Posted on September 23, 2018
Am I being somewhat misguided with my belief that at some point I will have everything under control?! And that this will then mean that I have the freedom to blog regularly, drive my business skywards and parent in a way that would suggest that I have got this?! Or … is this the norm? I feel overwhelmed by all of it right now, trying to work, being a parent and being a wife. Not in a ‘woe is me’ way, more of a ‘how on earth do I do it all/what is the method’ way!
I started September with such gusto, perhaps too much?! I blame the Virgo in me. If you read any of my previous blogs there is a definite tone of ‘if only I had more time’ to them. Building a business and shocking the world talked about juggling it all and, if I am to be completely honest, when I wrote that it was a little tongue in cheek. I had yet to meet September, I did not know what juggling actually meant.
On a parenting note let me quash that belief that when your child starts school you will be drowning in free time to Instastyle business plan. It is a myth. It does not happen. Your time suddenly becomes dedicated to ferrying people to various locations, when you are at home yes, you do have free time however this new free time is simply the same time you had before MINUS two people trailing your every move and undoing your every task. It is a better time yes … and it leaves you with approximately 20 minutes freedom before it is time to pick someone up!
Yes, I have been known to sit on the sofa with either my laptop or phone in hand in a vain attempt at working. This isn’t the time to do it either as this is when my partner in crime aka my husband is here. I don’t want to sit and go through the intricacies of both of our days or look lovingly at one another however I have noticed an enormous difference when sitting watching something together and actually doing that. Not dual screening, that doesn’t work. I was shocked at the lovely feeling I had when we both watched a film together, no phones or laptops in sight. It felt like we had truly done something together, how awful is that?!
So, back to the planning and reorganising of life. Both children are now settled into their new establishments. The puppy is a little easier to manage (that was a battle in itself! I felt so guilty about taking time out to walk the dog rather than to be working, either in the house or on the business!). Then I realised that this could actually become a multi tasking Self Care session. I am being deadly serious here too because I truly believe in this whilst previously also finding it nigh on impossible to put it into practice. For me, this now works. I am out of the house, I am exercising, there are no screens and the dog is being exercised as well as squeezed. That’s some planning right there and it just happened, naturally. Not with yet another list in a beautiful notebook. It wasn’t the way that others do it either. My planning and reorganising now is about doing. At this stage in life it appears to be the only way and I cannot believe that I haven’t accepted this before.
Children are not robots, recipes or reports. They are beings, they are unpredictable. Parenting is exactly the same, it is unpredictable so for the time being I will “unpredictably” build my business and manage my household.
This is most certainly more a parenting blog than a photography one today and that is something that I have tried to avoid … and I have no idea why for I am both. I am not a victim of parenthood though! I am grabbing that by the same unorganised balls as I am my business! No wine memes, no bitterness and no hippiness. Just a work hard and play hard attitude to it.
Kate Stoddart-Scott Photography is on it’s way people, it’s on it’s way!
P.S. Yes, I am quite anti people being glued to screens at the moment which is a tad ironic considering I am writing this for others to glue themselves to a screen. Ah, what IS the answer?! And what is the right balance?!
Category: Building a Business, Parenting, Photographer UK, Real Moments, Storyteller, Working Mum Tagged: Building a Business, Mama Tribe, Mental Health, MIND, Mum Blogger, photographeruk, Portrait Photographer, Self Care, Small Business UK, Start Up Life, Storyteller, Work at Home Mum
Posted on September 1, 2018
Soppy Saturday alert! So, this time six years ago was my wedding day to this man, Tom. What a day that was!
Aside from the fact that he is the love of my life, capable of making my heart burst with both love and anger (that’s what happens when you love hard!), an epic daddy and my pal … today also marks the anniversary of the day I chose a wedding photographer and I naively put my trust into someone assuming that they would run the show of our photographic memories of that incredibly special day.
Photographic memories, yes we have them. Are they what I wanted and what I was sold, no they are not. Are there basic technical faults in some of them, yes there are (believe me, being photographed getting ready with a lense that should be taking photographs of buildings does NOT a blushing bride make!). Stress on the day when the photographer called to say that he was sending someone else to take the getting ready shots and that he would meet us at the chapel, oh that was huge.
…. I could go on, the list is endless. I won’t bore you though! Suffice to say, it is not ok. In an unregulated industry you must beware of cowboys for there are way too many of them out there. Talk to your photographer – their role is a creative one. Think about the time that you dedicate to choosing the menu or amount of trips to check on the dress you do and then compare it to the time you take researching photographers, getting to know the one that you choose, speaking to people who have used them before.
This person is going to document one of the most crazy days of your life. If you don’t feel like they get you, in any way at all, then something needs to change. A wedding day is such an event. From the logistics and operations of the day to the fact that it marks the beginning of the chapter of your life where you become two people … two people ready to take on the world.
Get some bloody good photos of that day! Happy anniversary my darling husband, thank you as always, for your prodigious support in everything.
(Thank goodness mine screwed up (photographer, not husband! I wouldn’t be doing this today if he hadn’t! There’s always a positive!)
Posted on August 14, 2018
It’s been a while since my last post, in fact, more than a while. Last time we chatted I ended with something about needing time to not only live my dream but also to live my life, as me, a mummy, a wife and everything else that is in the mix! That was in May, it is now August so I’ve had some time!
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour”. John Heywood
I continue to work away quietly behind the scenes with my business, grabbing hours here and there to practice, build and choose which direction Kate Stoddart-Scott Photography is heading in. So many of John Heywood’s lines ring true right now! No, Rome wasn’t built in a day and yes there were people constantly working on it! Everything I see is a potential story, a piece of art for someone’s wall or a memory of a precious moment and it is through my eyes. Naturally there are those who see things differently … it is those who see things similarly to me that I am after, my tribe! Before I can get to those people though I need to find the right people to help me build my business.
I thought that finally making the decision to go professional and doing the Training byLumiere course was the ‘tribe moment’. It was, however what I am learning now is that it was just one of them. There are so many elements to a business and naturally, a tribe is a human social group … so I am working on building my human social group!
Running your own business and being a work at home mummy can actually be quite a solitary profession, there’s no water cooler chat or brainstorming sessions to inspire or frustrate. With the rise of childcare costs it is becoming more and more common for mummies to stay at home and work, generally setting something new up, rather than to return to work. There is an army of people like me out there, the skill is to tap into the right regiment! I tried a handful of networking groups and eventually found the right fit.
Danni McCabe of Mama Tribe … I know that I am not the first person to say thank goodness for her genius! She has ensured that networking in 2018 is current … rather than the somewhat dated and corporate approach that can be a little blind to the necessity of social media being part of your business plan! I met with Danni and Gracey in Milton Keynes (along with some other greats such as Susie, check out Wiki Places for Kids and Adele of Nutmeg Wall Art ) and left feeling like I could take on the world. Taking on the world, that feeling needs nurturing and feeding in order to keep it going and that is just what Mama Tribe does. Not only that, it introduces you to like minded individuals and it gives you the freedom to talk about work and then to switch topics and laugh about the intricacies of being a work at home mummy … you are simply someone with two jobs and you are allowed to discuss both jobs. Don’t misinterpret this though, it is not a child discussion session, no! It is an understanding that you are more than likely to be working when the children have gone to bed or you head to a meeting, turn the iPad on and Paw Patrol blasts out rather than your business plan.
My human social group aka My Tribe is growing and in turn my business is growing, as are my children and my family (we recently bought a puppy, thought that we needed to jazz things up a little!). Meet Zola. She’s amazing.
What isn’t growing is my bank balance, not yet. I think that it is as important to talk about that as it is talking about what your business is and what you are about.
When anyone makes a decision to do something completely different it is a risk. It is a controlled risk if you manage it and the most important element to manage is the expectations of others, at this stage. From day one of making this decision I have screamed from the rooftops that I will not make the mega bucks within the first three years. In fact, I won’t make much at all as with any new venture everything is outgoing rather than incoming! That combined with the fact that I am a stay at home parent is a huge thing. Financially, emotionally … and quite honestly, sometimes depressingly. I haven’t had my own pay slip for four years and now that I am doing my thing, living my dream I am essentially receiving a negative pay slip!
… and do you know what, I wouldn’t change it for the world! Don’t panic, I’m not completely delusional. I have this magic power to create extra time so, in that magical time, I’m a virtual assistant. It doesn’t inspire, it contributes and it reminds me why I am doing what I am doing now.
Take the risk, live the dream and accept the consequences … oh and find some amazing people to help you do it along the way.