September 17, 2019
For the longest time I was really afraid of becoming a mom. I thought that I should have these longings to be a mother or I really should want to have a baby, but I never did. I was really happy with my marriage and my life before babies. I loved my work, and I was really fearful of what it would do to my life, my body, my sleep, a lot of different things. I remember having a conversation with my friend, Katelyn, about this and was nervous saying it out loud. She looked at me and was like, "Me, too. Me, too. That's crazy. I haven't heard anybody else say that before." We connected on that level because we felt weird or alone or like we were the exception to the rule in women.  Today I am going to interview Katelyn on the podcast. If you follow me or Katelyn, you know that both of us are mothers to three children. I have three young children. She also has three children, one of which is in heaven. The conversation that we have, our hope as we have this conversation, is that you, if you're in the same boat ... if you're afraid of becoming a mom or aren't ready and don't know if you ever will be ... is that our conversation would hopefully make you feel a little bit more normal and not alone. For the full transcript, click here!  Our guest today is Katelyn James: Hi, my name is Katelyn James and I'm a wedding photographer who also teaches others how to be purposeful and profitable wedding photographers. I'm a momma of three.... Evy is two, Graham is three months and Baby James is our sweet boy in heaven that we said goodbye to at 31 weeks. I love the Lord, my family, home decorating and traveling! My life has transitioned so much in the last three years. While I love my business that I have run for over a decade, I'm really loving sharing my time with my role as a momma! Resources from this episode: KJ All-Access Follow Katelyn on Instagram
September 10, 2019
You know what's pretty much the worst job in the world? Having to fire somebody. You know what's even worse than that? Keeping somebody on your team that needs to be let go, but you feel so bad, you don't want to have that conversation. You'd rather just keep them around and deal with it. Then eventually you have the conversation and it's just a big mess. You know what could solve all of this? Hiring the right person the first time.  Now, I'm not perfect by any stretch, but I decided way before ever building my team that I wanted to get one thing right, hiring. Today, I'm going to tell you everything that I've learned in my research and in my experience in hopes that you too can hire the right person the first time. I'm going to take you through 10 things that I do when we hire someone new. Some of these are big picture things. They're foundational things that you have to do before you ever even conduct an interview, and then we'll talk about the interview process, and then we're going to end with the whole on-boarding process and how to keep really good people. For the full transcript, click here! Resources from this episode: Grow Your Business & Get Your Life Back >> FREE CLASS Get all of our FREE team resources! Traction, by Gino Wickman The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni Episode 021 - Hiring, Part I: 5 Ways to Know You’re Ready   **Affiliate links have been used in this post!!
September 3, 2019
I get the question all the time: How do you do it all? My answer every time is: I don't. I don't do it all. I ask for help.  I have a team that works hard behind the scenes in my business, and I have a lot of family members that help out with the kids. We have a nanny. I ask for help. Now, I want to preface this by saying we're going to start a two part series, this week and next week, that's all about hiring.  But if you're reading this and you're like, "Nancy, I don't own a business. This doesn't apply to me," I just want to encourage you to listen anyway and expand your thinking from hiring to asking for help, because you mamas listening know that it's a lot of hard work raising babies, and you need some extra help, and sometimes it's hard to ask. Yes, I'm going to be talking all about business stuff, but I want you to know this could apply to you, too. Rewinding life back a little bit to when I was a solo show, and I was considering hiring someone, I was scared. Terrified might actually be a better word. Hiring someone or asking for help can be one of the scariest steps that you can take, but it can also be one of the best steps you can take. Today we'll jump into five ways you know you're ready to hire or you're ready to ask for some help and maybe add someone onto your team, whether that's your business team or your home team. We're also going to tackle some misconceptions about hiring, when you shouldn't hire somebody. This is just going to be a simple two part series on hiring, for this week and next week. I have loved growing my team over the last seven years, so bear with my excitement. I get a little bit nerdy when I talk about this stuff, but if you're considering hiring someone or think you might need some help, this episode is for you.  For the full transcript, click here! Resources from this episode: Get all of our FREE team resources! Traction, by Gino Wickman Episode 019 - The Top 3 Reasons I Built a Team   **Affiliate links have been used in this post!!
August 27, 2019
Back in Episode 18, I shared how I was introduced to the Enneagram, a little bit about my type— I'm a type three. I also gave a glimpse into my life and thoughts and struggles and strengths as an Enneagram type three. But I don't want to assume everybody listening knows what this weird word the Enneagram means. So I kind of want to go back to basics for a minute before jumping into the book, The Sacred Enneagram, so let's start with this. What the heck is the Enneagram? Basically, the Enneagram is like a personality typing tool. The difference between the Enneagram and other personality tests that you see out there is that the Enneagram sticks with you for life. You're going to figure out what your number is on the Enneagram, what type you are, and that's the same in childhood, and adolescence, and in your adult life, and even as you age, it doesn't change. I've taken other personality tests like Strengths Finders or DISC and I love this kind of stuff. I love it. I think it's so fascinating. With those things, they kind of change. Like, I had different strengths in one season of my life and then different strengths in another season of my life. But this one, if you know your type on the Enneagram, it doesn't change it. It's based in what motivates you. It's based in your basic fears. It's based in a lot of different things. But one thing I found interesting, most of the Enneagram authors agree that we are all born with a dominant type, so people don't change from one basic type to another. Like I said, your type is your type for life. And there is kind of a mix of I guess nature versus nurture, but they said you're born with a type and then oftentimes your childhood wound or something that you experienced in childhood is also what shapes your type. Anyway, I thought that was pretty interesting, as well. If you don't know what your number is on the Enneagram, there are free tests that you can take online to find out. (Side note, I recommend reading The Road Back to You over taking a test.) As we kind of transition into the book, The Sacred Enneagram, just know that this is more of a deeper dive for someone who is more familiar with the Enneagram and someone who kind of wants to bridge that gap between, okay, I know my type, what does this mean for my faith walk? What does this mean for my relationship with Jesus? And that is why I wanted to read this book. Listen in as we jump into The Sacred Enneagram and my three takeaways from this book. For the full transcript, head to this episode's blog post! Resources from this episode: The Sacred Enneagram, by Chris Heuertz Episode 018 - Life as an Enneagram 3 Enneagram Institute website The Road Back to You, by Ian Cronn & Suzanne Stabile Practicing the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence Nancy Ray Book Club   *Affiliate links have been used!
August 20, 2019
Back in 2012, Will and I were sitting across from each other in a coffee shop discussing the big picture future of my business, Nancy Ray Photography. We were at a crossroads trying to decide if we wanted to stay on the quote unquote, "Husband and wife team" route, that most photographers take, or if we wanted to do something different: take a risk and hire associate photographers to form a team. When Will and I began talking about what it would look like to actually hire someone, to actually grow our team, we started with a list of all of the risk involved and all of our fears. Basically we made a massive list of all the downsides to doing this. We knew it would take a lot of time and a lot of training. We knew that we would be inviting other people in to the business that we've built, that I would share all my secrets, that we didn't have a guarantee that it would work, that we would be changing something that's working just fine.  We realized that we'd have to release control over some things, that I would have to trust other people to edit the photos that I always edited, the photos that I take, really letting go of my creative control. I'd have to let go of the methods and processes that I learned the hard way with sweat and tears and I would just hand it over to someone and teach them. It honestly felt like I was giving away too much, even if I hired them.  But then we started making a list of what life would look like if we did build a team. We wouldn't have to be the ones to shoot every single wedding. We could serve more couples and more families. Will, my husband, would have the freedom to step away from Nancy Ray Photography if he ever wanted to do different work. We were so nervous and we honestly didn't know which direction that we wanted to go. There were pros and cons to both options and Will and I, unlike a lot of spouses, really worked well together. So after all of that, we decided to take the risk and build an associate team. It ended up being one of the best decisions I've ever made in my business, and today, I'm going to tell you why. For the full transcript, head to this episode's blog post!   Resources from this episode: Episode 004 - Seasons of Business Access the FREE Team Resource Vault Sign up for the Team Building Workshop!
August 13, 2019
So this crazy Enneagram thing seems to be around every corner, doesn’t it? For those listening who aren’t familiar with it, the Enneagram is a personality typing system that illustrates nine types of people and their basic motivations. For those of us who understand the Enneagram, you know it can be such a helpful tool to help us understand ourselves, our motivations, our fears, and how we look at and relate to the rest of the world. Now, I’m an Enneagram three and I’m just going to share what life looks like for me. I’ll share the things I’m good at, the things I most ashamed of, and my general mindset towards my work and my play. Basically, you’re about to get to know me on a whole new level. My hope in being vulnerable here is that if you are a type three, or if you have a type three in your life, maybe you’ll find a new understanding about our type that will be helpful in some way or another. I'm  honestly not sure that anything has been more helpful to me understanding myself and my habits in work and play than understanding my Enneagram type. Now, I'm not going to go into all nine types today. I'm not going to give you an overview of the Enneagram— this isn't an Enneagram podcast, but there are plenty of those out there. I'm just going to share my journey so far with the Enneagram and where I am today, and kind of what life looks like for me as a type three, as well as how it's allowed me to have so much more grace for those around me. For the full transcript, head to this episode's blog post.   Resources from this episode: The Road Back To You, Ian Morgan Cron The Sacred Enneagram, Christopher Heuertz
August 6, 2019
Okay. How do you feel when I say the word "budget"? I know that word can make some people feel handcuffed, and it can make some people feel kind of nerdy and excited. It can make some people feel like they want to roll their eyes. There's just a lot of emotions tied to that word. To me, budget simply means one thing: accountability. It's staying accountable to your money, to your spending habits and to your financial goals. And accountability is good. It takes a mature person to want to be accountable to these things, but like most things in life that are worth pursuing, it's not super-complex. It's simple, but it's not always easy. But this is what I love about budgets, and monthly budgets in particular: every single month you have a fresh start. There's a new beginning on the first of every month. You can jump in and make a new budget and that is okay. So, maybe you're listening to this and you're in a season of your life where you don't do a budget. Maybe you've never made a budget, or maybe you're like us and you used to be really diligent about it, but you've fallen off the bandwagon a little bit. That is okay. Every month you have a new opportunity to create a new budget. So go ahead right now, start working on next month's budget if you haven't gotten in the habit of it because it's so important. And if you don't take the time to tell your money where to go, then it's just going to disappear. So today I'm excited to chat about three steps to a successful monthly budget that will keep you accountable and on track to meeting your financial goals! For the full transcript, head to this episode's blog post!   Resources from this episode: Episode 003 - The Contentment Challenge Financial Peace University EveryDollar App Mint App You Need a Budget App
July 30, 2019
The team meeting formula that we follow allows us to connect, to pay attention to the most important things that move our business forward, and they last no longer than 90 minutes. Today I'm going to share that team meeting formula with you.
July 23, 2019
In today’s episode, I’m sharing my top three takeaways from the book, The Year of Living Happy. A few things really stuck with me about being happier: God’s word, Generosity, and Friendships!
July 16, 2019
I want to really, truly feel and experience joy, the deep, deep kind of joy. All of the emotions and pains and joys. That is living fully awake.
July 9, 2019
Whether you have a solid morning routine, or if you don't have one at all - this episode is for you.
July 2, 2019
It can be helpful. It can provide income. It can be addictive. It can be a trap. Today, I want to talk about simple practices that I have found incredibly life-giving to keep social media in its place.
June 25, 2019
If you have ever looked for a team building exercise that's solid, that takes some vulnerability and honesty, that actually moves your team to personal improvement and team unity, the Plus Delta exercise is it.
June 18, 2019
I have an invitation for you today. Choose the courageous thing and slow down. It's time to live a simpler, slower life than the one that you're living.
June 11, 2019
What in the world is the secret to success in business? Well, I'm going to go ahead and tell you. In one word, it's service.
June 4, 2019
I just finished my third maternity leave, so I'm giving you all my tips for planning for it & being able to transition out and back in well.
May 28, 2019
Life is hard, and sometimes it just seems we can't move forward in our lives until someone speaks some words of life to us. So that's what I'm here for today. If you're facing something really hard, I am here to tell you, you were made for hard things.
May 21, 2019
I'm sharing three takeaways I had from reading the book Anonymous: Jesus' hidden years... and yours, by Alicia Britt Chole with the Nancy Ray Book Club.
May 14, 2019
I think it's pretty safe to say that when it comes to our work, we want to be part of something that we are 'called' to do. Today I want to challenge our way of thinking, and really the language that we use describing our work and our calling.
May 7, 2019
I recently shared the news that after this year, my twelfth year of business, the doors of Nancy Ray Photography will close. I’m sharing with you the three questions that I asked myself during this journey, and I’ll ask you as well.
April 24, 2019
A few years ago, God asked me to give up shopping for three months straight and at first I was not happy about that. This episode is all about that journey and the profound difference that it’s made in my heart and my life.
April 24, 2019
While all of our days won’t be perfect, there are simple practices that we can embrace throughout our days, weeks, months and years that will point us back to the Lord in a rhythmic way. It’s called a Rule of Life.
April 24, 2019
I boil down my everyday life into two main categories: I work and I play. Here, I'll explain and encourage you in the work and play in your own life. Putting them in their places, so you can live from a place of abundance!
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