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A Heart Check for You and Your Photography Business

About a month ago, my husband and I designated an afternoon (spent in our favorite Irish Pub of course) as “Heart Check Day.”

What is this Heart Check we speak about?  Simply put, it’s taking time to STOP and smell the roses.  It’s giving ourselves time and permission to dream out loud and envision our future.  Time to take a look at the direction our business and life is headed.  Deciding whether or not the path we are on is really the right one for us, if there is a new path to pave, or a new road to travel.

It’s easy to get stuck in the proverbial rat-race.  We dream of running our own business, and once it becomes reality, we quickly realize that we’ve simply created new jobs for ourselves.  A new, different kind of rat-race where the daily chores and tasks of running a small business take up most of our time, and we forget about those dreams of freedom to do what we love the most.

What I quickly realized, that lazy Saturday spent doing a Heart Check in our favorite Irish Pub, is that our dreams are much bigger than what fits on our current trajectory.

Dreams and priorities change when you go through major life changes.  For me, it was getting married last year.  Now it’s more important than ever that my photography business and future business plans are not just derived of my own dreams, talents, and passions but my husband’s too.  What does this look like for us?  Where do we see ourselves in two, five, and ten years?  Is it simply keeping on the current path – providing photography services via liana PHOTOGRAPHY and continuing to teach – or does it include more, less, or perhaps something completely different?

When you are able to take the time out from the day-to-day rat-race, and answer these questions honestly, big things start to happen.  The entrepreneurial spirit, that I have not felt in years, was again rekindled within me and I knew confidently that some new changes were in order.  The Heart Check reveled so much about what we want to do, give, and who we want to be.  It’s about discovering why you do what you do, and how you can make a living doing these things.  It’s about dreaming big and resisting the urge to conform and jump back onto that familiar path.

There will be some major changes in our lives and business in the next few months.  Am I scared?  Yes!  Am I excited and alive again with the new possibilities?  Yes!  Will it involve a lot of planning, focus, and hard work?  More than we can imagine.

Now my question for you: When was the last time you did your own Heart Check?

A Heart Check for you may not be as prolific or life-changing as the one we did in September, but it should be a rewarding experience at the very least.  I make a practice of going through this process at least once a year.  Sometimes it leads to a new project, sometime it’s stopping to seek out and listen to my client’s feedback and figure how to make their experience even better, other times it’s simply a time to stop and celebrate what has been done and what more is to come.

Written by Liana Lehman Hall

Liana’s main job is to photograph Atlanta and Destination WeddingsBut, in the winter months Liana can also be found speaking at major industry events and teaching Photo Biz Boot Camps throughout the US and abroad.  Liana is one of the only professional wedding photographers who is accredited and actively teaching managerial accounting, finance, and business planning to other professional photography studios.

**Liana will be speaking at PartnerCon 2010 on the topic “Work Smarter Not Harder”, addressing the photographer’s workflow. Learn more about her presentation and about the rest of the action packed program here.**

More posts by Liana:

Becoming a Certified Photographer: The How and Why

Predict Your Sessions and Sales

The Ugly Truth: It Takes Money to Make Money

Sales is Not a Dirty Word

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!