Episode 32: How to Break Away From Your Parent’s Definition of Success | Joy of Marketing

Episode 32: How to Break Away From Your Parent’s Definition of Success


Her only example of “success” was TERRIFYING⁠, she told me. ⁠

She grew up idolizing her business-owning dad. ⁠

Even though he MISSED all her events. ⁠

Even though he was GONE from 7 a.m. to midnight. ⁠

She grew up believing that success in her photography business would mean working all the time and never seeing her kids.

So when she started her photography business, she was self-sabotaging herself because of that fear. 

On today’s podcast, I invited my student, Connie Lynch, for an intimate chat. We’re talking about:

  • How to build a photography business while being a military spouse and mom of two young kids. 
  • How to break away from your parents’ definition of success in your photography business, to become your authentic self. 
  • And so much more. 

Running A Business With a Military Spouse 

“I have a wonderful husband who I have been married to for almost 10 years. He is in the military and we have two little boys together. With my husband being in the military, it’s uncertain if he will be deployed. There is also uncertainty with income. I needed to be able to rely on myself for income.”

“When I started my photography business I was in a shoot-and-burn model. Then I found myself in a workaholic place. I was chasing the next dollar and working on weekends, doing things you didn’t want to do. I was putting so much time, money, and dedication into my business and I got little back. I was afraid that if I wanted to be successful in my photography business, I was going to have to do triple what I had been doing. I had friends who were ‘successful’ and photographing 150 weddings a year. I didn’t want to shoot weddings, work on the weekends, or do mini session after mini session. I don’t want that. I felt so overwhelmed I was quickly getting burned out.” 

“I thought about going boutique for a couple of years before I dove into it. My photographer friends would say, ‘It’s not going to work, nobody would pay those prices.’ They were constantly shooting me down. The thing that made me finally dive into boutique was the threat of my husband coming off of orders. If he came off orders, we wouldn’t have a form of income, and he would have to be deployed. I thought to myself, ‘I have a year to make this work. If it doesn’t work then he’s going to mobilize.’ I needed to try something different.”

Managing Kids and Business During COVID

“I’ve learned to schedule and plan my day in a way where I don’t feel guilty working. I work hours when my kids are doing school, then I am able to spend the evenings with my kids and husband. I’m doing better in my business and have more time with my family. I’m having date nights with my husband and making dinner with the kids. COVID ended up being the best and worst thing to happen for my business. It forced me to buckle down and look at my numbers. From there I was able to see that the boutique model could work for me.”

“COVID taught me to stop wishing work would come to me, and look for it instead. When my state hit phase two, my phone immediately started ringing. That never happened when I was shoot-and-burn.”

The Positive Impacts of My Photography Business on My Marriage

“My husband says that he sees me as a new person since I became boutique. He said he can’t believe the positive change that boutique has had on our family. It’s awesome. He said his dream is to be the manager of my business. He wants to work for me. He’s so excited and so proud of what I’m doing.”

“Not only has going boutique improved our relationship, but it has also kept my husband from deploying.”

Overcoming Doubt and Fear

“I talk a lot with my husband and friends, but the people who helped the most were in the Peak Performers group. Reaching out to them and being honest about my days was amazing. They helped me realize that my doubt was just head trash. They would tell me, ‘It’s okay to have a bad day. What can you learn from this? How can you grow?’ On the dark days, I would reach out and they would help me so much. Before I had them my photographer friends would say, ‘You can’t do it.’ and pour negativity into me. Now the photographers in my life lift me up.”

Connie’s story photography success story warms my heart because switching from shoot-and-burn to boutique not only improved her business, but also kept her family together.

connect with portrait photographer Sarah Petty on instagram to

Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

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