What Worked & What Didn't

  • Prepping for 2013

started last year. It’s a tradition that I both LOVE and hate at the same time. (And speaking of TRADITIONS, congrats to Mary Powell and Sarah Goodwin for winning yesterday’s giveaway!! I LOVED reading all of those super fun traditions that you all share with your families!!! I’ll be in touch you two!!) So this tradition that I started last year wasn’t meant to be anything huge… it was just a simple list. I made of list of everything that went WELL….. mainly because I was feeling a little defeated… like I do every year around this time. I feel like there is still so much to do…. and so much to learn….

and so little time to do it all. So I made a list of what I did WELL because it was a HUGE encouragement to see everything I had accomplished written down in front of me. But then I had to do the not-so-fun list… it was the list of “What Didn’t Go So Well”…. and that list is never a fun list to write.  I learned this from Justin & Mary… two of my photography mentors and incredible leaders in the industry. They do this as well and I adopted the idea last year in hopes that it would work for me… and it did. I STILL have my first “What Went Well & What Didn’t” lists!


There’s nothing fancy about this….it’s  just a handwritten list on a piece of computer paper… but that one list CHANGED my business this past year! Why? Because I went through ALL of my problem areas and came up with solutions. Some of them STILL aren’t up to par… but most of them were dramatically enhanced in 2012!  Now, I’m not going to sit here and list EVERYTHING that went poorly for my business in 2012…. I’m just not ready to be that vulnerable yet! haha But I will say this…. being HONEST about what worked and what didn’t is truly the BEST thing you can do for your business.  If your marketing strategy isn’t working, you need to revamp it or try something totally different. If you can’t seem to keep up with your blogging, decide to either STOP blogging all together or really hunker down and create a PLAN for how your blog is going to work. If your branding is struggling and you KNOW it’s affecting how potential clients gauge your professionalism, start sending inquiries to designers…. don’t be easy on yourself.  Being easy on yourself is really just killing your business slowly and painfully.  So if there are things about your business that you know NEED to change… I encourage you to make a “What Didn’t Work List” this week before we ring in the new year!! This was a game changer for me last year and even though I hate being reminded of my downfalls, I know this list is going to rock my world again THIS year too!!!  It’s a tough task… be remember to reward yourself with a “What Went Well” list too!!!


Like I mentioned earlier, this method of end-of-the-year organization came from Justin and Mary.  So many people ask me “So how did you get started at 20 years old and create a successful business in COLLEGE?!”…. It took hard work and I invested into my business.  One of the ways I invested was that I paid to go to Justin and Mary’s Spread The Love Tour…. then I did “Walk Through a Wedding” in Charlotte with them as well. I’ve been to all of their WPPI presentations and I’ve sucked up as much knowledge from people like them as I can. Why? Because they are DOING IT… they are making this dream HAPPEN and I wanted to run a business like that. I wanted a business that was thriving… not barely surviving. I tell my workshop attendees all the time that they are one step ahead of their competition because they took a huge step to INVEST in their business.  My workshop for February is sold out but if you’re still looking for a GREAT source of education this winter, you need to be at J&M’s What’s Next Tour.  They are traveling around the country and the great news is that there are still a few seats left at select cities! The GREATER news is that I have coupon to get you $50 off!!! Wooohooo!!!!  Michael and I will be at their stop in DC on January 17th. We’ll be cheering our sweet friends along and getting pumped up for 2013!! I would LOVE to see you there!! If you’re interested in saving your discounted seat before they’re all gone, just enter “katelynjames” as the coupon code when you checkout!!!

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