It was 2012, and Will and I were sitting across from each other in a coffee shop, discussing the big-picture future of Nancy Ray Photography. We were at a crossroad, trying to decide if we wanted to stay the “husband – wife team” route that most photographers took, or if we wanted to take a risk and hire associate photographers to form a team.
We were nervous, and we honestly didn’t know which direction we wanted to go. There were pros and cons to both options, and we worked really well together. We made some lists of all the reasons why we should or shouldn’t start a team. We started with a list of risks and fears: that it would take a lot of time and training, that we would be inviting others “in” to the business we’ve built and sharing our secrets, that we don’t have a guarantee it would work, that we would be changing something that is working just fine.
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 wedding.
We could serve more couples and more families.
Will would have the freedom to step away from NRP if he ever wanted to do different work.
I could grow as a leader – teaching and pouring into others.
We could bring in more financially as a studio.
Whenever we started a family, I could take on less weddings without being
We could create jobs for others who wanted to be doing this same creative work.
Here are the…
Top 3 Reasons I decided to build a Team:
To be a part of something bigger than myself.
To mentor and train others.
To have more freedom and time for my family.
After praying together, discussing it in depth, playing out the “worse case scenarios” and “best case scenarios,” we decided that it was worth it.
It hasn’t been perfect or easy, but goodness it has been rewarding. I started this business because of a fierce love of photography, and over the years that love has grown and changed to also encompass a deep love for business, entrepreneurship, and leading this team.
I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’ve compiled my
Top 5 greatest Team Resources for you:
The Secret to our Team Meetings
How we host our Annual Team Retreat
NRP Academy – Team Training
Our Quarterly Rocks (& how they changed this business)
Traction – the book that taught us the Entrepreneurial Operating System (i.e. how we run this business as a team!)
I don’t say this lightly – it is my greatest privilege to work alongside this team. I can’t imagine my life without walking downstairs to greet Callie and Olivia every morning with smiles, scripture reading, prayers, and our top three priorities for the day. I can’t imagine Team Meetings without Elizabeth’s humor and passion for families and unique perspective she brings. I can’t imagine life without Will by my side, owning and leading this business, or what the heck I’d do on the days the internet doesn’t work or taxes are due.
I am immensely grateful and humbled, because the #NRPteam is one of God’s greatest gifts to me.
If you’re interested in growing your own creative team, I’m hosting a FREE class next week and I’d love for you to join me! Sign up for your free seat here.
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