Hey, friends, welcome back to the Business Journal podcast, I'm Rebecca, and I was just so glad to be here with you today. Today, we are celebrating the fact that I have been full time in my photography business for a whole year. I can't believe it's been a whole year. There have been so many things that have gone great, that have been rough, and we've just learned so many things along the way. So I'm going to get to dive into, you know, what my journey has looked like and why we just went full time, even though we've been in photography for a long time and the lessons that I learned from a year full time. So before we go too far, I wanted to let you know about a freebie that I have available for you if you want to check it out. I mentioned it last week, but I know some people may not have heard or didn't take advantage. So I wanted to let you know that especially as we're leading into mini session season, I have a freebie for you that I've put together my 12 best proven ideas for booked out mini sessions. These are themes for many sessions that I have done that other photographers have done that are sure to book out. So if you want a good starting place for, you know, planning for your families, this is a great place to start, is completely free to you. You can grab it today at Rebeccarricephoto.com/12ideas. That's one, two ideas. One word. You can go grab that today and I'll link it in the show notes so it's super easy to grab. Let's dive into our topic today. I'm really excited and I want to give a little bit of context because I know maybe some of you have not been following me for that long or whatnot, because when you hear that I've been full time in my business for a year, you may be like, wait a minute, I'm learning from a newbie. This girl is new in her business. No, no, no, no, no. Our story looks a little bit different. I was actually in full time ministry. I was on staff at our church for nine years. And the last five of those nine years, I was a youth pastor there. So that had been the only job I ever had. I literally was hired while I was in high school. I was 17 years old on their staff, and it was just the best experience I could have ever asked for. I learned so much. I think there were some great times. There are some difficult times, but that's what it comes with, you know, a job in ministry. So I started my photography business while I was full time at the church, and I did it part time by choice for a few years because I knew that I you know, it's called some ministry. That was exactly where the Lord had us. And photography was just a fun outlet. Now, in the first year of my photography business, I actually surpassed my full time income, which was unexpected. I did it, you know, expect it to go that well. But it did. And again, that was just, you know, doing photography part time, primarily doing mini sessions. And that's why I'm a huge believer in minis, but surpassed my full time income in my first year. And so I could have gone full time at that point and chose not to because I didn't want to. I was totally content with my full time ministry job. And so I kept photography as a side gig by choice for a couple more years. And it was great. My business continued to grow and flourish and I just loved doing it on the side. It was a great outlet for me. I like a creative outlet. When I was full time at the church last summer, the Lord really started moving my heart, my husband's heart, that we were going to make the move to Nashville, Tennessee. We were in the north Dallas area in Texas. So moving to Nashville, it was one of those things like we kind of knew we would always end up in Nashville. My husband is a musician and an audio producer. And so it's like this is the land of his people. But we never really knew the right time. And last summer it was made really clear that now is the time. And so we transitioned off of staff at the church. I ended up going full time in my business last July, and my husband Daniel joined me full time in September. So now both of us are full time in our business. And it has just been the most incredible and rewarding experience and honestly the most unexpected experience, because I never I joke around him like I never asked for this life. I didn't really want to be home with my kids. Like I was always the person that said I can never be a stay at home mom. I don't really have a reason for that. I just I loved working and I don't know, I feel like I'm not that patient sometimes. So I said I would never be a stay at home mom, but I got the chance. Last spring when covid first hit, I stayed home and worked from home for a month with my kids and I loved every second of it. It was the most incredible time and I loved it. And so that really gave me the confidence to be able to run this business and stay home with my kids. So in July, we made that leap and I went first. Full time in our business, and then my husband joined us or joined me as my husband joined me in September, and since then we have been working home with our kids. It's just been the most incredible experience. So along the way, I've learned so much. And, you know, there have been times that it was easy. There have been times that it has been really hard. And I wanted to share some of those lessons that I've learned, whether you're in that season full time in your business or maybe you're like me, where you were part time in your business, wherever you are. I want to be able to walk through some of those lessons that I learned in the in this season, this past year, so that maybe it can help you, too. And sorry if you hear a dog whining in the background, our kids just got home. They're like trumpet around upstairs. So the dog is, like, really excited and wants to see them. So let's jump into the first lesson that I want to talk about from, you know, being full time in my business. And that was that finding a rhythm, working full time from home was a lot harder than I thought it would be. You know, when you work full time for somebody else from home, of course, it's still challenging, but they control your hours and they control like what you do when whereas working for yourself, it's like there's nobody there telling you what to do or when it should be done. And I'm naturally very self-motivated. So it wasn't a problem of like, oh, I just don't want to do anything because I love working and I love, you know, just growing my business. So it was exciting for me any time I got to, you know, get to work. But our rhythm as a family, it was really hard to nail down. I think a year later, we're just now settling into a rhythm that really works for our family. So when we first started, my husband and I were full time. Our kids are actually still in daycare because we kept them in daycare until we actually moved to Nashville in November. So for a couple of months they were at daycare and we were at home working. And that was a super easy season, you know, not having the kids here and getting to really dive in and get things done. We filmed an entire course during that season so that because we knew, like, once the kids are home, it would be really hard to, you know, film courses and things like that. So we were able to utilize that season super strategically, but as soon as we moved, our kids were then home with us. And so we try to sort of working whenever we could. So it was like we would just be with the kids all day. And then we'd like work during naptime, you know, that naptime hustle or like once the kids went to bed. And for me that was really, really hard. I did not process that very well. It was really difficult for me not having a good, solid work routine. I do really well with structure and having it so unstructured didn't go well. So in that time we were actually in a townhome also that definitely played a role in it being difficult because our townhome was very small. We had two bedrooms, it was a townhouse, we had two stories, but we still really, really small. And so we were just struggling with it all, sharing the same space and everything like that. There was a lot of transition that came with that move. And then in March, we moved into our house. And so it's been a lot better, like all having our own space. Daniel has a whole basement studio. I have my own office for the first time. So that really helped getting our own space. And when we moved into our house, we transitioned to having scheduled work times. I knew that for me to be able to like function well and to be the best that I could and work the best that I could, that I wanted like set work times. And I think, you know, for the way that me and Daniel communicate to it really helped to have a clear expectation of, like, when he's going to be with the kids or when I'm going to be with the kids so that we could tag team and both get our work done, because that's when it got really hard, was we were having a hard time trying to find when I was going to work versus when he was going to work and then juggle the kids at the same time. So by putting that set work schedule together, that really, really helped us. And like my work times are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from eight to noon, sometimes I can go longer. I just know that I'm best in the morning. And after lunch I'm pretty much dead and I take a nap and I'm not very productive, so I'm super productive in the morning. So I decided that that would be my work time. Daniel, on the other hand, is really productive in the afternoon and evening, so it worked really well. He kind of is slow to rise in the mornings. His brain is, you know, still not quite a week yet. So it worked well to have me have my work time during my best hours. And he would be with the kids and then he would have his best hours in the afternoon and I would be with the kids. So by putting together that schedule, it really helped our family rhythm. And then in the past month, we actually are, I guess, the past couple of months we brought on a part time nanny. So she, is with our kids now, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, because for a season, we are taking our kids to a drop in daycare during our work times and that was fine, but we just found that having the nanny here works a lot better because we're able to, like, see our kids and, you know, take a hug and snuggle breaks and whatnot and then know that they're going to the playground and they're going on adventures and just being loved on so well individually. And so we hired a nanny. She comes, you know, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from eight to four during our work times. And we're able to really get a lot done. Daniel's been saying that he has been the most productive he's ever been bringing on our nanny. And so that was something that he honestly it was really hard for him to, like, say yes to us bringing on a nanny. I thought of it as outsourcing. I'm like, you know what? I outsource things in my business. It's OK to outsource some things in our personal lives, too. And he was really hesitant. He just did it. He thought it may be wasteful, like bringing in somebody when we are home. But after about a month, you know, no, after like the first week, he was totally bought it. And he's like, you know what? Yes, this is great. I see the value and we're able to get so much done. So that was a really good step for our family. And I think now we've been doing this for a couple of months and it has been the best. Like we finally found a rhythm that works super well, that everybody's happy. You know, I'm happy because I'm able to get my stuff done. Daniel's happy because he's able to get his stuff done. The kids are happy. I mean, everything is going so, so well. And then on those off days, Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekends, we those are just family days. We take the days off and we go play and, you know, hang out. It's we rest whatever we need to refuel. And it's just so great finding that rhythm was definitely harder than we thought. But being able to be now in a rhythm that works, it's just so, so good. So took us a while, but we're finally here and it's we're in a really good place. The next lesson that I learned from going full time was that Batching was key. So if you've never heard the term batching, basically it's a time management principle that you do like things together. For example, if I know that a blog post needs to go out instead of just writing one blog post, I can sit down and write for blog posts. If I know that, you know, a podcast has to go out instead of just recording one podcast, I record four podcasts. By batching things, I'm able to maximize my time better. So I know that, you know, my workday is very limited and I really try not to work on, you know, our family days, Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekend. And so the times that I am in my office, I am very, very intentional with the way that I use my time. And so by batching things, I know, you know, Fridays is my podcast day. So on Fridays I'm going to be recording podcasts or whatever. So for you, if you're going to try batching, maybe it's like instead of sending off photo galleries, like once they're done, wait until you have three or four from the week and send all of them at the same time. Or if an email has to go out, sit down and do several emails, whatever means to do that. But batching has been super, super helpful. The next thing that has really helped going full time and I guess like I already mentioned this and like skipping ahead of my notes, but it was, if possible, hire help. So bringing on Shelby our nanny has been incredible. And it was one of those things. Like I said, we were really hesitant, but I'm so glad we did. So if you're in a season where you're like trying to figure out if you want to hire help, I'm telling you it is so worth it. So definitely look into that. And then another lesson I learned is that it's really scary relying on just our business to support our family. This was a hurdle for me because I like to be in control. Right. I'm a control freak. And not knowing what are our paycheck is going to look like each month is really scary because going from a regular full time job where you have a guaranteed paycheck is very different once you switch to full time in your business and the paycheck depends on how well the business does. And so I felt a lot of pressure, especially in the beginning with our whole family income comes from this business because my husband and I both do it. So there's a lot of pressure there of like, oh my gosh, now we have to provide for our family through this business. It's not just fun, like it is fun, but there's pressure that's added. And then not only that, I now have a team, I have several full time employees and a couple of part time employees and contractors that I pay every month. And like now, their livelihoods and their families rely on our business doing well. And so that was an adjustment. And it really honestly took me coming to a place of truly trusting God to provide. And he does. Every month, our bills are paid. It can be kind of tight sometimes, but overall, you know, we've never had a month where we've gone without and that has been awesome to just see that. So it has been scary. And I want to put that out there because that's real. Like, it's a real emotion that full time business owners feel that pressure. But I think the thing that helps the most alleviate that pressure is having a budget, planning ahead and knowing what revenue is expected to come in and then pivot and get creative when we need revenue. So whatever that looks like, that was a big lesson. I think I learned this year that I just didn't expect it to be so scary. But it's been great. It really has. And then the last lesson that I learned, not the last, but the last I'm going to mention here, I'm telling you, this could go on for hours because I feel like I've learned so much over the past year and I'm just continuing to learn every day. But the last thing I really want to talk about today was I learned that being home with my kids has been the biggest unexpected blessing. Like I said, I never planned to be home with my kids. I never planned for my husband and I to both be home with my kids. So it was so unexpected and truly was the biggest blessing because, you know, as a working mom, I worked full time for so long with my kids in daycare, I didn't realize that I missed eating lunch together like something so simple. Putting them down for naps like it has been so sweet to be able to experience those things that I never, like really got to experience, you know, of course I would on the weekends, but it was just so cool. It still is so cool that we can go on a walk whenever we want or make a random family target run just for fun, like the fact that we work for ourselves and we control our own hours. If we want to go out to eat for lunch randomly one day like we can do that. It's so weird, like getting to control my own schedule because I went for so long having a very rigid schedule and getting not much vacation time. And so that's also been fun, like getting to travel a ton. We're gone like at least once a month. And, you know, there was a season where every other week for like two months we were traveling. And I think we were just like super excited for the fact that we could travel because we didn't have to ask anybody for time off. So we, like, really went all in on that. So it got to a point where we were like, you know, I kind of just want to be home for a little bit. So that's what we're doing right now. We're kind of in a season of just being home for a little bit, which is fine. The fact that if we want to up and go to the beach like we can whenever we want, just throw everybody in the car and book an Airbnb, you know. So that has just been so awesome and just a blessing that I never asked for. But I'm so grateful and I I will never, like, take advantage of the fact that we get to live this lifestyle. I think that, you know, it's one that, like I said, I never planned on living, but I couldn't see going back to a like full time job where I work for somebody else, like the freedom that we're experiencing. I'm enjoying so, so much and just getting to have so much family time. And it's just incredible. So if you're one of those people that like your part time and not sure if you want to go full time, I'm telling you, do it if it's feasible. Don't just jump in a full time. Like, if you can't, it's really important that you can actually, like, support your family and things like that or, you know, cover bills or whatever. But if it's a possibility, I'll tell you, it is the coolest lifestyle to be able to live and just have the freedom and the flexibility to do so much. It it's just been so awesome. And I will forever be grateful and I will tell anybody and everybody that it's just the most I mean, it's the most awesome lifestyle that I've ever experienced. And so if you can work your way there, I highly suggest doing it because it's just been so incredible. There you have it. Those are some lessons that I learned from my first year full time. I feel like I have so much more to say on this, so maybe I will later. Maybe this is just part one. But I hope this was, I don't know, inspiring, helpful to listen to. I know it's super personal, but I wanted to just share that with you guys to show, like, what our year has looked like. And it hasn't always been easy. And even in those rough seasons, God is so faithful and he just provides and it's been so awesome just to see this whole journey that we've been on. And I can't wait to see, you know, what our journey continues to look like as it unfolds, because I know that there's just so many good things ahead. So anyway, thanks for tuning in, you guys. I know this was a little bit more personal, but I want to share that with you because you guys are like my family, ya'll are my tribe, and I want to share that. So thank you so much for those that listened. If something like in here are like stuck out to you, messaged me on Instagram and let's talk about it. You can find me @Rebeccaricephotography and  I would love to just, like, chat with you. Let's talk about life, let's talk about, you know, the real things, how it gets hard, how it's, you know, the fun things, whatever it is you want to chat about, let's do it, because I love just getting to talk and have real conversations with you guys. It's so awesome. So with that, we'll go ahead and close out today's episode. We will see you again next week at this time. Have an awesome week, guys. Bye.

Episode Transcript

26.  Lessons Learned from a Year Full Time