"Finding your rhythm as a photographer and business owner."
Ever heard the one about 50 photographers in the room, and one lightbulb? Me neither… maybe they were all looking for a piece of the limelight... or after the "free exposure" Lol.
Ok I suck at puns.
But what I do know is this: All 50 of those photographers have their own unique schedule and way of running their business and life.
All 50 'togs are at different stages of the journey, going at their own pace.
Each has unique responsibilities at home and varying financial goals.
How about you? What's your current schedule? Trying to mimic what works for another photographer can leave you unfulfilled with a slower progression towards your goals. What works for many other photographers might not be the right answer for you.
Finding your rhythm in the unpredictable chaos of life isn’t always easy, so flexibility really is key here.
First, it's important to figure out your rhythm in life. When is best to work, when is best to play. In my experience, we tend to fall into three categories:
1. Early Birds: Perhaps getting up early, before anyone else, to workout your diary, plan your day and *gasp* enjoy a coffee while it is still hot will work best for you (hello fellow early bird).
2. Night Owls: Or maybe mornings are a whirlwind of chaos, and managing to drag a brush through your hair is the achievement of the day. In that case, evenings are your niche. Marketing, editing and answering emails is all saved for when the kids are (supposedly) sleeping, and the chaos of the day is winding down. Night Owls are awesome.
3. Exhausted Pigeons: Or perhaps you aren’t an early bird or a night owl, but more of a perpetually exhausted pigeon. In this case, you have to make time in tiny sections on the hop throughout the day to keep on top of everything, with bigger chunks scheduled a couple of times a week for your marketing and editing.
If you feel like your current day-to-day is a rabble instead of a routine, it's time to take some mindful time to really figure out your schedule and what works for you.
Word of advice though? Erm, you can’t just dive into a schedule that doesn’t work for you... or one that doesn't even exist yet!
Oh and - a schedule is like a living beast. But once you have the rough outline, you can expand and change as needed.
Here's how to quickly get started on a schedule that works for you.
Remember, we aren't looking for perfection here. We are looking at making a start. An imperfect, productive, excellent start.
• Quickly figure out when you can take 30 minutes during your own “golden time of the day” to write a solid plan that is going to be realistic for you to stick to going forward.
• Paper, your phone, Trello, or scrawled on the back of a receipt, choose your easiest method of noting down a quick schedule outline that will realistically work for you.
• Be sure to leave a lot of room for flexibility. You basically want an over-arching goal for the year, then work backwards for a few main points to achieve this. You want to see a quick schedule overview for the coming year, month, week days and then some bullet essentials thrown in. This should be enough to get you moving in a smoother direction with some clear goals thrown in.
• Evolve your schedule - again, make a 30 minute window in a day or two to evolve and solidify your schedule. Drop anything that isn't serving your goal right now, and get a clear path on what you need to do to keep those plates spinning.
Mindful planning and flexibility will be your greatest allies here, allowing you to be fully present in both your work and your family moments moving forward.
Small steps of progress are much better than giant exhausting leaps my friend.
From your fellow ‘tog in the trenches,