ZJ_Logo_Slide

 

 

 

EMPOWERING

PHOTOGRAPHERS

TO RUN GREAT

BUSINESSES

LEARN

free resources for

PHOTOGRAPHERS

SHOP

buy & download

TRAINING RESOURCES

ATTEND

events & workshops

NEAR YOU

OUR LATEST POSTS


Reset your business now

Reset your business now

“Success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.” Greg Mckeown - Essentialism Reset Conference We just returned from teaching as the keynote speakers of the Reset Conference in Champaign, IL and it was an awesome...
read more

“Success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.”

Greg Mckeown - Essentialism


Reset Conference

We just returned from teaching as the keynote speakers of the Reset Conference in Champaign, IL and it was an awesome time hanging with the sold-out crowd of 150 photographers that attended.

Being at a conference with the name “Reset” reminded us of something really key. All these photographers were coming to step back and take a look at what they were REALLY doing in their business, and reset if they needed to. All of us want to get on track and get successful, but we learned to navigate what we all want more than anything, success, with a little caution.

One of the worst things that can happen in your brand is to get successful. Because when that happens, you now have tons of great opportunities coming at you and it becomes hard to say YES to what TRULY matters.

 

70ff8678-6a28-4c1d-88fe-a7d2c8207b8d

Photo credit: katelynjames.com

Speaking with our son in tow

Here we were taking 2.5 days to travel, teach, leave our home and our business for the weekend and bring our son along. And you know what? It was really easy and fun!

The reason for that is that we have already “reset” our business and started many years ago to focus on what truly matters most, and not allow lots of opportunity to distract us from our purpose. We have created a business that has margin, so our lives can have the space we need to do things like this and bring our son along for the ride.


How We Made a business with margin

The simple answer to living a life that has margin, is 3 parts:

1. Focus

If we focus on what we should be doing and take our focus OFF of what we should not be doing, we get a clear vision for where we need to go and life gets a lot more simple.

2. Intensity 

Dave Ramsey says that we must be intensely focused on our goals in order to make them into a reality faster. We are hyper focused these days on doing ONLY what matters most.

3. Time

You need quality time spent focused with intensity on what is truly essential to your brand, and when you spend that time MAKING your business behave, it creates what we all dream of, margin.

Margin allows us to bring our son with us to a gig and not feel overwhelmed. Margin allows us to take the morning off and re-connect with each other if we need to. Margin allows us to feel free during our daily working routine and not tied to the million to-do’s we have to get done.

You need margin in your life to create the freedom you need to live, and that comes with focused intensity. (Tweet this out!)

Have an amazing day!


PS.  If you need margin, then be sure to sign up for something we are creating that will give you margin and is going to help give you your life back. Sign up HERE for more info!

…and the point is??

…and the point is??

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What in the world am I doing here and why am I doing this?” “There are far more activities and opportunities in the world than we have time and resources to invest in. And although many of them may be good, or...
read more

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What in the world am I doing here and why am I doing this?”

“There are far more activities and opportunities in the world than we have time and resources to invest in. And although many of them may be good, or even very good, the fact is that most are trivial and few are vital.”

-Greg Mckeown, Essentialism

f89fcc4e-339e-40e0-9edd-f050fef663a0

What am I focused on?

As I (Zach) was on a four hour flight from Nashville to Las Vagas for WPPI two weeks ago, I was reading Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. In his book he asks, “What is your highest point of contribution?” … In essence he’s asking, “What is the one thing that actually matters more in your life and business?”

When I took a moment to answer this question something very interesting happened to me…

I had no answer.

I sat for about 30 minutes pondering what my highest point of contribution was in our business. Still, I didn’t know what it was.

Jody and I were headed out to the biggest wedding and portrait convention in the USA to teach, speak, lead workshops and connect with the people and companies that we work with, and this question kept nagging me…

WHY are we here and WHAT are we doing this for? 

Do you ever find yourself asking that question?

a20b8e9a-a640-4f50-9889-9072fea6ad52

Spread too thin

Oftentimes our lives are so busy just trying to stay afloat with our shoots, clients, spouse, kids, grocery runs, managing the books, cleaning, and just LIFE that it’s hard to have time to focus on what’s really important.

Sometimes we don’t even know what actually IS important.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have someone, or something take care of all the meaningless tasks that distract you from your main contribution – from what’s most important?

This is exactly why we have spent the last year developing a software for wedding photographers that will take care of your business so you can do what you are most excited about; so you can focus on your highest point of contribution.

We created Shootflow so we could get back to what matters most. What matters most to me is my family.

634504cc-16eb-4b66-a68c-cf8a676a97b4

What is your highest point of contribution?

Share with us in the comments the one thing that is the most important to you in your business and in your life. We’d love to hear from you.


 

PS.  Interested in Shootflow? Click here to sign up and be one of the first to find out more!

697e7993-f98f-4d61-8215-2e635c296784

Did you miss the big announcement?

Did you miss the big announcement?

Are you a wedding photographer looking to get your life back? ​ Instead of trying to figure out the best system to keep your clients happy, organized, and energized to tell all their friends about you, wouldn’t it be awesome to just HAVE the perfect system? This is...
read more

Are you a wedding photographer looking to get your life back?

Instead of trying to figure out the best system to keep your clients happy, organized, and energized to tell all their friends about you, wouldn’t it be awesome to just HAVE the perfect system?

This is exactly what we have been working on, just for you.

697e7993-f98f-4d61-8215-2e635c296784

For more information you can sign up HERE.

Watch our videos that released last week sharing more about this exciting piece of software!

The #1 Question Photographers Ask

video1

 

The Biggest Pain You Face as a Photographer

video2

 

What it Really takes to Succeedvideo3

 

PS. Shootflow will go into Beta soon, and we are only taking a very limited amount of sign-ups when it launches, so if you want it, sign up now!

When to say “adios” to your day job

When to say “adios” to your day job

  One of the most common questions we get asked from photographers is, “When is it a smart decision to quit my day job?” If you’re in that position, we want to help guide you through that tough decision to make! It was 8 years ago that we...
read more

e1354669516

 

One of the most common questions we get asked from photographers is, “When is it a smart decision to quit my day job?” If you’re in that position, we want to help guide you through that tough decision to make!

It was 8 years ago that we decided to pursue photography as a career. At that point in our lives, Zach worked for a company that photographed and produced images for grade-school yearbooks, and Jody worked in international sales and marketing for a record label. We learned learned a lot over the years about how to keep our business functioning day in and day out and one of the hardest decisions we had to make early on in our business was quitting our day jobs.

The struggle came when we were gaining huge momentum and found ourselves in the middle of shooting 30+ weddings our 2nd year into business and we both were working crazy hard. Zach had quit his job 10 months prior but Jody was working 80-90 hour weeks between her day job and photography.  We had a come-to-Jesus-meeting about how much time we were spending business building vs. marriage building (business building was WAY significantly more) and sat down and decided that WE were going to take control of our future.

We sought the advice of a few different counselors including the brilliant financial mind of Dave Ramsey. We wrote out our plan, did what was right based on our marriage relationship, and what we needed instead of what we feared (losing our “security” of the day jobs) and moved forward. We ended the year with a bang and our business continued to thrive and grow each year after.

So how did we practically make the leap?  What were the steps we took?

 

1. Income: 
adios
When your side business (e.g. your photography) is netting (what you make after expenses) 50% of what your making in your day job, then that is one sign that you are moving into the right position to quit your day job. Because your are only half-committed to the side business due to the limited amount of time you have to put into it, once you quit the day job and have an extra 40 hours free per-week (plus the mental freedom you gain not having your attention divided) then you can easily make up the difference in your income. Do NOT quit your day job, then just keep working the same amount of hours per-week in your photography business and think you will somehow succeed. You have to give it more attention and not less, and nothing will get you more motivated to win then having everything riding on you and your ability to go out and make it happen!

 

2. Debt: 
adios2
We are strong believers in building your business debt free and living debt free because it gives us the ability to do what we want when we want, and not be worse off then when we started if the business doesn’t work out. If you have serious mounting personal debt, you may be asking for trouble if your financial affairs aren’t in order before you quit your day job. If something bad can happen, it will (Murhpy’s law) and what we want to do in life is try and alleviate as much risk as we can. Paying down our debt and getting that monkey off our back is crucial to feeling financially stable when taking a risk like starting your own full time business. Now, we are not saying that you can’t start a biz if you have debt, but we are suggesting that you become debt free (or at least work on that as hard as you can) to help alleviate risk. (For more info on learning how to become debt free like we did, visit http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu – this changed our lives!!).

 

3. Emergency Fund: 
adios3
When you start working for yourself full-time, you will quickly realize that you can have months of plenty, and months of want. You need to learn how to work with an irregular income and budget for times when you have nothing (taking Dave Ramsey’s  Financial Peace University will help with this as well as our Business Finances Videos we did on our blog).

 

The first step in doing that when quitting your day job is building a serious emergency fund.  Figure out (to the dollar) exactly how much cash you need to live per-month at the bare minimum (paying your light bill, gas, food, rent/mortgage and so forth). When making the leap to go full time, we suggest having a 6 month minimum emergency fund. That way, you can go 6 months straight without making one dollar and still pay for your life.  The question to ask yourself is, “Do you really think you won’t book ONE gig for 6 months?”  The answer is no, but it’s a great thing to have in case of good ‘ol Murphy. You never know what’s around the corner. The more money in your fund the better, and be sure to NEVER touch that money unless you absolutely have to. (We keep our emergency in a money market that has check writing privileges).

 

4. Client Management System: 
adios4
The last thing you want to have happen when you go full time is you get tons of clients (with all this new time and energy you have to invest) and start getting super busy, and then let the management of your business go to the wayside and then your clients start falling in the cracks.  This results in them having a negative experience with you and things can go downhill from there.  When you get busy, you need to have a killer system to help you stay organized, and keep your new clients happy. When they get unhappy, there goes your referrals, then soon there goes your business!

 

Start by writing down a systems manual for all the processes you have in your day to day business with your clients. From when to send them certain emails before and after booking, when to schedule shoots with them, when to send the questionnaire to get all wedding details, what order to back up images, when to edit the shots and so on and so forth. There is a ton of things to do, and you need to have them all written down in a step-by-step process and check them all of as you go. That will let you know that everything is getting done, and will keep your clients smiling and happy week in and week out!  (We did this in Excel and Word documents for awhile and you can also use great systems like Pixifi!).

 

5. Make a Plan & DO IT: 
adios5
If it’s not on the calendar, it will never happen. This seems obvious, but most of us don’t take the leap because it is just that. A leap! Fear cripples most wantrepreneur’s (those that want to be entrepreneur’s) and stops them from ever achieving their dream. Be assured that once you have the above, you ARE in a position to do this and you CAN do it! Believe in yourself that you can win and you can succeed and you CAN have an amazing business and do what you love and get paid to do it! You have to put in the hard work, then take that leap of faith and go for it. If you are really scared, and don’t believe that you can do it and that something terrible will happen if you try, ask yourself this; “What is the worst possible scenario that could happen to me?” Tim Ferris says “Do you really think that you will be standing on the street corner, with a tin cup asking for money?” Of course not! You can always get another day job, so go for it and live that dream that you have been wanting to live.

 

It is always exciting to hear the stories of photographers who have made the leap.  We have all been there and you are not alone!  Take the leap!!!

PS. Next week, we’re going to share a brand-new video series on the secrets to running a successful photography business. As a subscriber, you’ll get it for free. But if you want to share this with a friend, please click this link to tweet it: http://ctt.ec/4wVa4.

twitter

GET YOUR FREE LIGHTING E-BOOK
OptinMonster allows you to explode your email list by using our incredible exit intent technology.

CONNECT WITH US

Workshops Resources joinus

Contact_Footer

GET IN TOUCH

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY.
WE HOPE YOU ENJOY EXPLORING THE SITE.
IF YOU’RE NOT SURE WHERE TO START, TRY SOME OF OUR QUICK LINKS