Okay – you guys asked, and here’s your answer! Recently, someone asked what my biggest business mistakes were. This episode might get a little bit vulnerable, and you might see me in a new light, but that’s good! I think it’s important to know that I’m not a perfect human. I don’t want YOU to think I’m perfect, I don’t want my kids to think I’m perfect, etc. I’ve seen how toxic it can be when you think someone you love is perfect. I make LOTS of mistakes, and I’m going to share some of those with you today. At the same time, though, I’m also kind of a perfectionist. I’m a recovering perfectionist. These mistakes killed me inside. When you grow up thinking you will disappoint everyone if you aren’t perfect, it’s hard to overcome the mistakes that you do make. When I mess up, I feel physically ill about it.
Here’s some of the lessons I’ve learned and mistakes I’ve made throughout my years in business:
1 – Missing SD Card in Washington!
Early on in my business, I found myself flying back and forth to Washington often to visit my family and do shoots. I am from Washington and was attending school in Utah. On one of my trips back, I did a shoot for a client that we were all SO excited about! After the shoot, I went to the store with my mom and lost the SD card. I was devastated. I refunded the clients, offered them another shoot, but still felt sick. Because of this experience, I invested in some professional equipment, I upgraded my backups, etc.
2 – Canyon Timing Mix-up…
At the time of this specific mistake, I was personally struggling. Bad. I was dealing with postpartum depression, adrenal fatigue, brain fog, etc. I was doing 2 different family shoots in the same night. I started the first family at 5:15, and planned to shoot the second family at 6:00. I told BOTH families 5:15. This poor family was deep in the canyon, with no service, waiting for me for over an hour. I showed up when I thought the session was supposed to be, and the mom was practically in tears. She was so upset, and I was mortified. For her to think that I did value her, her money, her time, their investment… I felt horrible. I was so distraught. We did the session, I overshot, and I offered them a big canvas picture as an apology. I thought I’d never be hired by this family again, but to my surprise, they came back the next year!
3 – I Forgot to Assign a Shoot!
In 2020, with all the craziness going on, I made a massive mistake. I had just hired Mandi and Shelby on to the team after some hard business things. We had experienced some turn over and I was struggling on a personal level. I had booked a mini session for Shelby and had forgotten to assign the session to Shelby in HoneyBook. I was at a BBQ, thinking everything was fine, when I got so many angry emails from this client who had been waiting in the canyon for over an hour. Again, out of service. Shelby didn’t even know about the session. This client thought I didn’t value her because she was “just a mini session” and was so upset. However, we value EVERY client of ours. Whether you’re there for a 5-minute session or a full extended family session, you’re important to us. But, I don’t blame her for being upset!
However, the BIGGEST mistake I’ve made in my business was not having boundaries. That’s my #1 mistake. There’s 4 parts to this:
1 – Letting clients push me around and call the shots
2 – Saying “YES” to things when I wanted to say “NO”
3 – Working 24/7
4 – Not raising my pricing
Yes, I’ve messed up, but the BIGGEST mistake I’ve made is not having boundaries. When you lack boundaries, you experience burn out, you feel resentment, and you create bad relationships. I am sharing all of this with you because I don’t want you to make these business mistake too!
126. Poppin’ The Perfection Bubble: MY Biggest Business Mistakes