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Episode #113

How to Always Have Funds for Your Photography Passion (a Simple System for Guilt-Free Spending!)


UPDATED: May 25, 2023
ORIGINALLY AIRED ON November 8, 2022


I get it. There's always a twinge of nervousness – even guilt – when it comes to spending money on your photography dreams. Thankfully, I've found a system that bypasses alllllll that and makes it possible and FUN to spend money on the tools and education you need to advance your skills and opportunities as a conservation photographer. 


This powerful mindset shift will open up doors for your photography

There’s a phrase I hear all the time among conservation photographers. It's also one I used often up until relatively recently when I realized just how damaging it is.

Since then, I've worked to strip this phrase from my vocabulary. 

I know from experience that if you remove this phrase by flipping it into a new frame of context, ultimately it will free you for making big strides in your photography.

Ok so what is it?

It’s telling yourself, “I can’t afford it”.

Yep, those four short words. They can do so much harm.

I used to say this a lot because it felt true.

I’ve always needed to run things on a tight budget. And this is an expensive field to be in, right?

Gear isn’t cheap. Travel isn't cheap. Insurance isn’t cheap. Funding is probably the most talked about sore spot among conservation photographers.

And because I’ve always run on a very tight budget, I’d look at something I want and if the price was too high, I’d just say “oh I can’t afford it” and move on.

That sucks. Capital S sucks. I’d walk away not only NOT having something I want, but also feeling like it’s not even possible for me.

>Why? Not necessarily because it was true.

Rather, it's because I’d already made a decision about the price tag and my budget, and the two didn’t feel aligned.

So instead of acknowledging THAT – that fact that I'd made a rapid decision – I’d simply say “I can’t afford it.” 

How limiting!

In photography, that negative psychological impact has some serious weight….

It makes you feel like you can’t create images that are as quality as someone with high-end equipment so you’ll always be a step behind.

It makes you feel like you can’t take part in educational opportunities, so you can’t learn as fast as you’d like, so you’ll never hit the level of creativity you aspire to.

It makes you feel like you can’t attend events so you’re always outside of the fun.

It makes you feel like you’re somehow acting lavishly or irresponsibly if you dare to spend some money on what you KNOW will make you a better photographer.

“I can’t afford it” is a phrase that disempowers you, strips you of choice, makes you feel less capable, less able, less included, more frustrated…

And here’s what I realized, and why I have worked to remove this phrase from my vocabulary:

When you say “I can’t afford it”, what you’re actually doing is making a declarative statement about your financial priorities. Not necessarily your realities.

Because the “I can’t” lets you off the hook for figuring out how you could afford something.

It might take time, strategizing, budgeting, getting scrappy, and asking for help… but ultimately, much of the time, you CAN afford something if it’s important.

I live this out every day.

About 4 years ago, instead of letting myself off the hook and not even trying for something I wanted, I decided to flip the script and start using a system that's completely transformed both my mindset and my photography business.

That’s what I want for you, too.

I want you to feel excited and able to grab opportunities when they arise – whether that is a new piece of equipment, a workshop or training opportunity, or a chance to fund some field time for yourself.

We accomplish this in two steps: 

  1. Flipping the “I can't afford it” script
  2. Using the Profit First method to create a fund for guilt-free spending

Two. Total. Game changers. They help you feel in control and more capable than ever of getting what you want and need to grow as a photographer.

Step 1 is to flip that phrase “I can’t afford it” on its head. 

Question: What happens when you change “I can’t afford it” to “How will I make this happen”, and create a plan?

Answer: The frustration and negativity turn into a positive forward motion.

Instead of stopping at “I can’t”, you’re moved to plan out “how I will”.

That’s a big deal.

Instead of “I want to get this kind of shot, but it requires equipment I can't afford” and walking away, you’re pushed to figure out how you’ll get the shot.

If a shot you want to get requires a certain piece of equipment (let’s say you want small birds in flight, which usually means a telephoto lens, or you want to get bees in flight which usually means a macro lens and flashes…. ) what are all the ways you could get your hands on what you need for the shot?

Can you rent it? Borrow it? Is there a way to modify your existing equipment?

Same goes for educational opportunities.

Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that class” and walking away from learning something new or a new skill really important to your growth as a photographer, you’re pushed to figure out how you’ll get access.

Can a friend or family member sponsor you? Will your boss enroll you as part of continuing education? Are there grants that’ll cover professional development?

(Hint, there absolutely ARE grants out there that cover professional development).

A few years ago I really wanted to go to a photography conference.

It was right when I’d left my job to do full-time photography and money was tiiiiiiight. But, hey, I’d just started full-time photography so networking was more important than ever.

So I budgeted. I figured out what it would take to attend and all the travel costs, looked at how much I had in the bank, and figured out how to cut corners.

It required me to eat mostly power bars for the entire weekend, but I did it.

(True story: I actually left the table at a networking dinner to secretly eat a power bar as my meal, then say I wasn't hungry so that I could avoid an expensive bill. See! I *could* afford to be part of the dinner event… just not in the typical way you'd think.) 

And that leads me to step 2: A smart way to manage money so you have a slush fund for photography.

This is a system I’ve been using for 4 years now and I swear it’s a huge, HUGE game changer.

This episode is all about how to accomplish step #2.

We take a dive into

  • what the system is
  • why it works so well
  • and how it can help you not only have money to spend on your photography passion, but also feel GOOD about spending it!

Hit play, take notes, and get ready to utterly change your perspective on how you CAN grab opportunities to advance yourself!


Resources Mentioned

Episode 113: How to Always Have Funds for Your Photography Passion (a Simple System for Guilt-Free Spending!)

Shownotes: ConservationVisuals.com/113

(Digitally transcribed, please forgive any typos)

Jaymi Heimbuch:
[00:00:00] Jaymi: Well, welcome to this episode of Impact to the Conservation Photography podcast. Jo, it's so great to sit down with

[00:00:10] Jaymi: you to record.

[00:00:11] Jo: Thank you. This is gonna be a fun conversation, I'm sure.

[00:00:15] Jaymi: Absolutely. So today we are talking about how to basically set up an

[00:00:21] Jaymi: investment fund for your photography. And I'm really

[00:00:24] Jaymi: actually excited to talk

[00:00:25] Jaymi: about This, with you in particular because other than being

[00:00:29] Jaymi: aunt and mentor and like photography student and

[00:00:32] Jaymi: all these things, you're also my bookkeeper

[00:00:35] Jo: This, is true.

[00:00:38] Jo: Yep.

[00:00:38] Jaymi: Yep. And I, it's been really amazing the fact that you are retired and have spare time and a great love of spreadsheets and organizing things. And so when I got very busy and my old

[00:00:51] Jaymi: bookkeeper was a really lovely person, but just was not

[00:00:55] Jaymi: doing a system that I liked, like I. I, I.

[00:00:58] Jaymi: just want things [00:01:00] kind of done and tracked a certain way

[00:01:02] Jaymi: and you know exactly how my brain works.

[00:01:04] Jo: Well, yeah. So once I figured out how your brain works, well,

[00:01:08] Jo: I still am working on how, figuring out how your brain completely works. But it's a lot like mine. So , it's

[00:01:14] Jo: pretty easy. But the other thing too is I think because I didn't do bookkeeping as a job, it's just that it's. Interesting to me. I think more like somebody like you as a business owner rather than an accountant.

[00:01:29] Jo: And so I think a lot of times accountants wanna give you the money and accountant ease and that doesn't make sense to, to necessarily everybody. You know, so it's like, no, I just need to know what.

[00:01:42] Jo: How much of my checkbook balance is really gonna be there by the end of the month or not, or how am I going on, on earning, you know, money against this kind of thing that I'm trying to do?

[00:01:52] Jo: And bookkeepers don't necessarily always think that way,

[00:01:56] Jaymi: Yeah, they're really thinking about like, okay, well we're gonna make sure [00:02:00] that accounts reconcile. Whereas when you're a creative and running a creative business, you have multiple revenue streams. And so you really wanna know like, Okay, is that stream profitable or not? Is this one profitable? Like, where's most of my money coming from and how can I change things?

[00:02:15] Jaymi: And there's all these other things. And so you are. We're actually gonna nerd out a whole lot more about this very thing in another episode where we talk about, but how, I won't give that away, but we've got it planned. Another good episode for creatives who are looking into building up a business.

[00:02:31] Jaymi: But this one I'm really excited to talk about this particular topic with you because you know how I feel about setting up different funds for different purposes and really maintaining a strategy for savings so that you have the money that you wanna have for spending in the ways that you wanna spend.

[00:02:50] Jaymi: And when it comes to having an investment fund for your photography, I think that this is, Really important for anyone who's doing this as a [00:03:00] passionate hobby, or especially if they're thinking about, I wanna do this as a side business, or I might wanna move into this full time, but you're struggling with the idea of , how can I afford something?

[00:03:12] Jaymi: Or can I really afford it, or I can't afford it? , what does that do to kind of your psychology? And so I've heard people say, I really wanna enroll in the course. I wanna do something for myself and take this serious step toward this dream that I have and or that I've had for a long time.

[00:03:29] Jaymi: But I find it really hard to invest in myself, and it's really scary to invest in myself, or I'll hear someone say You know, I really wanna buy this piece of equipment, or I want to go on this workshop, or do this trip or this project.

[00:03:47] Jaymi: But since I'm kind of only learning this and it's still a hobby,

[00:03:51] Jaymi: Is it really okay that I'm spending that kind of money on something that's not

[00:03:55] Jaymi: yet a business? I aspire to get to

[00:03:58] Jaymi: there, but

[00:03:59] Jaymi: it's not really [00:04:00] yet a business. So how do I justify this? Like, you know, do you ever get that

[00:04:03] Jaymi: kind of feeling

[00:04:04] Jaymi: sometimes?

[00:04:05] Jo: Oh, sure. Yeah, because you, you're trying to decide. All right. I have to keep the lights on. I have to feed my kids. I've gotta, , take care of all of these things. I've gotta make sure that what if the car breaks down, what am I gonna do? How am I gonna afford to fix it?

[00:04:20] Jo: All of those kinds of things going on all at once. Or then you get a surprise that comes outta nowhere and that one really can throw you for a loop. And then at the same time, you're still. Figure out how am I gonna plan for the future? What is that gonna look like? And yeah, sure, everybody thinks about, Oh, I've gotta save for my retirement, or I've gotta figure out how I'm going to buy a house someday or something like that.

[00:04:43] Jo: But they don't necessarily think about. Investing in yourself or putting something aside to make you help you be able to take that next step is as worthy as those other things. And a lot of ways it's more because you [00:05:00] can't go do those other things unless you can advance yourself in that direction that you wanna go.

[00:05:04] Jo: And if you need that piece of equipment or you need to go take that workshop, or you need to you know, buy some. Resource that you need. In order to do that, you have to start at some point, and it's okay to do that. It's okay to give yourself permission to invest in yourself, and a lot of times people forget that.

[00:05:25] Jaymi: Yeah, Morgan and I, Morgan Hy and I were talking about this oh, quite a while ago. And that it is kind of a conundrum because a lot of people who are trying to move into this field feel like I, I wanna just kind of DIY my education, or I wanna figure it out myself. \ I don't have a lot of money to spend and so I don't wanna spend it on mentorship or coaching or classes or whatever.

[00:05:48] Jaymi: And both of us are, That's how we got to where we are in our business. and being able to do this is, is through investing in yourself. So I really wanted to do an [00:06:00] episode that helps set up a system for anyone listening who says, that's kind of where I'm at right now is I know that I wanna move forward in this.

[00:06:08] Jaymi: I know that investing in myself, in my photography, in whatever way that looks, will get me to the next step. , but I'm scared to, or I don't feel capable, or I don't feel like I'm justified. I feel guilty about doing like all the feels that come up with it. I wanna help set up a system that gives you guilt free money to spend on photography where you're just like,

[00:06:34] Jaymi: That's exactly why that's, that money's there.

[00:06:37] Jaymi: I don't have to feel bad or hesitant or

[00:06:40] Jaymi: anything. , this is my slush fund for my

[00:06:42] Jaymi: creative purpose And, creative.

[00:06:45] Jo: Yeah. and and when we say things like slush fund or we say, you know, things like, I put this aside for, and it, there's always some other Yeah. Guilt factor thing that comes up that's like, Well, but I guess I should be doing this. [00:07:00] And it's like, no, not necessarily.

[00:07:02] Jaymi: Mm-hmm. . Yep. And that's the thing is if you feel really passionate about your creativity even if it is a hobby, if you feel passionate about it, like that's an important part of having a really wonderful, well-balanced life, having the room to invest in, even just that creative side of

[00:07:19] Jaymi: your

[00:07:20] Jaymi: world is really important. Okay, so

[00:07:22] Jaymi: I did not create this system.

[00:07:25] Jaymi: This is,

[00:07:26] Jaymi: one

[00:07:26] Jaymi: that honestly, I think grandparents created, and then another guy kind of had an epiphany moment and then

[00:07:32] Jaymi: , wrote a book about

[00:07:33] Jaymi: it and called it something. But I've heard

[00:07:35] Jo: isn't that most of how those self-improvement

[00:07:37] Jo: books

[00:07:38] Jaymi: I have no

[00:07:38] Jaymi: really,

[00:07:39] Jo: they really

[00:07:39] Jo: did is, yeah,

[00:07:40] Jaymi: Yeah.

[00:07:41] Jo: Told you what your grandparents told you to do in the first place. Yeah. I like that idea.

[00:07:45] Jaymi: So grandparents call this the envelope system and then the guy who had an epiphany moment and created a book about it, calls it the Profit First Method. Now, no matter what, I will say that the Profit First Method [00:08:00] is brilliant, changed everything for me in my business and I follow it very closely.

[00:08:06] Jaymi: So, Prophet First is a book by Michael, My Callots. I think it's my Callit, something like that. I'm terrible at name pronunciations, so I apologize to you Michael, out there if you ever hear this episode, but I'm gonna link to the book in the show notes because it's a really fast read. And even though I already knew about the envelope system for budgeting, it wasn't until reading Profit First that things really clicked, and I was like, Oh, this is the actual.

[00:08:33] Jaymi: Behavior system that really went from, I know that it's a good idea to save in a certain way to, Oh, I have a system that really works, that creates the behavior that's very consistent that gives you this slush fund. So I wanna walk through what that is without taking any credit for it. Just saying that

[00:08:52] Jaymi: this really works.

[00:08:54] Jaymi: So the, the very quick outline of the Profit First Method is [00:09:00] that when. Any income comes into your life or your business, you know, it's your paycheck it's your, whatever income's coming from, your creative side of things, whatever money is coming into your checking account, the first thing that you do is take.

[00:09:15] Jaymi: A percentage of that, and you can figure out whatever percentage works for you, whether it's 1% or 5% or whatever, but a percentage of that goes immediately into a separate fund. And so for the Profit First Method, it is a separate checking account that is the profit account, so that you always have a profitable business, right?

[00:09:34] Jaymi: And then you run the rest of the business on whatever's left over, You pretend that you don't have it. So it's sort of like, You know your taxes, you have a separate, or I have anyway, and I definitely think this is a good idea, have a separate fund for taxes. So I set aside immediately X percent to go into that fund so that I know I can always pay my taxes.

[00:09:54] Jaymi: It's never a surprise, right. And same thing with the profit method. And so you just [00:10:00] run your expenses, whether it's your grocery bill, your rent, your utilities, whatever it is, you run on the, the rest of that. But now there's this account that is steadily growing.

[00:10:10] Jaymi: You pretend like you don't have that money. It's just off into that account and it's slowly growing and you don't touch it until you need it. , but with the Profit First Method, what I love is he's like, the whole point is for you to train yourself that you have a profitable business and there's a certain amount of money going into a profit account.

[00:10:29] Jaymi: So, Your job is to every quarter or every year, whatever, you go spend that money in a fun way, you go reward yourself for having this profitable business. You've figured out how to run the rest

[00:10:43] Jaymi: of the business on whatever's left over, and

[00:10:45] Jaymi: now you've got this certain percentage that's just like I'm gonna celebrate

[00:10:48] Jaymi: something. Well, with us photographers isn't that

[00:10:51] Jaymi: cool?

[00:10:51] Jo: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:10:53] Jo: I like the fact that it's, it's there just like you have all of your other set asides, but it gets to [00:11:00] be the cool? set aside. You get to have a set aside of something that is for something that's going to make you happy and bring you joy. That I like that idea.

[00:11:10] Jaymi: Well, and for photography, I think you can have it be your photography fund. It's not your your profit fund or your play fund. It's your photography fund. It's your, I invest in myself fund.

[00:11:22] Jaymi: It's your creativity fund. It's your, you know, find a great name for it. But the actual steps for it is to

[00:11:31] Jaymi: simply, Open up. I like to do a high yield savings

[00:11:34] Jaymi: account because then you're kind of getting a little bit of

[00:11:37] Jaymi: Interest every month. That feel, even though you know the economy is all haywire right now, it feels like you're getting a little something

[00:11:43] Jo: Well boy, you get 5

[00:11:44] Jo: cents

[00:11:45] Jo: instead of one.

[00:11:47] Jaymi: you feel a little something

[00:11:49] Jo: A little something something.

[00:11:50] Jaymi: other thing that I like about a high yield savings account too, is that it's harder to dip into. It's not a checking account, you know, you don't have checks and a debit card or whatever to dip into. And [00:12:00] so it's a little bit harder. You have to wait for it to transfer from savings to checking to be able to use it.

[00:12:05] Jaymi: So I think that that's really helpful as well. But yeah, so you open up your special account and. Whenever funds come in, whether that is your paycheck every two weeks or every month, or it is revenue from a print that you sold, or revenue from a tour that you led, or whatever it is, whenever that comes in, the first thing you do is take a percentage and you decide whatever that is for yourself, put it straight into that fund.

[00:12:31] Jaymi: And then I think the hardest part about this is, Really getting into the mindset of that is the first thing you do no matter what, no matter what bills are looming, no matter how much stress you

[00:12:47] Jaymi: might have about other finances, you have to really dial in that behavior and say, I'm just gonna pretend

[00:12:54] Jaymi: like I never even received this percentage of money,

[00:12:59] Jo: So I [00:13:00] remember when you started doing this and you were still at a point where, okay, but am I going to

[00:13:06] Jo: be able to literally pay the light bill next month? So what was it that made you decide to go ahead and commit to this

[00:13:15] Jaymi: it was the dream of saving up to buy a house. So I started using this as You know, there was all this worry all the time about how am I gonna pay my bills and when is the next paycheck even going in? Because when you're creative and you're kind of like, you got a lot of irons in the fire and a lot of different paychecks coming in at different times, and you gotta make sure that X number of bills are getting paid every month.

[00:13:40] Jaymi: And so I always felt like there were two things that came up. I always felt like, how am I ever gonna be able to afford to. A house with a down payment, how am I gonna get a down payment? And the other thing was I got real tired of coming around a Christmas time

[00:13:54] Jaymi: and feeling like, Well, I can't afford to

[00:13:57] Jaymi: buy people gifts.

[00:13:59] Jaymi: So no one's [00:14:00] they're getting like yet

[00:14:01] Jaymi: another calendar with some landscape photos printed

[00:14:04] Jo: we love your calendars,

[00:14:06] Jaymi: Yay. But I really wanted to be able to be like, I get to buy my family gifts. That it makes me feel really good to get to do that. And so what I started doing was with my Profit First Money my gift to myself was to redistribute that into other savings accounts.

[00:14:24] Jaymi: And so I have my house savings account that is still, I'm saving up, I'm saving up for that house one of these days, and it goes into gifts. So I have a savings account that is for gift, so I distribute, I basically take the profit. First like savings money and then do yet another layer of profit first maneuvering and percentages of that get distributed into fun, like savings that feel good, not savings that feel like, Oh, I have to save for this thing.

[00:14:53] Jaymi: But it's like, oh, a little bit more is going to that dream a little bit more is going to that goal, you know? And so I think that that gave me a [00:15:00] big boost in the behavior, cuz it's really hard when you look at your credit card bill. From that because I put all my business expenses on a credit card cause I want the points, I love getting points and cashing out my points.

[00:15:12] Jaymi: And so at the end of the month, I know that I have a certain amount that I have to pay to in order to pay off that credit card. So when I'm looking at that and I'm like, Oof, that's a, that's like a, a significant percentage of the money that's coming in. But nope. First I do my profit first period, I'm gonna pretend I don't even have it.

[00:15:29] Jaymi: Then I distribute 20% to my taxes account. And then everything else has, everything else has to run with whatever's left. And if I'm not making it, it means I either have to reduce my expenses next month, or I have to pay myself a little bit less. It's gotta go from somewhere, but no matter what, I've got that profit first account that is slowly growing towards certain goals.

[00:15:52] Jaymi: And I think that it's scary to put money aside for things that are

[00:15:58] Jaymi: [00:16:00] non-essentials. And so if you can get into the mindset of doing that, And really feel like, yeah, it's not an expense that's a utility bill or a food bill or a something, but it's still an expense that's important in life and that is continuing education.

[00:16:15] Jaymi: It is being able to. Invest in a piece of equipment that you know is gonna change something for your photography. And so, you know, like, oh, if I'm gonna move into like a certain type of photography that I feel really passionate about, like macro or something, I know that I'm gonna need to get a specific macro lens.

[00:16:35] Jaymi: You know, using a kit lens and a tele extender, , it's only gonna go so far for image quality. You really need to like step. That lens or that tripod or that camera body or whatever it

[00:16:49] Jaymi: might be. And so I feel like this gives you a chance to

[00:16:53] Jaymi: make that important. And you always

[00:16:56] Jaymi: know that you get to dip into that for that purpose [00:17:00] because it's been created for that purpose

[00:17:02] Jo: have you ever then

[00:17:04] Jo: Broken your own rules. I mean, so you, said I just can't put it aside this month. I'm not going to put it aside this month. Or have you stuck to it? Cuz for me it's like I always start out with these great intentions, but then, two or three months into it, I'm like, Yeah, but what am I getting?

[00:17:23] Jo: You know? Yeah.

[00:17:25] Jaymi: I think I used to be like, I used to struggle with savings because of that. I would put it in because I had a checking account and a savings account. And so savings would just go into this big savings account, and then when you have one lump sum in there, it's harder to think about distributing, you know?

[00:17:42] Jaymi: And so now that I've, I feel like once I switch to having separate. Accounts for separate purposes that, cuz for me, it wasn't enough to create the behavior when I had a budget spreadsheet and I could see like, you know, there's yab, you need a [00:18:00] budget, and there's mint and there's like all these. Services out there that help you budget?

[00:18:05] Jaymi: For me, it just never cut it cuz I still was seeing two big lump sums. And it was hard for me to really differentiate or prioritize or think about it. And so when I went to

[00:18:13] Jaymi: this profit First method,

[00:18:16] Jaymi: I

[00:18:16] Jaymi: mean, Jo, you're my

[00:18:17] Jaymi: bookkeeper. You tell me if I'm lying right now, but I can't think of a single time that I didn't follow

[00:18:23] Jaymi: my system.

[00:18:24] Jo: I don't think so. I think you've pretty much stuck to it. Yeah. It's certainly interesting tracking a million savings accounts, but um, But once I understood what your purpose was and what you were trying to do and that Yeah. You needed this physical, this gonna sound backwards, but you're, you needed this physical virtual space that, you know, when you logged onto your bank and you saw, , account A had this much money in account B had this much in account C had that much, and I looked at it and went okay, this is not how my brain works, but [00:19:00] if this is what you need, this is how it'll help you.

[00:19:02] Jo: And you really stick to it and it makes, and what's it set up? It makes it really easy to actually, to tell then what's going on.

[00:19:09] Jaymi: Yeah. And so not only, I know that we're, we're diverging a little bit from like, Oh, set up your, your investment fund for photography into just general account. For, , , running a creative business. But having that differentiation really helps me to not go over budget on things too, where I feel like I used to go over budget on things and then I'd be scrambling a little bit and now I look and I'm like, well, this expense or this thing would come out of this account and there's only x amount of money in that.

[00:19:38] Jaymi: So I don't have it yet. I have to wait it a little while or but I, I will say, There's something magical about Profit First that beats just a envelope system, budgeting spreadsheet. There

[00:19:50] Jaymi: is something magical about that, and I was just in. Coworking session and we declare like what, what it is that we're gonna be focused on.

[00:19:58] Jaymi: And one of the people in there [00:20:00] said, Oh, I'm paying my sales

[00:20:01] Jaymi: tax and doing my profit first distributions. And I wanted to go like high fiver and just be like, Yay, profit first. I'm right there with you .

[00:20:10] Jaymi: So think about it, instead of profit first. Think about it as photography first. This is your photography first fund.

[00:20:18] Jaymi: Or creativity first fund. And in terms of like how much to set aside, like I said, everybody has their own needs. You might only be able to look at how much money is coming in and how much is going out you might say, I can do 1%. That's great. 1%

[00:20:37] Jaymi: is better than 0%, do 1% and then maybe you can maneuver some

[00:20:41] Jaymi: expenses around and maybe you could do 2% after

[00:20:43] Jaymi: a few months or 3%, or maybe you could grab all those

[00:20:46] Jaymi: credit card points and cash out that goes in there.

[00:20:49] Jaymi: You know, I why I love putting all my business expenses on a credit card and then paying it off every month, and I get all those points and then you can cash that out and put [00:21:00] that into your photography first fund. . Yeah. So I wanted to nerd out about this cuz I really enjoy conversations like this, and diverging from the creative side of what we do to the business side of it.

[00:21:13] Jaymi: It makes me really happy. So thank you for uh, kind of nerding out with me on profit. First, if you have advice for someone who is feeling like I know that I wanna move forward in photography, I know that I wanna. Follow this dream, but I feel like it's a challenge to invest toward it, or I feel like I have to justify it or like I feel like I can't justify it, or if there's guilt or something wrapped around

[00:21:44] Jaymi: it.

[00:21:44] Jaymi: Do you have advice for that mindset

[00:21:49] Jaymi: or for the way

[00:21:50] Jaymi: that you can make it work financially to be able to invest in

[00:21:54] Jaymi: yourself?

[00:21:54] Jo: Well, you know, I'm just yet another human being out there. I'm no expert in any of [00:22:00] this, obviously, but I think the thing that I see listening to stories that you tell, and also

[00:22:06] Jo: just having had conversations with other people like yourself because. A lot of times what you guys do, you don't necessarily get paid the big bucks for especially around conservation photography, because a lot of times it has to do with getting a grant to do something and it may be $500, you know, it's not like you're going out and, and getting a, a tech IPO for a billion dollars, so, I think what ends up happening is, is that people in your creative world and in the conservation world, Put really low expectations on their own value.

[00:22:45] Jo: And I think what you have to do is remind yourselves just the value that you really are bringing to the world by doing the work that you do and just how much that's worth to [00:23:00] the world. And so therefore, you should be able to, in a sense, pay yourself through this profit first. You know, fund by being able to say, yes, what I'm doing, or what I wanna do, or where I wanna go is valuable and worth it and I should be able to get there.

[00:23:19] Jo: And that, it is just as valuable or not more than. Some other types of things that might be putting pressure on in your life and if you can come up with that negotiated amount for yourself, just like you were saying, you know, everybody has different financial situations, so they may not have the flexibility to put.

[00:23:42] Jo: 5% away, but you could put 1% away. That's okay. And that's still a positive step forward. It's still something that's gonna build and grow, and it's still something that's telling yourself what you're doing is valuable. And reminding yourself of that. [00:24:00] So it's not even so much about the physical act of coming up with a system, just like you said, you know, we did this with our kids when it's like, okay, you have your allowance and you get five bucks a week and $1 goes into savings.

[00:24:13] Jo: You know, it's, it's no different. But it's this idea of telling yourself that this is okay for me to. And this is worth it for me to do, and I'm gonna be doing something that isn't frivolous. It's important. And that's what I see. That you've taken on and told yourself that, Yes, I'm gonna go do this because I'm worth it.

[00:24:41] Jaymi: Mic drop right

[00:24:42] Jaymi: there, like unscrew your mic from that boom arm and just throw

[00:24:45] Jo: Boom.

[00:24:45] Jaymi: the room. So . But that's a really great, like, I feel like one of the magical things that you can do with the system is to come up with something to call it like what you just said. It's your I'm Worth [00:25:00] It Fund, it's your, I invest in myself.

[00:25:02] Jaymi: Fund, it's your, I'm gonna get there. Fund, it's your like find a name for it that reminds you of just how important this is. If anything, even if you are, you're someone who is a purpose driven photographer. And even if you're saying, Yeah, but my joy and the extent of my conservation photography really is volunteering for this local organization.

[00:25:28] Jaymi: Well, that still is making a significant impact in your community and it's okay to, like you said, this is a valuable thing that I do, so it's okay for me to invest toward that. And that might be your profit first. That helps you get a new lens

[00:25:46] Jaymi: that helps you create better images. Or it might be.

[00:25:50] Jaymi: A marketing class

[00:25:51] Jaymi: that helps you come up with some

[00:25:53] Jaymi: interesting storytelling strategies for that

[00:25:55] Jaymi: nonprofit that helps them bring in more members.

[00:25:58] Jo: learning how to use [00:26:00] Instagram

[00:26:01] Jo: in a more productive way so that you Can create awareness for that nonprofit that you're helping.

[00:26:06] Jaymi: Mm-hmm.

[00:26:07] Jo: By doing what you're doing, you're giving back to the world in one form or another. Remind yourself that.

[00:26:14] Jaymi: Yeah. Oh, I love that.

[00:26:16] Jaymi: Like there's another name, the give back fund. I don't know. I'm gonna go . I'm gonna create a whole list of these, but, Well, Jo, that was a, a really beautiful way to kind of wrap up this episode and why this topic is something that I think fires me up is yeah, what we do is really valuable and it's not egotistical or patting ourselves on the back

[00:26:39] Jaymi: to say, We have big, big goals, big universal

[00:26:43] Jaymi: altruistic goals, and so putting some money

[00:26:45] Jaymi: aside on a regular basis that you can roll back

[00:26:48] Jaymi: into your craft is

[00:26:50] Jaymi: super, super worth it.

[00:26:51] Jo: excellent. Yep. Okay. Let's go do

[00:26:53] Jo: it.

[00:26:54] Jaymi: Okay,

[00:26:57] Jaymi: All right. But any last words of wisdom

[00:26:59] Jaymi: [00:27:00] before we wrap up this episode?

[00:27:01] Jo: No

[00:27:02] Jaymi: Okay,

[00:27:05] Jaymi: All right, cool Jo, well thank you so much for talking this over with me. And everyone, thank you so much for listening and we will talk to

[00:27:12] Jaymi: you next week,

[00:27:13] Jaymi:


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