After venting I received this comment in response… “Leah, thank you for being real; thank you for being honest. I needed to read this post more than you know. I’m a newbie and I love this amazing adventure the Lord and I are on together but, I too am exhausted right now. …. I am so grateful for my photography business and the absolute joy it brings but how do I slow it down so that I can enjoy celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with my precious family?”
I always notice the buzz before the phone rings, I looked over to see what the caller id displayed… It was one of my very best friends, I wanted so bad to talk with her – I needed her. As I looked at the phone and saw her name and smiling face on my screen and then looked back at my desk I wondered if I could spare a few minutes to chat. As all of that flashed through my mind within a second I couldn’t help what I felt as I let the phone go to voicemail.
You see, I planned to take the month of December off. The whole month. After the 2nd I was done shooting, would only need to edit a couple of those images and the rest would be taken care of by the 2 awesome gals who keep my business running smoothly. I was going to actually watch a movie (the whole thing) with my kiddo’s, make lots of hot chocolate and take them out to play over and over again. That was the plan and I had worked my self silly to make sure it would happen.
Everything was falling into place just as I’d planned it and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was really really proud of myself. I had said no when I needed to, worked as hard as I could when the opportunity presented and I was ready to be all theirs for the whole month… And then the news came that my assistant, Kathy’s world crumbled when her sweet husband had a stroke on the Monday after Thanksgiving (please leave your prayers with them) I was trying to do her job and mine and over two weeks later, I’m still trying to finish it all.
Now I have to say – if I’ve shed a few tears over my frustrations, it doesn’t hold a candle to the tears that Kathy has had to shed. Feeling out of control and powerless is the worst feeling in the whole world. I’ll get through this and I’ll keep powering through till I get caught up. The wonderful thing is that I didn’t have anything on the schedule for Dec so I’m only playing catch up not getting buried further and further. Thank goodness. Anyway I wanted to explain a little better what had happened and tell you my plan for NEXT YEAR…
NEXT YEAR… I will do my own family pictures in September.
NEXT YEAR… I will order my Christmas Cards in October and have everyone’s address in a new Address Book.
NEXT YEAR… I will get my newsletters out and start announcing Holiday mini’s in September.
NEXT YEAR… I will stop shooting two Saturday’s before Thanksgiving.
NEXT YEAR… I will have posts scheduled out from two weeks before Thanksgiving to two weeks into the New Year.
NEXT YEAR… I will have client holiday gifts planned in October and completed before Thanksgiving.
NEXT YEAR… I will be done Christmas Shopping before Thanksgiving.
NEXT YEAR… I hope I will get to try again.
A-MEN! I hope that Kathy’s husband is doing well, and I hope their family is in good spirits. And I feel the same way about setting my goals for next year. Hopefully I can stick to them!
Those are great goals. I’m trying to figure out what my goals are for next year and this gives me lots of inspiration! (as always)
Sweet Leah, thank you for your response to my comment. I am going to mark the same ideas in my 2011 calendar. Thank you!
Only being in business since august 1st I have been so busy and I am so thankful for that! I did have to say no to two clients last week who wanted to take family pictures for Christmas cards and that was hard but the right thing to do. While I still have a major order to send off to the printer today, I’m grateful for how God has blessed and so thankful for mentors like you. You are a blessing! Praying Gods richest blessings for you and your family.
Thank you SO much Kristi… truly truly – thank you!
you have no idea how badly i need to hear this! i just told (ok… cried to) my husband that i feel like i am in a pit of quick sand and i am sinking! the lack of saying “no” this year has made me not have time to throw my son a birthday party, and forget teacher gifts, and miss a class party, and didn’t even get to do our family christmas card for the time i spend designing everybody else’s! i am disgusted with myself…i have a business that is running me, i am NOT running MY business. i have every emotion, guild, anger, sadness, excitement for the changes that HAVE to come…. so glad to see and hear i am not alone! thanks you for being REAL!!!!!
Spanki… I feel what you’re saying! We’ve cried the same tears my friend!
Yeah its the worst when you totally feel the business running you and not the other way
around. I personally felt that way too much this year and am determined to change things
up as 2011 rolls around. After all, no one needs an overworked, unhappy photographer
so why do we push ourselves to that point?
I’m so glad we were able to meet on Friday and get things going, now that stuff is being sorted out. I love you and you are doing fantastic. I have no doubt that next year will be glorious.
Wow. thank you for being so open and honest about all of this Leah. I hope everyone is feeling better.
After taking a couple weeks off (by this I mean completely ignoring the nagging list of things I needed to do for my business – blogging, retouching, education, research, accounting … EVERYTHING), I am spending time frantically playing catch up and beating myself up over how unorganized everything was this year (my first psuedo business year) and how everyone suffered because of it. I was actually still shopping on Christmas Eve and so many things never got done. While I am sorry you were stressed before the holidays, I am SO VERY glad you shared. Your list for 2011 looks identical to mine … and I am totally excited to get another try at it!!!