The day her husband said, “You’re always on the dang computer and you’re only making $200,” was the day longtime photographer Stacy Lange knew she needed a change.
Today you’ll learn how this breast cancer survivor went from not making enough to owe taxes, to serving a photography client who invested over $4,000 in portraits.
Stacy, I am so glad you’re here.
Tell us your backstory.
What’s your history with your photography business?
I had been using the digital file model since 2011.
That was when I became a stay-at-home mom because my son was born with a rare syndrome called Prader-Willi.
Before that, I was working full-time at the Sears Portrait Studio.
But I’ve always loved photography.
That’s probably why I went to Sears – I never thought I would be able to be in business for myself.
When my son was born, I found myself naturally drawn back to photography.
But I thought since I was a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t need to change anything.
I just did it for free.
It wasn’t until two years later that I finally made some space in my basement for a studio and started charging.
Were you just selling digital files at that point?
Yeah, and I wanted it to be affordable for people, so I hardly charged anything.
I didn’t even make enough to owe taxes for the year.
So what was the moment that you realized what you were doing wasn’t working?
When you thought, “I’m spending so much time doing this, and I’m not making money. What am I doing?” Did you have a moment?
My husband said something like, “You’re always on the dang computer, but you’re only making 200 bucks.”
He just didn’t see the value in it until I started implementing what you were teaching.
I got your book in 2018, but I don’t think I read it until 2020.
Because in 2020 you were forced to!
You thought, “I might as well read this book that I have!”
So you read the book, and then when did you realize that there was a way to make real money doing what you love?
I realized it right away.
As soon as I started listening to you, I realized that this was the way to go!
It kept bringing me back to my Sears days.
Even though they were low priced, they had the same model of how you sell your products.
Right. It’s a different level of service, but the same concept.
You weren’t just giving digital files, you were showing people that they could have prints.
So did you have a conversation with your husband where you said, “Hey, I have an idea here”? How did it come about and what did he say?
He was skeptical for sure.
I said, “The last couple of years, I’ve been following her and taking her free stuff, but I really need to get into these other things now.”
A lot of husbands I know say, “Hey, go make money first and then you can have the money to invest.”
Was that what he said too?
He just wanted to learn more about you, so I gave him more of your things.
I also did my research and even talked to people in the group who had been through Boutique Breakthrough!
It’s so funny, I’ve had someone say, “I Googled you and I can’t find a bad review. What’s going on?” We’re too good!
So once you did your research, you jumped into Boutique Breakthrough!!
As you went through the process, what were your biggest ah-has?
The community was huge for me because you’re talking to people who are doing the same thing as you and are where you are.
It just made me feel amazing that I had that community.
One of my other ah-has was just knowing in my heart that this is going to work for me.
This is what I needed.
I just knew it.
It was going to work.
I went through everything that I needed to go through, I did all of my worksheets, and I attended everything.
I processed slowly, but moved quickly.
Slow and steady.
Yeah, it takes me a little longer to process everything.
So I did not get my Julie during the class, but I never questioned that I wasn’t going to.
It was just a matter of when it was going to happen.
Well, it just happened!!
My Julie was a new client who was brought to me by an old client during my digital file model days.
When I went through the process with them and showed them my prices, they didn’t even bat an eye.
They just booked a date and we went through with the session!
It was easy peasy at that point because I did all of the work before to make this point as easy as possible.
I love that you said you’re kind of a turtle, slow and steady, right?
Looking back on the system, do you think that it’s hard in any way?
I think it’s pretty simple.
What do you think looking back on it?
It’s absolutely simple.
I think everybody learns in their own way.
Nothing about it was intimidating to me.
Everything went well with my learning.
It just takes me a little longer to process, that’s all.
Yeah. When it’s new information, you have to go through it a couple of times for it to sink in.
Then you have to do it, you have to practice it.
What are you most excited about moving forward with your business?
I know you have two kiddos and they’re still young.
Yeah! I just get a lot more time with them and we get to do different things now.
We’re planning a Disney trip just from my last Julie.
So I’m excited about that.
I’m excited about getting more and continuing to move forward with the process.
I don’t have to do many because this wasn’t a source of income for us.
It was so we could do extra things.
So I only need maybe one a month.
If I get more, that can go into savings and towards their college education.
Also, I love telling my family and extended family that I DID IT!
Did anyone in your family say it wasn’t going to happen or that you shouldn’t do it?
My mom especially.
My mom was like, “Okay, nobody is going to pay that.”
My aunt was the same way.
So tell everybody what your first Julie order amount was…
Oh, that gives me chills.
Isn’t that exciting? Stacy, I am so proud of you!!
Thank you for coming and sharing your story.
I know it will inspire so many people who are telling themselves this isn’t their time.
You can’t go back and get time back.