ditch-distractions

How This Small Biz Owner Used Time Management Tips to Transform Her Hustle

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Hi friends! I’m happy to host an amazing guest post from my cousin Leslie. She’s a stay at home mom who started her own photography business and hit some productivity road blocks in the beginning. She ditched a few unnecessary distractions and now she’s on a roll. Take it away Leslie!

When asked to do a guest post about why I’ve stepped away from Facebook & given up TV, my first thought was a big fat NO. Because:

  • I’m usually not so open about my feelings.
  • And how embarrassing is it to talk about how I needed to spend less time on Facebook and watching TV. Sound like an addict much?

I don’t really consider myself an entrepreneur. I’ve just always deeply loved photography. The thought of running a photography business has always scared me because business is not my style at all.

grow-your-business

I stand more on the artistic side of things.

But, after much encouragement from family and friends I decided to start shooting professionally. I was nervous, of course, but figured it should be relatively easy. I have the right equipment and most importantly I have the eye to capture a good image.

So, I went for it and started booking jobs that went really well. I showed up, chatted with my customer, took some pictures, edited the images, and sent them on their merry way. Easy peasy.

Then the day came that every business owner dreads.

 

The day I got it all wrong.

The day I should have been better prepared.

Luckily my customer was happy with their final images. But, that day affected me terribly. I knew I could do so much better. I realized I needed to focus more time and energy on mastering my craft.

If I was going to do this for real it wasn’t going to be for play play.

But how could I invest  more time in this business when I didn’t have any to spare?

Taylor told me about a book she was reading, “The 4 Hour Work Week.” And she mentioned a major principle in the book – to be efficient you must only make time for things that are making you money or bringing true value to your life. Including things, people, and habits.

Common sense right?

Apparently for me it wasn’t.

I stopped working 2 years ago to become a stay at home mom. During that time my career mindset and time management skills had gotten out of whack. That principle pushed me to reevaluate my life.

I knew I needed to eliminate two things: Facebook and TV.

As a homemaker, I don’t have much time to myself. The few precious moments that I did have I was either watching trashy television or aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed.

And not because I find Facebook to be entertaining. I just did it because I thought I had nothing better to do.

I realized I was wasting precious time on distractions that I needed to devote elsewhere.

I talked to my husband, Gary,  about going cold turkey with TV – just like that we cut it off. Now we watch Netflix or Hulu and he streams sports online.

Done.

Then, I decided only to go on Facebook once a week for photography business purposes. Of course, I take a few minutes to check on long distance family members and close friends.

Other than that, no need for Facebook.

Let me tell you, it has worked wonders.

Even if it is 5 minutes while I wait in the school pick up line. Instead of browsing on Facebook, I am doing business related stuff or simply freeing my mind to think creatively about my next photo session.

So refreshing.

It has worked so well for me that Gary has joined me in my ‘anti flop yourself on the couch to watch TV all night while scrolling through your phone’ campaign.

Now, we work together in our office and actually enjoy that much more than being zombies in front of screens.

And my next photo shoot?

I knocked it out of the park. I had so much more time to study technique and prepare for the shoot that it went flawlessly.

Not everyone who wants to be productive needs to stop using Facebook or watching TV entirely. Instead, identify what obstacles are holding you back from being and doing your best.

After all, we’re all too young and too capable to not hustle hard – especially at something we love. 😉

What are you obstacles? Can you get rid of them to be more productive?

Want to check out my work or simply say hi?

Check me out on Instagram, @makemycolorsmelt.

Thank you so much Leslie for sharing your story! If you’re interested growing a photography business like Leslie, be sure to check out the follow-up interview on how she leveled up her photography business.

For my aspiring writers out there, if you want to learn what it takes to start getting paid for your talent, subscribe below to get my free ebook on breaking into the industry.

Ciao for now!
— This post or page may contain affiliate links. Don’t worry, though. I only promote products that I’ve used or truly believe in.

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Taylor K. Gordon is a writer and money blogger. She writes on how to live your best life without going broke.

6 Comments
  1. Reply Marc October 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Photographer extraordinaire!

    • Reply Leslie October 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks so much Marc! 🙂

  2. Reply vernette October 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I have done the same thing, because I felt I wasnt being as productive as I needed to be. No tv. I watch Netflix or download. I haven’t given up Facebook but I put myself on a timer for all social media interacting / updates. It has worked wonders for my well-being and productivity. I like that you said it, not everyone needs to make these changes to be productive but for those of us caught up in a loop it is the answer.

    • Reply LeslieMairs October 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Isn’t it so refreshing Vernette? A timer sounds like a good plan, glad you have found a solution to getting caught in the social media loop! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Reply Christina October 13, 2014 at 9:53 am

    TV and online shopping are destroying my productivity! Late night DVR rummages keep me up way past bedtime, and I could be using that time for more important tasks. Online shopping needs to be completely slashed, and I may need to stop all recording. :/ I’ll take baby steps for sure.

    • Reply LeslieMairs October 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Good for you for pin pointing your issue! Baby steps are great, it means you are moving in the right direction. My first week without FB was tougher than TV. But after that first week when I logged back on I realized I wasn’t missing much. Now it almost feels unnatural to be on FB, as well as watch TV 😉

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