December 26, 2014

When DIY-ing Your Business Stops Working

I keep thinking about you (but not in a creepster way)

We just got home from seeing the movie Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!  If you’re up for something hilarious that will make you happy to know that your family is not alone on the crazy train…then definitely go see it!

Sometimes it can feel like our businesses are heading in a horrible, no good, very bad direction.  It can feel that way if it feel like nothing is going right or if everything just feels blah or if we just feel burnt out.  There is hope!

I’ve been thinking about you as I’ve been getting ready for my coaching program to launch on Monday, December 29th (NOTE: I think I may have said January 29th in my video but it’s totally THIS Monday, December 29th.  Oops!).  The reason I’ve been thinking about you so much is because I know you have questions and I want to answer them for you.

CLICK on the photo above to find out about what DIY and my business have to do with each other.

This video will answer some of these questions for you:

Why do I need coaching when I’ve got books I’m reading, the internet, and an overabundance of ideas I want to do already? (Learn about how an outsider’s perspective can help you in your business.)

Am I ready to hire a coach?  (Find out how I knew I needed a coach that may resonate with you.)

Will taking this scary step of working with a coach really build my confidence as a photographer and business person? (Hear about how a couple of my clients have experienced more confidence.)

A couple of other things you may have questions about:

Will I find more clients?
A:  YES!  As you do the work of opening your eyes to the possibilities that are in your life right now you will also find more clients.  Most likely, in places you hadn’t considered before.

Am I going to learn how to market myself?
A:  YES!  Most likely you’ll be thinking of ways to market yourself that surprise you.  When you being seeing in a new way you start discovering totally great ways to connect with your audience that you hadn’t realized would work for you until now.

A little story:
By the end of a 30 minute call with me, one photographer was ready to put into action a plan that he hadn’t considered as a viable long term stream of income until I helped him see the possibility.  When he put the idea easily into action, he and his partner made $16k with huge potential to make more money in the future in an audience where they are completely unique and are giving their gifts in a way that gives them the ultimate thing they want most:  time with their family and friends, doing what they love on multiple levels.

Working with a coach, for each person, is different and very powerful.

If you missed my last two emails, you can check them out here:

1.  The Call That Changed My Life
2.  Five Steps to a Breakthrough (before the end of the year!).

Write to me!

What questions are in your mind right now about coaching? Send me your questions by replying to this email, private messaging me on Facebook or writing on my FB wall, or here in the comments on my blog.


PS I can’t wait to share my 3 coaching options with you on Monday, December 29th!  Make sure to keep your eye out for that email and blog post!

December 23, 2014

Five Steps to a Breakthrough (before the end of the year!)

Wow! Christmas Day is almost here and so is the New Year!

Crazy!I hope you’re almost ready for some downtime, rest, relaxation, and hanging out with the people you love most. :)

A few days ago I sent you an email about The Call That Changed My Life. I loved hearing about your action steps and you hopes for the new year in your business.

Today, I made you a little video about the Five Steps to Breakthrough What You’ve Been Avoiding in your Life and Business. It’s already helped my private coaching clients and I want it to help you as you head into the New Year!

You can CLICK HERE to view Five Steps to a Breakthrough or click the image below to watch.


What are you thinking?

I’m super excited about how these steps may help you in your business, your life, your family…please write to me by replying to this email, private messaging me on Facebook or writing on my FB wall, or my blog.  I’d love to read about what you wrote for your 5 steps!

Also, if you have any questions about my coaching program, I’d love to answer them for you.


December 18, 2014

The Call That Changed My Life

This is for all of you…

I was sitting at my computer like I had so many days and years before…editing, writing, and feeling like things were good but knowing they could be better.  I wanted to break through where I was in my business and move into more…more of something.

the shiny stuff

A new emailing program that I had signed up for seemed like THE answer (like so many other shiny objects I had purchased before). That afternoon I was scrolling through the email FB group looking for help when I came across someone who was offering a complimentary session to just talk about my business.

When I signed up to chat I hoped she would have answers for me and assumed she would have a program or something for me to purchase.  When she called me I knew I didn’t have a cent I could give her but I really wanted help!

the phone call

During the course of our call I knew I needed to work with her but I kept thinking there was no way I could hire her.  Everything in my account was meant to go somewhere else.

When she told me about her coaching program I tensed up and told her I needed to talk to my husband.  In the moment I said that, I knew that he would be totally supportive of whatever I felt like I needed to do for my business.  This was my call.  I could step into this if I really wanted to.

what I didn’t expect

When I said YES! to coaching with her I felt like I had completely stepped into my own power.  Suddenly, I knew I had been giving my power away for longer than I had realized.

Working with my coach I broke through so many things I had been allowing myself to be limited by, things I just wasn’t seeing.  There were opportunities and money all around me.  I just needed someone who was further down the road than I was to show me what I wasn’t seeing.

During that first month of working with my coach I made 5 times what I made the previous month and started seeing opportunity after opportunity that had been in my life that I wasn’t seeing.  It was extremely powerful for me!

Since then I’ve experienced breakthrough after breakthrough and seen my business in a whole new way.

Here are a few highlights I’ve learned since that day:

#1:  You CAN take back control of your life and business.
For me, I realized I was constantly giving myself an ‘out’ for what I wasn’t doing that really mattered to me.  I convinced myself that I had done everything I could think of–when really I was caught up in stories that just were more excuses as to why my business wasn’t going where I wanted it to go.

action step for you: what excuses are you giving yourself for not moving ahead? write three reasons you’re listening to these excuses

#2:  I stopped buying the stories.
In our industry we have a lot of stories that we tell ourselves to perpetuate giving us an ‘OUT.’

Some of these stories I bought at face value or would occasionally buy into if they fit my particular thing I was up against.

I’ve come to see these stories in a much different way. I see them as ways of believing that aren’t really real.  These stories keep us from believing in what’s possible.

Things like:

*photographers can’t really make money in the winter
*all of those newbie/amateur photographers are messing up and undercutting the industry
*the rules about who is allowed to start a workshop and who isn’t
*people just aren’t into what I take pictures of or my style of photography
*how long you have to be in the industry to start sharing your knowledge
*selling to photographers means you’re a sell out
*no one in my area is willing to pay what I’m worth
*if you teach or create products for photographers and you’re not a particular person then you shouldn’t be creating or teaching
*and so many other stories

action step for you:  ask yourself why you believe the stories you believe, see what you have to say

#3:  I changed my mind.
Before I changed my mind, business would get rough and I tended to give my power away by believing these stories and creating stories for myself that gave me permission to stay playing small and a victim to my circumstances and situation.  I would stop seeing what was possible and start seeing only the ways that nothing was working out for me.

When I hired my coach I realized how much (and how often) my subconscious part of me had taken over, keeping me protected and away from pain and hurt.

doing the opposite? what?

Changing my mind meant doing the opposite of staying safe and the opposite of worrying about what other people would think of me.  It also opened up my mind to possibilities and opportunities I had not even considered before.

action step for you:  write three way you are you playing it safe and three ways you want to start playing bigger

what happened

Once I started looking at my life and business in this new way I began to see all of the opportunities that had been pulling at me but that I had been pushing away, telling myself I couldn’t do more, be more because of my circumstances and situations.  I would look longingly at what others were doing and say, “Why not me?”
When in reality exactly what I wanted and longed for was already in my life.  I just couldn’t see the opportunities for what they were.

doing these three things will help you, too

What you long for is in your life right now, too.  Whatever you want, there is a way for you to have it (and it’s all legal! lol).  For every problem you face there is a solution.  And that solution is in your life, for the taking, right now.  It’s just a matter of opening your eyes to seeing it.

If you want a successful business making $20k, $200k, or $2million! then what you need, all of the resources, are in your life right now to make it happen.

You’re going to hear about this coaching program, I’m  launching soon, and a lot of you are going to want to join because inside you, you’ll be thinking, “Oh man, that’s exactly what I need.  Exactly!”

And about one second later you’re going to say, “But I can’t do it.”  You may say that because you don’t think you have the money, or maybe because you’ve got lots of obligations, or four kids, or you’re suddenly afraid of what it will mean to your life if you sign up.

That first feeling you felt is your higher self telling you that this program is what will hep you get you where you want to go.

what bears have to do with it

The second feeling you’re having about there being no money, time, or the fear of what may or may not happen…that’s your subconscious  protecting you from something scary!  In it’s own way it’s yelling, “BEAR!! BEAR!! Run for your life!!!”  Because your subconscious doesn’t like change.  It thinks change is bad and scary and if you’re feeling that feeling there must be a BEAR around (run!).

When everything is relaxed and staying just the way it is (even if the way things are isn’t what you REALLY want or isn’t serving you) your subconscious loves it!  Why?  Because it means that you’re safe!  And keeping you safe is what your subconscious DOES.

Do you really want to live a safe life?  Or do you want to say to your subconscious, “Thank you for wanting to keep me safe.  BUT I’m going to go hang out with the stuff that scares me and gets me closer to the me I’m meant to be (because there’s no bear here).  Thanks anyway.  You can keep doing your job but for now, I’m going to do the scary stuff and BE AWESOME!”

ready to be awesome?

I decided safe and playing small wasn’t for me.  BEING AWESOME is who I am.  BEING AWESOME is who YOU are!

When I stepped into being coached I stepped into being more of who I’m really meant to be on so many levels.  It’s been crazy but I love that I’m discovering, everyday, at 44 years old, what it takes to be me. Really me.

If you’re a person who doesn’t want to keep playing small in your business then you’ll want to keep an eye out for the next email I’ll be sending you in a couple of days.

To playing bigger,


PS  If some piece of this resonates with you, _please_ share your thoughts or action step thoughts (that would be awesome!) on my blog HERE or on my Facebook page HERE.  I’d LOVE to hear from you!

November 24, 2014

Overwhelmed: Tips to step into your power (part 2)


Last week, Buffalo, NY received over 7 feet of snow in under 24 hours.

People were trapped in their homes by the unexpected mount of snow.  Roofs buckled under the strain and people could barely leave their homes because of the height of the snow at their front and back doors.  The idea of it was extremely scary and even life threatening.

It was scary and beautiful and terrible and incredible.

How often do you feel those similar feelings in your own life…sans the 7 feet of snow?

Feeling like you’re trapped in a routine or schedule, as though your life feels like it’s runny you instead of you running it.  You stress over things that are either out of your control or lists that feel like they’ve bested you before you’re even out of bed.

With the holidays coming, those feeling may be increasing.  You may be dreaming of familyness moments, beautiful music playing in the background, smiles all around, and no one fighting.  Then the reality hits you that things may not play out in real life the same way they are in your mind.

It’s ok if it doesn’t play out like the dream in your head.

You don’t have to be limited to that one beautiful way for your life to be lived.  You life can be lived in so many incredible, amazing, and depth filled ways that go way beyond the expectation you’ve created.

Let’s get you out from under your pretend 7 feet of life you feel buried beneath.

Quick Tips:

1.  What you really want is already in your life right now.

It’s just a matter of seeing it.  Believe that you already have it…because you do.

Whatever you’re dreaming of, no matter what it is, is already in your life. You just may not be seeing it.  Practice opening your eyes in new ways.  Let yourself see ways you already have ‘the family that gets along’ or ‘the money to pay for it’ or ‘life you want.’

A lot of it is just telling yourself to see what you’ve been missing, to see what you’ve been looking past or beyond.  There are opportunities in your life right now to have the life you want.

If you wish you had more time…you have the time.  What you want is already part of your life, you just have to bee willing to see your time differently.

2.  Look at how you’re contributing and connecting rather than what you’re checking off.

If can be so easy to make a checklist and then judge your day by how much you did or didn’t check off of said list.  Measuring a day like that can get pretty discouraging.  Trust me, I’ve done it!

There’s a way that just feels better and helps you to see the way you’re actually changing the world.  How many things do you do in a day that aren’t on your list but are powerful moments of contributing (sending a client their slideshow and adding more life to their day) and connecting (spending time with your daughter in the car talking about the clash of feelings that are coming up for her with her sports team)?

Contributing and connecting are the things that make our lives rich and beautiful and deep and meaningful.  We all have contributing and connecting moments through out our days.  They aren’t things that generally make it to our checklists but they are so much more worth acknowledging.

3. Take care of yourself and have fun.

Most often, when we feel overwhelmed the first thing we stop doing is taking care of ourselves.  We stop exercising or eating healthy foods and we immediately go into production mode saying things like, “I know I’m supposed to exercise right now but I could get an hour more of editing done if I just get started right now.”  Do what you have to take care of yourself and you’ll be more productive and creative.

Build fun into your day!  I love crossword puzzles (as I’ve mentioned before) and I know they make me sound like an old lady (when a puzzle asks you the name of musician Bono and the answer is Sonny, you know you’re enjoying an old person’s pasttime) but I love taking a few minutes’ break and doing a crossword puzzle in the middle of my day.  I also purposefully make myself leave my house (I know you’re laughing right now because you know exactly what I mean)!

4.  Give more life to yourself and others.

Instead of thinking about how these ideas are adding to your checklist of things to do, think about how you can infuse more awesome life into yourself.  Figure out what would make you, personally, feel more alive.  And do that.  Today.

Then consider how you can give more life to one other person.  How can you inject more awesomeness into the life of someone else.  Right now.  Today.  Go do it.

5.  Laugh.

When we are overwhelmed we are taking ourselves and our life pretty darn seriously.  It’s time to get over ourselves.  Laugh.

If you can’t bring yourself to laugh watch an old Seinfeld episode.  Look up the laffy taffy jokes.  Give yourself and your brain a break and permission to be silly.  Laugh like a cackling witch.  Like right now.  It doesn’t matter who is watching.  Just do it.

See.  You’re laughing and feeling silly.  And it feels pretty good.




October 20, 2014

Dinner Time Connecting: 5 ways


Dinner Time: 5 ways to familyness

Over the years as I’ve photographed your family in your homes, spent time with you, and also heard so many of your stories via email.  I’ve seen that familyness can look and feel so many different ways.  I love getting to share with you my stories and what our familyness looks like and I’ll, of course, keep sharing.

For you

I wanted to get more of your stories out for all of you to see, share and experience.  Not just because it’s awesome to hear what others are going through but also because I’m hoping that you’ll feel less alone, less like you aren’t measuring up, less like wondering if everyone else has it together but you.

Each of these women who have shared their answers today are incredible women!  They are filling a house with love and running businesses.  They have things they haven’t figured out and things they’ve totally figured out.  Each of them has figured out different ways to make what they’ve got happening work for them.  (Today is a glimpse…you’ll definitely be seeing more of these 5 women in the months to ahead.)

The spectrum

Some of us handle messy chaos with a relaxed easy nature.  Some of us crave structure and organization in order to run a peaceful home and life.  No matter where you fall in this spectrum I hope you’ll see some of yourself in the women featured here and and also discover the courage and inspiration you need to keep making awesome things happen and to…

Keep Being Awesome.

One Question:

What is dinner time like at your house?  What do you do to make connection happen?

Five answers…


davina_kudishDavina’s Family

(different, super incredible Davina)

Right now I am the sole creator/provider of food for our son, as he is exclusively breastfed. Following his bath, we have one final, quiet feeding and my husband then holds him for a few minutes before he puts him to bed. It’s a simple routine that we really cherish. I love being the one that gets to feed him and spend this time with him. After he is put in his crib, he usually goes to sleep pretty quickly on his own and my husband and I have our time alone to have our dinner. He often starts cooking while I am feeding Max, and we eat and spend this time alone together – often for the first time that day. -Davina Kudish (new mom with 5 mo. old baby boy, full-time photographer)

tara_mcgovernTara’s Family

We cook dinner. I try to precook a couple of meals for the week on Sundays to give myself a break on the particularly hard days. Pizza is a reward for good grades for the month. I usually do the cooking by myself while homework is attended to in the background. I would love to say that I get to sit down and eat with my kids every night, but usually it is the two of them sitting and eating while I juggle 20 things or eat the leftovers when they are done and I realize that I forgot to feed myself. The boys always eat together though, and they love that time together. -Tara McGovern (photographer and single mom of two boys, one with special needs)

paula_playerPaula’s Family

Dinner time is fun! So over the last year I developed a great system to help me be organized at dinner time and eating healthy food too. I “meal prep” my meals for the week. Typically I’ll make enough for 20 meals, which for us lasts us the whole week. I will cook things like Lintels, brown rice, brussels sprouts, quinoa, asparagus, sweet potatoes, etc. Because I grew up in Colombia { South America } I was exposed to all these ingredients, so our boys are used to eating home cooked meals. Doing this meal prep, allows me to grab a meal and go, and re-heat for dinner time. I place them in tupperware containers and they stay good thru the week.

Usually on Friday, my husband will buy a cheese pizza in the frozen section and will add a few toppings, so we allow ourselves fun, delicious meals during the weekend. We tend to prefer to eat in, it’s been a hard challenge cooking, but worth it! -Paula Player (photographer mom with 2 kids)

louise_rodgersLouise’s Family

We have a very fussy eaters so the children tend to eat together and then we will have a meal once they are in bed. We both cook so it just falls upon the one who is least tired! We eat a lot of comfort food, pasta, risotto etc. We also like traybakes as it’s so easy to just throw all the ingredients into the tray. We don’t go out for dinner much but we occasionally have a takeaway – if we have friends over or something.  -Louise Rodgers  (photographer mom with 2 kids)

 audrey_1Audrey’s Family

My oldest son is living away from home {yet nearby} in college he is only home one or two nights a week, my teenage kids have practice in the evenings and are all on different schedules. Sometimes I spend from 4-8 pm in the car … seriously! So dinner time is sort of grab a bite when you can and hopefully you are eating with another family member and connecting with them. We do not eat out much, we try and eat really healthy, and dinner is usually the 5-10 minutes between one practice or another. We share the responsibility of making dinner fairly equally. I hate to cook, he loves to [cook]! But we both do it. I try and have something figured out before the chaos begins so that it can be accessed and eaten. At the end of all the practices usually we all end up in the kitchen with those that have not eaten yet, even if we have. Just to be together. -Audrey O’Brien (full-time floral designer mom with 6 kids)

Thank you!

Thanks so much to each of the women who contributed their ideas today!  I’m so excited for you to hear more from them about business, being a mompreneur, and their own familyness.  So much great insight ahead!


davinamikeengagement007bDavina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. Dinner time is one of her favorite times of day as long as she doesn’t have to make dinner by herself.

She is super excited about her upcoming familyness road trip to Florida and Washington DC! If you’d like to get your familyness photo shoot scheduled contact her HERE right away!