Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the Business Journey podcast, I'm your host, Rebecca, and today we're hitting part two of the case study of my business in 2021, where last week we talked all about how I built an associate team this year and how we launched that and scaled it. And then in this episode, we're going to go a little bit different direction. Still, looking back at my business, but looking at what it looked like in my first year full time in my business. So it's going to be an awesome episode before we go too far. I did want to let you know about a free guide that I have just for you guys that basically will help you step by step to make your first $3000 in a single date of many sessions. So if you've never made $3000 or more in a single day to Minis, this blueprint is for you. I like to call it a blueprint because it's kind of like a house blueprint. It's repeatable, it's proven, and all you do is follow the steps. And so this guide, this blueprint, it's literally like step by step outlining what you need to do to make your first $3000 in mini sessions. So we'll link below, but you can find it at Rebeccaricephoto.com/3K-minis. That's the number three the letter K Dash Minis. Definitely check that out. So again, if you haven't listened to part one of this little case study here last week's episode, pause this go.  Give it a list. Thanks, and we'll give you some context of where we're at in my business for 2021. But here we are in part two. So I wanted to really focus in on what it looked like having this be our first full year, full time. So if you didn't know my husband and I, we moved from Dallas to Nashville last November, and when we did, both of us went full time in our business, so I never had any intentions to go full time in photography. I really thought that I would stay part time as a side gig just for fun because I loved my full time job. I was a youth pastor. I had been at that church full time for nine years and I love doing that. So really, photography was just something fun on the side, and I never intended it to be my full time job, let alone mine and my husband's full time job. So when we moved to Nashville, just the way the trips fell, this ended up being both of our full time jobs. And we're so, so grateful because I feel like this was something that we didn't know we wanted, and it has just been an incredible season to be able to live in. You know, so much freedom and flexibility and to travel whenever we want, and it's just been wonderful. We did learn a lot. And so it's definitely been an adjustment period, especially since we were used to both of us working a day job and our kids being in daycare to now. All of a sudden, all of us are at home at the same time. So I had, you know, I'd never been a stay at home mom before. He had never been a stay at home dad or, you know, work from home mom and work from home dad. But either way, that's where we found ourselves. So at the beginning of this year, we were living in a townhouse, so we were waiting on our house to be built. It was going to be done in March. So until then, the first few months we were in this townhouse, all in very close quarters, the kids were all home and we were trying to get work done. And honestly, we found it very, very difficult. And even when we moved into our house, we started off trying to just like take turns with the kids. So I would be working while Daniel was with the kids, and then he would work while I was with the kids, and it was just very hard on us as a family to like. That schedule just did not work well. And so one of the things I did early in the year that really made a big difference for us was that I set work hours for myself. So, you know, starting the year, we were just kind of working whenever and when the kids are now being or, you know, after bedtime or if not took them to the park, then I would get work done or vice versa. And that was just not ideal for us. And so I very much like the structure, especially since I'm a morning person, pretty much after lunch. I'm useless because I'm exhausted. I take a nap every single day, which fun fact you didn't know that about me. I do. I take a nap every day. And so really, after lunch, I'm so unproductive that it's just not helpful. And so for me, I work my best in the mornings and I know that about myself. And so that's something that I wanted to sort of implement was I wanted to set work hours for myself during my best hours. So I decided, OK, from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Monday, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, those would be my work hours. Whatever I could get done in those times, I would whatever I couldn't, I would outsource because I just did not have the time of the day. I knew I wanted to still, you know, have certain days that I'm spending fully with my kids. I wanted to do the stay at home mom life, but I also needed to get some work done. And so during those hours, I worked for myself and we started leaving our kids at a drop in daycare, which was a fine solution for the time being. The only problem was it was far from us, so we were spending twenty twenty five minutes driving to the place to drop the kids off. So there's almost an hour of driving just to get the kids where they needed to be so that we could start our work day. So that was difficult, but it helped at least having work hours. I could tell after the first week, I'm like, Yes, this is it. It's making a huge difference. I love having work hours because I was used to a structured day. And when you go from super structured to working for yourself, it can be an adjustment to learn like I have to manage my own time and you know, I'm responsible for my own time. So it really helped me to set actual work hours so that I felt like, you know, I knew when I was going to work and I knew and I wasn't going to work and set those boundaries and keep them. So we did the drop in daycare for a little bit. We moved into our house, which was so much better once we had, you know, more space. But even then, it was still, you know, kind of rough with the drop in daycare because of the time commitment just to take the kids there and to go pick them up. And they don't do naps at that drop in daycare. And my kids are toddlers, their nap age. And so we would go pick him up before nap time. And it was a lot. So we ended up hiring on a nanny who came part time with us and those three days a week during my work hours, she would be here, you know, go take the kids to the playground or to a museum or the discovery center or wherever they're going. So she would take the kids. And it was amazing knowing that, for one, we didn't have to drive our kids anywhere to, like, drop them off at a daycare that she was coming to our home. It was wonderful because we got to, you know, if I had a slower morning than I could join them for breakfast or, you know, whatever. But if I had meetings, then I had the flexibility and the freedom to be able to step away and know that they were being loved and taking care of. So bringing her on made a huge difference that all of a sudden our kids were super happy. They were loving, you know, the time they got to spend with her and they didn't feel like they were like missing me and Daniel when we were at our, you know, work times. And then whenever work time was over, we got we get to hang out with them and it's just awesome. It's been the best of both worlds. It was just a big deal. And for us, the nanny thing was, you know, that's what worked for our family. And so that's something that we really learned how we operate best as a family and what rhythms and routines work best as a family. You know, I was learning how to be a stay at home mom and like, you know, where do I take my kids? What do we do? And so we started creating rhythms just as a family. So when I wasn't working on Tuesdays, we go to the library. It's just what we do every Tuesday. My kids look forward to it and they're excited about it. And then on Thursdays, Maddie has gymnastics class, so that's something we do every Thursday and that hope to have something on each day. Now, of course, you know, somedays will go to the playground, some days will go to the Discovery Center or wherever. But having like something for the kids to look forward to, they just thrive in routine. They thrive in. And maybe it's just my kids. Some kids don't thrive in routine, but mine you, Maddie is very much like type a. It wants to know what's going on, likes having a plan. And so for her, that really and she's four years old. So for her, that's what worked best and just as a family. So it was quite an adjustment. But and I would say it honestly took us like five or six months, the first five or six months of the year to really grab hold of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to structure our schedules. But once we really fell into that rhythm, it made a big difference. The other piece of the puzzle was all of a sudden my husband, I were traveling a ton. So in the fall I think we got we, I. I got a little excited because working at the church, we just didn't have the flexibility to be able to travel very often. We didn't get it much time off. It just wasn't a thing. And so now all of a sudden, we can travel wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. So we started booking all these trips, and many of them we were shooting and, you know, filming the sessions for behind the lens and all the things, which that's my monthly membership. And if you didn't know. We have a membership for family photographers where we need to show you the behind the scenes of me shooting. But in all of that, we realized that it was just a lot of travel in a short amount of time, and we actually didn't like traveling that much in that amount of time. So something that we learned this year about ourselves do is like, sometimes we bite off. I keep saying we I'm talking about me. I bite off more than I can chew.
And so for next year, we're going to be more intentional with when we set our travel days and things like that, which I'll talk about that a little bit more in a couple of weeks when we talk about him prepping for Q1 of next year. But part of that is we're going to be traveling less just intentionally. Maybe we'll only take one trip a month instead of three or whatever. I'm telling you, you guys, we traveled like pretty much the whole month of October. We weren't even home, so it was a little bit wild. But overall it worked out. So aside from that, another thing that we really learned Daniel and I was learning how to work together and how we work best together because we went from having our own jobs, which we both worked at the church. So we were like around each other. But we weren't, you know, working, you know, hand-in-hand with each other on stuff, we were in different departments to all of a sudden now we're both running this business together and we've never worked together like this in this capacity. And so we had a lot to learn of what our tendencies are and how we communicate and, you know, setting boundaries on work time versus just family time. And so one of the things that I really had to work on from the start is I love working. I love my business. I always have. I think it's fun to, you know, dream and think and plan and all that. But I wasn't doing a good job of turning it off where Daniel and I would be fixing dinner and I would be talking to you about business stuff. He's like, you know, can you like turn off the business stuff for a little bit like, we're done with the workday and let's just have family time and like, you know, hey, you're right. Like, I didn't realize that he could still like, consider that work time. Even though it was fun for me and it was exciting for me to talk about. It was still technically work stuff. And so I had to set better boundaries to say, OK, when I log off my computer, I'm going to shut it and leave it in my office. I'm not bring it out with me because if my computer is out in the living room, it's so easy for me to say, Oh, I'll just open it and check one email, or I'll just open it and, you know, do this one thing. And then of course, you get sucked into doing all the things. So I had to say, OK, when my work days, then I'm going to close my computer and leave it in my office. Whatever I did not get done. I'll do my next work day or I'll outsource. Those were my choices. I end up getting really good at outsourcing you guys because I had to. I had so much to get done. I just I was not willing to sacrifice my days off where I was with my family, with my kids, because those were days that I committed to being off. So that was one tendency that I didn't realize I had that I, you know, been working on. Another thing that I realized was, I need hard deadlines where when Daniel and I are working together, especially on things like the podcast or our YouTube channel or behind the lens, a lot of times we find that he's like waiting on me for stuff. And so I've had to get better about setting myself hard deadlines because, you know, nobody's there setting deadlines for me. I've got to set them myself because I'm the business owner. And so I started having to learn how to set better deadlines for myself so that Daniel could have the time he needed to be able to get things done. Because if y'all don't know, Daniel does all of our audio and video for the business, and so anything you hear or see is probably him. He does an awesome job and but he can't do his job if I'm not getting my part to him in time. So I have the saying. I like to say your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency for me. And so I've, you know, I've said that for years, and Daniel recently started throwing it back at me. He's like, Love your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency for me. And like I know, because I would say, Hey, just record the podcast. Also, we made it to the team in two days and he's like, Hello, why can't we be ahead on this? Like, that's not my emergency, because you planned late. So and he's totally right. So thankfully, I've gotten better at getting things done ahead of time, but that was something that I had, you know, learned about myself working with him. Something that, you know, Daniel, we learned was a tendency is he was in a really I wouldn't say it's a bad habit, but he was in a habit of telling me things that needed to be communicated to the team. So as a team, we have a Slack channel where that's where we house most of our communication, either on Slack or in Trello, where we plan like certain workflows and stuff like that. So, you know, we get something done. And he would say, Hey, can you tell Kat, I got, you know, such and such. And I was like, No, like, you can slack Kat. And that was an adjustment for him because he's like, Well, I told you and you can tell her, and I had to remind him, like we were different hats. And, you know, in this situation as coworkers, like, it's not my job to go tell Kat something that would be his job to go tell Kat something. So that was an interesting adjustment. Just learning, you know that I can't be his middleman here. You know, we're all part of a team and there are times that he's got to communicate with people that I'm not the middleman because that's not my role in the team. But overall, it's been really great working together. And, you know, we're not in the same office and people ask, like, Oh, do you guys like shared office and how Dustin there? No, we're not in the same office. Daniel has a studio in the basement, so he's downstairs in the basement, working while I'm in my office working, and that tends to go well. Occasionally, he'll get done with his stuff, or he'll be a little bored and he'll come and just sit in my office just hanging out, which is fine because I don't mind. I still get work done, but it's been fun just adjusting to like learning to work together on a team. I feel like there are some areas where we can still use improvement, and I feel like that's just how life goes, how marriage goes, that there's always things that you work on. And I know that will only get better working on this thing together. So there you have it. Here's are like look back at 2021. Here's part two. Kind of going through what it looked like for us to go full time and the adjustments we needed to make as a family. So it's been an awesome year. Overall, I've been just really pleased with how things have gone and we've learned so much and we're really, really excited for what next year has in store and, you know, getting to dream and to continue to grow this thing. So thanks so much for listening. If this was helpful for you or you want to like chat about what it's like going full time, whether you want to go full time or maybe you've already gone full time and you're still trying to figure out some of those things, those rhythms and routines and whatnot as a family like definitely reach out to me. You can DM me on Instagram at Rebecca Rice Photography and I would love to just chat through stuff. I'm all about the candid conversations. And so if you need encouragement, if you need advice, if you just want to talk to somebody and say, Hey, great episode like whatever floats your boat, I'm there for you. So thanks so much for listening, you guys. We have an awesome episode in store for next week, so we will see you the same time then bye, guys.

46. A Look Back: 2021 Case Study of my Business (part 2)