047 – How to Run an Aligned Business with Breeanna Farmer

047 – How to Run an Aligned Business with Breeanna Farmer

Have you ever wondered how to ensure your business reflects your personal values and goals? Join us as we talk with Brianna Kay, a photographer, videographer, and podcast host, about running an aligned business. Brianna explains what alignment means, how to identify when your business is out of alignment, and practical steps to realign your business with your life goals. Tune in to learn how to create a business that not only thrives but also supports your personal well-being.

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[00:00:00] Today, we're going to be talking all about running a line of business. And I brought on Brianna Kay. She is an Olympic photographer, videographer, and podcast host of the Rebel CEO podcast. And today we're gonna be talking all about just, yeah, what it means, what it looks like, and how to start running an aligned business.

She talks deep into setting goals and just making sure that you're readjusting and resetting in any way that you need. So if you want to run a business with intention, you're not going to want to miss this episode.

. Brianna, welcome aboard. If you want to introduce yourself and tell everyone a little bit about just who you [00:01:00] are and what you do. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I am a wife, a stepmom, I have two dogs who are fairly young, and then I have a 13 year old cat, and I feel like I post way too many pictures and videos of them on social media.

I like home projects. So anything that makes my husband work a little bit harder. , and I just I love entrepreneurship, business, all things photography related and, , kind of just developing into the best human and friend spouse that I can possibly be. So that's kind of where I'm at in life as of right now.

I love it. It's so much. And honestly, what's really cool about what we're talking about today is just like being really aligned in like both your business and personal life. Uh, just to jump right in. Do you mind just telling us a little bit about like, what does running an aligned business mean to you?

Yeah. So aligned is being the same as, or similar to something else. [00:02:00] So if you're saying that you want an aligned business to me, what that really means is that you want your business to have and to uphold the same values and prioritize. The way of life and the things that are important to you, not only in your business, but also as a human and on a soul level.

So, for example, if your number one priority in life is family, but you're running a business that continuously takes you away from your family and is actually causing further separation between where you are and where you want to be in your life. Then that means that at least a portion of your business isn't currently in alignment And let me be clear that you're not going to find alignment 100 percent of the time And if there are seasons where you're happy to hustle harder There can also be seasons where you need more rest and you want to rest more so be sure to take this into consideration to and Revise your business plans and your schedule during each season of life I think that's so great.

And I love how you explained that it can look really different depending on the season you're in, [00:03:00] because, you know, especially like wedding photographers, right? Like that's, uh, a really hard thing to control, like when people get married. And so naturally being in the Midwest, like we've got a lot less weddings going on in the winter.

And so they tend to be pretty jam packed between the months of like May and October. So I think just like having this in mind and kind of having this mindset of like, okay, if you're going to have like a hustle season of your business, then where can you like take that time back and like kind of take a backseat and do that?

And I'm actually going on sabbatical probably when this episode airs or close to, and, um, that's been something I've had to adopt in my own business in life. It was just like, okay, if I've got these really crazy months, like how can I take that time and like also have intentional time off? So I think that's really, really cool.

Really solid. Um, and I'm really curious. So for people who are wondering, okay, am I aligned? Am I not like, what are some of the signs that maybe their business is not currently in alignment and what should they kind of do about that? Yeah. So if work in general isn't fun to you anymore, that's going to be like your first sign that [00:04:00] your business isn't in alignment.

So when I started my photography business, just about any and everything that I could shoot was fun to me. But some of you will be able to relate to this, I really quickly learned that family photography and other types of photography aside from shooting couples for the most part, it just like physically drained me and didn't leave me feeling fulfilled from my work.

So after some years I learned that like for me, Small weddings was kind of where I thrive and doing this type of work felt really good. It left me feeling energized versus drained. So I don't know. Can you relate to that at all? Have you ever just left a wedding and you're like, Okay. That was amazing. And then other weddings you've left and you're like, why am I in this line of work?

Then that's going to be a huge sign. Like when you do have that happen over and over again, that you need to change something, something there isn't in alignment, whether you said it is like the type of clients you're booking or the types of weddings, there's something that you need to dive deeper into.

And, so [00:05:00] another sign is going to be if you're like dreading what it is that you have to do, so if you've ever had a priority or a commitment where you are just like, oh my gosh, I have to do this, like, this is just another thing that I have to check off of my box. I know a lot of us get into the industry because we're genuinely like in love with photography and want to do something.

That we love and if your business has shifted from that, then do a little business, business health check and see where it is that you've fallen out of love with your business. And then the final point that I want to touch on would be that your business, if it's not on a, on a trajectory. to support where you're meant to go in life long term, then that's going to be a sign that it's not in alignment.

So when I wanted to pull away from a hard season of hustle and even burnout, I was driving all over Wisconsin and Minnesota for engagement sessions two times per week. So [00:06:00] that would take me out of the office like all day because I wouldn't be odd for me to drive four or five hours just to shoot an engagement.

So shooting weddings every weekend and trying to stay caught up on the back end of editing and admin work in between all of that Was really hard and it made me burn out pretty quickly since What was in alignment for me at that time was actually going to be to slow down and prioritize my personal life I decided to stop including free engagement sessions with every package And this meant that I was home more and that I had more time to focus on what truly mattered to me in that season of life.

So just making little shifts in your business, like just simple little shifts, like the way that you put your packages together, or how often you're on the road, or how many shoots you can take a week, can help to create a more aligned business. So it doesn't have to be big and scary and hard. Totally. And, you know, I think a lot of people, uh, Kind of [00:07:00] grow up with this mentality.

I know generations before us, before us have been very like, yeah, career driven and you got to work the 40 hour work week and you got to kind of like wait to retire and all those things. But you know, and not everyone's created for that. And in my opinion, and I know in yours too, um, do you mind just sharing some tips that have helped you kind of like go from this season of, okay, I'm, I'm doing all these things.

I know you've kind of made these small shifts in your business, um, to kind of be more aligned, but like. What has helped you actually like figure out what should those boundaries be and actually start prioritizing more of what you love both in your personal life and business? Yeah. So this is one of my favorite questions and I feel like the answer again is really just so simple.

So being In a service based business, we tend to only consider ourselves as busy when we have shoots or meetings on the calendar. So all of the behind the scenes workload, like your editing, responding to emails, social media, et cetera, it all gets pushed aside. And we usually fit it in wherever we find the time or [00:08:00] whenever we find the time.

So this can lead to long hours and late nights. And like, if you've ever just been. Up trying to meet deadlines because you kind of push something off for so long and all of a sudden just piled up like that's where this can take you so not all that long ago, like I think just last year. Honestly, I started scheduling in everything into my planner so I can look out and see when I'll be editing when I'll be working on my podcast and then I can schedule and space out other appointments so that I'm not Working 24 7 so that I'm not like overloading my schedule without even realizing it So when I took the time to schedule all of that work, I actually Could see how busy like I really wasn't it was just insane so When you have control over your schedule and you're proactive versus reactive about it, you can intentionally leave that time open for the priorities that you've defined in your personal life as being like, the most important [00:09:00] thing or some of the most important things to you.

So maybe you decide to stop taking more than one wedding per weekend, or you leave one weekend open per month. You then can take that extra time when you're too busy. Taking off of work and you can schedule in things that you have determined are a priority in your personal life. So, again, that could be family, which it is for many, um, free time, it could be fun, it could be friends, like, really, it can be whatever you decide is, like, the most important place for you to put that time.

And then, to do more of what you love, specifically in your business, I want to encourage anybody who is in the art space, so, um, I know that you speak to photographers directly, so this is going to apply to you. So, I want to empower you all to step down from your pedestal and do some free work. So, work where there's no pressure, like, do something that lights you up from inside, uh, shoot that maybe, like, fuels you, that fills your heart, and you don't even have to share it if you [00:10:00] don't want to.

Just do something that you're really, truly excited about, and give yourself that fulfilling feeling that you used to have, probably, when you started in the industry, and you're like, okay, this is just, you know, thing ever. I can't believe that I get to do this for a job. And then finally, I would say to set goals for the future of your business that are going to help your business move forward down a path where it continues to serve you and the life that you want even better.

I love that. And I think what you were saying about just like, Setting up fun shoots and kind of like really giving space to be creative. I think that's such an easily missed thing because I mean, when we're doing our client work, there are elements of creativity, but at the end of the day, it is a client deliverable.

So there is kind of this confinement to, um, you know, delivering what it is that you agreed upon in the contract. And so, yes, you can still be creative and do all that stuff, but there's also this deliverable at the end of it. And that can put this pressure on it. And so I [00:11:00] think. I love what you were just saying about just like setting aside time to have creativity and be creative.

And, um, it doesn't necessarily have to be a client deliverables. Like you can do this in your own time. And I think. Um, you're doing that then for yourself and, and, and yeah, you can share it if you want, but you don't have to. But, um, I've found that when I've, you know, done stuff in my business and have kind of just like only focused on client work and not necessarily doing anything that is creatively, you know, inspiring, um, it can easily lead to burnout.

And so I, I love that. I think that's so good. So for anyone listening, like if that's one of the things you take away from today, like for sure, think through like, What do you need to do to create and like be more inspired? Because what Brianna is saying here is so dang true. And I'd love to kind of dive deeper into the planning aspect of it.

So, um, when it comes to strategic planning and goal setting, what have you found Brianna to be specifically impactful for in driving your business towards like aligning and you're. Values and all of that. Yeah. So one of my friends introduced me to this topic, and it's called A [00:12:00] Think Week. So we can thank Cassidy Hargrove, she's another photographer for that concept. , so a think week is actually where you go somewhere. It could be like a staycation, so closer to home or somewhere further away. for about a week.

And the key is to go by yourself and be fully disconnected when you go there. So stay off of social media, stay out of your email inbox and don't be tempted to text with friends either. So you can set vacation reminders if you're worried about your, your email, but like just completely try to disconnect as much as you possibly can.

You need to be able to get uncomfortable and to get bored with yourself. And then that's where the real magic is going to happen and where you can dive deep into what you actually want. So you're going to use your think week to map out your next quarter or your next year. So whatever it is that you decide and set some big business changing goals for yourself.

So I've done one mini think week since I heard of this and I'm trying to get another one on the schedule right now. [00:13:00] And this is where I really laid the groundwork for my first digital course and decided that it was, or that I was meant to have a podcast. So like, I'm not the type of person that anybody in my life would ever think would start a podcast.

I was just talking to Hallie before we get on, got on saying how nervous I get when I speak. So like, I can't imagine that if I didn't do Think We can just kind of sit with myself and my thoughts and my wishes for the future. Like I probably never would have started one or been on podcasts because I just, I would have kept pushing that aside.

But when you kind of sit with yourself and like what it is that you want out of this life and what it is that you have to do to get there, then you can start to dream bigger and become the visionary and the CEO for your business instead of just spending your time at working on the small tasks inside of your business that don't actually move the needle forward.

So obviously You can set the big future goals during [00:14:00] your Think Week, but you don't have to use Think Week to set, or you don't have to do a Think Week to set goals. You can set goals without doing a Think Week. So, my tip for goal setting is to break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps.

So, set a date, if you set a goal, set a date that you want to have it achieved by, and then set dates for all of the steps that you break that goal into. So I'm going to stay on the podcast trajectory. Let's say that you want to launch a podcast. So in order to launch that podcast, maybe you have to get a microphone.

Maybe you have to schedule calls, pick a name, edit your, your podcast episode, schedule your show, et cetera. Like there's a lot of steps that go into actually launching that podcast and making your goal a reality. So within. Each of those steps, what I want you to do is set a due date, and then we're going to go back to your schedule and you're going to schedule in each of the steps.

So then instead of looking at your goal and saying, I'm going to [00:15:00] launch a podcast in three months, you've now turned that big picture goal into, I'm going to do. This, this week, I'm going to come up with the show name this week, let's say, or next week I'm going to be finding guests to interview or getting podcast equipment.

So you're breaking this big goal that could change your business and in turn change your life into smaller bite size steps and, and giving yourself a date that you can like follow through on and make sure that you do each by. And then the key from there is just going to be sure that you are putting the action behind.

That goal and actually doing things when you have them scheduled for. I think that's so so good because we might have these lofty goals and You might look at it and be like, okay. Yeah, let's say I'm launching a podcast this year Honestly, I wish I would have had this advice before launching my podcast because it took me way longer to launch it then [00:16:00] it probably needed to because of just like feeling really overwhelmed by like, oh, this is a huge thing and Not really feeling like aligned it with like, okay.

Where do I start? What should I call it all these things like it was like a whole thing, right? But I love how you just talked about like breaking it into like little bite sized pieces And just like taking on one little thing at a time I think it's so easy for the go getters to be like, okay Yeah, I'm gonna do this and then maybe you do a little sprint and you get pretty far but then You can't really fully take it to the finish line because you get burnt out, you get overwhelmed, and you're like, man, this is too much.

So, um, I think it's really good to just kind of sit with yourself and figure out like, okay, yeah, like, how can I make this actually manageable and find the time to do this? Because it might be a big project, but if you give yourself kind of those little bite sized tasks and do it over a course of like a longer period of time, you'll be able to walk away from, you know, that time period with actually finishing something versus trying to do it all at once and getting burnt out, feeling overwhelmed, and never finishing it.

So. I love that. It's so good, Brianna. Um, so I know with that, with this, a lot of things can get in the way like a big one [00:17:00] being like mindset. Um, do you have any mindset shifts or perspectives that really helped you transition into just kind of viewing your business more holistically as like the CEO and like feeling a little bit more empowered to take control of your business versus always working in it?

Yeah, absolutely. So one of my favorite things that I heard, and I think I've even said this before in our mastermind. So nobody cares what you're doing as much as you care about what you're doing. So everybody is always worried about posting online because they're worried about their high school classmates or what other people in the industry will think.

And it's really just hurting you and people who could have benefited from what you have to offer if you're holding yourself back there. And then The other people's opinion of you is, like, literally none of your business anyway, so their opinion of you is for them to know, not you. It's not your business.

So stay in your own lane, do some serious soul searching, and follow whatever it is that you think is truly [00:18:00] meant for you. Whether you're worried that people will laugh at you, or think that you're not qualified, or not. And then along the lines of if you're feeling unqualified to do something, remember that everybody starts somewhere.

So am I qualified to have my own podcast? I feel like some people would probably say no, but I know that I figured out how to run a successful six figure business and there are so many others who would love to get where I have and I feel called to help them get there, but teach them how to do it without making the same mistakes that I have along the way.

And then was I qualified to be a photographer when I started my business? Um, absolutely not, but I did it anyway. And somewhere along the way I became an expert in all things, wedding photography related. So basically here's a breakdown of the steps that you can take Or that the steps that can take you from burnt out entrepreneur who actually ends up working 24 7 for their business to a CEO who is living a life where they can look back [00:19:00] on and realize that they have no regrets about the way that they lived their life and ran their business when they're 80 years old.

So. The first step is going to be your vision and your purpose. So discover and clarify your vision and your purpose. And this is going to set the foundation for every decision that you make, and it helps you stay true to whatever your own unique path is. So you're going to use your vision and purpose, and you're going to infuse it into every decision you make for your business.

So if somebody asks you to do something like, let's say, Hallie asked me to be on this podcast, and it didn't serve kind of where I. Want to go or it didn't support my vision and my purpose. I would have said no. So everything that you do moving forward Is it an alignment? Is it something that you truly want to do?

Is it something that moves the needle forward for you or that you feel excited about even? And then step two is going to be your authenticity and branding. So step two, you're going to carve out your unique brand voice and your message. [00:20:00] So create a genuine connection with your audience and then let your brand be a reflection of your true self.

The next step is going to be to work on your strategic planning and your goal setting, which I touched on when we talked about think week, and then as a CEO, you're going to have that roadmap for success, and it's going to be crucial for your business. Next. So when you're strategically planning and your goal setting, you will clarify where you want to go and break those goals down again into those actionable steps that will move your business forward.

And then the final step in kind of becoming that CEO and getting that business, that's like really aligned to your life and like where you want to be is going to be to implement efficient systems and a workflow. So. Time is a precious resource. I know that some people don't want to even trade time for money and money is obviously a huge resource.

So if you're at the point where you're like, I don't want to be working in my, or working 24 [00:21:00] seven for like just money. Like I would rather step back and get some free time. Then you're going to understand this one. So. When you can implement systems and workflows, then that's going to free up your time, which is so, so, so important.

So streamlining the processes are going to free up your creativity and it's going to help you grow and again, prioritize what truly matters in your life. And I think that's really good just to view all four of these things, right? Like having a foundation of like your vision and purpose, right? And then really going into making sure that your brand reflects that.

And then with that, you can set goals that are aligned and then put in the systems to make it happen. Like. Those all really feed so well into each other. So I just really appreciate you, Brianna, just coming on today and like talking a lot about just like building an aligned business and making any shifts or whether their mindset or little tweaks here and there in the processes to like really help people live out what they're supposed to be doing in [00:22:00] terms of like, not just working 24 seven, but truly living a lifestyle.

is empowered through the way that they build their business. So I love that. Thank you so much for people who want to connect with you more or learn more from you, where can they find you? And what types of things do you have to offer? Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram at Brianna K Photography, and then you can get my podcast from there, and my name is spelled funny, so just make sure to check the show notes.

There are two E's and two N's in Brianna, and then I also have a Discover Your Manifesting Superpower quiz that is really fun, so, um, again, that will be linked in the show notes. Awesome. Thank you. So be sure to check out Brianna. And Brianna, thank you so much for being here today. For those of you listening, we'll see you next week.


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