So often I get my business advice from things I’ve learned through Weight Loss and Candy Crush Saga.

Candy Crush Saga is a bit unexpected but really, the longer you play, the more boosters you accumulate and it’s easier to win. If boosters are seen as Networks, Experience, Momentum, Google Reviews, Blog Numbers, using all those resources that you didn’t have when you first started makes it almost hard to lose. The list goes on on that one but that’s a post for another day.

Over the last ten years, I have learned SO much about weight loss. I’ve struggled in this area for a really long time so naturally, I’ve scoured books and articles looking for that one game changer and in the meantime, I’ve learned a lot about health and fitness. But I wanted to share with you the best advice on weight loss I ever received. And it was from the guy who sat next to me while working my office job.

He said, “Weight loss isn’t one big thing. It’s a thousand tiny decisions and they all count equally.”

The idea hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s not JUST eating a protein filled breakfast. It’s not JUST getting enough water. It’s not JUST cutting snacks after dinner. It’s that AND. ¬†We spend all this time looking for that ONE game changer and we never stop to realize, it’s a hundred tiny things, not just one thing.

The same is true of our businesses. It’s not JUST fantastic client experience. It’s not JUST quick delivery time on photos. It’s not JUST showing up on Social Media.It’s not JUST a killer website. It’s all of it and they all count equally. It’s knowing each and every interaction builds or chips away at your reputation. It’s knowing that how you respect and treat your industry peers is just as important as how you treat your clients. It’s ALWAYS bringing it.

It’s making sure your business is insured and operating legally
It’s building on your craft and delivering amazing work
Replying to emails quickly and enthusiastically
Being reliable
Being punctual
Treating everyone with respect and kindness
Curating a client experience
Keeping your website and blog updated
Keeping your gear clean and maintained
Treating your employees well
Showing up to networking events
Being active in the community
Giving back to the industry
Having a solid marketing strategy

So often we go to workshops and conferences and invest in online courses looking for that ONE thing. That one thing that will change everything and propel us into the next level of awesome and I’m here to tell you: It’s not just one thing. It’s tons of little things. And they all count equally.

Denise Karis is an Arizona wedding photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

Have you seen this video?

A little girl and a little boy are arguing over whether it is sprinkling or raining outside and tensions run pretty high here.

So often when I’m debating with someone (Mainly Raffi) about something trivial, like if Expelliarmus was the best spell for Harry to use at the final battle, I’ll cut the conversation short by saying “You’re not real, I’m real” (one of the most genius lines in the video). Because, so often, you’re both right!

via GIPHY

I’m one of those people who get sucked into online drama pretty easily. I definitely read the comments and I totally relate to the Michael Jackson Popcorn GIF that get’s posted on every heated Facebook thread. In almost every thread, I see two people arguing over who is right and who is wrong and it reminds me of this video because:
THEY’RE BOTH RIGHT.

There is more than one right answer to any opinion based question, especially when it comes to art and creativity.

This new revaluation can also be incredibly freeing. What’s right for him might not be right for you and what’s right for you might not be right for her. There’s no pressure to be the “right one” because there is no right one.

The other day someone asked me a few different ways what is the right film stock to use. I totally get it too…. I thought Fuji400 was THE film stock for years simply because it’s what everyone else used. It wasn’t until two years later that I found my work to shine brighter on Portra400. That doesn’t mean I’m right or they’re wrong, it just means my preferred film stock is Portra. But if another photographer out there found their work looks best on Fuji 400, well then we are both real AND pretty cause we found our right answer. (Really, this post doesn’t work that well without watching that video, so if you haven’t yet…)

Another friend of mine told me she just started shooting film and texted her friend if she should meter with the bulb in or out. Her friend said “Bulb out” and I shrugged and said, “I do mine bulb in.” My friend then gave a small exasperated sigh at that news. It’s frustrating when you keep getting different advice but it’s liberating when you realize you can take your OWN advice. You can do trial and error, experiment, leave everyone else’s opinion behind and figure out YOUR answer. What’s the answer that is true for you?

Girl, it’s Wednesday, we still got time to dig deep and find our right answers to our most pressing questions this week!

Denise Karis is an Arizona wedding photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

My legs are sore.

My legs are sore because 30/38 days this year, I have ran as fast as my legs can carry me on a treadmill at the local gym. I remember the first time I felt fat (yikes, are we going there?). I was four years old and I saw a Madonna video. I immediately went to my closet. I put on a bikini top (purple with a ruffle & various fruits on it), some cutoff shorts and a jean jacket. I pulled my hair up into a wild ponytail, licked a red M&M and applied the color to my lips, and looked at myself in the mirror. I didn’t look at all like the dancers in the Madonna video. They all had abs of steel and I was rocking a four year old puppy belly. They all had cleavage and I didn’t even know what the word cleavage meant. I remember thinking “How come my body looks like this and theirs look like that?” And I’ve had body issues ever since. Cool story, huh?

So now, years later, years and years and years later, I’m consistently going to the gym. Please don’t misunderstand… I’ve feebly tried to get it together “body-wise” so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve been to a handful of yoga classes, a handful of spin class, a handful of Zumba, Pilates, you name it. I’ve also done a solid week of every diet you can think of. The Whole 30, Keto, Paleo, South Beach… you name it.

Are you seeing a trend?

A week isn’t going to do jack.

Month 1, I learned that everything is a trade-off. Month 2, I learned I am more than what I thought I was. And month 3, I learned that it takes patience. Not that I HAVE patience, rather if I’m going to do big things, those big things are going to take consistent effort and a hell of a lot of patience.

30 days of running = 7 pounds…. and here I was thinking “Gimmie 30 lbs off or it’s not worth it.” No, no, sweet darling, this is going to be slow and painful and only when it’s over will you look back and say that it was worth it.

I’m looking at my calendar, my life, my days & decisions and thinking, “These are not small things. These are wildly huge things. You’re trying to reform your health, you’re trying to build a business, you’re trying to support your family with this business, you’re starting a YouTube channel, you’ve started a second and third Instagram for your channel and family work… this is not easy.”

At the Arizona Science Center there is an outdoor water exhibit. You pull levers, push buttons, and snap springs to launch a ball up into a series of tubes and slides, all spinning in water. One section is particularly frustrating. You have to pump a handle up and down to build pressure. Then, once the handle is too heavy to push and the pressure has built up, you can pull the knob to release the pressure, launching the ball up a long tube and onto one of the overhead tracks. This can be frustrating for a couple of reasons. First, building up that pressure can be hard. It’s an arm exercise and the longer you pump, the harder it gets. Then, if your pressure wasn’t enough, the ball sometimes launches upwards only to fall back down again and you have to start back at square one, only this time, your arms are already tired.

This is what this month has felt like. Working hard at the gym all week and then realizing you blew all your hard work on a big meal at Carrabba’s that Saturday. Making a vendor connection and then finding out they moved to Michigan the following week. Finally sitting down to post on Instagram and realizing you have nothing you want to say.

So the ball drops, and sore arms and all, you make a decision. To try again, only this time harder. Or to skip the whole thing.

I’m not skipping the whole thing, and neither are you. Because now we know, it takes time, it takes patience. It takes getting up over and over and over again. It takes teaching yourself how to bounce back without blinking an eye and each time you bounce back, you’re smarter, you’re stronger, and you’re better. One of the most valuable things I heard this month was a quote from a YouTube Video (Sorry, I can’t find it anywhere now) and it said, “If you do hard things, your life will be easy. If you do easy things, your life will be hard.”

I’m headed into month four, stronger, smarter, and better… and with some very sore legs.

Denise Karis is an Arizona wedding photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

 

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