the blog

The Secret to Work/Life Balance with Jean Smith



My amazing guest, Jean Smith shares her personal journey to profit, balance and getting her life back!  Oh yeah, it’s that good!

I absolutely adore Jean! We met last year at Chic Retreat where we were both speakers and we immediately just clicked!  Jean is absolutely amazing as a photographer, a speaker, a person…this woman is the whole package!

When Jean and I sat down to record this we had no plan at first…we were just catching each other up on our personal recent events, but as we talked more and more we knew what we wanted to share with you!

Jean and my weekly routines are very similar!  We both have Monday Family Night, Friday Date Night, we don’t ever work Sundays and we rarely work weekends…we are busy, don’t get me wrong!! But we have learned how to find time for time.

BUT!!! It wasn’t always like that, not for either of us, so today we’re talking about how and when it changed. I can’t wait for you to hear Jean’s story!

The problem actually isn’t that others don’t respect your time, it’s that you don’t. The good news;  you’re easier to persuade! <—- CLICK TO TWEET


   Love the BACKDROP? We do, too! It’s Spangled, from the fabulous Drop it Modern!



  1. Tiffany says:

    great video!! In 2014 I plan to take my outsourcing to a new level but this year for my fall and holiday sessions I did a ton of up front work that allows my clients to get all the details and pricing in a beautiful PDF and sign up. It has saved my HOURS over last years back and forth and pricing shoppers! I basically outsourced all of my up front customer service to PDFs and my website. Next up is editing!!

    This really is so hard! Especially when you are not making the money you should be…yet. One thing that would help me dearly Leah is education on ordering appointments. Like Thrive but just for the sales part of your workflow. Not that you don’t already have enough amazing education…just an idea for you 😉 there is nothing like it….I’ve searched!

    Happy Friday!

    • Tiffany! I would love if you’d shoot me an email and give me a little more details on what you’re needing! I get so excited when I think there may be a new way I can help! I do have a new product that will be coming soon, it’s already ready and done called Outsourcing Explained; the NEW lifestyle option for Photographers and it’s a step by step on how I outsourced and trained for editing, sales, virtual assistant, housekeeping and then house management and more! I’m so excited to release it!!

  2. Love Jean and her work! Great video 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

  3. Jodi says:

    How did you find your editing/retouching person? I don’t even know where to look?

    • Hey Jodi! My first retouch artist came from a posting on my blog, my second was a stay at home mom and now my retouch artist is a photography student in college.

      I know there are also companies out there, I’ve just preferred having one person all to me that I could train to match and edit exactly as I do! Hope that helps start you in the right direction.

  4. Michelle says:

    Hey Leah and Jean!
    Thank you for this video! I need to do all of this. I am not at the point where I hate photography…yet…but I am to the point where I believe I need to raise my prices…I’m just afraid I will lose all my clients…how do you transition and market to the right people?
    My schedule is also nuts! Something I definitely need to fix…and I think with the “good enough” profit, that I can definitely say no to certain things and fix my schedule.

    • Hey Michelle!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed today’s episode! Isn’t Jean fantastic!!

      The first thing I’d say is that you won’t be able to keep all of your clients, that’s just the truth about raising prices BUT you can and will find new clients who will fill the wholes left behind! Have you had a chance to look into my business training program? I would love for you to just go and watch a few of the videos of other women who have been exactly where you are!

      Because YOU ARE RIGHT! If you bring up your profits, you can work way less, you can afford to outsource and you start reaching clients who truly appreciate your higher prices that come with a better experience!

  5. Mary Hughes says:

    So glad I tuned in. I’m not so steadily busy that I’m at the point that you and Jean got to, but there are times when the work load just hits me and “takes over” my life to the point that I realize there’s no groceries in the house, no dinner on the table, etc.
    My takeaway… make a schedule for myself, make time to work, make those profits and ALSO time to play and foster those relationships with my family who I am ultimately do all this for.
    Thanks for yesterday’s webinar too, (working all day on thrive! today) hope you’re on the mend. 🙂

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed today’s episode! I just love Jean! And I think your takeaways are SPOT-ON!!

      And yes, I’m on the mend!! Lot’s of Vitamin C and Airborne!! I had a fabulous time yesterday with my newest thrivers! So excited for this new year and all it will have in store for you!!

  6. Liz Robinson says:

    Wow! Thank you… that was seriously exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I’m in the same boat that you and Jean were once in and besides the lack of sleep and ability/time to manage my family home life, I’ve been feeling extremely guilty. I know it’s time to make some huge changes. I’ve only been in business for 2 years now and I just kept telling myself it will get better, everyone goes through this when they start up a business. I realize that I’m in control and what matters most to me is my family and they’re definitely getting the short end of the stick right now. I’m encouraged now can’t wait to make some changes. Thank you!!

    Also, are you guys just outsourcing weddings, or family, children, etc. sessions too?? And if you are doing it with every type of session how many images are you culling it down to before you outsource the job?

    THank you!!


    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! We both outsource all of our editing. I can say for me personally, I don’t photograph weddings, I outsource my family and senior sessions and it’s usually about 25 to 30 images that I cull down to.

  7. Carlin says:

    I started to cry when I read your intro email! This is exactly where I am. I’m burnt out, tired and frustrated! I so needed this today! I’m not at the point in my business where I can afford to outsource, but I realized I CAN make some changes! The big thing that hit me is that I can control my own schedule! If a client really wants to book me, they can make a Thursday session work! Thank you ladies! I can’t express how much I needed this today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You’re so welcome Carlin!!! I’m so glad it helped! Girl, you need to be Thriving!! Then you WILL be able to afford outsourcing! And… Sometimes we have to spend money to make money! I didn’t believe I could afford it when I did but oh man, it sure saved me the cost of being sent to the funny farm! 🙂

  8. Amber Fox says:

    Thanks so much for a great video today! Both you and Jean have so much to offer. I currently outsource my all my book keeping stuff and oh my goodness, it takes off SO much stress from me, especially from the end of the year duties. I really want someone to figure out my packaging for me too, as I am wasting tons of money by just getting it packaged from whcc. It’s funny when I think of how stressed out I was in the beginning of my business and how with outsourcing and an efficient work flow, I can now sleep at night. 🙂

    Also, what is the webinar the above commenter mentioned? I am a new thriver and I didn’t get notice of a webinar. 🙁

    • That is awesome Amber! I love hearing how other people are outsourcing and letting go!

      The Thriver was referring to a private webinar I offered as a very special bonus after I taught 5 Steps to Standing out in the Crowd a few weeks ago. But great news, we have periodic ThriveLIVE calls for Thrivers where all Thrivers get to jump on for a private webinar where we talk shop together. And we’re about due for one! You’ll get a Thriver’s only email when we pick a date. 😀

  9. Thanks for sharing this, I have been blessed to have met Jean in person and she gave me some of these exact tips then. Working on getting there! Such great info!!

  10. Jean Smith says:

    Thank you so much, Alli 🙂

  11. Jean Smith says:

    Thanks Heidi! Once upon a time we met for lunch, and I am so happy that we are now friends 🙂

  12. Jean Smith says:

    Carlin!! Don’t worry, I bawled my eyes out many a night trying to figure this out! This video was a few months ago…have you made any changes to help this along??

  13. Jean Smith says:

    Liz…great question (and sorry for the delayed response). For my editing…I cull through each and every session and/or wedding, and get it down to the final images (600-800 for weddings, and 40-50 for all other genres). If I am going to blog that session/wedding, I edit my favorite images for that and blog them. Then I send the wedding images to Fotofafa for batch editing, and out of those, 20-50 go to my personal retoucher for “heavy” editing (liquify, skin, background distractions, etc). For all other non-wedding sessions, after I edit for the blog, the rest go straight to my personal retoucher.

  14. Jean Smith says:

    Jodi, I use Fotofafa for all of my wedding editing, and I just happen to come across my personal editor by accident (she sent me a FB message at the right time saying she was starting an editing business). I can give you her name if you want 🙂

you said:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Explore Episodes

Join us every Tuesday for new episodes on Balancing Busy Podcast