06 Oct Professional Vs. Personal
I wish there was a secret to balancing your professional life and your personal life… if there is, and someone knows it – and you haven’t already shared it with me…. then you suck.
I don’t think there is. It’s something I am constantly learning how to do…. in good ways and in unfortunate ways. When you own and operate a small business you get excited and want to include as many of the closest people to you that you can. Who better to share your success with than your friends and family? And who easier to reach out to and trust with your business and your clients? I’ve met so many amazing people, talented photographers, mentors, and friends throughout my journey in professional photography. For the most part it’s all rainbows and butterflies and everyone is your best friend!
Then all of the sudden you have to start making difficult decisions and actually ACTING like a boss and that’s when it gets sticky. I’ll be honest, the thing I like LEAST about my photography business is putting on my “boss” hat. When my team first started using the term “boss” with me I hated it. I’m a confusing person, I admit it. Because when I first ventured off on my own I felt a freedom I had never felt before. I didn’t have to listen to my business partner anymore or play by rules I didn’t like. I got to play by MY rules. I got to treat people the way I wanted to (which is with compassion, respect, and love). I was high on the warm fuzzies I got when I was able to take control of the relationships I was forming and didn’t have to follow the agenda of someone else. I still love that! What I don’t love is having to set boundaries for other people. But there’s no avoiding it when you run your own business. If you don’t, people take advantage of your kindness, they lose respect for you, and they make you feel crummy.
So finding that balance of being the “boss” and the friend is really hard. You want to always make decisions that benefit everyone, but that’s just not always possible. You disappoint your team sometimes, you have to be the “boss” and not the friend no matter how much you don’t want to. At the end of the day all you can do is try to be the most effective communicator you possibly can be, even when you prefer to ignore the frustration and hope it just gets better. It doesn’t. It only gets worse, and it only gets harder to address.
I am not a perfect boss. I know that. I also know how lucky I am to have such a kind, forgiving, talented team of women who work with me. The truth is they wont always understand why I make the choices I make, even when I try to explain it. I try to be as transparent as I can be, because I know what it’s like to work for small businesses and not understand why decisions are made. I do realize, however, that every decision does not have to be disclosed or discussed, but I try to practice openness and transparency so as not to build walls between us, but rather to keep lines of communication healthy and fair. I know I don’t have to justify my business choices, but I do anyway. I do this in the hopes that my team will always feel comfortable coming to me and communicating their needs or concerns.
All I can do is hope that my business practices nurture an environment where everyone feels heard, validated, and excited for the opportunities I provide them. It’s hard but I hope they all know how hard I try.
I don’t know what’s going on with wordpress – so if this gallery came out weird, forgive me…. I hope you enjoyed these beautiful wedding photos anyway!
For more information about Orange County Wedding Photography, or Destination wedding photography – please visit my website: www.briannacaster.com