Oho Business Talk | No. 1

Happy Slow Season, friends!

With 2018 being my tenth (YOU GUYS) wedding season in business, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself as a business owner and while I know others may thrive in the “busy”, I know that – for me – rest & renewal is necessary to being my best self when the next wedding season rolls around. As much as I love (and I do truly love) wedding season and the constant state of work, hustle and energy it requires, my body (and heart) revels deeply in the rest, quiet and slowness that the slow season brings.

You didn’t know you were coming here for some Brené Brown type ish, did you? (Side note, love her. Read her books ASAP; no matter who you are or where you are in life – she’s a keeper.)

Slow season gives me space to analyze what worked and what didn’t work from the last year. To update my website. To act on the to-dos that I didn’t have time for in the wedding season. Also. Taxes. Because that is the REAL to-do this time of year.

If you are a photographer or wedding industry member in a location that turns subzero in the winter, you know what I mean. While wedding season is spent putting mileage on our vehicles and shutter actuations on our cameras, the slow season is for analyzing, fixing and researching (and maybe, just maybe, finishing that pile of books on our nightstands).

We’re only 15 days into the New Year. But man, oh man, have I been doing some analyzing and prioritizing for this new year. Exciting, hard, ambitious and altogether necessary goals for 2018, to take both my business and my personal life to a new level of fulfillment and I’m choosing to share them here, with you.

Why?

Well. Because it’s been three years since I’ve done this, publicly. (Woof.) And, also, I know myself, and know that public accountability is my best hope of answerability AND because I’m next level nosy and love reading others goals and assume you all are the same.

So, let’s dig in and see what 2018 might hold for this Oho…

No. 1 : Blog more.

Want to know how many times I blogged in 2017? Eleven. 2016? Seventeen. 2015? Fifteen. If you’re wondering how I still have clients, trust me, you’re not alone.

I’m hesitant to make any grandiose promises because, after all, my track record isn’t great but I’m just putting it out there that I’m going to try to carve out a little more time on my to-do list sharing my work more consistently with the world this year.

No. 2 : Finish my Wedding Pricing Guide (that I’ve been working on for a year).

I am cheating a bit on this one because it’s just a day or two of tweaking from being done and ready for print. BUT, since I spent the majority of my holiday break getting down and dirty with The Guide after a solid year of letting it fall to the end of my to-do list, I don’t feel too terrible adding this one to the 2018 goal list. And you guys, if I can say it myself? It’s really, really pretty and I cannot wait to see this bad boy in print.

No. 3 : Analyze workflows and adjust where I can be more efficient. 

Have I ever typed a more boring sentence? Pretty sure no.

This is one of those totally unsexy, back office, type of goals but a completely necessary one. As a bright-eyed new business owner in 2009, I put into place systems to help my business run and if I’m being honest, some of those same systems are still the ones I use on a daily basis. Maybe they were (and still are) the most efficient systems but almost ten years of advances in technology and tracking systems tells me otherwise.

I’ll dive into this more on the blog for another Oho Business Talk. Already, theoretically, killing goal #1.

No. 4 : Say no, more.

I have this thing. This thing where I allow my calendar to dictate my life, instead of the other way around and I find myself, every dang year, TOO BUSY. Too busy to meet up for happy hours. Too busy to do anything other than work for any waking hours. Too busy to drop everything and watch the Bachelor in a roomful of my best girls, collectively drinking enough wine to take out the entire defense line of the Vikings. Too busy. Too busy. Too busy.

Five years ago, I vowed to stop this. To say no to the things that didn’t incite passion. To limit shooting, to give more time to life, to working smarter, not harder. To prioritizing life in a way that put God first, Matt second and everything else third. And in so many ways, it worked and I succeeded. And in so many ways, I failed. But, the thing is, I tried. And sometime between 2014 and now, I stopped prioritizing and went back to letting my calendar define everything and stopped striving for space.

That stops now.

I don’t know if it’s age or just the nature of where I am in life right now, but I am so entirely done with being “busy”. I want life. I want impromptu date nights and dinners out with friends. I want space to breathe and live and not feel utterly trapped by my calendar. I truly want life outside of this business and to do that means saying no.

And I know I’ll be saying no to things that excite me. To income. To people I’ve come to adore. But, more than ever, it feels necessary. So, here I am, raising a toast and saying that in 2018, I am dedicated to more living life and less busy. (Can I get an amen?)

Amen.

No. 5 : Pursue passions outside of photography. 

This one goes hand-in-hand with #4 (because having the time to pursue passions is crucial) and like most of you, I have passions on top of passions. Interior Design. Organization (REALLY). Starting our family through adoption. Reading more than just one or two books a year. You know, the usual.

This year, I want to have a life outside of this crazy wonderful business. Because while my heart is in it, I know that being fulfilled creatively outside of photography means an Oho that is shiny, new and so, so ready to tackle being creative within my business.

And that can only mean good things.

So, there you have it; my view of what I’d like 2018 to look like, laid out in five succinct goals. I’m not asking too much, am I?

If you have goals, I’d love to hear them. Let’s keep each other accountable because, after all, a rising tide lifts all the ships so let’s be ships in the same harbor.

xo,
Melissa

(2) Comments

  1. Heidi

    Love all of this <3 especially the saying no part. If you ask me, it's one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Cheers to 2018!