Archive: December 2012  |  View all recent posts

Fri. Dec 21, 2012 by Mary    Life with J&M

How it is.

Sometimes (ok most of the time) when I go to write a blog post, I tell myself that it has to be written this certain way.

That it has to be polished. That the language has to be lyrical. And the title should probably have some clever, deeper double meaning.

And to be honest, it has a tendency of getting in the way.

Because sometimes, you just need to write a post that tells it like it is. How life in that ever given moment is.

Sometimes you just need to talk, without worrying whether or not the words will come out perfectly.

So in the interest of us just talking here as friends, here are some things that have been on my heart this past week.

The past three days we were on Showit LIVE, where the cameras were rolling 7 or 8 hours a day and every spare sleeping surface in our house was claimed. There were people in every bathroom and voices down every hall. And now that it's over, our house seems way too quiet. Though I will say, I am enjoying not waiting in line for the shower. :)

Those three days were some of the most intense of my life, and if I'm being really honest by the end of day two....I sat slumped over at dinner, the picture of someone who didn't have anything else to give. Because quite simply, I felt like I was failing. I felt like the words weren't coming out powerfully enough. That the content I was giving wasn't helpful enough. That the outfits I was wearing weren't glamorous enough. That the banter I was bantering wasn't witty enough. I went in feeling like I should have been some mutant super hero combination of Martin Luther King Jr., Kate Middleton, Seth Godin, and Kelly Ripa all rolled into one. And at the end of the day....I just felt like whatever I was, it wasn't enough.

That night I got about one hour of sleep. In part because poor Justin got food poisoning from that same dinner and was up all night, but also because my mind couldn't stop racing. Replaying everything that I thought had gone wrong. Re-saying everything that could have been said better. And somewhere around 3:37am on the final day, I had already declared my imminent failure before the day had even begun.

But, and here's the wasn't. An imminent and epic failure, that is.

Maybe it was the adrenaline, maybe it was good old fashioned fight or flight. It was most certainly the pulling together and let's make it happen of Eryn, Kori, Abby, Jen, Ashley, Gabrielle & Kevin, who I couldn't have gotten through those three days without. But by the end of Day 3, when the last question was taken and the champagne had been popped....even I had to admit, it had somehow all turned around. And what just hours before had looked like certain failure, had somehow been flipped on its head.

But this isn't really a post about telling you a happy ending tied up with a neat little bow. Because that's just a little too easy.

And to be honest, life won't always turn out that way. It hasn't always turned out that way for us.

I guess what this post is about is what comes right before that. In those moments when you don't know how it's going to turn out. When you're telling yourself that who you are just isn't enough. When it's not going the way you want it to. When you are already certain that you're going to fail.

In those moments, before you know the ending, be willing to give it one more try. And allow yourself to consider the possibility that you might be wrong.

Because even if the words don't come out perfectly....

they still may be exactly what somebody else needed to hear.

Tue. Dec 18, 2012 by Mary    The Latest

Featured: Rock the Shot

Good morning friends!

Today we are SO excited to be featured over on Rock the Shot!

Rock the Shot is an amazing photography source, forum & community that features some of the best in the industry. So when they wrote and asked little ole us :) to do an interview, I had to do about a triple take in my inbox before I believed it was true. In the interview, just some of the things we talk about are our best advice for pricing, choosing your teachers wisely, and why us wedding photographers have it so much harder than DaVinci! :) If you want to find out why, as well as see the whole article, feel free to click HERE!!

Also, the schedule for Day 2 of The Big Next is now up! Day 1 starts shortly at 12pm EST and you can join us by clicking HERE!!

Wednesday December 19th
11:00 Intros & Announcements. The importance of being specific/focused.
11:15 What is your REAL (specific, focused) BIG Next (audience, participation)
11:30 Starting with Why.
-Our why's: Work & Teaching
-What is the Why behind your BIG Next
12:00 What Worked, What Didn’t- what are the hurdles keeping you back? (audience participation)
12:30 Mentoring w/ Kori
1:30 Break
2:00 Mentoring w/ Abby- 2 years in, ready to create a luxury brand
-Starting with Why. “Why do you want to be luxury in the first place?”
-Showing what you want to shoot/shooting what you want to show
-What is it you really want? What is luxury? Define, narrow, focus
-Follow a path v. forge a trail
-What experience are you creating
-Storytelling marketing-website review
3:00 BREAK
3:15 Mentoring w/ Ashley & Jen- 2nd round of mentoring, ready to start leading
-A before & after of their brand
-What has happened since the first mentoring session
-What’s the Why- what do you bring to the education table?
-What’s the Why for associates?
-Waiting on permission
-Validation marketing- website/workshop review
4:30 Two types of BIG Dreams
-Ones that can be created by the force of your own sheer will- next action plan
-Ones you have no control over: preparation & plus one-ing your opportunities
4:45 Breaking it down into the smallest, actionable steps and the 2 minute step
-Attendees present their next action plans
5:30 Giveaways + Q&A
5:50 Attendees do their first action step+ pop some bubbly!!!
6:00 end of The Big Next...hugs & goodbyes

Happy Tuesday!

Mon. Dec 17, 2012 by Mary    The Latest

Join us on Showit LIVE Tonight!!

Good morning & Happy Monday!

Today we are running around like crazy people getting ready for "The Big Next" on Showit LIVE which kicks off tonight with a little meet & green intro session with Justin & I, where we will tell all of you at home what you'll need to do to take part in the event over the next two days so you can get to work on your own BIG Next as well as get in on all those giveaways!! We'll start broadcasting at 5pm EST tonight with Kevin Sturm doing a little interview of us, and then that will be followed by a cocktail reception we're hosting for all of our in-studio attendees. We're going to keep the cameras rolling during that time, so feel free to grab a glass of wine and join us!

Then for the next two days, we are going to be walking through step by step with each of our six attendees as they go after their own Big Nexts. We have intentionally chosen people from very different places in their lives & businesses so that they can help represent all of you guys at home. We are going to be doing LIVE on air mentoring sessions with each of them, as well as working as a group, as we address all of the hurdles that are standing in their way and challenge them to push past their fear to what's next. But we also need all of you guys. We have structured the whole format so that you can follow along right at home, asking yourself the same questions and doing the same work right alongside us. And we're going to be asking all of you to chime in as well with your fears, struggles, and big hairy audacious goals! So as you can see. We're all in this....together.

I have posted the full schedule for our first full day on Tuesday below so you know when to tune in, and I'll be posting the full schedule for Wednesday tomorrow. But just know that it will also be 12-6pm EST. It's going to be a crazy few days! So while I'm thinking of it, prayers, thoughts, crossed crossable, good vibes, and excellent mojo are all appreciated!


This is it. Don't get scared now.

Monday, December 17th
5:00pm Intro meet & greet with J&M followed by cocktail reception for attendees. Tune in to find out what you need to do to take part, as well as win those giveaways!!

Tuesday December 18th
12:00 Intro- Why What’s Next Matters & the 7 steps from “To Do” to Done.
12:15 Attendees Introduce themselves, tell us what their Big Next is (at home audience tells us theirs as well)
12:30 Dreamer v. Doer & the 5 Things that Get in the Way
12:45 What are you afraid of? (at home audience weighs in too)

1:00 Mentoring w/ Gabrielle- Just Getting Started
-Maximizing the outputs for your inputs
-What you need to gross v. bring home (at home audience participation)
-What you’re making v. what you’re charging
-No inquiries, now what?
-Focus & Discipline
-Trust marketing- website review

2:00 Mentoring w/ Eryn- Mom of 3, ready to focus on her business
-The swirling vortex of just maintaining
-Brain dumps & Win the Day (at home audience participation)
-What you really want v. what you’re “supposed” to want
-The “why” of barely get by
-Connection marketing- website review

3:00 BREAK
3:15 Katelyn James in the HOUSE!!
-One week workflow
-Monthly Duty days
-The Big List
-Client Plus Sites
-Katelyn Workshop giveaway!!

4:30 Mentoring w/ Kori- Part of a husband & wife duo, ready to rock the experience
-The Ideal Client
-Saying no to something good, to be able to say yes to something GREAT.
-Knowing your gaps: What should you let go of?
-Breaking down the overwhelming: creating small actionable steps (at home audience participation)
-Experiential marketing- website & client experience review

5:30 Wrap up, homework assignments for Day 2, Q&A
6:00 End of Day 1

Fri. Dec 14, 2012 by Mary    Life with J&M

The World's Best Snuggler

Lately I guess I've been trying to catch my rest where I can.

The other night, my best friend Joey came over to cook dinner and watch a movie with us. And about halfway through the movie at the super late hour of 9:30 pm (I'm secretly 80 years old y'all), I got tired and went and laid down on Cooper's dog bed. Where I promptly fell asleep.

Apparently not long after, Cooper came and joined me.

Upon which time, Justin covered us both up with a blanket. And then took this picture.

Probably mostly to make fun of me. But honestly, I'm glad he got it.

It's just proof that we are the proud owner's of the world's best snuggler. :)

Happy Friday y'all! I hope this weekend brings you merry tidings and all the rest you need!

Thu. Dec 13, 2012 by Mary    The Latest

Win a 5d Mark III or a Nikon D800!!!

Good morning friends!!!

I feel like every post I've been writing this month has started with a "Today we are SO excited to tell you/show you/announce...."

And it's true. December has been a pretty crazy exciting month. And a pretty just plain crazy month. We're finalizing tour venues and ordering things for the bus, plus putting together a TON of fun surprises for all you amazing attendees out there. Not to mention Christmas shopping, holiday orders, sending out client gifts (we are at the moment, I kid you not, chin deep in shipping boxes), and oh yea....planning a three day live event from our home starting on Monday. Where I hope to change into something other than my yoga pants.

Fingers crossed. :)

So yea, it's crazy. But here's the thing.... it's also the exact same stuff that we have been waiting and waiting and dreaming for in our business, for what feels like years now. So I'm not going to think about how crazy it is or how much there is still left to do.

Instead, I'm just going to throw my arms up and enjoy the ride. And I may or may not shout "WHEEEE" while I'm at it.

And so, keeping with that theme, today we are SOOOOOO :) excited to announce that we are partnering with one of our amazing sponsors on the What's Next Tour, Adorama, who we are so SO thankful for to give away a camera on the very last day of the tour. On January 25th, we will announce the results and one lucky winner will get their choice of either a Canon 5d Mark III or a Nikon D800!! Anyone can enter, and all you have to do is click on this link HERE & follow the instructions.

And then promise me that whatever it is you have on your plate today, you will take a second to remember to throw your arms up & enjoy the ride!

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