘business hours’ set up for yourself so you have specific times each day when you unplug from work. Sure, there are times when you might have to work late at night or on a deadline but make sure that you balance that out with reduced work hours the next day. Working without boundaries will not keep you in business or enrich your quality of life. Set a schedule, and when possible, stick to it!!
Looking for some more specific advice for your photo business? Click here to hop on a free strategy call with me and I’ll see what I can do to support you in your next steps!