Oof this is a raw one to write really, and it was going to be about work life balance but if I’m honest I don’t know if there really is such a thing as a work life balance and striving for such can be really damaging to your mental health, at least that’s what I’ve found. It fosters this feeling of guilt when you’re focussing on something because you’re not focussing on something else.
What I believe is possible to create and something I’ve been working on and genuinely feel like I’m just about there is a work life harmony. Where there is some give and take between the different aspects of your life.
And whilst everyone’s circumstances are different, here is what I have learned and I hope that if you’re in the thick of it and it’s causing you to fall out of love with your business then this helps.
Images by Bry Penney
- You cannot be all things to all people, so go back to why you started your business in the first place. For me, it was to have the freedom of time to do things I wanted to. At the time of starting the business we hadn’t started trying for a family, so it wasn’t specifically about having time for family, just knowing that I didn’t want to tied to someone else’s schedule or agenda
- Work smarter not harder, for me, it was making sure I had automations in place to manage client payments and their journey through booking, Dubsado was crucial for this. I also only focussed on the income generating activities such as client experience and marketing in those early days. Assess the time you have available and work out what is REALISTIC to achieve in that time
- Batch create and schedule content over a few naps so that I was still visible without having to show up in those very early days. Now I still batch create and schedule content. Whether that be on nap times (we are down to one nap a day, which I think will stop soon as he’s stopped napping at nursery so much) or if I’m on a train to/from a shoot – like this post has been one of 6 blogs I’ve written on my way to and from Brighton for a shoot.
- Outsource if you can – the control freak in me struggled with this for a long time, but I have outsourced some of my copywriting and social media (Pinterest and Reels creation) because I know then that if I haven’t been able to get to creating any more of my own content, there is at least some content being generated so that I don’t disappear entirely! Yes, sometimes it might feel like an expense, but for me, if I don’t show up online my enquiries and therefore bookings slow down, so it’s a solid investment for me to make.
- Don’t compare – this is one that I struggle with a lot, when you see people being all the things – a great Mum, a successful business owner, perfectly groomed, exercising and managing a social life. But everyone has different circumstances and different levels of support, and so it’s important to remember you don’t see the whole picture
Images by Bry Penney
I wrote a blog recently on the systems I use in my business, and some of these are driven by my need to be efficient and effective with the time I have in my business, so take a look at that as it may be helpful in managing your business and motherhood. And if there are any aspects of your business you’d like a second pair of eyes on, then my one off 90 minute mentoring calls may be something to consider – let’s take a look at that business issue together, because after 9 years as a brand photographer, I’ve tried a lot of things and worked through a lot of rollercoaster moments!