The Brain Trust
To continue off Mondays Instagram post (follw me: @briannacaster), I thought I’d write more about my bit of advice to other small business owners. Whether you’re a wedding photographer, a yoga teacher, a lawyer… or any other profession you can think of – I think this advice applies.
Running a business is not easy. To speak directly from my own experience, running a wedding photography business is not easy. Photographing weddings is the fun part, and I’ve learned to truly enjoy almost every aspect of my business. Managing my social media, digital marketing, etc. has all become fun for me. It’s like a game trying to figure out what works, what people are interested in, what gets more followers, what loses followers, and all that. Hell, I even enjoy writing checks and paying my team – I really do! The part I hate about running my own business – is the difficult conversations I sometimes have to have. The issues that arise that mean I have to make decisions that I’m often not sure how to make. I probably consult my brain trust at least once a week, sometimes once or twice a day depending on the issue at hand.
So who is in my brain trust? My husband, my Mom, my Sister, my mentor, and many times – members of my photography team are the people I turn to. I don’t consult just one of them – I always consult at least 3. But I don’t always stop there depending on how big of an issue is at hand and what is at stake. I will often intentionally seek the advice of people whose advice I don’t think I actually want to hear… I try to get as many well rounded opinions as possible. If it’s as simple as “should I spend money on this?” I may only ask a couple of people and move on. But when it becomes as complicated as, “How do I respond to this person” or “How do I handle this bride?” it can get very complicated. Those are the moves, in my photography business, that are often the most crucial. The questions may not seem that deep, but in my industry – everyone is watching. There are often more people involved than just myself or my photographers and this industry is about relationships – not just with my couples, but with my peers, my colleagues and fellow vendors. Those relationships are incredibly important in order to keep my business thriving. I may ask for too many opinions at times, but I won’t stop until I feel comfortable with my decision.
Who should you have in your brain trust? That’s up to you to decide. I would recommend you should choose a couple of people who are close to you and know your business, other peers in your industry, a mentor if you have one, and people whose opinions may directly conflict with yours. It is important to hear that side too! You’ll be surprised at where you land more often than not, and you’ll be thankful for it in the long run.
All of the people I choose, I have high respect for, even if we have differing opinions on major topics. They are people I trust, and they are all people who help my business grow. Without ALL of those people – I wouldn’t be where I am today… capturing memories like these:
For more information on wedding photography – or for questions about running a small business, feel free to reach out to me! Visit our website at http://www.BriannaCaster.com, click “Say Hello” and drop me a line.