043: Staying Motivated when you are feeling discouraged

Keep moving forward

Today Paul and I are sharing some tips on staying motivated when you are feeling discouraged. 

Feeling discouraged is par for the course when it comes to running your own business. It will happen to everyone! Figuring out ways to move past the frustration and discouragement is an integral part of running your own business and Paul and I are both sharing about what works best for us in hopes you can pick up on some strategies for when you are feeling like the boulder of running a business is getting too hard to push!!

This episode is sponsored by The Supply Closet! www.cinnamonwolfe.co/supplycloset 

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042: Bookkeeping & Taxes, Amy Northard

Get set up for success

Bookkeeping & Taxes. Ugh. The bane of most small business owners existence. We've got Amy Northard here today to help us understand the most important things we need to be aware of (especially at the beginning of our businesses) and how we can set ourselves up for success when it comes to tax time. This is a must listen episode for all small business owners!! 

This episode is sponsored by The Supply Closet! Get one month free at sign up using code FOCUSED. www.cinnamonwolfe.co/thesupplycloset 


Show Notes

First things first

Get a business bank account!!! Separating your business money from your personal money will drastically help set you set up yourself for success

NerdWallet.com <----use to compare banks

Should everyone outsource?

Depends on the stage or level of business you are at. If you can't afford it from the beginning, use something that is simple and makes sense to you. 

Spend 1-2 hours per month (on average) per month to reconcile all of your accounts

3 Strategies 

  • Set up a bank account
  • Set up a "money date" for yourself every month to take care of your tasks
  • Get someone else to help keep you accountable

Biggest Mistakes

  • When you don't have enough money to pay your taxes. Make sure to set aside 25-30% every single time you get paid so it is not something you spend. 
  • Planning for retirement
  • You can't payroll yourself until you are an S-Corp. Read Profit First
  • You can't expense your taxes as a business expense

How to make your tax life easier

  • Keep up with your bookkeeping
  • Have a digital folder where you can keep receipts and a paper folder as well

Specific apps or software to use?

  • Quickbooks (self-employed) or (full version)
  • Cloud Accounting or Wave are good online softwares as well
  • Google Sheets has a template as well if you want to start out with that

Is it ever too late to get started? 

NO!! Don't be afraid to ask for help and/or understand you might need to spend a weekend getting everything together. 

Get in touch with Amy: Website | Instagram 

041: Instagram Stories, what no one is talking about

Instagram Stories: What no one is talking about

Instagram Stories is all the rage right now...for good reason. Its a great way to showcase who you are, your brand, what you do and how you serve clients. 

But a lot of small business owners haven't really utilizes Insta stories in a way that can serve their business well. A lot of us are still stuck on crafting a perfect feed and stressing over captions when in reality your posts are hardly being seen anymore due to the algorithm and an overall decline in Instagram scrolling by people (they are all watching stories instead!) 

So let's talk about how to make our stories GOOD and connect with potential clients! 

Strategies for Instagram Stories

Show Notes


  • Be vulnerable. Show your face. Talk. Show your work and what you do. 
  • Be consistent if you can. If you don't want to story every day, maybe try to be consistent and story consistently one day a week. Utilize things in your life to make the story cohesive and consistent for watchers so they are more likely to stop and actually listen to what you have to say. 
  • WRITE ON THE SCREEN. Give watchers a little bit of info about what your talking about to entice them to click on the sound or actually listen to what you are saying. 
  • Geotag, hashtag and tag other users on your story!! Give watchers context about what you are saying, where you are, and who you are with!! 


  • Post only ONE story, or post over 15 stories in a day. One story doesn't give people any context about what is going on and posting tons of stories causes people to loose interest quickly. People aren't watching stories to learn something complicated, they aren't taking notes. 
  • Don't go landscape!!! It really inturrpts the story watching when you have to turn your phone. Keep the landscape photos/videos to YouTube or other places but don't go landcape on stories. Make the story seamless. 
  • Don't be a talking head. If you have a lot to say, break it up with boomerangs or photos, but don't post 10 stories of your face talking to the camera. 

040: Taking the scary out of OCF, Luke & Ashley

Rock your off camera flash

SOOO excited for today's episode mostly because I just love Luke and Ashley so much! These are two of the nicest and most knowledgeable people in the industry and we are proud to call them friends. 

They are wizards at OCF so today we are talking all about how to rock that flash and change your mindset about using off camera lighting. We go into tons of good stuff on the show and also talk a little bit about their new business that just launched!! 

Getting started using OCF

Show Notes

Why do people get nervous when it comes to artificial light?

  • It's a mindset shift. Thinking of OCF as an extension of natural light changes everything. Also creatives tend to think more creatively and not as technically and that can be scary. 
  • Look at other sources to see how they light, movies, TV shows, videographers during weddings that you shoot. 

What are the benefits of using off and on camera flash? 

  • Learning and mastering OCF will help you stand out from your competition
  • It will help you attract couples looking for a photographer who is well rounded and can handle any situation
  • Using OCF doesn't mean you will become a 90's photographer who uses flash or artificial light for every single shot. You can still shoot the majority natural light and you will learn how to use OCF to make it look more like natural light. 

Are there any drawbacks? 

  • It can be a lot of gear and carrying it around can be tough
  • You'll use a lot of batteries!!

What gear do you recommend they start with? 

  • If you shoot Canon - get two speed lights and the on camera transmitter. If you are Nikon...switch to Canon. ha! Just kidding. 
  • Start with an umbrella as well

Should people start in manual or ETTL mode?

  • ETTL is like auto mode on your camera
  • Chose aperture first, then choose ISO for being inside and then shutter keep to 1/160th
  • If shooting manual, start at 1/32 power....this will give you a lower recycle time while the light is still bright enough
  • Flash power will also depend on distance to subject, if they are further away they might go up to 1/8 or 1/16

Thoughts for those who might be feeling like they don't have time to practice on wedding days?

  • Get super comfortable with your base
  • Set everything up just like you would outside and then adjust your flash power to compensate
  • Take things one step at a time
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help, find a mentor, talk about it with others if you are finding you are struggling with it

Luke and Ashley hands on workshops/coaching

Their new business is officially launched!! Hen and Chicks personalized gifting

The Unconventional Life

Website | Instagram