I met Brenden Boggs shortly after delivering Olivia. She took Olivia’s newborn photos! Over the last two years, she has been a great source of encouragement for me as Mom and a businesswoman. Our offices are just a block apart so we stay up-to-date with all the local news. The quarantine has hit us very similarly and we text daily about what our days are like–chasing the PPP, EIDL, and latest news of when we can go back to work.
Brenden is soon to be a first-time mom! I couldn’t be more excited for her and her husband. They are in for the ride of their lives and in the middle of a pandemic no less! I am even more excited to share her story with you all and hope it brings you a sense of connection at this time.
Quarantine Conversations with Brenden Boggs
Right now, I’m trying to plan out the things I can. For instance, I’m for the sessions I’m scheduling a few months out I’m only doing weekend dates because I know that those will be available since my husband works during the week, and he can watch the baby. And before the baby comes I’m making sure I schedule sessions a few days apart because I feel like that’s safer for everyone. I still put together our baby registry. Right now, I’m not sure if we will get to be able to have an in-person shower. I’ve been thinking about having a virtual one, or maybe even a “sip and see” in a few months after the baby comes. For right now though the registry is a list for me to keep track of what I need to get.
I’m keeping up to date on all the stimulus package bills and applying for what I can. We are planning our bills and cutting things that we can easily do without. I did have some savings set aside for maternity leave but definitely didn’t expect to not be working this long. I’m really hoping all the grants and loans work out to get all these small businesses through this, and now it’s a waiting game. I’m working on ways to diversify my income. Being a photographer that gets a little tricky because my business revolves around being around people in person. I’m working on guides for photographers and education that I can sell online as well as filming videos for my YouTube channel. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and kinda put it on the back burner. I actually really love teaching creative subjects and simplifying them, so it’s also getting me to do something I enjoy.
I’m keeping in touch with other business owners and having “coffee dates” on zoom. Not only does it help keep my sanity and fill the need for social interaction, but it’s also super helpful to throw ideas around about what we can do. Some things that may work for your business are pre-selling, running sales, offering Mother’s Day promotions.
Keeping your business in people’s minds is going to be really important during this time. Everyone is going to be on social media, you have a captive audience-use it! Create new content or even revive old content. For example, if you have a blog topic from a year or 2 ago that was really popular revisit that topic. Maybe take new photos and maybe add some new relevant information. I have so many photos from sessions that I’ve never shared. We get so used to only showing maybe one or 2 images from a current session, but people want to see more now! Take this time to do all those back-end or back-burner things that got put off for forever!
The other side of all this work is don’t put too much pressure on yourself. This is a strange and uncertain time we are going through, and some days I’m super productive and other days I just have to set my phone away and do nothing. If you’re going through a tough time it’s ok. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically is going to be really important for you and your baby or family. I can almost guarantee on any given day right now you’re going to have downs. My philosophy about that is to feel what you’re feeling and then let it pass. Honor the fact that you’re losing out on things that are important to you. There is time you might not be able to get back, but then realize, while things may be different it also is giving you different opportunities. This is the time to discover new things! (I’ve taken up watercolor painting). You need to find something-anything that makes you happy. Whether it’s taking a relaxing bubble bath, or exercising, or spending playtime with your kids. Make sure each day is filled with at least a little bit of time that makes you smile. This is the time to realize all the blessings you do have, and there are some days where you’re going to have to put a lot of effort into remembering those blessings.
I have a high-risk pregnancy. I have type 2 diabetes and a chance or preeclampsia. It’s been difficult to plan out my life when I do a very physical job and have no idea how I’m going to feel at 7 months. Not to mention the month that I’m due (July) is completely up in the air cause the doctors don’t want me to do full term. I have to be flexible and make peace with that. This quarantine has taken a lot of time away that I thought I would be able to work. Now if I’m lucky I might be able to squeeze 2 months of work in before I have to go on maternity leave. Plus, I’m going to have to go back to work as soon as I can because it’ll be the fall season and that is my busiest time of year. I’m going to make sure I take the time I need and really enjoy my little girl when she gets here, but I also really love my job and I’m very excited to get back to it. I’ll have to find a new balance. And who knows maybe the natural course of the economy will make the balance happen.
One of the biggest tips I can give women in business who are finding this hard to navigate is to be transparent. Be transparent with yourself, your partner, and your clients/audience. I know for some people that’s hard because it makes them feel vulnerable. But when prospective clients know why you’re running your business that way they feel connected to you and are much more sympathetic to being flexible. I’ve had to reach out to clients and reschedule and let them know I’m just not comfortable being out right now (this was before things were mandatory). I have some incredible and amazing clients and they all totally understand that I’m trying to keep everyone as safe as possible.
I’m still hopeful. I hope in a year we will look back and think about all the things we made it through. We will appreciate the time we are in because we know how uncertain the world can be.
What did you like most about what Brenden Boggs had to share? Let me know in a comment below!