Education For Entrepreneurs

Christina’s Journey: From Burnt Out to Balanced

Christina's Journey From Burnt Out
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Christina's Journey From Burnt Out

This year I’ve had the absolute honor of working with Christina Forbes of Christina Forbes Photography on MULTIPLE occasions.  She is a one-on-one coaching client of mine (click here to apply!), was a retreat attendee at my first ever Fireside Retreat, and owns basically every product in the Laura Lee Creative shop.

Christina is a loving mother and wife, an incredible photographer, and a passionate small business owner. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing her story with you. I am so grateful for her willingness to take time out of her busy work and life schedule to be here with us today. In this Q&A, she shares her journey as a small business owner and how she made it to where she is today in her business and life.

Christina is also here to share her kind words about her experience as one of the students of my Wedding Photographer’s Playbook. Make sure to keep reading if you want to learn more about how the Playbook helped her save hours each week in her business and get more time back to live her life to the fullest with her family!

You are going to absolutely LOVE Christina and everything she has to share with us today about her experience! Grab a cup of coffee or tea, find a comfy seat at the coffee shop, and meet Christina!

Christina Forbes Photography

Meet Christina & Her Business

Tell us a little bit about your business! When did you start? What do you do?

I officially started my business in 2012. I’m a wedding and portrait photographer.

Where are you located?

I’m located in a tiny rural town in Eastern North Carolina called Hertford.

Tell us about your dream client or wedding.

My dream wedding would be at the Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston SC. Filled with personal touches such as monograms & family heirlooms. A classic timeless southern coastal style with blush & navy colors with a touch of gold accents, intimate lounge seating under gorgeous trees adorned with spanish moss.

What’s your favorite part of running a business?

Having the opportunity to use my talent in a way that truly serves others while helping them in preserving their legacies.

What is your least favorite part of running a business?

Social Media marketing! That constant feeling that you always have to be showing or doing something.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Or a favorite moment since you started out?

Becoming a destination wedding photographer. I remember thinking that it was such a crazy dream and that I would never be asked to photograph a wedding states away let alone out of the county.

What advice would you give business owners just starting out?

Developing a strong foundation in your business is absolutely instrumental! Everything else just builds on top of it. So know your non-negotiables, know what you stand for and against, create boundaries and protect your time. Don’t be afraid to fail, analyze it then learn from it, and make sure you put into action what you learned.

Tell me about you! Are you married? Kids? What do you love to do?

I’m married to my husband Wes. We’ve been married for almost 14 years now. We have 2 girls Kayleigh (13) & Brilee (7). And they couldn’t be more opposite! One’s very meek and mild and the other one well…she’s a total spitfire and full of whit! We also have 2 dogs Roxy (lab) and Sadie (maltipoo). Together as a family we love spending on the river beach or having fun out on our boat, either fishing or tubing.  

What are 3 fun facts about you?

  1. I’m a Golden Girls fanatic! I own the entire series collection and I could literally watch them every day, all day…don’t ask which one I think I’d be because I think we all have a little of each of them us..but when I grow up I hope I have Sophia’s sass all day long!
  2. I LOVE to cook/bake new recipes. But I dread the cleanup!
  3. I absolutely love dancing around the house with the girls! I love when we hold our hairbrushes like mics and sing to the top of our lungs! My oldest and I get even more excited when it’s an 80’s song!

Christina’s Experience Working with Laura Lee Creative

When did you start working with Laura with workflow help?  What product did you have?

I started working with Laura this past winter.

What was your biggest struggle with your business prior to working with Laura?

I’ve always been very organized and systematic person, however after I had lost my grandmother in 2016 & had the busiest year in my business, I completely burned myself out. I realized in 2017 as I was trying to get myself together that some of my expectations were unrealistic. I needed help re-organizing my business and workflows however I was so overwhelmed. I was so confused as to how “the organized person became so disorganized”?

What are the top three benefits you’ve experienced since working with Laura?

  • Better organized workflows & systems
  • A clearer understanding as to my booking ratio and projected income.
  • More control over my schedule

What, specifically, was your favorite part?

Getting back the energy to want to organize my business and the confidence to do it!

What was your business like before you used the Playbook and how does it compare to today?

My business was in a state of frenetic energy. I was just trying to make it to the next month, the next booking. Now I have a BIG picture dream and a plan to make it all happen. I’m not just reacting I’m proactive again!

What other side effects have you seen in your business as a result? (i.e. Better client communication? Better vendor relationships? Better client experience?)

Increase in consistency, developing more ways to serve my couples to give them an even better experience.

What side effects have you seen in your personal life? (i.e Less stress? More time to spend with your family? Feeling less overwhelm?)

The feelings of being overwhelmed have decreased significantly. I’m actually more excited to get in the office and when it’s time to shut it down, I don’t feel guilty…I’m actually able to not think about work when I’m with my family. I know that I have a plan for the neverending to-do list and that I have to walk away and recharge if I’m going to be successful the next day.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about getting starting with Laura?

I ask you this, “What do you have to lose?” You have everything to gain by investing in coaching or any of the workflow services offered with Laura. I can’t think of a better coach than her! She’s so passionate about what she does and I can promise you that she believes in you more than you will believe in yourself sometimes!

How much time do you think you’ve saved overall since working with Laura? Weekly or per client?

Yikes, that’s so hard! It’s not just time that she has saved me, it’s the mental sanity! We all have the same amount of hours to work within a day, but knowing how to better use them…well that’s priceless and unlimiting!

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?

After my grandmother passed and all of my systems failed, I knew deep down that I needed to completely overhaul. I just couldn’t get myself together long enough to revamp them. After 2017 wrapped up, I knew that if I didn’t do something now, my business would hit a crossroads. One that I just was not ready to go down.

So I invested in coaching with Laura. Together we dug deep into the core of the business and worked our way outside. As we did, she gave me tips on how to really create a system that was more efficient and totally served my business & life. Well, not long after we started creating the asana boards with all my procedures, my brother threw a Pulmonary Embolism, my dad had another heart issue requiring him to be transported to UNC Chapel Hill then my sister in law had a postpartum hemorrhage and I was left taking care of a 24-hour old baby.

While all this was going on (in a 2-month span), I was able to still run my business efficiently. I even had the capability to have my assistant go in an order a bridal portrait because I had the procedures written down to do so. I could tend to my families needs and know that my business was still functioning! Such a HUGE relief!

Wow – I cannot thank you enough, Christina! Your story is truly amazing and your clients are SO lucky to have you in their lives. I am so excited to see where your business takes you as you continue to grow and thrive!

To view more of Christina’s beautiful portfolio, click here! Also see the pictures below!

To learn more about working with me one-on-one, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about coaching with Laura Lee Creative, click here to apply!

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We teach paid courses, host a membership community, and sell DIY templates and resources - ALL designed to help business owners build better businesses and better lives.  Our hope is to help make following your passions easier. We can't wait to see your dreams come to life!

We also offer one on one services including brand photography, coaching, and done-for-you workflow creation and implementation.


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