Changes in 2019

I FIRST started my business with an active blog, and yet when I look at it now, my last post was in April 2018.

I love to write, and for me the blogging aspect of my business went beyond marketing. It was something I truly enjoyed and did not just for wedding photographer’s but for myself.

2018 was just a much different year than expected. We started off the year with my daughter having her tonsils and adenoids removed after weeks and weeks of high fevers and sickness (and a mom who didn’t accomplish much.) We lost my grandpa soon after in March, after an extended illness with cancer. Throughout the remainder of the year, my husband frequently worked night shift and it wrecked my schedule at home.

Normally, during the summers my daughter and I would be inside doing something fun or outside on the front porch, playing and making noise. She was usually pretty good at self-entertaining while Mommy finished up work for the day.

However, for a lot of the year, most days felt like a struggle of “operation get out of the house so daddy can sleep” or try and keep a four year old as quiet as possible. So not fun.

The unexpected of 2018, taught me that while planning is wonderful, sometimes it’s also OK to just be. To let the year bring what it may.

In 2019, I’m keeping my business plans and expectations at a minimum. January-August are 8 months that I want to deeply savor. It’s my last 8 months at home with Kenna before she starts Kindergarten in the fall. I’m already tearing up at just the thought of it.

 
Changes I'm making in 2019, Jennifer Kaiser Private Photo Editor
 

Business Plans

I’m so grateful for where my business left off in 2018. I have an incredible client list, women all across the country that I love working with. I worked with some past clients from 2017 and brought on a few new ones. Thanks to increased confidence and solid workflows, I saw a 25% increase in revenue, without increasing my hours worked.

I worked part-time or minimally part-time January through March. I took a 2 week vacation in August, and again in December.

I had several “plans” that just didn’t pan out. I wanted to create a 3-part education system for photographer’s to feel confident with their editing style, workflow, and eventually create a plan for outsourcing. I wanted to blog consistently, and made several attempts to make that happen.

Finally - I just pushed it all aside, and it was the most freeing feeling.

In 2019, I’m doing much of the same. I’m making it a goal to blog twice a month. Meaningful, purposeful content. Beyond that, my goals are much more client based. I’m excited to grow my associate editor’s client list. I’m excited to serve my current clients even better than before. I’m excited to just enjoy where I’m at in my business without any higher expectations.

Asking For Help

I’ve been a one-woman show for the past two years. While I would have loved some assistance this past year, I felt I had to take my own advice and avoid bringing on an assistant during my busiest time of year.

Now that the New Year is upon us, I’m more than grateful to raise my white flag before the going gets tough. When I’m in the midst of wedding season, I rarely work beyond a full-time schedule, but instead, I just ignore areas of my business that I really shouldn’t be ignoring.

Some of the problems areas last year were again the blog, bookkeeping, organization, and catalog management.

This year, I’m bringing on a bookkeeper so that I can see that P&L in real time. I can feel confident with where my business is at financially. No when to hold ‘em when to fold ‘em so to speak. This will help me significantly with knowing when I can take on additional client work, where I can invest in terms of retirement, education, equipment, etc.

I’m also bringing someone on-board to check client catalogs weekly and make sure everything looks great, so that I can make sure catalogs are available on the day I have planned to edit them. They’ll help me with blog posts, client organization, and all the additional small tasks that I can hand off this year, in order to improve my client experience and feel confident that things are not being shoved under the rug.

Education

I had high expectations for my business education in 2018, and due to a variety of reasons, things just didn’t turn out quite the way I had hoped.

I knew going into this year, that I desperately needed that whitespace I was craving in the Spring and Summer to be fully present with my family, and so I thought about pushing education aside entirely this year.

And then Katie O’Selvidge showed up in my inbox.

I invested in a 1:1 coaching session with Katie this past fall, and she was a breath of fresh air to talk with. Katie approaches the creative industry differently than anyone else I’ve ever encountered. So much so, in fact, that I’ve turned down the noise in terms of all the other “business education” I ingest.

In fact, I’m beyond thrilled that this July, I will be starting a 6-month journey of walking through Katie’s business program - Editor’s Course. Katie’s program is unlike anything else I’ve come across. And while I have not yet started and it was a big commitment (not just financially, but time-wise as well), I feel so confident that this program is going to change me and my business mindset in some really exciting ways.

Travel

Guys, I’m TRAVELING this year. I’ve been a Mom for 5 years and I have never Kenna for more than one night at a time.

If you are a Mom and a Business Owner (or you’ve just considered travel cause you could use a little break) I’m here to tell you that I see both sides of the coin. If you need to travel and take a much needed Mom break, go for it. Or if you don’t feel ready to leave your babies at home, while you travel thousands of miles away, don’t. Kenna is FIVE years old and it still makes me a little anxious.

That being said, I’m taking a much anticipated girls trip this Spring. We have ZERO plans beyond relaxing, seeing the sights, being tourists, and hopefully visiting some beautiful galleries, museums, historic landmarks, and shopping (naturally.)

As an extended family, we’ll be vacationing at the beach in June and I cannot wait to take Kenna on her first beach trip ever. We’re even taking our fur babies, so things could get interesting.

Finally, to wrap up the summer, I’ll be participating in the “in-person” component of Editor’s Course, where I get to sit down with Katie and 10+ other business women and talk business, life, struggles and dreams.

I’m literally over the top excited for all of my adventures this year.

Just for me

One of my biggest struggles for the year as a whole, was defining my business purpose and my passions aside from that. As a photo editor, I help wedding photographers build a strong and healthy business through outsourcing. And I loooove talking about health, both business and personal.

So much so that I wanted to talk MORE about health & wellness. I just had a hard time tying the two concepts together. Photo editing and health? I just couldn’t make it stick.

Finally, after my much needed coaching session with Katie, she encouraged me to start a blog.

So in 2019, I’m excited to deep dive into a passion project. Something that allows me to share more of what’s on my heart (outside of business) and help women in another way. And so Bare Roots Living was created.

It’s a blog that allows me to express my creativity without any expectations. A passion project that allows me to research and deep dive into topics that are close to my heart. A place where I can express myself in writing beyond photography topics.

I’m excited for Bare Roots Living creatively, but also as a way to share all of the exciting things that I love about making health and wellness a realistic part of our busy daily lives.

Feel like you could use a little more of that too? I’d love to have you follow along.


Can you relate to any of these changes in 2019 or how 2018 went? I’d love to hear what you have planned for your business!

All of that to say - it’s OK to have big plans. To hustle, create, and be really excited about what you’re working on. It’s also OK to say not this year. This year, I celebrate everything I’ve already accomplished and I’m just going to go with the flow.

2019 is definitely going with the flow over here, what about you?