Today on the Focused Photographers Podcast, I’m diving into the first ever Q&A session. I’ve got five great questions submitted by you: newsletter subscribers, Instagram followers, and the listeners of this podcast. We’re diving into topics such as my top book recommendations, how I spend the off-season, my financial setup, and self-care.
The Focused Photographers Podcast was created based on the idea that the most incredible tool for learning is a deep dive into any given topic from multiple perspectives. Join us every other week as we explore important topics, with host Daniel Moyer and a variety of guests offering different perspectives! Make sure you’ve hit that follow or subscribe button on your favorite podcast player to get notified each week as we air new episodes!
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REVIEW THE SHOW NOTES:
What do you do for self-care? (4:24)
Books every photography business owner should read (11:08)
What is better at starting a fire? (18:39)
What to do in the off-season to prep for the next season (19:05)
Financial actions with every booking and invoice (26:06)
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Hey friends. I’m Dean Moyer, thank you so much for being here and listening to another episode of the focus photographers podcast where photographers gather. Today’s episode is a q&a episode. And I’m so excited. It’s the first one and I hope to do a bunch more. All these questions came in through subscribers to my newsletter from Instagram followers and from listeners of this podcast and the topics of the questions they ask range from books to read to finances, and offseason prep. And finally, self care. So super quick, this episode is brought to you by the focused five newsletter, I’m heading into my 13th wedding season as a full time photographer, a full time wedding photographer. And when I started out and even midway through my journey, I wish there was something like this that I could get little jolt of inspiration from, or some motivation or some hype for my wedding weekend or just to be able to think about something different or sensible business advice all delivered right to my inbox.
Like a couple of weeks ago, I shared the $50 referral hack that I’ve been doing for the last seven years in a row that my clients love. They always share on social media about it and end up booking, usually one or two weddings from it. And it’s so simple. It takes like a half hour of my time, at the end of every single year. I also shared a story, you know, a couple of weeks before that, about when my mom was looking for a long term home for my grandfather who was living with Alzheimer’s and the nurse who brought my mom to tears, because she knew exactly what to say, and how to say it and what my mom exactly needed to hear. And you might be wondering, you know why newsletter? Well, the real reason is I’m trying to spend less on social media. I think a lot of us are it social media is pretty awesome for keeping in touch with friends and all that stuff. But whenever I find something really interesting, or whenever I find something that’s really motivational, it’s often some hard to find it. But a lot of us are already in our email inboxes we’re already there competing with catering with our clients. We’re building relationships with venues, other different wedding pros, so why not have something delivered to your inbox every single Thursday morning. That’s going to do a little bit of good and you’re able to come back to it whenever you want. So this sounds good. Go to focus photographers.com/newsletter to subscribe. It’s super easy. It is purely educational and you can unsubscribe anytime hope see in there. Let’s get to the show now. All right, here we go.
Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here. It is a gross, chilly, rainy day out. I refer to this as like muddy December, because in Pennsylvania, I’m just waiting for the snow and it to be really pretty out. But it’s not quite there yet. This episode I’m really excited about because I love q&a episodes. I haven’t really talked too much about it on this podcast. But I had another podcast with a good friend of mine. Her name’s Daniel Pasternak, she is this amazing wedding coordinator. And we had a podcast from I think 2015 all up until the end of 2021. And it was a it was for couples to help them plan a a joyful wedding day. That’s it. Danielle is this amazing wedding coordinator. So she brought a lot of the sort of logistic tips and all that stuff. And I was the heart of the bet. So they we our listeners called her the brains and I was the heart of the podcast was really fun. But our most popular podcast episodes were always Q and A’s. And I sort of never quite understood why. But now that I’m sort of like in the coaches chair, and I’m putting together, you know, these podcasts and thinking about content and stuff, and what’s valuable, I love q&a episodes, and this is my first one I think that I’m doing I don’t think I’ve done any other ones. And I love it because I know I’m speaking directly to a question and some a need and, and concern, whatever you want to call it that somebody has.
And I know that if one person has it, a ton of other people have it that have not decided to ask it or there’s gonna be people in the future who have the same question. And I love that I just get to put all those questions into one nice, neat little short package short, quote unquote, short package that everybody gets to hear and benefit from. So everybody who sent in a question, thank you so much. I’m going to try to try to keep it as short as possible. There’s only five questions try to keep it really simple, but let’s hop into it. So here we go. The first question, like I said before, actually comes from my friend Taylor. Shout out to Taylor Jones photography on Instagram. She is this really happy, joyful person. She also is a coach. She’s got a really amazing podcast for women called I think it’s the fearless fempire podcast and this question when I read it totally came, I knew come from her. She says what do you do for self care? Like I said, I knew that a question this thoughtful would come from Taylor and I love her energy. So go follow her. Like I said on Taylor Jones photography on Instagram. For me, self care pretty much comes down to four things
And those four things are therapy, meditation, slash prayer, physical challenges and eating. Well, let me just briefly talk about each one of those. So I was never somebody who dealt with much anxiety or depression, I was always sort of able to kind of think my way out of it or whatever. And that all changed sort of the middle of 2020, when we had obviously had a radical shift in the way we were doing things we had, basically six month olds, one year olds around that time, one year old twins, and then our oldest daughter was then three, and my wife works in the corporate world. So she has not much flexibility. So so much just came down to me doing all the nap times, and literally spending six and seven hours just sitting in the nursery, and just doing and try, like wanting to get stuff done. And I was just, I just was angry and upset, and I was resenting everything. And it was at that moment when I realized, like, I didn’t have control over my emotions anymore. And I needed somebody outside of the situation. To help me through that. My therapist, he worked with me through a bunch of stuff, and we’re still talking, I actually enjoy when I get to talk with him. And he gave me all different kinds of things to do. And I’ve tried lots of different things.
And it’s pretty much comes down, it came down to the things that I mentioned this therapy, meditation, prayer, physical challenges and eating well, there’ll be part, having a date on my calendar to talk about how I’m feeling and talk about, you know, how I can be better and keep showing up and being the best version of myself for my family. That’s something that really keeps me grounded, because I’m somebody who wants to take a deep breath, and I want to show up, and I want to be a good dad and having somebody to help me clear my thoughts and get focused on what’s important is, is the most beneficial thing that I’ve done for self care. A second thing, meditation and prayer, I don’t think it’s any surprise that meditation would make this list and prayer would make this list. If you can’t tell if you listen to this podcast, my my brain runs really fast. And I like to talk fast. And it’s that same thing all the time. So sitting quietly, and meditating or praying is can be uncomfortable. But I think leaning into things that make you uncomfortable and help you grow as a person as well. That’s also where the physical challenges part comes in. Because I think leaning into that discomfort really helps to allow you to grow as a person.
And that’s where the physical challenges part comes in. If you’ve ever heard of this term, Muskogee, Muskogee is a Japanese term that is a basically a Shinto ritual water cleansing, the term recently has been used to define sort of these hardships that you can create, to help yourself grow and to get out of this comfort zone that it’s really easy to be in. And my versions of this have been things like, you know, I’ve talked recently about the Spartan Race that I did. But just having these, it’s basically this idea that you want to put one really hard thing on your calendar, that will have an effect on the other 364 days of the year. So for you know, this year coming up my one of the challenges that helps me sort of stay grounded is the Spartan trifecta, it’s three different races. And I’m just doing that to show that I can be strong and show that I can do something hard and, and really push through. And I think it’s really easy to stay comfortable and to to live in the 72 degree life that we normally have, like, imagine this, you’ve got this line that’s just going straight across, right. And we all want to get to this higher line, we all want to level up we want the cars, the more money the more time the big house, whatever it is. But the problem is, is that line that we’re getting to the way to get there is fuzzy and it just keeps moving.
We keep wanting more and more and more. I think what we actually need to do is to go lower, we need to go below where we’re currently living and visit challenge and visit discomfort and then visiting that challenge and discomfort allows us to appreciate the line that like where we’re living now. And I think when we visit challenge and discomfort, our life actually starts to that line that we’re living starts to elevate and move up a little bit because you expand what you think you know you’re capable of you expand your skills and and your confidence. And I think that physical challenge part is really, really helpful. But then the last piece is just eating well. That’s funny, I realized that like alcohol doesn’t really serve me very well. It just like makes my body feel funny. So I hadn’t really we haven’t really drank much because we just been home and we have a bunch of little kiddos and it’s only recently that I’ve sort of made this decision to sort of not drink anymore. And the eating well part of it just came down like I was the heaviest I had been in probably since college like right out right out of college. I gained a bunch of weight and then lost it because I got active, but I was the heaviest I had been in early 2022 and
And I think it was like 217 pounds. And I was like, I just need to get this under control. So I did a five day, I’m just gonna try this thing. And it was I’m just going to eat protein, vegetables and fruit and drink water. And for five days, I just want to see what that was. And that’s just transformed itself into just eating better. eating whole foods. You know, lots of plants, lots of vegetables, and fruits and grains and all that kind of stuff. So, yeah, that’s really where my my self care comes from. That was probably a longer answer than I expected. But I hope that was helpful. But I just think if there’s one thing that you take away from that, I think it’s to try lots of things and just see what sticks. That’s the best way to do self care. Try a little bit of praying, try a little meditating, try some exercises, try some running, try some try therapist. Try getting in nature, tribe, grounding, like walk around barefoot, there’s lots of different things. Just try a bunch of stuff and see what sticks. I think it will be really helpful if you pay attention to resistance and lean into some of the things you have resistance on and that’s going to help you to give yourself more grace and take it to a new level. So Okay, question number two comes from Sadie at SSD photo design, she says I need some photography, book recommendations, shooting inspo, documentary lighting, etc.
So I came up with a list, I decided I haven’t really gotten a chance to do this before. But this is sort of my not so definitive, definitive list of books that I think every photographer business owner should read. The first like two are pretty important. And they’re their top on the list for a reason. So this first one is a short book, it’s called Manage your day to day, build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative mind. This, I think, is what photographers struggle with burnout and being tired all the time is for real, like the amount of people have been talking about that. I actually put up a poll in two Facebook groups recently. And work life balance is right up there at the top by a huge margin over everything else on that poll as what people want to spend time with. And it’s because managing your time and saying no is really difficult for us. If you’ve read Michael Gerber’s book called The E Myth revisited, he talks about every business having three different things. There is the entrepreneur, there’s the manager, and there’s the technician, we photographers are really good at being the entrepreneur, like the dreamer, having the Spirit coming up with fun ideas. And then we’re also good at being the technician that like doing the thing, but the manager is what we really need. And it’s the most difficult one for us to do.
So this book, The chapters, there’s like 20 or 30 chapters, but they’re short, they’re like 235 pages most and they’re all from different people. So they’re all like, written differently. They’re all different trick, tip or trick or way to think about how to organize your time and find your focus and sharpen your creative mind. The organization is 99 you they actually have three books, I can’t remember exactly what they say. But it’s basically the idea of like, they’re trying to provide the education that you didn’t get in your college or master’s program about business. So like I said, two or three page long chapters, and they’re from you know, top thinkers and writers and business owners. Second one I’ve got another question about this one later that we’ll dive into its profit first by Mike McCalla wits single greatest book that I’ve read that had the biggest change for the long term effect on the health and well being of my business. I’ll talk about that about that one a little bit more later in depth. Third is a Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins fascinating book about what we need as photographers, which is to save money and spend less, and he breaks down these like this big scary thing, which is saving for the future into pretty actionable helpful advice talks about the stock market talks about you know, lots of different things.
I’m not a CPA, I’m not a financial advisor, I but I am interested in in like organizing money and, and the mindset around it. So I can’t tell you what to do with your money in terms of like, how to invest it and all that stuff. You know, leave that up to your CPA, but this is also a really great book to help do some of these things and take some of it into your own hands and feel more confident doing that. And this book really helps you do that. The fourth one is actually a pretty new addition to my list. It’s called effortless by Greg McKeon. And if you are somebody like me, that gets paralysis by analysis, where I can get easily overwhelmed because I want to do things the right way, or whatever, or I’m dreading something, because it’s going to take a long time. This book has drastically helped me simplify my processes by encouraging me to ask a simple question, what if this could be easier, and then really picking apart processes and getting into a state and effortless state and all these different things? So yeah, that book effortless really helps you reframe and put things into perspective and how to make things more effortless.
The last couple here are photo books except for the last one, which will be an honorable mention this book. It’s called Picture perfect practice by Roberto valen, suela came out, you know, a bunch of years ago, Roberto and suelos is really awesome photographer, but he talks about how he used to practice for the piano hours at a time. And he took that same discipline, and applied it to photography, where like, it’s not just a natural thing that we have, we can also practice it. And I love that approach to just practicing and playing with intention and, and not just showing up on a wedding day and hoping to get better just by learning on the wedding day. It’s about practicing and photographing all the time. And that book gives specific examples and, and ideas and tasks that you can do to become more versed and more fluent in practicing your craft. It’s really cool. The next two books are really awesome photo books, like I’m talking from photographers, just their the way that they photographed and it’s just about the pictures that they took. And then they talk about them. First one’s probably not so common or not so well known of a book.
It’s called the life of a photograph by Sam Abel, just a beautiful book, it really influenced how I photograph because he talks about, you know, light moment composition and, and creating photographs and building them. And it’s just a really great, really great approach to that from everything from landscapes all the way up to portrait. So the life of a photograph by Sam Abel is awesome. The next one, relatively new book. And the reason why I love it is because we’re all familiar with the places that he’s photographed. It’s a book by Pete Souza, who was Obama’s photographer, and the book is called Obama. What I love about it is that we’re all familiar with the Oval Office, right? We’re all familiar with a lot of the places that the President goes, because we see pictures of the President in the media and all that stuff, we’re familiar with what a large open stadium would be and how to photograph it, we’re familiar with what an open open tarmac and a plane would sort of look at, like look like in that situation. And I love seeing what maybe the media would create or think about what I would create, and then what Pete Souza created, and how he sees differently and how he would approach the stories differently. So it’s really fascinating. And also like, you know, he’s the most Obama’s, like the most photographed man during that time, and how he decided to tell stories of these very, very important moments during that time and the decisions he made, and all that. So really good one, last two really quick. And we’ll finish up you know, next couple of questions is this next one is about client experience. It’s called The Power of moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, the basis of it that is super powerful is this idea of like looking for valleys in an experience that you can fill, and then peaks in the experience that you can elevate. fascinating book if you want to elevate your client experience, the power of moments by Chip and Dan Heath, and the last one, comes back to this self care question. It’s called can’t hurt me by David Goggins.
avid Goggins is a uses a lot of colorful language. If you are easily offended by that. There’s a clean copy of this book, I think. And it’s just about something that helped me with my physical challenges and a lot of stuff that I was going through with some anxiety and depression and not feeling really great about myself. And it taught me to be more resilient, be more honest with myself and dig deeper than I’m capable of more. So really good book. I can’t recommend any of those higher super good books. That is my not so definitive definitive list of books every photographer business owners rate, okay. Third one is very quick question that actually forgot that was on here. It’s from my friend Matt, who if you’ve ever heard me talk about my group of dad photographers, NACA Uber’s. In there, shout out to Matt. He said, who’s better at starting? Or what is better starting a fire? A lighter or Colin? So the answer to this one is definitely Colin. I’m curious to see what happens when he hears this. And, and if even, we’ll hear it, we’re gonna find out. I will report back. Okay, this next question comes from a and v photography, Alberto and Vanessa, and they say, What do you do in the offseason to prep for next season? So this is actually a really timely question, because I have a whole episode coming up in January, all about part of what I do in the early part of the year to sort of get ready in the photography side of things. But the big thing that I do is I take a big step back from the photography business, and I just take a huge deep breath and and just get some space, right, just get like a 500 foot view. And then I I just take time to be reflective about what I liked that year, what I think went really well and then what didn’t sit well with me and it’s a lot of the what didn’t sit well with me that I think I really grow from and then I make changes for the following year based on those things. And sometimes it just takes the form of like, let me just get a pen and paper and just think back like Oh,
over some of the wedding’s that I did and what happened personally and what happened, and I’ll just jot it down and sort of just set like a timer, 1015 minutes and just just jot down, like some of the things that are I’m feeling about. And I just sort of get like, like I said, like a picture of the year like, what, what floats to the top, because if it doesn’t float to the top, I don’t need to spend that much time with it. So like, Alright, so what does this look like in practice, right, I take 15 minutes, I write some things down, and then look back. So if you’re, if you’ve listened to Episode 22 of this podcast, it was called my work life balance experiment. You’ll know in that episode, I talked about taking two weeks off per month, I know what the it looked like when the pendulum swung really far to one side of frustration and burnout, and depression and anxiety, and all that stuff. So I really wanted to let the pendulum swing the opposite way, in 2022. And so what I did was I, you know, made this boundary of taking two months or two weekends off per month. Now, what I love about this boundary is that like, I definitely feel like I was way closer to the life that I wanted and designing the life that I wanted than I ever have been in 12 years. But I also noticed that I don’t think that it’s 100% necessary for me to take off two weeks, every month, like there’s certain months, I sort of don’t care about like March, April and May don’t care about unpack all the weddings in right, like, let me get as many as I possibly can in there.
Same thing with December. But there’s other months and other weekends that are really, really important. So things like, you know, like, my wife loves Halloween. So obviously, the last weekend of October, not going to take anything, you know, my kids birthdays, I blocked off everything. And that’s the thing I’m doing different this year is, is rather than looking at like these, like monthly, you know, looking at my schedule monthly and saying, Okay, I’m gonna have two weekends off here, I’m looking at it on the whole year and blocking things off, right? All our date nights are blocked off, all of our, you know, my kids birthdays are blocked off, our anniversary weekend is blocked off, our vacation is blocked off, all of that stuff is already put into my calendar for the entire year. So that way, I know when an inquiry pops up, and I see that little red, little red exclamation point that I’m not available for it. I know that it’s true, and that something is going on that weekend already that I can’t book over. And it’s just it’s a sense of peace of mind that I don’t have to sort of wrestle with myself in that moment of oh, well, should I take this? You know, haven’t booked this many haven’t booked, you know, I’ve hit my goal yet or whatever. It’s like, no, no, I’m just I’m looking at the whole year different this year, and blocking out the dates that I don’t want to take anything, right, my birthday is in December. And so I’m not, I’m not taking anything December. And I said you know what I’m going to backup and not take anything basically from the week before Thanksgiving, all the way through the end of the year.
So I can have all of my weddings done, and be able to be able to enjoy like the Christmas season with my kids and have fun like this is the first year that I don’t 2022 Right now, the first year that I will not have a wedding to edit over Christmas because of the boundaries I set in place at the beginning of the year. And so that’s what it is this is battling like, well, this sort of really worked, how can I make it better, and then implementing that a little bit more. So like I said, I rescheduled my date nights. And I also added some personal things in there like snowboarding a couple times in the beginning of the year and putting those dates already in there that I know I’m going there. I’ve mentioned, you know, in a previous question that I’m doing some Spartan Races this year, and putting some things in there that are just for me. So the other thing you’ll remember about episode 22 is that there’s a mindset shift, I think is really important to have for us photographers, and that is that all of our time is ours, it’s all ours and, and we get to choose to rent some of that time to clients for money. The rest of it is ours. So I put all of our family things in there first, I’m still operating from that assumption that all of it’s mine, and I’m putting all of our family stuff in there, and putting all my personal stuff in there things that are gonna help me grow, which ultimately is gonna help me grow my business. And then I will rent my time to my clients, if I see fit. And I think it’s worth me renting that time to a little different perspective shift, but it’s really helpful. So the rest of the things I do to sort of get ready for the year are probably not that surprising or noteworthy. I do a big portfolio update.
And I go through everything that I created from the year and update my site actually created a new site for Dannemora photography this year, and I did it in a hurry. So do spend some more time working on my SEO and catching up on blogging and all that kind of stuff. I do the profit first instant assessment, which I’m actually going to talk about next. Because a really great question came in about the profit for about profit first. I take a deep dive into my finances and really look and see We’re about to get a big picture. And we sort of re up. You know, we’re on this journey of like paying off a crapload of debt. And we’re getting really close to paying it all off. So my wife and I will come together and look at that we’ll set some goals around finances for the year. And what that looks like in terms of weddings, and some of the side ventures I’m trying to do and photographing real estate and all that stuff. And the last one, which actually I have a whole entire episode coming up about is doing some relationship building things with my couples. And with my with venues like I talked about the New Year’s card in my newsletter a couple of weeks ago, and just trying to do some relationship building things around that, like when visiting venues, Oh, that’s fun to say, visiting venues, and trying to get together with some of my couples during this offseason to really build some of those relationships. So the biggest part of it is I scheduled all I write it all down on a to do list so I can I can do, I can check it all off and make sure I don’t miss it.
So yeah, that’s what I do in the offseason to prep for next season. Just taking a big deep breath. And then diving back in this last one tried to keep this one pretty short, too. But it’s a little technical. And that’s why I left it for last. This question comes from Courtland. He says, I’d like to hear what your financial actions are with every booking slash invoice. I started Profit First earlier this year. But I’ve since fallen off because of other books that have gripped my interest. I know that life, but I know finance processes play a huge role in the success of any business. Do you have five separate bank accounts? Do you really have five separate bank accounts as the book suggests, or do modify the books advice. So if you have not read Profit First it is, like I said before, is the single greatest, most helpful book that had the most actionable advice that quickly changed the trajectory, trajectory of my business, I read it, I actually listened to it when I was training for half marathon like late 2018, early 2019. And I just read, I just listened to it while I was out running. And I came back set up the accounts and just like started crashing right away. That book is so helpful. And it’s it’s a little bit intimidating at first because it’s like, alright, am I really going to open up all these bank accounts, like do all this stuff. And I say yes, like just own it, here’s what I think is important about it. This idea of like separating your accounts is nothing new. It is based off of an envelope system that our parents and grandparents used to do all the time, I’m some of you will probably remember your parents or grandparents walking around with envelopes or going to the grocery store. And they have an envelope labeled groceries on it because what they would do is they would come home, they would go to the bank and cash they’re checking to come home and put you know 15% or 20% in in for groceries and an envelope for groceries then you put you know, 30% in your mortgage envelope, and then 20% in you know, the save for a rainy day envelope or whatever it was. And I can remember going through the grocery store going on vacations, you know all that kind of stuff, my mom always having an envelope with cash in it.
And that’s how she budgeted. So this idea is nothing new. It’s just a updated version, a digital version of the envelope system. So I’ve over the last, you know, couple of years have modified the system to be a little more appropriate for my business as a photography business. The best part is that there’s an instant assessment that is done right in the beginning, when you first start the book, you can actually go if you Google, I think it’s Mike motorbike.com. If you just go there, you can download the Profit First insert assessment, which you pull up a profit and loss statement or one of your IRS 1040s or something like that. And you just look at these different areas of your business. And you write the numbers down in those from those areas of business on this incident assessment, and it gives you percentages and all that kind of stuff. And the percentages will come up in a minute. So I have eight bank accounts for my business.
It’s a little overkill, but I’m a very visual person, I like to see everything broken down. It’s not necessary for everybody. But like I said, it’s just important for me to be able to log in and see where I’m at at any given point. Let me sort of break it down how I have it. My bank is a credit union, and you can open up a checking account and then you can have three savings accounts essentially attached to that checking account. So I have two checking accounts and then three savings accounts attached under each of those checking accounts. Let’s talk about the main checking account first. My main checking account, let’s call it account A is my operating expenses account. I believe in Profit First he calls it a cash account. I don’t have a cash account, everything is attached to my operating expenses account. So all of my labs, all my subscriptions, all are attached to this operating expenses account. Then what I do is from that operating expenses account, I distribute from there to the other accounts
See, that are attached to that one. So the other savings accounts that are attached to that one, our sales tax cost of goods sold and owners comp. I believe in the book. He also suggests opening checking accounts for all these. That just seemed, I don’t know, it just seemed easier to have like these ones attached to each other because I like to move money easily in between them. So like I said, everything’s attached to the operating expenses, account lab expenses, my checks, subscriptions, like everything, and then those state savings accounts attached to them. Sales tax cost of goods sold owners comp. Okay, so now that I got that out of the way, there’s this other account account B, that is, is the other checking account, and it’s only labeled for payroll attached to that account, our profit hold tax hold and the vault account, I can only move money from account A into account B, not the other way around.
The biggest part from the book is that you don’t want to be able to have easy access to the profit hold and tax hold accounts, you don’t want to be able to easily dip into those, because you want to be able to see money coming in your business and out of your business. And if you’re overspending, it’s going to be easily apparent, as those things come in and out. And you don’t want to be able to quickly say, I’m just going to pull a little bit money out of the tax account a little bit money out of here, it’s going to hold you accountable. So the way I have it set up is I either have to call my bank and have them physically issue me a check or move money, or I have to go into the bank to get a cashier’s check or something like that, and made it difficult. I think in the book, he actually even says like you should get a whole separate financial institution and move money that way, it was enough for me to have a separate bank account. And some of these blocks or some of these boundaries that I can’t, you know, just transfer money online or something like that. The only thing that is attached to that account is is my ADP, which is my payroll.
So that’s the setup, that’s pretty much you know, all of those accounts are created underneath each of the checking accounts. And then each one has a specific specific percentage that gets attributed to it or distributed to it from when money comes into my business. It sounds like a lot, it’s not really it’s laid out really well in the book. This is sometimes wish when I wish I had like a YouTube channel. So that way I could show like actually how all this stuff is set up. The setup is probably the most annoying part. But it really only takes like an hour. And then once you do the instant assessment, you have it ready to go. So you know exactly what percentage of your money goes into each of these accounts. So this is what it looks like in actual practice. So every two weeks, usually on the first and the 15th. And I pick those dates, because that is opposite of my wife’s pay, I total up everything that came into my business over the last two weeks, I take that total number. And I put it into a spreadsheet that I have that base I put the number in and it tells me exactly the percentage the exact exact dollar amount that goes into each of the accounts based on the percentage that I figured out during the incident assessment. And this is so helpful one to just have like this, this worksheet or this spreadsheet, that helps me just do all the math memory right then in there. But this helps you stay accountable and have every cent in your business accounted for.
So here’s what I used to do, as I had bank accounts set up, you know, one of them was for like, cost of goods sold. One of them was for taxes. And one of them was just for, you know, like just a checking account. The problem is, is, you know, in our wedding photography businesses, we often get very large payments. And it’s awesome to get large payments because it makes you feel rich. And and it’s easy to like say okay, well 30% of this goes to taxes, 25% of this goes to cost of goods sold, and then the rest of it stays here. The problem is, is that I used to see these little payments come in, maybe I got, you know, something from pixie set or pick time or, you know, back then it was using Zenfolio. And it’d be 100 bucks or 200 bucks or something, just a random payment here or there. Somebody wanted to buy a framed print or something.
And you get these like little payments that come in. And it’s like, well, you know, I’m just going to not like I just would go off the system because I was I was moving money on a transactional basis. So every time money would come in my business, I would do the distribution. And I would not do it for these small ones because I thought oh, well, it’s just like it’s like 100 bucks, like it’s only 200 bucks, like what’s the big deal? The problem is is over the course of a year, all those little payments add up to a lot and that would offset my taxes where I would get a bill for my taxes and all sudden I wouldn’t have the correct amount in My Tax Account set aside because though all those little $100 payments turned out to be several $1,000 of money that I didn’t set aside money for taxes for so this way of saying okay, every two weeks I’m going to total up everything that came into my business over the last Two weeks helps you whether it’s a $6,000 payment or a $60 payment to just take it all in one pot and keep it very simple and distribute those from there.
So like I said, everything over the last two weeks, I total up, put in the spreadsheet and then make the distributions from there based on what the spreadsheets spits out at me. And then I pay myself basically two times a month, I run a salaried payroll at the beginning of the month, and then I take an owner’s draw later in the month, I did not come up with that. That’s what my accountant told me to do. And then though, both of those just go into our personal account, and that’s it. So Whew, that was, that was a long, big, thick question. So I hope I’m hope everybody got something out of this. I really, like I said, I really love these q&a things. And if you like this, hit me up with it. I mean, I will gladly throughout the year. Just keep track of questions that people have and answer them on the podcast. I mean, maybe we can even do a live q&a episode. That’d be really fun. That’ll probably help keep my answers a lot shorter, too. But anyway, I love these. If this was helpful to you, give me a little thumbs up, maybe rate review and subscribe. You can go to Apple podcasts I’m on there, you can go to Spotify. And it’s really simple. When you just go to focus photographers podcast, there’s a little section on both of them to be able to give it a five star or tell me what you like about it and go from there. So thanks so much for tuning in to another episode. I’m super thankful for everybody. It’s been a great year. And if you’re listening to this in real time, I wish you a very happy, joyful, meaningful 2023 It’s gonna be awesome.