May 11, 2015

Taylor and L-O-V-E

taylorswift_davinafear_1

Stacks and stacks of books are laying around my house. We have to keep buying bookshelves to hold them all.

It started early with Hot Guy and me. When we first began dating we would read The Chronicles of Narnia to each other as we lay on the couch in my college apartment, when we studied on the lawn on campus, walking to class, sitting at the table while we ate, and everywhere we went.

I had always loved books. I couldn’t get enough of learning something new, expanding my mind with ideas, new concepts, bigger worlds, imaginary worlds.

About 10 years ago I was in Barnes and Noble on a date with Hot Guy.

I came across a book that pulled me in with it’s simple cover and the word Lovemarks. I had been struggling with the way I was photographing couples. I didn’t feel like the painted brick walls and murals and urban setting were the thing that told the real story of my clients. It was the trend of the moment but it didn’t feel authentic to me.

As I read Lovemarks I felt like it was reading my thoughts. I wanted to be deeply connected with my clients in a way that brought more meaning to their lives having worked with me.

I knew that painted murals were a thing of the past for me. If I was going to tell the real relationship of my couples murals weren’t the place to tell that story.

On the way home from Barnes and Noble in the darkness of our minivan, lit only by the overhead light I scribbled as fast as I could the questionnaire that would eventually, unbeknownst to me at the time, become a groundbreaking way to interact with clients within the wedding photography industry.

I scribbled out the way I wanted to interact with my clients, the way I wanted to create loyalty beyond reason, how I could surprise and delight them, and how I wanted my clients to feel when they worked with me. My entire business morphed into something that felt much more powerful and inspired to me.

Within a year of that day my business exploded.

I became so busy and booked with amazing clients that it made my head spin. In that process, I landed opportunities to speak and teach about this new way to experience business. Not long after that I began creating the Love Affair Workshop with Millie Holloman, Lauren Clark, and Kelly Moore Clark.

Those relationships and my approach to everything came from the Lovemarks principle that creating loyalty beyond reason comes from pouring your love into the people you serve. Letting them know, without them, you wouldn’t be where you are.

Finding simple and fun ways to say thank you for being you and following me. Being full of gratitude that they spend their life and time following what you and being your clients.

Why Taylor Swift is so loved

I adore Taylor Swift because she’s smart, talented, standing in her power and strengths and not apologizing for it, and she’s having all kinds of fun doing it!

Taylor Swift is an amazing example of being a Lovemark to her fans. She is love to them in the way she [gives beyond what’s expected](http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinharris/taylor-swift-sent-fans-surprise-christmas-presents#.wy455z0AYl). She looks for ways to delight and surprise them, constantly [making them part of what she’s creating](http://leadersinthetrenches.com/018-rick-barker-weird-wins-to-get-your-business-to-the-next-level/) so that everything she does reaches into their lives and they know that she ‘gets’ them.

[She even brings her fans into the spotlight](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8h0tZy0HqA) with her to celebrate that they are the reason for her success.

Taylor LOVES what she does! She shares that with all of the people, fans, friends…everyone around her in a way that is so completely contagious.

So what can you do today (or this week) to surprise your clients? Your fans? What can you do to let them know that you LOVE what you do and pour contagious love and awesomeness into their lives?

Here are a couple of ideas for you:

* Send a spontaneous thank you note or video
* Randomly select 10 of your clients. Give them a call and check in with them about how you could do better as a business person
* Email 5 of your clients with a Monday, pump, them up, get the energy going music video link from You Tube.
* Check the FB pages of three of your favorite clients and see how they are doing. Write them a private message, like one of there status updates, or notice something they said that you can pray for or reach out to them specifically about.

I’d love to hear your Lovemark ideas!

Please send them along to me, I’d love to hear about how you’re intentionally creating a business both you and your clients love beyond reason!

xoxo,

Davina

DAV_8730aDavina Fear loves long drives, talks on the couch with Hot Guy, Taylor Swift and dancing to “Shake it Off” in the grocery store even though it fully embarrasses children.  She is a Business Coach for Creative Women who want to be more fearless in their life and business.

May 1, 2015

Overthinkers Anonymous

_overthinkersanon_davinafearI’m an overthinker.

Give me a challenge and I will think it to death.

I also like to take action and not stay stuck.

So I can make myself a little crazy.

Like I said: My contradictions run deep.

Thinking too much for me is also a way I keep myself from moving forward. It’s my subconscious way of helping me stay away from moving forward, being confused, and keeping a distance from unsafe stuff.

You may think that unsafe stuff would be things like jumping off cliffs, skydiving, and walking across hot coals.

Really though, the scary stuff that seems unsafe is just being brave when I think that someone isn’t going to like me or when I write a blog post that seems like I’ve said too much or when I send out an email and I worry that no one is reading.

It’s the little things that my subconscious tries to hold me back from.

When I think of a new big idea that I want to create for you or when I’m about to go into a shoot that’s different from any I’ve done before, my subconscious wants to talk me out of charging forward with all my heart and soul.

It says things like:

What if you do a bad job?
What if you mess up their pictures?
What if, when you put your heart and soul into that session, they end up not really liking what you create?
What if you offend someone with that email?
Don’t say that, people won’t like it.
Stay home. You’re tired anyway. You’ve been really busy. You deserve to rest.
What if you announce this big thing and no one comes? What if it’s crickets?

I’ve gotten to the point that it doesn’t matter anymore.

Living in the land of those kinds of ‘what-ifs’ is not really living.

What then, if no one comes?
What then, if they don’t like what I create for them?
What then, if I go and they don’t like me?
What then, if you go and you’re tired?

Then I’ll ask them again, I’ll make something new, I’ll love them anyway, I’ll sleep in tomorrow.

But I will have LIVED. I will have DONE WHAT I’M meant to do.

Pretending that I can keep going the way I was going…it didn’t feel like completely living.

I prefer to experiment and fail. And try again. Than to not create or live or try.

There are days when I want to go back to my default of letting my life play out without me.

Those days don’t last long.

I’ve started saying:

What if everyone comes to what I plan?

What if they love what I create and want more?

What if I go and they love me?

What if I go and discover a dear friend?

You can think either way.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “It’s far better to have dared mighty things…” He’s right.

Which way are you believing?

What if it turns out terrible or What if it turns out awesome?

Because it comes down to that…what you’re believing.

And that’s something you can change. Right now.

roosevelt_quote_700

davina_bio_photo_3_squareDavina Fear is Business Coach for Creative Women who want to be more fearless in their life and business.  She’s also a Familyness Adventurer and Life Story Photographer. Dinner time is one of her favorite times of day as long as she doesn’t have to make dinner by herself.

April 29, 2015

I don’t fold laundry

laundry_2I don’t fold laundry…except the towels.

I like folding towels. I don’t like folding anything else.

Clean laundry is awesome.

Clean laundry piled into baskets for each person in my family and taken (by them) to their room for them to put away themselves in their own drawers is even better.

In my life and business there have been times that I’ve done lots of things that I don’t need to do. I’ve thought at times that I’m the only one that can do those things. Or that if I didn’t do them then no one else would.

And so I would do stuff I didn’t like and stuff that was also unnecessary.

Are you doing that kind of thing too?

Because you can stop.

You can choose something different.

If you don’t like to fold laundry. Stop. If you like to fold towels. Keep folding the towels (I think it’s relaxing and they look so good in the linen closet when they are folded the way I like them to be folded).

Are you still editing your photos even though that part of your workflow makes you want to stab your eyes out? Stop. Hire someone to do it and do more of what you love to do.

I know you’re saying you can’t afford it but really? Can you afford to stab your eyes out? I don’t think so.

What if you got to do more of what you really want to do…like more photo shoots…which makes you more money…and you can pay your new editor! Yay!

Guess what? You’re happier and having more fun and feeling more alive.

What can your family do? Who loves to sweep the floor? Or do you LOVE to sweep the floor? Go for it! If you don’t then get someone to do it who loves it.

You don’t have to be a miserable martyr.

Trust me. I know. I’ve been one.

Would doing the dishes with your dear love or one of your cute kids? Call them out and tell them you want to chat while they load the dishwasher and you rinse the dishes. Sing. Turn up the tunes. Dance. Make it something that feels energizing.

What your life is…it’s what you make of it.

If you don’t like it. Stop doing your life the way you’re doing it. Get someone else to do the parts that aren’t your favorite or transform them into something that you would be filled up by.

You get to choose. No one is making you live the life you’re living.

Make your life and business one that makes you feel alive.

Is there some piece of your business you really don’t like? Is there something that, if you just didn’t have to do it, you would love your business so much more?

Little things in business can chip away at what made you fall in love with photography in the first place. If editing makes you crazy or making prints or creating systems isn’t your thing then stop doing it.

You’re worth it. So are the people you love.

A little tip:

If you’ve not read Bob Goff’s Love Does, I highly recommend it. Every Thursday he stops doing something. Continuously eliminating things from his life that aren’t serving him, helping him be the person he wants to be, or bringing him closer to his dreams.

What it you stopped doing something every Thursday? What would you stop doing tomorrow?

I’d love to hear what you are ready to give up, stop, or just say, “I’m done, I’m over it. No more.” Please respond just by hitting reply. I want to know what you’re stopping and why, if you feel like sharing.

Here’s to quitting something.

2012-09-05_1346872111Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer.  She believes it adds magic to dinner time to drink chilled water out of a vintage lemonade bottle she and Mike received during their adventure in England.  She also thinks that mistakes are inevitable (and helpful) and she’s getting pretty used to being ok with them.

She blogs at davinafear.com , is a creative business coach helping women photographers like you to build a family and business with less stress and more “I LOVE this!!!” in their life.

April 26, 2015

How I Eat A Cupcake

cupcake_davinafear_1Nothing fancy.

I like chocolate cupcakes with classic white frosting.

I don’t want a fancy, it’s-got-everything-on-it-and-in-it-cupcake. I like it simple and accompanied by an ice cold glass of milk.

No over-thinking, no crazy stuff to take away how wonderfully, simply tasty it is.

I put my delicious cupcake on a little china saucer, I sit down to the table with my ice-cold-milk-filled juice glass, from my Grandma’s kitchen that reminds me of her every time I touch it. I pick up my baked treat and pull the bottom of the cupcake apart from that top part that has all of that awesome white frosting on it. I eat that little piece of frosting-less cake. I look at that beautiful cupcake top, with the perfect amount of frosting, sitting on the little saucer. I carefully pick it up and bite into that piece of balanced perfection and I close my eyes.

Eating a cupcake like this is seriously one of my favorite things to devour bite by wonderful bite.

I eat it the same way almost every time I have a cupcake.

It, in my opinion, is THE perfect and best way to eat this delicious confection.

I like to keep things simple (except when I over-think things…which I’m definitely prone to do…my contradictions run deep).

Here’s the thing. You do the same kind of thing. There are things you do everyday that you do the exact same way. No matter what.

You do it in your family. You do it in the morning. You do it in your business. You do it at night.

Pay attention to that thing you’re doing the same way every time.

And then see what you can do to be more deliberate about it. What can you do to inject more love. How can you fill it with more awareness? How can you share this everyday thing you do with someone else? If you love it, how can you make more of it? How can you share more of it?

Make a simple ritual for the people you love, in a piece of your life, the parts you do everyday.

Do the same thing for your clients. In what way, that you interact with them everyday, can you make them feel extra loved? How can you fill them with delight in the ordinary?

What if…
you started including a link to your favorite song in your emails to your clients telling them that this song is the one that you sing in your head every time you see their name in your inbox?

Make happy rituals in your day. Add fun to your systems that make you love your life and your business more and more. And in the process bring more depth and meaning to your everyday.

Make fun and meaning happen.

You’re totally worth it!

 

davina_bio_photo_3_squareDavina Fear is Business Coach for Creative Women who want to be more fearless in their life and business.  She’s also a Familyness Adventurer and Life Story Photographer. She has a Parks and Recreation addiction.  Literally. Want to talk?  Contact her HERE.

April 16, 2015

For Your Business and Your Family

theonething_davinafear_1How to do everything.

School is out and Grace will be home any minute.  The minute hands on my clock tick away as I try to be fast at finishing what I’m working on.  Grace bursts in the door and I just have a little bit more to do so I wave a cheerful but distracted hand her way.  She walks over and gives me a forgiving hug and starts telling me a story while I keep tapping away at my keyboard rushing to finish the email I’m working on.

I don’t like for this to be the way she comes home to me each day but sometimes it is.  I half way listen to her and at some point she finishes her story and leaves the room.  I’m not proud of these moments.  It’s not how I want life to be.

Sometimes business and family gets all mixed up and the both end up only getting half of what I really want to give them.

When I become aware of what’s happening, I stand up.  I walk into the room she’s in and I hug her and look at her and give her all of my love.  I try to send it to her with my whole self as I 100% listen to her.  Soaking up her words, laughing in all of the right places because I’m really there with her, and asking the questions that show I really want to know.

Do everything with love.  And if you mess up, it’s ok.  Just start over or stand up and walk in the other room to the person that matters to you.  Keep it easy to love.  Let your heart stay open.

The thing is the person your heart is most likely to stay open to is you.  Believe me.  I know that’s the way it is.  As soon as you start giving only half your heart you also start telling yourself how you should be different, how you’re not measuring up, how some other mom wouldn’t have done that.

Here’s the thing.  She probably has done that. You’ve done that.  I’ve done that.

It’s ok.

Stop should-ing yourself and go be your real you.

Go be the part of you that really wants to love because that’s the big part of you.  You deserve to love yourself and to give yourself grace and know that it doesn’t matter what you should have done.

It’s the same way in your business or in your job.  You’re building something wonderful…just like you’re building awesome kids or a great marriage.  And then the shoulds come in and they steal away your inspired ways to love.  They steal away the deeply wonderful part of you.

Let the shoulds float away up into the atmosphere.  See them float away on wings.  Wave to them and let your shoulders feel lighter and your neck feel less heavy.

Do everything with love.

Love is easy.  It’s easier than shoulds.

It’s the real part of  you.

When you connect with that real part of  YOU your creativity flows, problems become opportunities, and people become allies in both your family and your business.

Three ways to do everything with LOVE:

1.  Give yourself time to be inspired by the part of you that leads with love.  Set aside 10 minutes when you feel fresh to write about a time you felt really inspired.  Use those feelings to address whatever issue you’re facing right now.

2.  Start acting in love.  Seriously!  Act like you’re in love with people, your business, your spouse.  Do what people do who are in love.  Smile at everyone.  A big smile that makes your eyes crinkle and your teeth show.  Give unprompted compliments that pop into your head.

 3.  When you meet someone or someone arrives in your home or at your studio, act really excited to see them!  Make a big deal of them arriving.  Not just guests but your own family members.  You know how much your dog LOVES it when you get home?  Take your cues from him.  Have fun with it and watch how much it makes them smile, too.  Right before someone in your family gets home, turn on some dance music and welcome them home with a dance party.

The best time to start doing everything with love?  Today.  Especially if you’re not feeling like it.  I know it’s hard when you just want to be grumpy or bummed out.  Studies have shown that smiling and putting your heart into dancing, etc can actually change your body chemistry and make you feel more happy and more feelings of love.

Doing everything with love changes everything for me.  It changes the way I see my family, the way I work in my business, and the way I serve my clients.

Love is worth it.

xoxo,

Davina

davina_selfie_squareDavina Fear is a Business Coach for Creative Women who want to be more fearless in their life and business.  She’s also a Familyness Adventurer and Life Story Photographer. She may have a Parks and Recreation addiction.  Literally. Wish you could figure out the whole business and trying-to-be-a-mom-too thing?  She would love to help you.  Contact her HERE.