Last month I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the live studio audience for Tamara Lackey's latest course on creativeLIVE. For those of you who don't know Tamara, or are unfamiliar with creativeLIVE, let me catch you up here. Tamara Lackey is a professional photographer who wears many hats. In addition to being one of the most recognized and successful family lifestyle photographers, she is an author, speaker, mother, wife, vegan and an avid proponent for finding balance between work and life. I've been learning from Tamara (via conference workshops and online classes) for a few years now, and when I heard that she was returning to creativeLIVE to teach yet another course, I knew I wanted to be there in person. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be one of six photographers selected to be part of the audience in Seattle, WA. While the main focus of Tamara's three-day intensive was on sales, it ended up being so much more. Sales can be such a gross word; it triggers visual flashes in your mind of greasy car salesmen in plaid suits, or of persistent door-to-door sellers who won't leave your front porch even after you've said, "no, thank you" five times. The fact is, if you are running a business, you must understand sales and be able to sell your goods or services in order to stay in business. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be greasy or slimy in any way. Whew - greasy is NOT a good look for me anyway!
The aspect of Tamara's workshop that I most appreciated was her holistic approach to her own business and the necessity of finding balance between work and life. The truth is, no matter how great your business is doing, if you never sleep, or never see your family, or never engage in activities that make you happy or keep you healthy, then something is not right. While it's important to meet the needs of each and every client and provide a high quality experience and product, it is just as crucial to know your limits and make time for all of the other important aspects of your life: family...friends...exercise...fun outings...ice cream sundaes!
There were so many "a-ha" moments throughout the entire weekend and it's difficult to put into words how much of an impact this experience has had on me. Sharing the experience with five other phenomenal people who were part of the studio audience was just icing on the cake...or hot fudge on that ice cream sundae! Each night we got together for dinner and drinks and talked (and talked) about the course, our struggles and successes within our own businesses, and our biggest takeaways from each day. Although we are all spread out in various states, we made a promise to support one another and help each other meet our goals both in our businesses and in our personal lives. We've already set up a monthly Google hangout chat and had our first call last week! Clearly, they don't call us KOABD (Kind Of A Big Deal) for nothing! You can find each of these talented photographers on Facebook - be sure to give them a "like" when you stop by:
While I've been watching and learning from creativeLIVE for the past few years, it is an ENTIRELY different experience being there in person. It was super fun meeting all of the creativeLIVE team and seeing what happens behind-the-scenes. Despite the occasional technical difficulties (which are bound to happen when you are live streaming a three-day course all over the world), the entire crew (and Tamara) made the weekend seem flawless. Lots of laughs, yummy lunches, and great conversations were a natural part of the creativeLIVE experience. They are three days I will never forget. Many thanks to each and every one of you who worked so hard to make it an amazing weekend.
Thank you, Tamara, for everything you offered and shared. I can truly say that the last 20 minutes on day 3 will be the most profound advice I will listen to often and will keep close to me throughout my entire professional career. Thank you for keeping it real.
Here are a few other great moments from the weekend: