Welcome back to another episode of the Business Journey Podcast. Today’s episode is really important to me because it’s something I did wrong my entire first year of business. I learned quickly afterwards that I didn’t want my business running on a trajectory that put me in a space of exhaustion and burnout. So, today I want to share some tips that are super practical to help you avoid burnout and tackle your busy season. These tips will help you feel in control, fresh, and ready to keep working!
Before we jump into those tips, I want to remind you that I do have my FREE Mini Sessions class running right now. In this class, you’ll learn how to elevate your client experience – without more stress for you, and improve your marketing strategies so that you can become fully booked. If you’re ready for those tips (and more!), sign up here. Now, onto those tips!
I learned this from Ashlyn Carter. She’s a copywriter and she’s always helped me believe that it is possible to work from a place of rest and not hustle. It seems like so many people in our industry are always pushing and “hustling”. The truth is that you don’t have to work from that pace to be successful. Sure, working from a place of rest might take you a little longer, but it will be more fulfilling in the end. My first year in business, I photographed over 100 families. By the time the fall ended, I was burnt out. I wanted to sleep for a whole week and I couldn’t. Life kept going on around me. And I decided in that moment, I couldn’t do that again. The tips I’m about to share will help you find this margin and breathing room, too. It’s such an amazing feeling!
Anything you do for your clients from the session, editing, or post-processing, write it out. I know you think you know it and you have it all in your head, but when you’re in the middle of a busy season… something is going to be forgotten. And even if it’s not, you’re going to just feel crazy overwhelmed. So these written processes are what you come to lean on when the crazy hits. Our checklists help make sure every single client is given the same experience, no matter how busy we are. Our team uses Trello and if you’re in Behind the Lens, we actually talk about our exact system and process for this software (plus you’ll get a template for our workflows!).
One thing that’s important in avoiding burnout is to know your capacity and to stick with it. It’s one thing to know you’ve reached capacity, but it’s another entirely to actually stick to it and tell people “no”. Just because there’s white space or margin in your calendar and life doesn’t mean you need to fill it with bookings. Being completely overwhelmed because you can’t say “no” doesn’t help anyone. It leads directly to burn out and if you’re running at 120% all the time, you’re never going to have time to recover. Frankly, it’s not sustainable or healthy for you or your business.
I probably sound like a broken record because we talk about outsourcing and automation a lot, but I truly believe and am passionate about both! Look through your client experience and see what you can automate in your CRM (like Dubsado). After you’ve done that, determine what you can outsource to someone else. I know it can be hard to let go of your editing or writing, but if it saves you time and someone can do it just as well – if not better – than you, why wouldn’t you let them help? You can read about my experience with outsourcing my editing HERE.
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t write something down or put it on my calendar, it won’t happen. So literally, plan your rest in. Block off certain days or weeks that you won’t be shooting. It’s a non-negotiable appointment now and your whole job is to rest. If you plan to rest, you’ll have much more to give to your business and your family/relationships. Trust me!
I hope that these tips help you avoid burnout as we go into a super busy fall. I want you to be able to thrive through your busiest seasons and take them in stride, instead of letting them run you. You deserve that and your family, relationships and clients deserve that too.
Working from a place of rest (2:17)
Write out processes ahead of time (5:16)
Know your capacity (7:19)
Automate + outsource (11:54)
Plan your rest (13:44)
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