How Brooke Happe Turned Her Crochet Hobby into a Full-Time Adventure

How Brooke Happe Turned Her Crochet Hobby into a Full-Time Adventure

How Brooke Happe Turned Her Crochet Hobby into a Full-Time Adventure

Are you ready to be inspired by an incredible entrepreneurial journey? Look no further than Brooke Happe, the owner of B.E.Happe Designs, who left her career as a physical therapist to turn her crochet hobby into a full-time adventure.

In todays episode, we’ll take you through Brooke’s inspiring journey and share some of the key lessons she’s learned along the way. So grab a cup of tea, kick back, and prepare to be inspired!

Brooke Happe, the owner of B.E.Happe Designs, who made the bold decision to leave her career and turn her crochet hobby into a full-time adventure. Tune in as Brooke shares her inspiring journey of transitioning from a physical therapist to traveling the country in an RV with her family, while also giving back to children’s hospitals.

We’ll also dive into how Brooke balances homeschooling her children and running her business, along with tips for creating a solid brand and theming your days to increase productivity. Plus, you’ll learn how Brooke started her business on a budget and get advice for those who are just starting their own entrepreneurial journey.

Make sure to stick around until the end of the episode to find out where you can find Behappe Designs and Brooke on social media, and discover even more ways to stay connected with this amazing crochet entrepreneur. So kick back, relax, and join us for an engaging and informative conversation with Brooke Happe!


00:06:10. Making the Decision to Leave the Career for Family Time

00:11:21. Transitioning to Traveling the Country in an RV and Giving Back to Children’s Hospitals

00:13:36. Homeschooling and running a business

00:18:21. Creating a solid brand

00:22:29. Theming your days to increase productivity

00:27:56. Starting a business on a budget

 00:29:59. Advice for those starting a business

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Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Turning Tragedy into Triumph: The Inspiring Story of Eden Woodcrafts

Losing a child is one of the toughest tragedies anyone can face in life. It’s hard to even imagine how one can cope with such a loss and find hope amidst the pain. But for the owner of Eden Woodcrafts, woodworking became her coping mechanism and eventually led her to turn tragedy into triumph.

In our latest podcast episode, we sit down with the owner of Eden Woodcrafts and hear her inspiring journey of how she found her way to woodworking after losing her daughter, Eden. What started as a form of therapy to heal herself soon turned into a passion for creating one-of-a-kind wooden pieces that captured the essence of her daughter.

Today, she is not only a successful business owner but also a pharmacist, mom, and wife. And in this episode, we dive into her story, the challenges she faced along the way, and the valuable advice she has for those looking to pursue their own passions and leave their 9 to 5 jobs.

The story of Eden Woodcrafts is one that speaks to the power of turning tragedy into triumph, of finding hope in the darkest of days. It’s a reminder that no matter what life throws our way, there’s always a way to overcome it and find success in our own unique way.

So if you’re someone who dreams of leaving your 9 to 5 and pursuing your passions, this episode is a must-listen. Join us as we uncover the heartwarming story of how Eden Woodcrafts came to be and discover how one woman managed to turn her darkest days into her brightest future.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date with our latest episodes and inspirational stories.


5:07. Starting the woodworking business

11:44. Growing the business and navigating legal aspects

12:52. Introduction to Eden Woodcraft

13:42. Future Plans for Eden Woodcraft

18:28. Juggling Motherhood and Business

27:00. Popsicle bath

29:24. Getting started in woodworking

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Strategies to Gain Visibility and Attract Customers

Strategies to Gain Visibility and Attract Customers

Strategies to gain visibility and attract customers

Get ready to level up your business game with our latest podcast episode! In this episode, we’re diving into the most effective strategies to gain visibility and attract customers. From building your ideal avatar to mastering SEO and keywords, we’re covering it all.

Plus, you’ll hear expert advice and insider tips on how to be genuine on social media, navigate Instagram’s algorithm, and increase your visibility.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, this episode is a must-listen. Tune in for all the insights and actionable steps you need to crush your business goals. Don’t miss it!


0:00. Introduction to the podcast

2:41. Starting a business and building an avatar

7:33. Importance of having a website and email list

13:06. The importance of being genuine on social media

22:11. The current state of Instagram’s algorithm and the importance of testing your content

27:00. Importance of SEO and Keywords

30:28. Tips for Starting Out and Being Consistent

35:29. Using Giveaways to Increase Visibility

40:12. Gaining Visibility for Startups

40:54. Social Media and Website

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How to Make Your Dreams Come True

How to Make Your Dreams Come True

How to Make Your Dreams Come True

Do you ever feel like your dreams are just out of reach? That no matter how hard you try, every door seems to close before you even have a chance. 

Our guest today knows exactly how that feels. She had a dream, and it seemed like everyone she talked to told her it was impossible. But she didn’t give up. In fact, she did just the opposite. She packed her bags, moved to a different country, and never stopped fighting for her dreams.

I’m excited to welcome our guest today from Portugal, Brytta Morira, founder of the Yoga Hostel, to the show. She’s here to share her inspiring story and teach us how to make our wildest dreams come true. So if you’re feeling stuck, if you’re feeling like giving up, this episode is for you. Tune in to hear how one person overcame every obstacle in her path to make her dreams a reality. 

Let’s get started.


6:11. Moving her business to Portugal

8:00. The truth about living abroad

11:09. How to overcome the tough times

11:37. How to get up after getting knocked down so many times

13:02. How to handle hearing “no”

19:53. Advice to ambitious women who are pursuing a dream

You can find Brytta:

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[00:00:02.380] – Deanna

Hey Brytta. I am so stoked. How are you?

[00:00:06.190] – Brytta

I’m doing so well. I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me. How are you doing?

[00:00:11.960] – Deanna

I’m doing good. I’m doing good. There’s a little bit of a time difference between us right now because you are in Portugal.

[00:00:19.470] – Brytta

I am.

[00:00:19.910] – Deanna

And we’re going to talk about that a little bit more about how you got to Portugal and what’s going on over there. But first, let’s talk about the Yoga Hostel. So you are going through a total rebrand and changing your business to the Yoga Hosel. So what is the yoga hospital?

[00:00:43.100] – Brytta

Thank you for asking. So the yoga hospital has been my dream for at least 10 years. Basically, since I started traveling the world and teaching yoga, I was in my early 20s and couldn’t afford hotel stay, so I would stay at hostels. And I always carry a giant backpack on my back and I have rods in my spine. And the one thing that really helped carrying all that weight on my back hurting was yoga. And I’m like, Oh, my God, travelers need yoga. And I’m a yoga teacher. I’ve been teaching for eight years, and I want to open a yoga hostel. And when people think of yoga, they think of the postures, the meditation. But I’m someone who really believes in taking my yoga off the mat. So of course, we’re going to move on the mat, we’re going to breathe. But I really want to serve community. I want to serve women. I also really want to serve people who are either refugees, people who are going through the visa process because I have been through a very similar process. And I understand, I guess, the mental health care that really needs to be taken into consideration when you’re going through intense bureaucratic processes.

[00:01:54.870] – Brytta

I also have worked in refugee camps, and I have a huge passion for just helping people who have come from these war torn countries and they’re trying to rebuild a life. I really would love to hire a refugee family at my hostels and teach them the skill sets needed so when they move on to the next country, they can get hired somewhere. So it’s going to be a mix of yoga on the mat with a mix of yoga off the mat and really teaching people that yoga is the future. If we choose to step into that vibration of it, if we choose to not make it about our yoga outfits or how our bodies need to look, but really honoring the history and the roots of yoga in present day time while also just catering to travelers because travelers stay at hostels. And it’s going to be here in Portugal. I’m actually starting next week, I’m going to be looking at properties, which is terrifying plus super exciting. And I’m just so grateful that after 10 years of just traveling and teaching and experience that I have the opportunity and privilege to make my biggest dream come true.

[00:02:59.730] – Brytta

I i’m so… It’s really hitting me this year because I’m like, Oh, my God. Property next week. This is happening. It’s happening. It’s happening. It’s going to be a big community of people who are here to serve.

[00:03:12.450] – Deanna

Oh, my gosh. That is so exciting. And of course, today we’re talking about how to make your dreams come true. And you are doing it. But what I’m hearing is that making your dreams come true doesn’t happen overnight. It’s taken you 10 years to get to this point. First off, let’s talk about Portugal. And why are you in Portugal? Because when I met you, you lived in the US. Were you born in the US?

[00:03:41.250] – Brytta

I was born in the US, yes.

[00:03:43.670] – Deanna

Okay. So what led you to Portugal?

[00:03:46.920] – Brytta

Yes. So the first time I decided to start traveling the world and teaching yoga, I backtracked throughout the UK and the EU. And my family is Portuguese. My mom’s father, he’s from Mozambique, which is a Portuguese colony. And that’s how my grandmother met him when she was traveling throughout Africa teaching girls school. And I just think it’s so funny how much more we are.

[00:04:09.980] – Deanna

That is so crazy. So it’s in your blood. It is.

[00:04:12.860] – Brytta

In my blood.

[00:04:13.570] – Deanna

You couldn’t void it, even if you tried.

[00:04:16.430] – Brytta

Exactly. And I really think those things happen on purpose. And before coming to Portugal, I was in New York City, and I was friends with one of my aunts on Facebook who lives in Portugal. And I just Skyped with her because when Skyped, we were using that back in the day. And I said, I’m going to be in Portugal. Could I come and visit? And she was like, Come home. Please come stay with me. I’d love to have you. And I literally showed up at her door in Portugal not knowing her. And she introduced me to my entire family here. And I have 100 family members here. And I’m not talking about seventh, eighth, or ninth cousins. I’m talking my first and second cousins because my grandfather and his whole family are Portuguese. So I got to meet my family. I adore them. I love them. I see so much of myself. And then I actually figured out why I do some of the things I do when I’m around them. And not bad things, just things that I’m like, No one in America acts this way. Why am I like this? And then I’m like, Oh, I’m Portuguese.

[00:05:17.090] – Brytta

It makes sense. And every year I came back to Portugal, whether it was teaching at boom festival, which is a big yoga festival here, whether it was here for Christmas and New Year’s to see my family again. And I kept those relationships with them. I literally talked to them every single day through WhatsApp and Facebook and just kept in touch with them. I kept coming back. And I love Portugal. I am so in love with this country. The people are incredible. The beach is literally my front yard.

[00:05:47.750] – Deanna

Oh, wow. How could you not fall in love with that?

[00:05:50.710] – Brytta

Please come visit. When I open the hostel, everyone come. It’s got to be on the beach because

[00:05:55.260] – Deanna

Oh! I’m coming.

[00:05:56.170] – Brytta

The whole country is on the ocean. It’s just so nice here. And I’m so happy here. And I knew eight years ago when I showed up here that this… I knew it was going to be here. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know when, but I knew. And I tried so many ways to make this happen. And after a very long journey, I’m finally here.

[00:06:20.960] – Deanna

That’s exciting. But your journey is not over. It’s really just beginning. So you are trying to get your visa there, to permanently live there.

[00:06:34.230] – Brytta


[00:06:34.480] – Deanna

And that’s been a challenge for you, hasn’t it?

[00:06:38.300] – Brytta

Yes. So when I visited here eight years ago, I tried getting citizenship through my grandfather because he’s Portuguese, but that was denied for bureaucratic reasons that I have to really do some yoga to let that not have grudges because it’s a very hard process. I tried that. I tried getting my D7 visa three times, which is basically the digital nomad visa. I work online, so I thought it would work. I was denied three times. Then I hired an agency. I have a whole group of people over here representing me. I’m like, Listen, I will fly to Portugal tomorrow if they keep denying me, so figure it out. T,hey were like, Okay, just get over to Portugal and you’re going to open a business here. I’m like, Great. That’s what I wanted to do from day one. I was like, Glad we’re doing it now. And basically I flew here in July. I had three days left on my passport. My passport was going to expire in January, but you can’t fly on it the last six months. I flew over here with three days left. I got an apartment and for two months, everyone’s on holiday from July and August.

[00:07:45.160] – Brytta

Really nothing happened over the summer. I’m like, I’m going to go to festivals. I’m going to enjoy this. I’m not going to let myself get stressed. It’s been a very stressful week to process. And then in September, I got approved for my business to be here. I’m technically in a waiting period, but I get to wait for 18 to 24 months in Portugal while I wait for the approval, and everyone gets approved through this process. No one has been denied. Fingers crossed. I’m not the one to do that. But I’m very happy. It was the name I wanted. It’s the yoga hospital. That had to get approved in itself. And now that I have the legal name of it, I can have online clients because if I came here right away wanting to get the building on day one, I would have been denied. They said, get over here, just get the name, get online clients, and then get the building. So now next month is when I’m going to start looking at buildings because that’s just how the.

[00:08:36.360] – Brytta

Process works.

[00:08:37.110] – Deanna

That’s how it works. So what was it like when you got that first denial?

[00:08:43.430] – Brytta

Well, when I got denied for my grandfather, I was really young at the time and I wasn’t as upset. I really thought it was ridiculous. I’m like, How dare you? Everyone else in my family lives here, but his brother is allowed to live here and their kids can, and I can’t. I see it as injustice. I’m such an activist in that way. I’m like, let me have justice. It’s unfair. And I was really upset. But I was still so young. I was like 20, 21. So I knew I had a lot to learn still. I didn’t take that as personally. I even came back two years later and tried getting it through my grandfather again. And they were just like, no. And then when I got denied my visa last year, that is when I was like, We are going to battle. And I was like, it was a very hard process. If you want to live abroad, I highly recommend it. But I want to make it very clear, it is not the travel photos on Instagram. It is real life. There is language barriers. It is really hard. You need to have a support system.

[00:09:47.070] – Brytta

You need to know that what you want is worth it because everyone will tell you their opinions of how it’s not worth it. And you have to believe in yourself. And I feel like I really fought hard for this. So I’m really grateful that I’m here. Pof art of me is like, I know I have a privilege being here, but the other part of me is like, No, I fought really hard for this. This was my work. Everyone could quit after being denied a visa. I literally told them I’m showing up and they’re going to give it to me. And that’s what I did.

[00:10:17.130] – Deanna

Oh, my God. Well, you know what you’re saying? It applies to so many people that have a dream, regardless what business that they’re in. But if you want something, you have to fight for it. If you want it bad enough, is it worth it?

[00:10:34.390] – Deanna

I love that you share that. It has to be worth that fight to keep pushing. And where do you find that? How do you keep fighting when you get knocked down so many times? Where do you find that inspiration?

[00:10:53.050] – Brytta

This is such a good question. This is actually going to be my new freebie for my social media. So many people have asked me this. I literally was told no by a government. And most people would just give up. And I don’t know. I really feel it’s something from my ancestors or something that is literally in my DNA. I don’t know. My grandma was a single parent. My mom was a single parent. I was raised by really strong women. And I’m so thankful for that. They have taught me, if you love something, you will show up and fight for it. And not in a violent way, but in a way that you believe in something that’s so much better than the world you’re currently in, that you’re going to put up a fight to create a better one. And I think that’s where it comes from. I also think resting is so important. And when we see ourselves wanting a dream and keep being told no over and over again, you need to rest. I took bubble baths every single day during my visa process. I practiced yoga. I went on walks because my mental health was not okay.

[00:11:58.760] – Brytta

When you’re told no after investing your entire savings account, I had to work five jobs to prove I could get this visa. I was just throwing everything on the table. My mental health was shaken and I had to every day just find tools that I could use to take care of myself. And even being here in Portugal, it’s paradise. But I still have government appointments once a week and I have to really, before and after, take care of myself because I know how hard it is. And I think that’s what it is. It’s just like finding out what it is that helps you feel nourished and practicing that every day.

[00:12:40.370] – Deanna

What I’m hearing you say is that there are no excuses. You could say, I don’t have the money. You could say, I don’t have the energy. You could say, Well, they already said no. But instead, you took on five jobs. You found ways to rest and you found ways to advocate for yourself and speak up for yourself. And you said this, nobody else is going to do it for you. So you have to be your biggest advocate. So when people are hearing no in their business, and you mentioned this a little bit before, that… And a lot of times people have an idea about starting a business, and everybody has an opinion. Now, yours was going to another country, right? But a lot of people who have this idea of starting something and people are like, That’s a terrible idea. It’s never going to work. It won’t work. How do you overcome that?

[00:13:43.320] – Brytta

Yeah. I had to learn this lesson in the past six months because I had people who I thought were my best friends who were on my side, who were not telling me, doubting me. And this is going to sound very harsh, but I have learned to silence, mute, and block people who are not for me. And I don’t mean that in a mean way. I’m not about burning bridges, but it can shake your spirit if you have people around you who are not your cheerleaders, who are not your biggest advocates. Because I firmly believe the reason why I made it to Portugal is because I have such a good support system. But I also learned who within that support system was actually not the supporters. And I had to have some hard conversations. I had to learn at the age of 28 how to set strict boundaries, which I feel like I’m learning how to do that every day. It’s so hard for me because I just love loving people. I love being nice to everyone. But then I don’t know, this journey has taught me keep your circle small and keep it close and really just the people who can’t be there for you have got to go.

[00:14:57.630] – Brytta

And it doesn’t mean like burning a bridge. You can just love them from afar. I really believe in that. I still send love to people who were not my supporters because I hope I imagine them as the highest versions of themselves. But I also have to be really strict with my energy and who I allow around me because I need support right now. Living abroad on my own, I have my family here, thank God, but it’s still hard. And I just need to have strong, loving people around me. So if you have people, you have this great business idea, it’s a great business idea and you should act on it. And don’t listen to people who haven’t walked that journey. I don’t want the opinions of people who haven’t applied for a visa or haven’t tried moving abroad or don’t even have a passport. Their opinions don’t matter to me. I need people who get it and who are going to be here with me on my best days and my worst.

[00:15:56.380] – Deanna

That is such a good point. I read a book a long time ago and I talk about this a lot, but it’s the Saint the Surfer and the CEO. It’s a book by Robin Sharma. It’s a really easy read. But something that changed my life when I read the book was there was a paragraph in there and I’m going to paraphrase because it’s been years since I’ve read it, but I still practice it. And it said that if something no longer serves you in a positive way or in the way that it once did, eliminate it from your life, whether that is a magazine subscription, whether that is a bad habit or a person, whatever that is, eliminate it. Don’t create that extra stress. It’s okay to step away from it. And eliminating it sounds harsh when you’re talking about people. But I love what you’re saying is that you don’t have to do it in a cruel, mean, or make it like this huge event. You can just step away and still love them from a distance. But it is so important to keep your circle small and strong because it’s hard when you’re trying to create your dream.

[00:17:08.970] – Deanna

Because if it was easy, everybody would be doing it, right?

[00:17:13.120] – Brytta

I agree. It sounds so nice. I’m like, Please make it that way just for a week.

[00:17:19.150] – Deanna

Yeah, it sounds like it’s the easiest thing. I guess that’s the bad thing is your Instagram is beautiful and I’ll share the links, but it’s beautiful and it’s you. But you do get real at times and you do share some of the vulnerable times. But the reality is most of us are sharing the highlight reel and we don’t see everything that’s really going on behind the scenes of that. So to take a look at you and say, oh, well, she’s got an easy life. What? She teaches yoga and travels the world. That’s like luxury, right?

[00:17:58.620] – Brytta

It sounds so nice. It is. I don’t know if I wouldn’t do it if it was just all bad.

[00:18:07.220] – Deanna

Well, right. But it sounds easy. It sounds like you didn’t put much effort into it. You love yoga, you love traveling, you combine the two and easy peasy.

[00:18:22.980] – Deanna

But it’s not. It’s really nasty.

[00:18:24.670] – Brytta

Maybe I should be a little more real on Instagram.

[00:18:30.550] – Deanna

Now you teach ambitious women how to be bold and how to achieve their dreams. So if we have one of those ambitious women listening right now, what would you piece of advice would you give them?

[00:18:46.860] – Brytta

Oh, I love this question. I would tell them to listen to their intuition, listen to your gut, because that’s the only voice that really matters. And maybe it’s sitting in meditation and literally putting your hand on your belly and just allowing your body to speak to you. I would also say, as women, we live in this society where I don’t know, being in Portugal, I love it here, but I get ignored sometimes because I’m a woman here.

[00:19:20.740] – Deanna


[00:19:21.560] – Brytta

Oh, yeah. And my advice is, this is crazy advice, but women, put yourself in rooms and spaces where only men exist. Just watch what is happening in the room, show up in the room, let yourself take up space in this room, whether it’s a sports game, I don’t know, the office. I don’t know places where it’s stereotypical where only men should hang out and allow yourself to take up space in those places. Because I have really had to learn this past year how to channel my masculine energy to get men to respect me. Because in Portugal, a lot of the systems are run and created by men. They’re not evil. It’s just they’re set in their ways and everyone just follows it. I’m a woman, being told no over and over again, you need to listen to me. You need to be listened to. You need to use your voice and advocate for yourself. And who cares if you’re told no a hundred times? Maybe you need to be told no a hundred times so that you can figure out what it means to fail and fully feel that failure so that you can fully feel yourself when you rise and you just conquer your dreams. Because let me tell you, I was told no to a visa that I put my entire life in three times.

[00:20:47.700] – Brytta

I petitioned the government, which has never been done before in Portugal. I was like, I’m going to petition them. They’re like, You’re going to do what? I’m like, I’m going to petition them and they’re going to let me come here. Because you have to just come up with creative ways to turn every no into a yes. I absolutely refuse to be told no when it comes to my greater good and my dreams because it’s my life and I’m the boss of my life. I had to learn that. I’m the boss. No one, no government, no people, no anyone in business is going to tell me no when it comes to my business and my dream. I know that’s hard to step into that type of power, but you are so worthy of that power. You are so worthy of your dreams. You have to tell yourself that a million times a day sometimes, that you are worthy and you deserve to step into your power.

[00:21:35.000] – Deanna

I believe, and you probably said this, that if you had not heard no so many times, you may not have that tenacity that you have right now. Not that we’d like to hear no. It would have been a lot nicer if you got a yes right out of the bat, but you would not be who you are right now if it was an easy yes.

[00:21:58.340] – Brytta

Exactly. I think that’s still hard for me to accept. It’s so hard. But I actually know that now. If I was told yes that first time, second, or third, I’d have been like, Great. My bags were packed. I would have left Portugal, came to the United States, kept my bags packed because I was like, I’m going to be back in Portugal in a couple of months. It’s all going to be fine. And I wasn’t. It took me seven months last year to just get back to Portugal. And I feel everything in me got shaken. I learned so many internal lessons of just how I show up in the world. I think that’s a good lesson. For women, if you want to be bold, if you want to achieve your dreams, you have to do that internal work. You have to find everything inside of you that tells you you’re unworthy and change that story. And that’s not overnight work. That’s years of work, but it’s so worth it. Nothing is going to mess with me now. This is my path. But that wasn’t who I was a year ago. I was this nice girl who couldn’t defend herself.

[00:23:02.050] – Brytta

And now I’m like, Let’s go. This is our dream. We are making this happen. And even having those hard conversations with people. I hired an agency of attorneys, and they were like, Sorry, your visa is denied. The service is done. And I was like, We’re getting on a Zoom call. You’re going to put on your warrior gear. We’re going. Let’s do it. Let’s go. And they were like, No one’s ever done this. And I was like, Great, let me be the first one. Let’s set the bar.

[00:23:27.980] – Brytta

You have to just, I don’t even know, just know that you have that strength within you. And I think as women, even if you’re a woman who wants to have a baby, we know that that strength is inside of our bodies. And it doesn’t just have to be channeled to having a child. It can be channeled into your business, into your dreams, into moving abroad. There’s a reason it’s inside of you and just really tune into that.

[00:23:56.800] – Deanna

That’s such good advice. And I think we always need to hear it again and again. So this would be a great little clip to just replay and save on your phone and play it when you’re feeling a little bit beat up. Just here’s Brytta. Listen to Brytta’s advice and just go.

[00:24:17.290] – Deanna

Put on your.

[00:24:18.130] – Brytta

Warrior gear. I love it. I love it, though. But it’s true. We do need to hear that. Brytta, how can we find you?

[00:24:29.800] – Deanna

Yeah. So you can find me on Instagram @Britt MoreiraYogathe . And then at the end of February, I’m launching my new website, the yoga hospital. So that’s going to be live probably before the end of February, but I’m just giving myself some time. So we’ll say end of February. So Instagram and my website. You can also follow my Facebook page, the yoga hospital. And on Instagram, the yoga Hostel Portugal.

[00:24:53.770] – Deanna

Oh, I love it. I love it. I love it. Thank you so much for being on today, Brytta. Always so much fun to talk to you. I’m so excited for you. I love watching your journey as you go through this because you really are unstoppable and it’s exciting to see.

[00:25:11.640] – Brytta

Thank you for having me. I love… I worked with Deana before all of this. Diana really taught me how to grow my business and my website and social media. So thank you for having me and instilling those really good lessons of business. They are helpful every day of the way, so thank you. Thank you.

[00:25:29.580] – Deanna

That means so much. I didn’t even ask for that plug, but I’ll take it.

[00:25:33.340] – Brytta

Thank you. Yeah, I get it.

[00:25:35.020] – Deanna

Thank you. All right, Brytta. And thank you, everybody, for joining in. We’ll see you next time.

How Photography Can Improve Your Brand

How Photography Can Improve Your Brand

How Photography Can Improve Your Brand

Are you tired of feeling frustrated with your brand’s photography? We get it – creating a strong brand that speaks to your audience is tough work! That’s why we’re here to dive deep into this topic on today’s podcast episode.

Having a strong brand is essential to the success of your business. It’s what sets you apart from your competition and helps your audience connect with you. But, have you ever considered how photography plays into this equation? It’s not just about snapping a few good shots and calling it a day. It’s about creating a cohesive visual identity that tells your brand’s story and showcases your personality.

Some of the frustrations that come with creating a brand through photography include not knowing how to effectively capture your brand’s message, struggling to find the right photographer, and dealing with inconsistent imagery. These issues can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to take your brand to the next level.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help! Today will cover all the essentials, and we will answer all of your questions to make the process of creating a strong brand through photography easy and fun.

So, if you’re tired of feeling frustrated with your brand and want to take it to the next level, tune in to today’s podcast episode. We can’t wait to make the process easy and fun for you!


 (03:39) Instagram and the photos you use
(14:00) The importance of having professional photos taken
(15:01) Kenna’s advice on taking branding photos
(19:02) Great places to take photos for your business
(21:00) Get that perfect lighting with your photos
(23:15) Stock images- yes, no, or sometimes?
(27:22) What to look for when you hire a brand photographer
(34:51)  Photos and your website- Make sure your photographer takes this shot
(38:55) What to you wear or not wear if you’re going to a photoshoot

Follow Deanna and Kenna at:

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If you would like to be a guest, complete our questionnaire.


[00:00:00.780] – Deanna Hinsz

Hey, welcome to From Nine to Five to Self-Employed.

[00:00:04.150] – Kenna Silvestri

I’m Kenna Silvestri, a full-time family photographer.

[00:00:07.770] – Deanna Hinsz

And I’m Deanna Hinsz, a digital marketing strategist. We left our nine-to-five, and become self-employed. And this podcast is sharing the secrets and success stories on how you can create the life freedom you envisioned. Be sure to.

[00:00:21.500] – Kenna Silvestri

Follow our podcast and tune in every Monday for a new episode.

[00:00:28.940] – Deanna Hinsz

Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of From Nine to Five to Self Employed. We are talking today about how to create your online presence, the importance of being consistent, your photography, and your marketing. I am so excited because I have the marketing end of this and Kenna is a photographer and she’s got the photography end of this. This episode is going to be so packed with great information. Now, we know that it’s really important to have a consistent online presence, but what does that mean? What should you be creating and what does that look like? So when we talk about photography, we’re going to start with that. And I’m actually going to start with you, Kenna. And what do you think of as a photographer when you are creating? We’re going to say Instagram, right? Because most photographers are on Instagram. It’s a visual platform, very different from what you would see on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. You guys are using that almost as a palette of a gallery of your work. So what goes into it when you start creating your Instagram profile as a photographer?

[00:01:53.890] – Kenna Silvestri

Yeah, definitely. So a couple of things, actually. But one of the biggest things as a photographer, when somebody comes to my Instagram page, I want them to look at all of my images as a whole, not just one image at a time. And I want them to know exactly what my editing style is. So let’s just say I edit dark and moody. I want them to be able to see that in every photograph. I don’t want one photo to feel really dark and moody, and then they swipe to the next one, it’s like super bright and airy. So the editing style of a photographer is so important and something that they teach you to learn early on in your career because that’s how clients are going to know what to expect from you when you deliver their gallery.

[00:02:47.760] – Deanna Hinsz

You know what? Photography is a huge component of your marketing. And I love that you shared. You are actually coming up with… What you’re posting is strategic. You’re not just posting a photo on your Instagram that, Hey, I just took that today, so I’m going to post it, or I took that this week, I’m going to post it. You’re being strategic of the lighting, the color, the feel, the emotion behind what you’re posting. Is that what I’m hearing?

[00:03:20.300] – Kenna Silvestri

Yeah, definitely. And even one of the biggest things for me to unlearn was feeling like I had to post from every single session. While, of course, it’s always really great as a client to know that you got showcased, if, of course, the client allows or wants that. I had to learn to post the photos that I wanted to continuously be shooting or the esthetic or vibe that I wanted to advertise for my own business. So, of course, I go through every gallery that almost every gallery that I shoot and I’ll say, these are the two photos that I t are the closest to my vibe and those are the ones that I’m going to post. They really showcase who I am as a photographer, the clientele that I love to photograph. So I have to be careful of posting just those ones because before I was posting just anything, and I realized I was getting so many inquiries for things that I didn’t feel called to shoot.

[00:04:25.540] – Deanna Hinsz

Oh, interesting. Explain that a little bit more.

[00:04:29.040] – Kenna Silvestri

I was just getting Well, one of the biggest things I let go of this year is weddings. I was posting some of the past weddings that I’ve done. And so, of course, naturally I started getting inquiries for more weddings. And while I love a wedding day. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been the person watching YouTube videos and crying of some random stranger. I didn’t feel that was my calling to shoot. I feel I really vibe well with families and kids and mothers, especially now that I’m a mother. So that’s what I wanted to shoot. But I was getting all these inquiries for weddings. And so I thought to myself, Okay, what am I doing? I need to revamp what I’m posting because, of course, people think that I want to keep shooting weddings because I’m posting these pictures. So I had to be careful and only post the pictures of families and kids and mothers.

[00:05:25.780] – Deanna Hinsz

That’s really interesting. And I don’t think that only applies to photographers. That applies to everybody in business.

[00:05:33.160] – Kenna Silvestri


[00:05:34.100] – Deanna Hinsz

The images that you’re posting, the content that you’re sharing, that’s what you’re telling the world you do. So if you want them to hire you for something in specific, then you need to be very clear on what you’re sharing and not just sharing anything. And I think photography, when it comes to your marketing, is extremely important. The biggest reason is social media. The one thing that it has done for… It’s done a lot since it’s popped up, but it’s made all of us very impatient. We are not reading the content. The very first thing that gets our attention that makes us decide if we even want to read what you wrote is does that image or that video, does that get my attention? And if it does grab your attention, then you’ll go back and read skim the content. And if you skim it and see something that applies, then you’ll actually take the time to read through it. So that image that you see is so important. And I cannot stress this enough as a digital marketing strategist that you’ve got to have quality images. You really do. Now, we all have a cell phone, so you can take some images, but I’m going to share some of my tips.

[00:07:04.160] – Deanna Hinsz

If somebody does take an image, like if you’re at your desk working, because we want in the moment images too. But something I am, this is so I don’t know. You guys tell me if you do the same thing first. But if somebody posts an image of their desk or they’re doing a TikTok video, I am scoping out the background. And if it’s cluttered and messy, I’m like, So have a clean background. Do you do that, too? Do you look?

[00:07:32.950] – Kenna Silvestri

I posted a video yesterday on my Instagram. This is the most recent of me editing grass in somebody’s front yard. Oh, yeah. And when I reviewed it before I posted it, I saw on my keyboard that it was dusty and I said, some future client is going to look at this and see the dust on my keyboard and not hire me because I’m not clean.

[00:07:58.400] – Deanna Hinsz

You know what’s funny is I posted a story yesterday because my tablet, I got the black face of death, would not turn on. It was fully charged, wasn’t coming on. I had to do a hard rebutt and I was praying that it would come back, but I took a picture of the Reboot as it was happening, and all I saw were fingerprints everywhere.

[00:08:21.970] – Kenna Silvestri


[00:08:22.150] – Deanna Hinsz

Like, Oh, I should have cleaned that off. Then I was glad.

[00:08:25.760] – Kenna Silvestri

It was only a story. I saw that photo and I did not see the fingerprints.

[00:08:31.400] – Deanna Hinsz

They’re everywhere because I was trying.

[00:08:35.550] – Kenna Silvestri

I honestly looked harder at the picture to see if it was a video or not, to see if that white line was moving. If the Reboot was loading and then I realized it was a photo.

[00:08:47.190] – Deanna Hinsz

I didn’t even think of that. Well, I’m glad that’s what you focused on. So the point of this is if you are going to take a photo on your own and we want you to take photos by yourself, right? To get those in the moment pictures because people, we are nosy, we want to see what’s going on behind the scenes. But pay attention to the background, pay attention. Do you have laundry baskets out? Now, if you are cleaning and you do your laundry service, put those laundry baskets out. But if you’re taking a picture of something else, pay attention to that background. If it doesn’t fit your brand, get rid of it. But I also think, and you know this, go ahead.

[00:09:33.200] – Kenna Silvestri

Quick back, keep what you’re going to say. I also think… All right.

[00:09:36.430] – Deanna Hinsz

I’m going to.

[00:09:36.990] – Kenna Silvestri

Hold it here. I just want to backtrack. So you said if it doesn’t fit your brand, get rid of it. Do you feel that that applies to stories as well?

[00:09:48.240] – Deanna Hinsz

Yes, but here’s a thin line, right? Depending on what your brand is. So for example, I am my brand. Okay? So what I mean by that is that it’s really just me behind my brand. I do have some help, but it’s not like I have a whole team. So there are times where I think if you are your brand, a lot of photographers are their brand. People want to get to know you. So if you show something about personal, what’s going on, right? We just had Easter. We’re timing. Now you know when this is being filmed, but we just had Easter. So if you share a picture of your family or you share something, coloring Easter eggs with your children. I think that’s okay because it gives people a glimpse behind the curtain. Now, I don’t think it’s okay to share political views as a business or hot topics, those topics that you know are going to stir people up. You can share them personally if you want to. And I wouldn’t even advise that if you’re a business owner, but I don’t think that’s good to share on your brand. But I’m curious, what do you think?

[00:11:24.630] – Deanna Hinsz

Because I feel like there is something specific you have in mind when you ask that question. Muted.

[00:11:35.090] – Kenna Silvestri

Honestly, I was just thinking of… So I think in the beginning of our meeting today, I told you how I posted something on my stories today about asking for makeup recommendations. Okay. So while that has nothing to do with my business, it does have something to do with me and I guess who I am. And I am my brand other than my pictures that I post. But that’s specifically the post that I was thinking of, should I have not posted that? You know what? I think.

[00:12:09.250] – Deanna Hinsz

There’s a thin line there. We need to use social media as a way to connect with our ideal target and who we want to hire us. So for you posting that, although it steps outside, it is more personal, but you’re also connecting with them. So when they have the opportunity to answer you, because that’s your target, you’re all in a very similar age range. Your children are all in a similar age range. You’re all going through makeup changes at the same time. I think that that’s okay. Even local, if you’re like, Hey, we want to get pizza tonight. What’s the best pizza shop over here? It’s a way to connect, but you have to use that strategically. I wouldn’t always make it, always wouldn’t post stories like that, but it’s okay to show people who you really are if you are your brand. If you have a bigger business, then you can still do that with your employees. But it’s a little bit different. So you can still show what goes on in the office. You can still share a debate that everybody had in the office and ask people to solve the… What do they think?

[00:13:36.890] – Deanna Hinsz

Clear up the debate. But I think it’s okay. Just make sure that what you’re posting and your call to action and what you want your audience to do is always in the forefront. So that’s my opinion on that. That’s a great question.

[00:13:57.600] – Kenna Silvestri

Do you remember what you had to say?

[00:14:00.050] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah. What I was going to say is that I also think it’s really important if you are a… Whatever you are in business, right? Is to have professional photos taken. And Kenna has been my photographer since… Not since the beginning, very close to the beginning. Yeah, very close to the beginning. I think you… God, I don’t even know if you were in high school or college at the time when I first started. I don’t even know. Because I.

[00:14:32.290] – Kenna Silvestri

Didn’t get my camera in college.

[00:14:32.850] – Deanna Hinsz

Okay. I’m like that’s 13 years ago.

[00:14:34.590] – Kenna Silvestri

Because I didn’t get my camera in college. Early in college.

[00:14:36.400] – Deanna Hinsz

Okay. So yeah, there was somebody else who would take my pictures before, but then Kenna came right after that. And it’s so important to have branding photos taken, whether it is of you, if you’re your brand or your product. And I’m going to let you take this because you do that. So what are your thoughts? What advice do you give to business owners when it comes to taking pictures?

[00:15:06.640] – Kenna Silvestri

Yeah. So when people don’t know if they want to invest in branding photos or not, I always like to give an example because I feel like we all do this. We browse Instagram all the time or social media and we find new businesses, whether they’re in your local area or out of your local area. And you know which ones catch your eye. And for me personally, I feel like this is a lot of people, but more often than not, the ones that I have a strong impression on or that have a strong impression on me are the ones that have professional images of them either doing their work or their products or them at their desk. So I always like to tell people, like, if somebody just came across your Instagram page or your social media page, what do you want them to see?

[00:15:59.370] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah. Because listen, if you are your own brand, it’s so important to do that. You are the professional, you are the expert. I am a strong believer in you need to get professional photos and not just for social media, definitely with social media, but your website. I mean, I am designing websites and I think all those images should be professional images that you’ve hired a photographer to take. Now, we can always use stock photos, but they’re stock photos and they look like stock photos.

[00:16:44.150] – Kenna Silvestri

Even if you’re not your own brand, I feel you even more so need professional images of your products.

[00:16:54.780] – Deanna Hinsz


[00:16:55.920] – Kenna Silvestri

Whatever your brand is. The two companies that I worked for previously, professional photos just totally revamped their marketing and advertising. I mean, the first company I worked for out of College was a meat manufacturer, and we had an employee on staff that specifically cooked foods with our meat products and took professional photos of them for our marketing team just because it was that important.

[00:17:28.180] – Deanna Hinsz

It is so important. It really is. If this is your product, then take pride in it. Now, if you are just leaving the nine to five and just starting off, and we said this in episode one, we talked about this, don’t feel like you need to spend money to hire a photographer to do this if you don’t have it in your budget. But when you have it in your budget, invest in getting photos taken professional photos taken, and you will not be disappointed. You will need those photos and use them a million different times. It’s so funny. I will pose something. There’s a picture that you took of me at a coffee shop, and I’m looking out the window and you were actually outside of the window and I was drinking the coffee. I have shared that photo, I don’t even know how many times, but every time I share it, I will have one person comment and say, This is such a pretty photo. When did you get this taken? I’m like, Four years ago.

[00:18:35.640] – Kenna Silvestri

We need to go back to that coffee shop.

[00:18:40.120] – Deanna Hinsz

We definitely need to go back to that coffee shop. That was a great backdrop. Let’s talk about that because people don’t know where to take pictures. If I was hiring you and I’m like, Hey, Kenna, I want a photo shoot. I need a branding shoot, a lifestyle shoot so I can share on my website and social media. Where are some really cool places that you can go to take that? Because as a consumer, they’re like, Well, where do you want to take them? We’re like, I don’t know. Yeah.

[00:19:11.910] – Kenna Silvestri

So when people hire me for their branding photos, I always give out suggestions. But I think the most important location that you could use is the one that you are normally working in. However, and let me preface this by saying this applies whether you have a professional photographer or you’re using your phone. If these locations bring your phone with you and prop it up somewhere, it has a Timer, and then you could edit it. But even if you have a professional photographer, So for example, you work a lot of times at your desk. You have a lot of Zoom meetings. Sometimes you’ll have in person meetings. And those are a lot of times I’m guessing at either little cafes or coffee shops, correct?

[00:19:55.740] – Deanna Hinsz

Or I have an office downtown. So I have a home office, which is where I’m filming now. I have, yes, an office downtown, and then we will meet at coffee shops or local restaurants. And yes, absolutely.

[00:20:10.480] – Kenna Silvestri

So for us, it made a lot of sense for you to have your computer and be at some type of table or desk to show you working as normal. And then we also went to the coffee shops to show you at a coffee shop because whether you work alone there sometimes or you meet clients there, that’s a natural habitat for you. So it worked out well for us. And then, of course, we took some headshots outside to always make it fun and give you some extra stuff, which I know have come in handy for you. But I would definitely say stick to your natural habitat if it has good lighting. If it does not have good lighting, it’s going to be difficult to get the picture you want unless you’re really going for a dark and moody type of feel. Okay.

[00:21:00.560] – Deanna Hinsz

So what does good lighting look like to somebody who’s not a photographer? If they’re scoping out places, what would you tell them to look for?

[00:21:10.000] – Kenna Silvestri

Somewhere with windows, somewhere either maybe outside. It could be straight outside if that’s what your vibe is of your business or underneath a pavilion. So you have that shade on your face. You don’t want to have all these shadows crossing your eyes or just across your face. When you look at the photograph, someone’s going to be like, It looks like you’re blinded by the light. You don’t want that. But if you’re inside definitely somewhere with windows or somewhere that lets a lot of light in, that’s important. And when you do have light coming in, make sure you’re not getting… I know you said in the beginning of the podcast when you have Zoom meetings, you have a light on one side of your face and then you love the light coming in from the window. So you want to make sure that not one side of your face is completely shadowed and just the window light is hitting one side. You want to be able to have evenly lit across your face so somebody could see you really well.

[00:22:08.380] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, I have that right now. I’ve got a window here, but the blinds are pulled up because I’d have those lines across my face. And then my ring light is over there and I’m hoping that it balances it out. But without and if you wear glasses, the hard part is then you can see it. So if I turn, you might be able to see the ring light in it. Can you see?

[00:22:35.850] – Kenna Silvestri

No. Oh, yeah, I did.

[00:22:37.490] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, I did see it. Okay. But a tip, if you are going live, I know we’re getting off just a tiny bit, but a tip is if you wear glasses and you have your ring light, just prop your glasses up a little bit like that. So it pulls them up over your ears and the glasses are looking down so you won’t catch the light.

[00:22:58.480] – Kenna Silvestri

Yeah. So a question for you is, since you design websites for people, if somebody either isn’t available to photograph themselves or have hired somebody to photograph them, or maybe they just don’t really feel comfortable in front of the camera quite just yet, what is your take on stock images? Is it expensive? Do they work just as well? Are they necessary? How much do they actually revamp or increase the esthetic of the website? That’s a really good question. Or even advertising on social media?

[00:23:38.980] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, that’s a great question. First off, I will say always, I’m not a fan of stock images because they’re stock and they’re not you. They’re not your business. They’re not their brand. That being said, I also am glad that stock images exist because there are so many people that they fall into what you just said. They either don’t want to take pictures of themselves or of their product. They either are earlier in the business and they don’t have the budget to do that, or they don’t feel like it. Or even bigger companies, they’re like, We’re just too busy. We’re just too busy, we’re not going to do it. So we use stock images. That’s like a fallback if that’s what you need to do. There are different types of images. We’ve talked about Canva before on the show, and Canva has a lot of different stock images that you can.

[00:24:42.860] – Kenna Silvestri

Use. y.

[00:24:44.560] – Deanna Hinsz

Ou’re like, Oh, this is really cool. I’m going to caution you, though, if they’re free, everybody is using them. And I don’t know about you, but when I go to a site or a company and I can tell when the images are the free stock images, and I’m like, I’ve seen that picture a million times from different people. And then I don’t know, it’s a little bit of a turn off for me because I’m like, you’re not investing in what you’re doing. You’re just using the free stock images. Again, if you’re starting up, I get it. If you don’t have the budget. So the way that I would rank it is that the very best thing to do first off is to have your own images and use those images. Nothing is going to represent your brand or you better than having your own photos. It’s going to be you. The hands on the laptop, I see that a lot just because that’s the industry that I’m in and it shows up in my feed. We know if it’s your hands or if it’s not your hand. If it’s a stock image. The second thing to do, if you don’t want to take the photos yourself, then I would say pay for stock images.

[00:25:59.570] – Deanna Hinsz

Now there’s like shutter stock. There’s a lot of places where you can pay for images. And every platform, the cost is a little bit different. Some of them you just pay for the images that you want at that time. Others you can pay a subscription. Then you get so many every month and you can determine that based on the packages. There are really good images that you can use if you don’t have your own. That would be the second thing. The third and the last option, I would say, is to use the free stock images. But I would say pay attention to other people in your industry and what images they’re using. Don’t use the same stock photo that another person in your industry or around the corner from you is using. Use something different. Try to keep it as fresh as you possibly can by doing it. But that’s how I would rank it as far as which images to use. But I would use any of those all day long over somebody taking a photo with the laundry baskets in the back.

[00:27:07.200] – Kenna Silvestri

Yeah, honestly. I just had a thought in my head and I lost it.

[00:27:17.090] – Deanna Hinsz

So let me ask you a question. While you’re thinking of that, right, what type of photos do you take to try to capture a brand’s personality?

[00:27:29.780] – Kenna Silvestri

This is a great question. It’s what I was going to say, actually. So I’m glad you asked that. Oh, cool. I was thinking in my head of what somebody should look for if they’re going to hire a brand photographer. And one of the biggest things that I’ve learned, photographing brands… Wait, can you repeat your question one more time? I don’t know if this is the same.

[00:27:48.830] – Deanna Hinsz

I hope I can repeat it the same way. But how do you capture a brand’s personality? So if somebody wants, I mean, yeah, the brand’s personality, personality needs. How do you capture that?

[00:28:04.980] – Kenna Silvestri

So one of the biggest things is, and I mean, we know this, I feel like we take two or three hours on our sessions. We do. I’ve learned to not rush through this session. So for example, I photographed a local hair stylist one time, and we just really took our time. She had a model client come in and she modeled doing her hair, curling it, blow drying it, talking to her, greeting her at the door. So my biggest piece of advice is I don’t want to rush through the session. Your photographer shouldn’t rush through the session and you as the client should not rush. So make sure enough time is allotted. Make sure the photographer offers enough time. And make sure both of you are asking about those details before those sessions over. So make sure if it is somebody who works completely online, make sure they bring their props, make sure they bring their computer, make sure they bring either their iPad, their notepad, their mouse. Maybe they have a branded mouse pad with their logo on it. That stuff is so important because you want to just capture as much as the brand, the authentic brand that you can.

[00:29:18.160] – Kenna Silvestri

If you’re going on location with somebody, make sure that their area is clean. Make sure there are no… If it is a hair stylist, make sure there’s no hair on the floor or unless, of course, you’re photographing them, cutting somebody’s hair. But even at that, you almost want to make sure the floor is clean, regardless, just for the image. So make sure the area is clean. Make sure they also have their props. Make sure you just capture all the details of their space and then in their space because you don’t want to do this whole brand session and get home, deliver this gallery and then be like, I just feel like this isn’t me or this isn’t showcasing my brand or this isn’t showcasing what I do or what I want to sell. So I would say don’t rush. But a spin off of that is having an initial meeting with your client to really understand who they are, who their business is, and what they want to be selling. It might not be what they’re currently selling now. Maybe they want to shift and say, No, I really want to focus in this market.

[00:30:32.450] – Kenna Silvestri

Then you have to focus your session on just that.

[00:30:37.840] – Deanna Hinsz

That’s really good advice. It’s more than just their brand, if I’m hearing you correctly. It’s what’s your goal? What do you want to represent? But even if it’s a product base, what do you want to you want your end users to see that will guide them towards that ultimate goal of hiring you? Hiring you, and I’ll use me with digital marketing strategists where I design websites and I also teach people how to market their own business online. So I can either be a designer or I can be a coach. And a designer, if I’m like, hey, I want to focus on a shoot that highlights me as a website designer, that’s going to look totally different than me hiring you as a coach to teach people how to do or a speaker. It’s going to be completely different. I think that’s a great piece of advice wise. And I love that you said take your time. You do take your time with me when we go. I mean, we take a lot of time, but we do have fun.

[00:31:55.980] – Kenna Silvestri

I have fun with all my clients, but we really have fun.

[00:32:00.550] – Deanna Hinsz

Well, you know what? There’s that level of being comfortable. And even though you and I do a lot of photo shoots, and even though it might look like I love being on camera, I nitpick everything. I don’t. I’m really not comfortable being on camera. I will find every flaw in me that’s possible. So having a photographer that makes me feel comfortable and obviously I’m extremely comfortable around you is a big deal for me because if not, I’ll be really stiff. I’ll be uncomfortable. I’m like, oh, no. Is she noticing my fat rolls? What did she think? Oh, my gosh. Is she seeing that? I think that’s a huge deal.

[00:32:51.840] – Kenna Silvestri

Yeah. If somebody listening is looking to hire a photographer, does another thing I would say that is important is having a photographer that’s not afraid to speak up to change something in the photo within reason. So for example, let’s just say this is such a weird example, but it’s the first one that came to my head. Go ahead. You’re good. I’ve had to tell someone this before. Let’s just say I’m photographing the back of you for whatever reason, whether you’re pointing at something or whatever. If that person has a wedgie, you better tell them. You have a wedgie, pull it out. So you have to have a photographer that’s not afraid to say, Hey, you actually have makeup on your shoulder. Unless that photographer really loves taking out blemishes and post production editing and whatever. But to make our lives easier and to make their pictures better, you need a photographer that’s not afraid to say, That towel, or, Your desk has a lot of dust on it, we need to wipe it before the session starts or whatever. In a nice way, of course. Well, right.

[00:33:56.890] – Deanna Hinsz

And as somebody who’s hired a photographer, I would appreciate that. And I’m sure it’s awkward as a photographer to say that because you’re like, Oh, I hope I don’t offend them or hurt their feelings by mentioning this or embarrass them. But I would want you to tell me. I would want you to say, Hey, you know what? My camera is going to pick up the dust on your desk. My desk is like a black glass desk, so. It picks up dust all the time. So I want you to say that, or, Hey, get the wedgie out of your butt. You know because I wouldn’t want you to take a picture. And if I didn’t know, I’d want you to do that or straighten my shirt or get the hair because I shed like a dog. So I will have hair on my back, no doubt, but remove it. So that’s a great point. You want somebody who has the courage to tell you that nicely.

[00:34:51.870] – Kenna Silvestri

So a question for you. As a web designer, how many photographs would you say is a good amount for your client to deliver you? Or is there really no numbers large enough, but is there a minimum number maybe?

[00:35:11.430] – Deanna Hinsz

There’s really not. It depends on the website and the size. But I will tell you one of the biggest things that when it comes to a website and designing your website, the photo that’s always forgotten is the photo that’s shot in landscape. A lot of photos are portrait, and I get this all the time and all the time from so many different clients. But they’re shot in portrait, which is fine. That’s easy to crop. You can make it a square, you can make it a circle, you can keep it in portrait, whatever you want to do. But the problem is at the very top of a website, there is something called a hero image. And that’s the banner. That’s like if you would visit a website and it’s that image that’s at the very top of your screen. And sometimes on a homepage, it might be all the way to the fold. And the fold is the area of your screen before you have to scroll. So you may have it only on the homepage. You may incorporate that hero image throughout additional pages, but a portrait is not going to work on that. You want a photo shot in landscape so that it’s proportioned correctly to really feature what you want that photo to do.

[00:36:30.800] – Deanna Hinsz

And a lot of times that’s overlooked in a photo shoot. So what I would recommend is that if you’re getting these branding photos taken for a website or for a website and social media, make a note to remind your photographer because they’re photographers, they’re not website designers. So you guys are thinking in photographer mode, right?

[00:36:53.690] – Kenna Silvestri

But remind.

[00:36:55.420] – Deanna Hinsz

Them like, hey, I need some images taken in landscape. And the thing also, it’s really cool if you… Taking those photos and landscaping and putting you to the side and having a lot of white space to one side is a great way, like if you’re going to post it on Facebook or on Instagram, their dimensions are a little bit more of a landscape, but you can use that white space to fill it in with whatever verbiage you want about your next program, about your promotion, about whatever. So those landscape photos are really cool to have, too, and incorporating that. Yeah, I’m.

[00:37:36.920] – Kenna Silvestri

Glad you said that. I’m definitely guilty as a photographer to taking a lot of portrait images, but I do always make sure that I deliver all the landscapes that I can in their final gallery because I know… I mean, even if I’m doing a family session, of course, people love to just print large landscape images to either go over their couch or go over their dresser. They usually landscape images just fit a lot better. But for some reason, as photographers, we do. I think it’s just because we get their full body more often than not in portraits rather than landscapes, but guilty. Yeah.

[00:38:15.540] – Deanna Hinsz

And I’m glad you asked that because it is overlooked so much. And even if you are getting it for branding, incorporate white space. It may not be the picture you’re going to hang on your wall because it’s going to have so much white space, but it could be a cool piece of marketing because you use that white space to fill it in with something else that instead of having you just right in the center. So don’t be afraid to step to the side or have white space way above so that you can use that in your marketing pieces. I’m so glad you asked that, though. So I have a question now for you. What do you wear or what don’t you wear if you’re going to a photo shoot? If I’m hiring you to take some branding shoots for me, what would you tell me to wear or what would you tell me to stay away from?

[00:39:11.300] – Kenna Silvestri

Great question. And I think it depends on a few things. It depends what your brand board is, what are your colors, what is your… Even down to your font style, what is your primary work? Are you normally in a space that’s pretty black and white like you are, or are you normally in a space that’s very vibrant? And will we be shooting there, or will we be shooting outside? It depends on your location. And then I would say your brand board, two biggest things. But of course, you want to wear what represents you best. So if you are a really bright and vibrant person with this vibrant brand, patterns might be a great thing for you. And if we’re wearing a pattern, maybe we’ll go to a space with some bright, colored solid walls, not pattern walls, because pattern on pattern would just get crazy. But right now, hard, solid walls. Or maybe we’ll go to a space with some white walls or.

[00:40:20.170] – Kenna Silvestri

Black wall building outside. That way, you will just pop. Your personality will pop with those bright colors that you’re wearing. And as soon as people look at you, they’ll understand your vibe as a person, as a business owner. Or if your brand colors are black and white, if you have a black and white office, wearing all black is a great thing. It’s classy and it fits your brand. So that’s what you should do. But for you, you also have such a bubbly personality. So I know in past shoots, we’ve loved to incorporate a bright shirt as well, and that has worked well for you. So this goes back to having a conversation with your client before you do the actual photo shoot. I highly recommend jumping on a phone call, maybe even visiting their location or a Zoom call and just getting to know them and what they want to portray. Depending on what your business is now, you don’t want to be wearing too revealing of clothing, of course. You want to keep it classy. You want to keep it like… What is the word I want to use? You could use the photos over and over for a long time.

[00:41:37.560] – Deanna Hinsz

Oh, timeless. Like very…

[00:41:38.680] – Kenna Silvestri

Timeless. Exactly. I kept traditional kit coming to my mind, and that’s not what I was thinking. Timeless. You want to keep it timeless and you want to keep it on brand.

[00:41:49.550] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, that’s really good to know because we don’t know what to wear to a shoot. And I do try to keep my… I’m black and white, but I black, white and red, but mainly black and white. And so that’s pretty easy for me where my closet is a majority black, but I am incorporating.

[00:42:08.890] – Kenna Silvestri

And we’re usually shooting in locations. You are usually shooting in locations that have a lot going on in the background, whether it be an office space, a coffee shop, there’s plants, there’s death, there’s a lot of lines and things going. So solid colors work good for you in the spaces that we’re normally shooting in.

[00:42:27.340] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah. So how often would you recommend getting new photos, refreshing your photos to keep them up to date? I would.

[00:42:37.370] – Kenna Silvestri

Say as often as you are changing or as often as your brand is changing. So let’s just say you went from having brown hair to red hair. Let’s say you plan on keeping that red hair for at least a year. I would recommend getting brand photos because if people see all of your website… That’s a small example. That’s not that big of a deal. But yeah, if you’re changing your style, your look, I would say updating those photos just so people know who to expect when they show up to their sessions or who to expect when they show up to the job with you. And same, if your brand is changing, of course. I know you recently went through a big rebrand. I would definitely recommend getting updated photos or only using the ones from past sessions that go with your brand. You know.

[00:43:31.320] – Deanna Hinsz

What we need to do is we need another shoot like we did the first time. I love those photos, but that was with my old brand and old branding colors and my hair looked totally different. Now, if I got new photos every time I changed my hair, we would be going every six months because I’m.

[00:43:50.550] – Kenna Silvestri


[00:43:51.130] – Deanna Hinsz

Changing my hair. No, but there’s truth to that because I will tell you that I’ll reach in to go post something and I go to my folders that have all my branding photos and I look the same except for my hair. And I’m like, I can’t post that. My hair doesn’t look like that anymore. I’ve cut it, I’ve lightened it. And so I’m like, oh, I can’t do that. But yeah, so I do agree with you. Just keeping it always fresh, I would say a minimum. I think you and I have done like once a year together and when we can because we were in two different states. I know you’re going to have to fly to Florida and do some writing shoots down here.

[00:44:35.740] – Kenna Silvestri

And again, though, that doesn’t always have to be hiring a photographer. Maybe you just go out yourself with your phone once a year and just try to get some updated photos. And you don’t even have to go out and public and set your phone up. If you have a desk, clean it off, clean your workspace off. If you’re a photographer, just clean the room that you’re in, set your phone up, pop your phone up on a table behind a candle or behind a coffee mug or get a cheap phone stand and just take some updated pictures yourself.

[00:45:05.700] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, that’s really good advice. Any closing thoughts about photography? Other than, you know what? It’s so important. It’s so important for your brand to have really good photos.

[00:45:18.580] – Kenna Silvestri

Yeah, I agree. I think this even goes into because I know you use a lot, you mentioned Canva and you use a lot of graphics that fit your brand with wording in them. And your page is really unison with those. And even if you’re not using an actual photograph of yourself, I think those graphics that you use in there are also so important to show who you are and what your brand is.

[00:45:47.330] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, absolutely. I think we didn’t talk about that at all, but I would agree. Make sure that it stays consistent with your branding colors. And like you said this a million times, it’s not just the color, it’s the font. Stay consistent with the font that you’re using, too, because it represents your brand and it’s so important. Well, good deal. Well, we want to hear what your questions are when it comes to photography and marketing your business, what types of photos you should use. Ask us the questions, we will answer them. You can ask it by emailing us. Everything is in the show notes or on our social media pages. You can follow us and we will answer those questions for you. So we want to hear from you. So until next time, we will see you guys next Monday on our next episode. Thanks for joining us.

[00:46:47.820] – Kenna Silvestri

Yep. See you guys.

How to Know When It’s Time to Leave the 9 to 5

How to Know When It’s Time to Leave the 9 to 5

How to Know When It’s Time to Leave the 9 to 5

Deciding to leave your 9 to 5 job and start your own business is often seen as a bold and exciting move. However, it can also be a confusing and overwhelming decision to make. When you’ve been at a job for a long time, it can be tough to tell whether you’re ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship. There are several factors to consider before you make your decision.

In this episode, Kenna and I are discussing how to know when to make that big decision to leave the 9 to 5 and start an entrepreneurial journey. We share our different perspectives of what gave us the confidence to take the leap.

In 2010, I made the bold decision to take the leap into entrepreneurship. At that time, I was a single mother of two children, without a safety net or a side hustle to fall back on. On the other hand, Kenna made the decision to start her own business only a year ago, after the birth of her second child. She had a valuable discussion with her husband before taking the leap, and she did have the benefit of a side hustle that she was truly passionate about.

Our perspectives have similarities as well as big differences- and we share those different perspectives, as well as provide tips and insights for anyone considering taking the leap into entrepreneurship.

Whether you’re thinking about starting your own business or just curious about the entrepreneurial journey, this podcast is for you. Keep in mind that success takes time and effort, but with persistence and determination, you can achieve your goals.


11:43. The results of our poll on how you know it’s time to leave your 9 to 5

14:16. Tips on making extra money

16:10. Advice from Deanna- When it’s time to leave the 9 to 5

18:42. Can entrepreneurship be taught

21:29. Advice from Kenna- When it’s time to leave the 9 to 5

26:25. When it’s time to leave the 9 to 5- our checklist

27:25. Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Follow Deanna and Kenna at:

Would you like to be a guest?

If you would like to be a guest, complete our questionnaire.


[00:00:21.550] – Kenna

 Hey, everyone. Welcome to from nine to five to self-employed. I am Kenna Silvestri. I am a self-employed family photographer, and we are discussing today how you know when it’s time to leave your nine-to-five and start on your own journey of freedom. So I worked probably two years out of College. I worked in the meat industry on a research and development team, and then I transitioned into the wine industry, and I had a few different roles in the wine industry but ended up in sales. And while I loved both of my jobs, the first one I got laid off from, and then the second one is the one that I decided that I was going to finally leave and venture on my own. So a little bit of back story. I always did photography, probably for the last, I want to say, six or seven years. And just recently, I had a family of two little boys and I’m married as well. So the idea of a free schedule, a flexible schedule to do what I want, to be with my boys when they’re sick, when the nice weather hits, to just be outside was so enticing to me. So I really started to revamp my photography business, and I invested in my branding, I invested in my equipment, I invested in my client experience, and I was really just trying to make it work so I could leave my nine to five.

[00:01:55.700] – Kenna

And eventually that did happen. And one of the biggest things I think that made me leave my nine to five or ensured that it was time to leave my nine to five was making sure that my money was right so I could still help support my family. Although my husband supported the majority of our family, but I still wanted to have an income so our social life, of course, didn’t suffer too much. But ultimately, I don’t think it was ever going to be the perfect time for me. So I just had to take the leap of faith and do it and know that I was going to make it work. And, Deanna, I feel like you might have had a similar situation.

[00:02:39.070] – Deanna

I did. But before I share my story, was there one defining factor that made you say, Okay, I’m ready?

[00:02:51.470] – Kenna

Oh, man. Other than my boys continuously getting sick and it being so stressful, the thought of having to call off work, even though my boss was so cool. It’s still so annoying to have to say, Hey, I’ll be late because I’m waiting on a babysitter, or, Hey, I can’t leave my boys today. They can’t go to the babysitter, and neither of our parents are available to watch them, so I had to work from home. Okay. Other than that reason, I would say the support of my husband.

[00:03:26.560] – Deanna

That’s awesome.

[00:03:27.500] – Kenna

Once he finally had a sit down talk with me saying, listen, I’ll support us, I support you. Then I felt like this weight lifted off my shoulders that I could do it.

[00:03:38.090] – Deanna

Oh, wow. That’s really cool. And it is so different for everybody of what they go through. My situation, although similar, was also very different. I’ve shared this story so many times, but I was, and it was just me and the boys, and at the time they were 10 and 12. They’re now 23 and 25. I can’t believe that.

[00:04:08.060] – Kenna

They’re grown men.

[00:04:09.990] – Deanna

Oh, my gosh. Yeah, it’s so crazy because there’s so many moments where it feels like that all just happened yesterday. And then there’s moments where it feels like this was a lifetime ago because so much has happened since then. But they were young and I was a divorced mom and working at a cell phone company in management. I loved my job. It was stressful. It was very intense. And there were some changes happening, which created a lot more stress. But during that time, it was the week before Christmas, and my youngest came up to me one day when I was off from work and said, he was so excited. And he was just like, mom, mom, I know what I want for Christmas. And as excited as he was, I was irritated because it was the week before Christmas, which is a very busy time in my job. So my job was stressful. I had finished all my Christmas shopping. I had no time whatsoever to go get him this gift of whatever he wanted. So he just created a lot more stress on me and really I was frustrated. I looked at him and in full irritation and just said, What do you want?

[00:05:34.220] – Deanna

In mom frustrated tone, What do you want? He said, The only thing I want is to spend one day with you sitting on the couch watching a movie and having hot cocoa like we used to.

[00:05:55.870] – Kenna

Did you cry?

[00:05:57.440] – Deanna

And yes, I feel like there’s something in the background. Do you hear that?

[00:06:01.160] – Kenna

No. Do you think it’s rubbing against my shirt?

[00:06:04.460] – Deanna

No, it was an app was playing in the background in my ear. So anyhow, a technical difficulty interrupting my story. I’m like, what is that noise?

[00:06:14.200] – Kenna

I know your face got hot. I was like…

[00:06:17.630] – Deanna

I’m like, where.

[00:06:18.840] – Kenna

Is it coming from?

[00:06:20.460] – Deanna

So anyhow, he told me that’s the only thing he wanted, and I instantly felt like the worst mom in the world. But I had no idea what he was talking about. So I called him and I called both of the boys into the room and they told me that they were really honest. And I’m sure at their age it was a hard conversation to have with your mom, but they just said they missed me and they don’t get to see me. That was all true. They said that I was missing school.

[00:06:47.520] – Kenna

If I remember correctly, you worked long hours, didn’t you?

[00:06:50.480] – Deanna

Very long hours. And Nona, my mom… Okay, so full disclosure, here’s another interruption. Kenna is my niece. So you may hear me refer to my mom, her grandmother as Nona. And she may at times call me aunt D instead of Diana, but that’s why. Because I’m not good at editing, so you’re stuck with all the bloopers. But my mom would watch the boys a lot for me. And living three doors down, it was really helpful. So it was really hard. And they told me I was missing school events and missing their baseball games. And I’m not sure what came over me, but I promised them at that moment that I would never miss anything again. And I didn’t. But prior to that, I explained to them how different our lives would look. I tried to explain to them, I made great money and we took vacations and they had the video games the day that they came out. We’d wait in line at midnight for it to come out and they would get it. So they had, in a sense, everything they wanted, but they would always say, we don’t care, we just want you.

[00:08:08.680] – Deanna

That’s when I made the decision to leave. I did not think it through as much as you did, and as much as probably most people should.

[00:08:18.690] – Kenna

Well, when you have such a strong emotional connection to your reasoning of leaving your nine to five. So I feel like while they might not have been the best thing to take the back burner on because that emotional reasoning was so strong there. I mean, it was your boys and you were a single mom, so it’s just you and them. That other stuff just took the back burner and you’re like, I’ll figure it out for them.

[00:08:48.570] – Deanna

That’s exactly what happened. And I don’t recommend anybody doing that. But I will tell you, honestly, everybody’s story is very different. Everybody’s situation is very different. I did not have a financial safety net, but seeing their faces, I was like, I don’t have a choice. This is my job as a mom, and I am not saying anything against moms who are working full time. I think that is amazing because I do work full time. But their faces said they are your priority and you need to put as much energy into them as you’re putting into your job because they are what matter to the most, not your job. Your job could get by without you. Your children can’t. So that was my motivation. The crazy thing, though, Kenna, was that I was so at peace with that decision. Now, there were times where I got scared to death, like, what did I just do?

[00:09:51.170] – Kenna

Yeah, I think we’ve all been there, too.

[00:09:53.510] – Deanna

Yeah. But at that moment, there was really a peace. I’m like, this is what I have to do. And I did look for another job initially that fit being a single mom. And let me just tell you, to find a job that had the hours of the flexibility and the pay at that time, and I don’t know what it’s like now, it just didn’t exist. I couldn’t find it. So I made the decision to create it, and that’s how I knew it was time to leave the nine to five.

[00:10:31.010] – Kenna

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, you said you wouldn’t recommend it. There’s definitely things that should be in place, I think. But that’s a cool story. Side note, I used to always tell my boss because I did not want to leave my job in the wine industry. I really did it. I loved them. I mean, you know I loved them.

[00:10:49.430] – Deanna

Great job there. Great opportunity. That’s a.Hard decision.

[00:10:54.140] – Kenna

Yeah. I moved within three positions in the company within the year I was there. But I used to always tell my coworkers and my boss, jobs need childcare. If jobs had childcare, so many more moms would work. If you could just pop downstairs at the daycare and take care of your kid real quick, that would be a dream.

[00:11:14.460] – Deanna

Yeah, I would agree with you. They really do need childcare. And I’m surprised. It’s probably hard because the wine company that you worked for was also still in that startup phase, although doing extremely well, still a startup. Financially, that would have to be tough to add something like that at that time.

[00:11:37.080] – Kenna


[00:11:38.270] – Deanna

I wonder, we did a poll, Kenna and I, and we asked other business owners, when did they know it was time to leave the nine to five? And the biggest thing that I heard from a lot of them is that they were forced to. And they said that either they were fired, which I think that’s like taking a negative and turning it into something positive, or COVID, the pandemic, made them shift.

[00:12:11.750] – Kenna

I think a lot of people.

[00:12:13.410] – Deanna

Yeah. And there was one person that commented, and I thought it was so cool because she was in behavioral therapy, which was face to face. And because of the pandemic, not able to meet anymore face to face. And I guess they probably weren’t able to do things virtually either based on her response. So she followed her passion project. Now I met her, she’s a DJ now, and she’s a great DJ. She has everything you would think of an amazing DJ would be. She is fun and just vibrant and full of energy. And I’m like, God, I can’t even picture her in the mirror because I’ve only known her as a DJ.

[00:12:58.280] – Deanna

But I think that’s so cool that people have followed their passion because they were forced. Either got fired or COVID. Covid made a lot of changes.

[00:13:11.220] – Kenna

Yeah. I think this day and age, too, it’s so much while it’s still hard to leave your nine to five, the fact that we have the Internet and social media and WiFi literally everywhere and our laptop computers that we could throw in our bag and bring. I mean, you could work from anywhere depending on what you do, of course, but there’s so many things that you could do outside of a nine to five that allows you to just work from anywhere. And we didn’t used to have that freedom. We didn’t used to have the technology to allow us to do that.

[00:13:48.000] – Deanna

You’re absolutely right. And I even noticed with you because you’re a photographer. So a photographer, in a sense, does build their business in a certain location. But I’ve noticed there were times where you were going out of state and you’re like, hey, I’m going to be here if anybody wants a family shoot.

[00:14:07.420] – Kenna

Yes, definitely. And now for any photographers listening, I’m sure you know, but so many photographers now are not only using affiliate links, so the equipment that we use, or I don’t know, so many other. Maybe if we bought PDFs from other people that have really helped our email campaigns or things like that, they’ll use affiliate links or they’ll create their own PDFs like, hey, this is my style guide. Buy it on my ETSY shop that I give my clients, or this is my welcome guide that I give all of my wedding clients that book me. Buy it on my ETSY shop. So while we do build our clientele in one certain area, photographers are venturing out into a lot of online digital products.

[00:14:55.150] – Deanna

And that’s so smart because it brings in another stream of revenue for them. That’s so important when you are starting your own nine to five or you’re starting your own business, you’re leaving the nine to five. It’s not just the business. The business you do have to get up. But once you get to that point of stability in that business, then you start thinking about, how can I monetize my expertise? How can I create another stream of revenue that’s passive income that even if I’m not taking pictures, even if I’m not designing a website, then there’s still people paying. And a lot of people are creating groups like subscription.

[00:15:40.970] – Kenna

Like coaching groups?

[00:15:42.290] – Deanna

Coaching groups, right. Or they’re creating different pieces of content that can be repurposed and sold and you can make it your own. There’s so many different things that you can do to help supplement that main income.

[00:15:58.030] – Kenna

Yeah. So let’s say we have someone listening that has a side hustle and it’s not exactly where they want it to be quite yet, but they just really want to leave their nine to five. What would be the advice that you would give them?

[00:16:13.850] – Deanna

That’s such a good question.

[00:16:15.760] – Kenna


[00:16:16.830] – Deanna

Everybody is different. I mean, somebody who has a family and children to take care of might get a different answer than someone just out of college who’s still living with their parents. Yeah, definitely. That’s really tough. But the first thing I would tell them is to listen to their gut. I feel like your gut knows. So if you’re thinking about it, if you can vision, picture actually doing it and you have this clear vision of you working your business and how things are going to work, and you know that your mindset is set up that there’s no plan B. I’m going to do this. I would say do it now. If you are married with children, a little bit different because that’s a conversation you need to have with your spouse. Finances are so important because, listen, all over social media, people are glamorizing starting your own business, and I love it. I’ve never looked back. I love what I’m doing. It’s hard. It’s not as easy as all these people, Oh, join my group and I’ll guarantee that you’re going to make X number of dollars every month. It sounds great. And then you read these testimonials, you’re like, Oh, if they could do it, I could do it.

[00:17:41.260] – Deanna

This is really cool. And we’ve all fallen into that. But we’ve all purchased those programs, and maybe you can. But this is hard work and it doesn’t come instantly. There’s no magic potion you can take. There’s no magic pill you can take. I feel like you do fall on your face several times in my days before you get to the point. So to answer your question, I would say your mindset has to be there. It’s not like a wishy washy. You’re like, I am going to do this. And you have to be able to actually picture what you want and know what you want to do and come up with a game plan. That would be my suggestion. But I’ll ask you something, aside from that, right? Because somebody asked me this question, I have a strong opinion about it, and I don’t know if we’re going to agree or not agree. When it comes to entrepreneurship, do you think it can be taught?

[00:18:44.060] – Kenna

Oh, geez. That’s such a hard question because there’s so many things that go into the business. But obviously, as an entrepreneur, the basis of that is one, thinking of the product or service that you want to sell, and two, actually selling it, and three, maintaining either those clients or new clientele. So you have to be either delivering good product or getting good reviews or not just like…

[00:19:10.560] – Deanna

I know it’s a hard question. I hit you.

[00:19:14.920] – Kenna

I don’t know. I have to say yes, but I have to spin off your last answer that your mindset has to be there. So if somebody is in an entrepreneurship college course and they are… If their mindset is not there, I don’t think they’re going to take it in the same way as somebody saying next to them who’s like, I have always dreamed of being my own boss. So I do think it can, but I think the person has to receive it has to be open to receiving it and implementing it. That’s a.

[00:19:49.570] – Deanna

Great answer. Do you.

[00:19:49.860] – Kenna

Think the opposite?

[00:19:50.970] – Deanna

I do think the opposite, but I think that your answer is great. I really like that. But I don’t think you can teach entrepreneurship. I think you can teach the skills of how to do things. But I think when it comes to having your own business, I believe there are two types of people and neither one is better or worse than the other. There are people who want to lead and carve their own path. And then there are people who want to be led and not have to worry about the stresses of carving your own path. But we need both in the world. We need both groups of people in the world.

[00:20:34.060] – Kenna


[00:20:34.820] – Deanna

I’m not saying that the other one, just because it’s not what I am, is less than it’s great. I love when I go to a restaurant and somebody brings me my food. I could never do that. Hey, I’m clumsy. I would probably spill everything. But I think that drive is something… In our case, we were brought up around that. My parents had their own businesses. Your parents had their own businesses. So we saw it. We lived it. It became part of who we were.

[00:21:13.200] – Deanna

So I think that doesn’t make it as… It still makes it scary, but not as scary because we’ve seen success. So what do you think? What would you tell somebody? And going back to your question that you asked me, what would you tell someone if they were thinking about leaving the nine to five and starting their own business?

[00:21:34.720] – Kenna

One of the biggest things for me leaving my nine to five, a thing that I learned because I thought, okay, I don’t have proper client contracts in place. I don’t have a system where I could send invoices. All my stuff was just typed up on a Word document or a PDF contract that I created that they would just sign. Some of my finances were kept in Excel, and I was like, I don’t have QuickBooks or any of that stuff. I felt strongly that I needed that before I ventured out because I just felt like I had to have an organized system. That’s just how my brain works. But that stuff costs money. A CRM software to handle all that stuff for you costs money. I didn’t really have the money to throw at that. However, I did throw money at that. If I could go back, I would have simplified it. My advice would be it doesn’t have to be complicated to get you going. It really doesn’t. You don’t have to invest in that CRM to get your business going, but you will have to spend a little more time organizing it in Excel, in Word, maybe, depending on what your business is, in Adobe PDF.

[00:22:52.230] – Kenna

It will take you a little more time to manually do that on your own, but you can do it and you don’t have to throw all this extra money and stuff because it’s not necessary to get your business going. Start small. I mean, so many mentors that I’ve talked to about camera equipment because in the photography world, you could get so caught up in what this person is using. And they took this photograph with this lens, and those lenses are thousands of dollars. And you’re like, should I just put it on my credit card? But so many very successful mentors that I’ve had in the past, their advice to me was don’t get caught up in all of that stuff. So I would just say it doesn’t have to be complicated to get going. You don’t have to make yourself go broke to get going.

[00:23:38.310] – Deanna

That is such great advice because I remember when I started doing all this and everything I’m doing is online. I’m a digital strategist and I was social media. I was creating social media content for clients. This was before Canva too, by the way. These were the pre Canva days, if anybody can imagine what that was like. But there are so many different types of software that you could get that, again, not cheap and everything has an add on to it. But I agree with you. And it’s funny because when Canva came out, I was a little bit of a snob about it because I was like, I’m not using that because I’ve purchased this other software to create my graphics and do everything that I’m doing. And I spent a lot of time learning that software because I’m not a graphic designer. I spent a lot of time. So why would I use something that’s so easy for the general population? It must not be that good. Right? Boy, was I wrong?

[00:24:48.020] – Kenna

Well, another flashback to how we grew up, just working really hard.

[00:24:54.250] – Deanna


[00:24:55.820] – Kenna

Exactly. Maybe harder than we needed to sometimes.

[00:24:59.960] – Deanna

You know what? That’s so true because I felt like if you don’t put the time and energy into really learning something, and there is truth to that, then it’s not as good. But Canva really simplified a lot of things for me and for everybody. So it took me a while to get on board because I was a little bit of a snob. But it’s so true what you said about you don’t need to purchase everything and start small. I mean, be smart and be strategic about what you do need. And if you’re doing things online for social media, which your business needs to be on social media and video is a big deal, don’t feel like you have to go buy a new camera or a ring light, which everybody uses the ring light. And you can get really reasonable ring lights, but you can also use the sunshine outside if you’re not at that point. Yeah, I guess I get it in front of a window. Right. Stand in front of a window and use the natural light because that’s the best light to use. So don’t feel like, oh, I better go out and go buy a camera so I can do TikToks and whatever.

[00:26:13.650] – Deanna

Your phone is great. Your phone is amazing and you don’t need the ring light. You just need sun. So don’t get caught up in that. That’s a great point. I’m glad you said that.

[00:26:25.030] – Kenna

Yeah. So I think if we had someone else sitting here listening to this thinking like, how do I know when it’s time to leave my nine to five and we haven’t really hit a point yet, maybe we could just go through some of the points that we jotted down that maybe we just haven’t hit yet that didn’t apply to our situation or whatnot. So we obviously said, listen to your gut. And I think another big one we have on our list is failing isn’t an option. So like you said, that mindset has to be there because it is hard work. And then a positive support system. If you are married, if you are living with your parents, and let’s say even if you are living with your parents and you might have a card payment still or a cell phone payment or whatever, you have to have the support of your parents in case they need to back you up for one month or if you are married and your husband needs to support you for maybe three months until you get off the ground or whatever. Right. Yeah, I think that’s huge. And then go ahead.

[00:27:25.970] – Deanna

I was going to say where I think that’s so important, too, is because a lot of times when you make a big change like that and you decide to leave your nine to five and start a business, the people who love you most are sometimes your biggest critics. And I don’t believe that they do that to be negative or to hurt you. It’s that they love you and they don’t want you. They don’t want you to fail. They don’t want you. They’re sharing all the options and they’re painting a picture that has Have you thought about this? It’s coming from a place of love, right? When you’re starting out and you’re doing that, imposter syndrome is real. When you first take that step, things are not going to just come easily and naturally. You’ve got to work it. And imposter syndrome is when you start questioning, What am I even doing here? Do I even have the knowledge? Am I even qualified to tell people that I’m a digital marketing strategist, that I’m a photographer, that I’m a baker, whatever it is, you start questioning yourself. And if you don’t have those people around you that say, listen, snap out of it.

[00:28:43.080] – Deanna

You can do this. You know this. You are qualified. That stuff will just kill your mental state and you’ll start buying it. So having those people around, not just only for financial support, but more so is emotional because you are going to hit those moments where you’re just questioning, what did I just do?

[00:29:08.520] – Kenna

I know for me personally, before I would always take a big step like that, I would before I would take the step, I would have in my mind, of course, I could do this. These people could do this. Like you said, I could do this. The pool of people doing this really isn’t that big in the grand scheme of things. So I could become one of the top dogs. I could learn it. And then you make that leap and you get into it and imposter syndrome can easily take over. But you almost have to have your mindset keep shifting back to your original why. I think this is huge for you. You always say, what’s your why? And I think you have to just take your mindset and just keep shifting it back to that why and how you felt before you took the leap and just tell yourself, believe it to be true. Just keep trucking on.

[00:30:01.600] – Deanna

Absolutely. Another thing that we talked about is the willingness to do what it takes. I think that’s really important because we talk about freedom, Kenna, right? This is why we did it. We wanted freedom. We wanted freedom with our children, which is a big motivator for both of us.

[00:30:22.810] – Kenna


[00:30:23.230] – Deanna

We want financial freedom to be able to support ourselves. We want freedom, and that’s what I believe most people when they decide to do this, that’s what they’re looking for. But that doesn’t just happen. In the beginning, you’re working long hours. You’re working long hours. You’re not at that freedom point. You have a little bit because you can work those hours around your own schedule. But do you have the willingness to do what it takes, not just work your business, but to continue to educate yourself and just really know your craft, Excel in what you are doing and get that negative feedback, fall on your face and get back up. That’s hard to do. Are you willing to do that is to keep getting back up when you make a mistake, a big mistake. You’re like, oh, man, especially if it’s with a client. And I don’t know if you’ve experienced that yet or not.

[00:31:24.400] – Kenna

Definitely. But it’s.

[00:31:27.140] – Deanna

Like, oh, I remember early on and it can happen anytime, not just in the beginning. But I remember just really contracts not being clear, misunderstandings. And boy, did I took on a job bigger than what I could handle. because I was afraid to say no because I was afraid to say no, because I felt like I need this money. I’m going to do it. I’m going to figure it out. I wasn’t there yet. I wasn’t there yet. I should have said no, but I didn’t because I’m like, I can figure it out. But I didn’t and it showed. And luckily, the client was really great about it. Prices were really cheap, so it wasn’t like… You do the right thing in the end. But that hit me hard because then imposter syndrome kicked in and it’s like, Okay, do you want to get back up? Or did you just fail? Is this not for you? And you need to do something else. So are you willing to do what it takes to make.

[00:32:33.160] – Kenna

It happen? I love what you said about educating yourself because that was a lesson learned for me because, like you said, we grew up around entrepreneurship and saw the success of it. And so while, like you said, it is still scary, I almost had that mindset of like, anybody could do this. Just get out, quit, start it, and people will come. And I didn’t invest in my education early on. And like you said, it showed for me personally. And I did have hard lessons with clients. So I feel like if somebody is listening and they’re wanting to leave their nine to five but don’t have that confidence yet, I feel education will give you that confidence. And you might still make mistakes when you get out. But if you educate yourself, at least while you’re sitting in that nine to five, you’ll feel so much more confident when it’s time to leave and you’ll be like, I know I could do this. I’ve practiced this. I’ve learned this. I can do this. Let’s go. And of course, continue educating yourself and learning from mistakes. But I just wanted to point out education is huge.

[00:33:42.630] – Deanna

It really is. And you know, it’s funny is when I was starting college, I was torn between business or psychology. And I chose psychology for two reasons. One is I was terrified to speak in public and I didn’t have to take a speaking class if I took psychology. But the second was that I had the same attitude you did. I was like, No, I grew up around business. What is the university going to teach me that I don’t already know? What I haven’t witnessed? I saw it in real life, but there’s so much I didn’t know. When I got into it, I was like, Man, I wish I would have taken some of those business courses. It probably would have made the ride a little bit smoother for me. And not just the business courses, but when we talk about education, it’s also your craft, your photography courses, me understanding SEO, Google ads, how to run ads in the ever changing social media world. There’s so much, but yeah, great point. You have to know that. Yeah.

[00:34:45.350] – Kenna

And all this to say back to my other point, too, is to not overcomplicate things, invest in the education that’s going to Excel your craft first, I would say. That way people will… Because social media is free. You could advertise your craft all day on social media. I don’t know if your advice would be the same, but I would say invest in education for your craft. And then once you get good at your craft and people see that, they’ll trust you. Then, of course, your business is just naturally going to get busier. You’ll naturally make more money, of course. Then that’s where you could then reinvest that money into, Okay, let me get some back end business organization going on and invest in a CRM or somebody to handle SEO for you or things like that. I want.

[00:35:36.670] – Deanna

To share a tip, too, about educating yourself because I know in the social media world, even early on, people would always say, how do you know all this stuff about social media? Because it would change all the time and it does change really fast. And SEO changes, Google changes all the time. And something that I recommend doing is sign up for those newsletters that bring you good information in your industry. I also set up Google Alerts. Now, I was following Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn, but I would set up a Google Alert so that if they had an update, I got it in my inbox. I also did that with my name. So if my name is ever posted on the internet anywhere, I get a notification that it was shared somewhere. That’s cool.

[00:36:24.090] – Kenna


[00:36:24.620] – Deanna

Cool tips. Set up a Google Alert with your personal name and your business name so then you can see if it’s mentioned anywhere in the internet. And I was surprised a few times that somebody shared a blog post of mine somewhere else and it popped in. But anyhow, but every morning, whatever your routine is, or maybe it’s in the evening, read those newsletters. Don’t just skim them, but read and educate yourself and find out what’s new in your industry and what’s happening in your industry so you could stay on top of it. You could 10, 15 minutes a day just to read. Keep educating yourself is going to be so important. Any other final thoughts, Kenna, about what to do?

[00:37:10.600] – Kenna

Oh, man, the life of freedom is good. Once you’re there.

[00:37:15.760] – Deanna


[00:37:16.530] – Kenna

It really is. While we do need all those people that work in nine to five, we need banks, we need a lot of businesses. There are people for that. And people might say, hey, I love my nine to five. I could get home when my kids get home. I have benefits. There’s, of course, perks to working in the nine to five or in a corporate role. But for those listening that want the life of freedom, while we are saying, hey, it takes a lot of work when the kids go to bed, you might have to work for two hours or more than that. Once you get there, the life of freedom is good. It is.

[00:37:58.570] – Deanna

What a great note to end that on. So we want to hear from you guys, too. How did you know when it was time to leave your nine to five to become self employed? Share it with us. We are looking for podcast guests to bring on and share their story. So we want to hear from you. How did you know? All right, guys, we will catch you next Monday at the same time. And listen to us on any streaming podcast channel that you listen to. We’ll be there. We’ll see you later.