Calming the Sea: 5 Ways to (START TO) Find Balance

It's a fine line between working, keeping the balance and FEELING the success. I work an insane amount (work-a-holic style). Between my photography business and Go4Pro it never stops! It's 2am and I'm still not done and thats how it is almost every night. The most common question I'm asked is, 'how do you get it all done?' Although I say it smiling, I'm not joking when I respond, 'I don't sleep!' I'm not encouraging that! I'm simply saying I get how it feels to be non-stop, if you take a breath you could blow it all down, busy! What I want, desperately is to get to know what it feels like to know balance. Realistically that won't be all the time, it's just not in my personality. I'm an A-type who does all or nothing and always as if I'm in a race... But more of the time, that would be nice. 

This has been an on going battle for me. It's always on my mind and yet I'm embarrassed to admit that although I did take small steps to work towards a more even-handed lifestyle I've only just really begun to make big advances! If you've ever clicked on the label 'organization' you've noticed there are only 2 posts the simple answer being, I have nothing to give on this topic but everything to gain. So I'm changing it! I want to share and tell you what's working for me so far as well as bring on some guest bloggers who are better suited on the subject of organization! Because as you can see by the lack of content under the label, 'organization' I've been lacking!

Here are my first 5 ideas that I've implemented to help me love more and hate less.  
1. HIRE AN ASSISTANT. Before you tell me, Oh Leah - I can't afford to do that, just hear me out. I posted an ad on Craigslist for a SAHM who had Photoshop and bookkeeping experience, I said it was only for 3 to 5 hours a week to begin with, along with the specification of what I could budget. We would meet once a month and the rest they could do at home during naps or at night, whenever it was convenient for them. I got about a dozen inquiries. And I ended with the best new studio manager ever! She actually turned out to be a follower of Go4Pro so she already gets me! You may know her as Mrs. Soup from comments and past posts. Hiring a Studio Manager instantly put a pep in my step because I didn't feel like I had to do ALL of it alone anymore, I could delegate the stuff that took up valuable time that would be better spent in other areas of my business.

2. IF YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL - DON'T DO IT ALL. I'm trying to be a mommy, a business owner, the Go4Pro gal and a homemaker... I'm not super woman and I was struggling. I sat down and thought, 'well the only thing I'm willing to give up is the cleaning' and I laughed. But the idea stuck with me! I called around for house cleaners and was appalled at what the wanted to charge (you'd think they had doctorates in cleaning!) so again, trusty Craigslist came to the rescue! I found a Senior who now comes once a week for 3 hours and does the mopping, bathrooms, she even cleaned out the refrigerator last week! She is an investment in my sanity! I am a much happier person with a clean house and this has made it happen for me! My hubby definitely appreciates it too and fully agreed that it's well worth $30 a week!  

3. DOT YOUR "i's" & CROSS YOUR "t's". I needed to get my business super organized. After all, if the business side of things isn't organized then you're creating more work for yourself! And let's be honest, none of us has the time for more work! So now I'm all set up with Mobile Fotographer (I'm in love with it!!) 
It's web based so I handed all my hand-written contracts over to my assistant and gave her my login and now all of my clients are organized inside my new studio management software. It was something I'd put off for months and months - that is months and months of feeling unorganized, with time wasted trying to search out the info I needed from a cluttered desk of paper and sticky notes. But once I handed the stacks of contracts and paper work to Kathy (my SM), she had me up to date in 90 minutes! 
And I have great news, my friends Fundy & Focht of Mobile Fotographer are offering an awesome promotion for anyone who wants to get started with them, 50% off for 6 months (if you pay monthly) or one full year if you pay all at once. Just click HERE!!. The Promo is only for 2 weeks, so jump on it! I promise - you wont be disappointed!!

4. WORK LESS & MAKE WAY MORE! I am not a high volume studio, I never want to be a high volume studio! I love being a boutique style photographer who tailors everything to my clients. So I needed to find an answer that would help me take less shoots (I do one a week) but make more money then I was when I was doing 3 to 4 a week. It happened, I only shoot one session a week and keep myself booked out a couple months (typically). My average client is very middle class and my average sale is $1000. And I even offer digital negatives and they all buy those too! That is all thanks to in-person ordering. 
* My ordering program will not be discussed here as it will be part of my workshop that I hope to offer next year. If you want to learn more sooner, you may schedule a phone consult.

5. PLAN AHEAD. And I mean this in every aspect of your business. For me, it's been planning my Go{4}Pro posts weeks out so that I am not constantly feeling like a slave to Go{4}Pro. Too many nights, my husband asked me to come cuddle and watch a movie and I couldn't because I had nothing for Go{4}Pro the next day. But not anymore. Thanks to Noelle writing 2 days, I only have 3 days to write and I'm trying to have those written out 2 to 3 weeks at a time. Why not implement the same thing with your photography blog, your newsletter or your next promotion. The better you have it planned the faster it is to implement! So plan, sister plan!

Comments: Let me know what you've done to love more and hate less OR tell me what you're struggling with and maybe we can help you find an answer?! Bottom line... If we don't keep the balance, burn out will come. I don't know about you, but this is one fire I always want burning!


  1. great post! i totally hear ya on the busy, busy lifestyle and wanting more time for family! yet I am also an A-type who wants everything perfect!
    my biggest struggle right now is getting Studio Cloud figured out...that's the program i have chosen to manage my small biz right now and I guess it's just NOT my thing!! I would LOVE if someone could do a detailed post one day on how to figure out the darn thing!

  2. We wont be any help on Studio Cloud as we don't use it! I tried to get started with it, but ran into the same problem and never finished getting all my stuff input. But if you switch to mobile fotographer there are so many awesome video tutorials to make it super easy and a customer support line. I've already used it once.
    With 2 weeks as a free trial and 50% off it's seriously worth looking into!

  3. Great post. I am struggling with keeping a good balance and I only have about one session a month! I don't know how you do it, Leah! I'm having a hard time getting my editing done in a timely manner.

  4. Look your best photosJune 7, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Antique Autumn you should set up a phone cosult with Leah she can really help. I did and it was amazingly helpful!

  5. Thanks for the post Leah! I've been so busy that I my husband has been feeling left out. I hope I can get these five things on track cause I really owe him some time and you have given me some great tips to get it done. Maybe I'll give him a nice relaxing massage tonight. Thanks again for your awesome blog!!

  6. Wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  7. Thank you so much for all your wonderful posts!

    Check out my newest post, there's a little surprise for you :)

  8. I so needed this today. Went on vacation for three days and spent the night before we left in tears and last night when we came back they were back. I'm so exhausted and terrified of becoming burned out.

    Just know that we appreciate you, and want you to be sane. Go cuddle with your husband for a while! We'll all still be around!

  9. Is there a promo code for the 50% off. We are still within the two weeks right?

  10. When you check out with pay-pal through the link, it will automatically charge at a 50% discount! You're gonna love it!