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A Simply Blessed Life With Julie Staley

by | Jan 22, 2019 | Podcasts | 0 comments

Today’s conversation is with Julie Staley. She is a Charlotte, North Carolina based wedding photographer. Julie married her college sweetheart 21 years ago and has two beautiful teenage daughters. Her journey has taken her from the corporate world to stay at home mom and, shortly after that, her photography hobby turned into a commercial, world-wide wedding company, grossing in the multiple six figures each year. Julie is now reinventing again and focusing on her background and experience in nutrition and fitness. Julie and I have known each other for about five years through the photography industry, and I’ve got to tell you guys, I first officially met Julie on a bus that one of our mutual vendors in the industry had rented to take us from a convention over to a party and this girl was the life of the party. She danced up and down the aisles of the bus and she was so good you guys, and that’s my very first memory of her. We had some great conversation that night, too. Through all of that, through the industry, I’ve known her and I’ve been watching her in this transition, so I’m super excited to chat with her about what she’s learned through growing her business while keeping faith and family first.

The Simply Blessed Life with Lori Nordstrom Podcast is now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe!

A Simply Blessed Life With Julie Staley

Wholehearted Entrepreneur

Lori: Welcome Julie!

Julie: Thank you so much! I just had to laugh at the bus trip.

Lori: My first memory of you!

Julie: I have been known to dance! I have a zero drink minimum. Haha.

New Speaker: That’s awesome. Well, you danced for, what was it, a professional football team?

Julie: Well, I cheered and danced through college at the University of Georgia. And then, I had my kids fairly young, both of my girls in my twenties, so obviously I was not dancing or doing anything with competitive dance at that stage of my life. And then, in my early thirties, I was working out a lot trying to get away from the mom bod and a girlfriend noticed me at Zoomba class and said, “Hey, we should audition for the Carolina Panthers.” And, I mean, my jaw dropped, you know? A professional NFL team would want a mom to be a cheerleader? I just didn’t know that existed. And she said, “Yeah, there’s actually quite a few moms on the team!” So, she inspired me to train really hard and get up the nerve to take choreography classes again. It had been 10 years since I danced professionally, and I went to all the classes, did all the fitness training, got that bod back in shape and I actually did make it all the way to the finals with the Carolina Panthers. And then, only the very tail end of that whole process, which was like six weeks long, they ended up reducing the number of girls on the squad that year. So, I was one of the six that was let go. But that was God’s absolute hand because how would I have managed a photography studio, two kids, the husband, and cheering? It was a wonderful journey and I really met some great people through it. So yeah, I loved that.

Lori: That’s so fun. And I think that is the story that I remembered, was the trying out for that at 30. That’s so fun! That takes some guts!

Julie: Yeah, it did. I was one of the things that showed up in a minivan! Haha

Lori: I love it! That’s so awesome. So tell everyone a little bit more about your journey. I know you’ve been through several phases and it’s interesting because I think we all go through some different phases as entrepreneurs, when we’ve got that entrepreneur mindset, but would just love to hear from you about kind of how it started and where you are now.

Julie: Yeah, I’d love to share it with you. And, first of all, thank you for inviting me to the podcast. I’ve long admired your work in the photography industry. You were one of the first mentors and educators I ever attended a conference on. And so it’s a pretty full circle moment to sort of be interviewed by you. So thank you so much for that!

Lori: Yeah, thank you!

Julie: I’m a Georgia girl and when I graduated I had this big dream of becoming a registered Dietitian, so that’s what I did right out of college with my science degree, and I set up a private practice within an endocrinology group. I was counseling, primarily, people with diabetes. Everything from food diaries, food plans, insulin management, that sort of thing. But I quickly realized that although I love to study nutrition, I didn’t have a lot of job satisfaction in that role for two reasons. First of all, being in an office everyday, it just didn’t suit me. I need to see the sunshine. I need a lot of variety in my life. I can’t do something the same way every single day. I wasn’t really thriving in that way. And then, also, I didn’t find a lot of self-satisfaction in that role because people were forced to meet with me, if that makes sense. They now had a clinical diagnosis, so they were having this lady come in who was very young, I was 22, telling them what they should and shouldn’t eat. I felt more like the food police rather than an encourager, so I didn’t love that. I decided it was time to pivot, even though I’d only been in that industry for a couple of years and had gone to school forever to get here. I just knew it wasn’t really the path I was supposed to be on. I felt a nudging in my spirit that there was more. So, I gave my resume to pretty much every pharmaceutical rep that was at a big national convention for dietitians that I was attending and I got a callback from Johnson and Johnson. So, I transitioned to the pharmaceutical sales. Loved it because now I’m going in and out of offices, managing my own schedule, seeing the sunshine when I want to and getting to make people happy all day long. Coming into these offices, bringing maybe a lunch or some donuts, and then talking about how we can better serve their clients with different pharmaceutical products. It was just a happier place for me and I loved it, so that went great. And as a wife and mom yourself, that went great until baby number two. Haha. That’s where my scope of management was just really out of whack. I could not juggle it all. And I knew that, I was just struggling to find- I just felt like I was failing in a lot of areas. Which, a lot of that, was probably hormones from still lingering with the pregnancy. But I just felt that nudging again in my spirit. This had been seven or eight years later with this career path and I just thought, my babies are only babies for a limited time. It was a really hard choice to leave such a big job because I had advanced to Southeast Regional Trainer for a big Pharma Company and had a six figure salary. That doesn’t happen very often in your twenties. It was very hard to decide if it was time to leave, but I had a really wise boss who loved his kids the way I loved mine. He said, “If I could pay you any amount of money, would you want to stay?” And I truthfully answered, “No.” And he said, “Good, I wanted you to hear yourself say ‘it’s not about money anymore, it’s about quality of life.’ Go home.” So, I did, and it was huge life transition. We went from me being the primary breadwinner, to me making nothing, but I felt free again. I was there to help raise my five and two year old daughters. We went into the park and we did all the things that I felt like I was missing when I was living that daycare-corporate-America life. So, that was another pivot point that just suited the needs of my family better at that moment in time. You know the story from there: I was a stay-at-home mom and I had a camera so I’m always taking pictures of my kids. And then my neighbors and friends, who were seeing me outside taking pictures with a nice camera (this was probably 2007-2008), started asking if I’d photograph their children. And then that hobby, oh goodness, started spiraling into more and more business, and by the time my second child was entering kindergarten, I had worked it up to a full-time income that was, actually, pretty darn profitable for my family. It was another pivot. It was sort of something that I didn’t really plan for, but it fell in my lap, in a beautiful way, and still allowed me to put my kids on the bus, and then get them off the bus, but work a lot in between.

Lori: Yeah, lots of changes. Lots of changes, for sure. Those are big changes. I had to laugh when you said, your change with Johnson & Johnson, you got to go in and bring lunch or donuts, and I’m thinking, “Oh, the diabetes lady is bringing donuts.”

Julie: Yeah, I was not calling on endocrinologist, if that helps. Haha.

Lori: But that’s quite a journey. So, your time at home with the girls was how long before you really jumped into photography?

Julie: Well, it was only a solid year of being home and not having any sort of revenue. I quickly learned that it’s just in me to want to work and to pursue goals that are outside of my home. Always being conscientious of the needs of my husband and my children, but I just knew that I needed to do something for myself. So the hobby of photography really did work well for that season of my life. And then, like I said, when they were both in school full-time, it got bigger and bigger and big enough that, in 2011, my husband actually joined the company full-time.

Lori: Wow.

Julie: Now, the whole family is dependent on taking pictures! Haha.

Lori: That’s exciting! I know you really grew that even from there. Can you tell me about the time that it happened, when you knew that you needed to start bringing on help and bring on additional photographers?

Julie: Sure! My husband had joined the company in 2011, and by 2012 I was starting to have to turn brides away. Remember that little blip on the NFL cheerleader radar? Well, that was a blessing because all the girls that met me through that pursuit were in their early twenties and all getting married. So, I hit the market with the world’s most beautiful brides and everyone was like, “Gosh, does she have a screening process?”, because my blog was instantaneously gorgeous with these girls who love to be photographed, knew how to pose, and it was kind of like gasoline on a fire. We just started exploding in the number of people that wanted to be an Old South bride (that’s the name of my company, Old South Studios). So, my husband and I sat down and kind of said, well, you know, there’s only so many Saturdays in a calendar year, I don’t want to shoot all 52, and we’re getting more inquiries than we know what to do with. So, I brought my first photographer on board in 2013 and from there we kept hiring and kept hiring until, last year, we had eight photographers on the team.

Lori: Wow. Eight photographers. I can’t even imagine. That’s a lot of personality right there.

Julie: It is. But I did remember Dave Ramsey’s mantra of the, “slow to hire and quick to fire”, so I was always very slow, very slow to hire so I could make sure that they had a really good work ethic and just kind of observe them from afar, through facebook and other photographer meetups and different groups. I always had my eye on the right people and by the time they came under the Old South umbrella, I knew them very well. A couple of them, I even had in a bible study that I lead, so I really knew these women and they were a blessing to me. I’ve had great employees.

Lori: Yeah, I always loved watching your posts when you’d post about all the girls together and your team. It was always very inspiring to me, so that was fun to watch. And so now that you’ve kind of phased out of that big commercial business with eight shooters, what would you say are the top things working with these personalities? I know that you said they were a blessing to you and you were slow to hire, but there does come points within any work relationship where there are red flags that come up. Are there any specific things that you would say, “Hey, once you start hiring people, these are some some red flags to kind of watch out for.”?

Julie: Absolutely! I can’t impress upon people enough, especially if they’re starting some form of an associate program, whether it’s photography or just expanding a solo-preneurship into something larger, you have to really look at the quality of their character because that will not change. You can teach them to be a better photographer or whatever your business pursuit may be. Those are easy to enhance, easy skills to teach, but you can’t make them work harder if it’s not in them to have that work ethic already. So, I always say hire very teachable and humble people that really want to have constructive criticism and want to develop over time and they never have that air of, “well, I know everything. I do this for a living.” You need a teachable spirit and someone with just the most genuine work ethic because that’s something you can’t teach someone. It’s either in them or it’s not.

Lori: Yeah, for sure. One of the things that I learned early on, one of the things that was taught to me, was to hire the personality (which ties into that character), train the task. So that falls right in line with that. That was something that really stuck with me all through my days of running the big studio and having employees, was to really look at that character. So I think that’s really, really great advice. Let’s fast forward: about a year ago, you find found yourself at another pivot point. Let’s talk about that.

Julie: Yeah, it was (I’ll never forget it) April 22nd of that year, and we were in charge of five weddings in one Saturday. And remember I was trying to still BE a wedding photographer. So I was at a destination wedding (we shoot weddings all over the world. I was only three hours away, but it was still three hours away from home base) and I was dealing with a planner, a multi-day, really, really extravagant destination wedding, and I also had nine other women working for me at various parts of North Carolina that same day. It was just too overwhelming. I was running the social media for Old South and having to do so many posts a day, it was just ridiculous, to congratulate people, “This is your wedding day!”, and make them feel special. Give them that Old South experience that all previous brides had gotten. But our volume had swelled to the point that I was constantly thinking about the business. Managing this person, this employee, oh, does she have enough memory cards? And I’m in a totally different state at this point. On paper, we made so much money. I think I told you, we had grossed up to 1.8 million, at that point, with the company. So, again, to an accountant or a banker, we were just thriving, but from a woman’s perspective, behind all of that, I felt so overwhelmed and just tired. So, driving home from that destination wedding, I said to my second shooter, “This is just so weird. I’m in such a strange part of my life.” I had been approached by Miller’s Lab who’s just, you know, I can’t think of anyone bigger in our industry that’s just been such a resource to me. They’d print all of our wedding albums and portraits and canvases and that sort of thing, a huge nationally recognized company. They had approached me, about a month before that, to be the face of their maker’s marketing promotion that they put on that would be featured- it’d be my picture with their logo and their endorsement- that would be in, gosh, tens of thousands of magazines coming out in May of that year. So, here I am, getting accolades from people in the industry that are like, “Wow, you’re doing so many great things within the photography community. You must be so proud and we’re proud of you.” And, again, a banker, an accountant looking at our books would say, “Way to go! You’re really rolling in the money!” Behind that was a woman who felt like she was falling apart. It’s like a flashback to that Johnson & Johnson moment, with that boss saying, “It’s not about the money, is it?” And it wasn’t for me, anymore. I did not care. I realized managing eight people and being the most profitable studio in town was just not going to fill the voids that I felt in my life. And really what (the holes) were was quality time with my children and my husband. Those were lacking. I knew I had to make some changes and really pulled everything to a screeching halt.

Lori: So, at this time, was your husband still involved in the business?

Julie: No, actually, he was only with us from 2011-2014 and, at this stage, we were probably 50/50 on the income for our family. He was doing well in his original career path. He’d gotten right back into that industry and was doing well. The pendulum hadn’t swung so far in my direction any longer, and that definitely gave me a little bit of leverage to say to him, “I really feel like I’m lost here.” I just am overwhelmed, over my head, and I just am not as happy as I want to be with the success that I’ve created. It seems so strange, all of the goals that I put on paper had been achieved, except you can’t put “happy” on a piece of paper. It just doesn’t work like that. I really had to make a lot of life changes. I had a very difficult staff meeting in May of 2017. There were tears from all of us because I said, “Ladies, I have loved really every bit of this journey.” It was about three solid years where we were at that breakneck pace, and I said, “I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t provide the quality that I want to give to my brides, to my family, to my employees any longer. Something’s got to give. I’m going to be booking a lot less weddings for you all, and the studio as a whole, just so I can start to take my life back because my children are in their teens now and I won’t have many years with them under my roof.” It was a tough meeting, but I knew it was the right thing to do for my family.

Lori: Yeah. Well, I’m excited to talk to about what’s next because I know you’ve already got feet in that direction but, first, I’m curious about looking back. You’re still in the industry, but being able to kind of step out of that “busy, busy, busy, all the employees, all the things”, is there anything that you would change? What would you have done differently?

Julie: Well, I had some business mentors along the way who gave me great advice and, you just have to recognize your limitations. And I, as a lot of entrepreneurs know, you are the doer. You’re the person that you think gets it done the fastest, the best, and you want to do so much. You want to control so much, and usually you’re pretty darn capable. There will be a time (it will happen to everyone if you’re trying to grow the company and expand in different directions) where you have to say, “Do I want to work IN this business, at the pace I’ve been doing it? Or do I want to step back and work ON this business, truly as a CEO?” Maybe don’t put your hands into everything any longer. That’s very hard for a lot of us as type A’s and entrepreneurs, to delegate and to outsource. Sure, it was easy for me to outsource editing, things like that, but I wanted to personally meet with every bride and make sure she felt like she had that Old South Experience and it was just not possible at a certain volume. So I think the best advice would be to grow slowly. And even if you become the most popular thing on the market, don’t grow faster than you have the time, resources, and energy to give it, because it can swallow you up. I would just say manage it at a slower pace. Really be slow to hire with your teammates and the people that you’re surrounding yourself with. Even if the client base keeps coming and it keeps coming and it keeps coming, bigger is not always better. You just might be sacrificing too much of your personal life for what you think, on paper, looks like success.

Lori: Yes, that’s good. That is good, Julie.

Julie: Good!

Lori: Lessons learned, right?

Julie: Right, right.

Lori: So now, and it sounds like it’s been about a year ago, I’ve been watching this on instagram unfold a little bit too, but tell us about this next pivot.

Julie: Yeah, one of the sad realizations after that May meeting with my team was that my own personal health had really declined. I am grateful to the Lord that I had not been diagnosed with anything but I had anxiety, a lot of anxiety, because of the pace that the business was going in my life. I kept gaining weight. Over that busy three year period, with the associate photographers all underneath me, I gained about 30 some odd pounds. Slowly, that’s about a pound a month, but it all kind of came crashing down. This isn’t me. I’ve been a person who’s been involved with fitness and nutrition for most of my life and I had let all of those things go because of the business. So I really made a personal line-in-the-sand, to say that I want to get me back, and not because of any particular number in my pants. It wasn’t just about, “Oh, I want to be a size two.” I don’t care about that. I wanted to wake up everyday feeling my most fearless. And I wasn’t feeling that at that point. I felt defeated and as if life was sort of taking over for me and I said, I’m just going to have to focus one day at a time on getting my personal health back in check. That was my focus for, like you said, a solid year. Now I’ve been working out first thing every morning at home and really getting back to the woman that first started this photography business, but got a little lost along the way.

Lori: What made you decide that you wanted to bring all of us along on that journey, on Instagram?

Julie: It’s pretty funny because I don’t know. I’ve been a fairly public person about a lot of the trials and tribulations of building a business. And I give you credit in that. When I heard you speaking years ago, I thought you brought such authenticity to the stage and told people, “Hey look, this is what it’s really like”, because you were going through some difficult personal times after the business had gotten so busy. And I just remember how much that spoke to my heart at the time I needed to hear it. I wanted to make sure I would remain a voice like that in our industry to say, “Hey, even if your face is in all these magazines, that does not mean your home life is going great.” And to me, the home life is really what I’m most concerned with. I wanted to just remind other women, as they grow any type of creative business, that your own personal life must still matter to you. Even when times look super successful for the business, are you really happy? You kind of have to keep checking in, are you really happy? And I just wanted to provide to other women that hey, I wasn’t all that happy and I had highs and lows and I’m going to ride them out. And the only way I know to do that is to get back to being the healthiest version of me day after day. Making better decisions for me, not just the business and my family, but putting myself on my to-do list again.

Lori: Mmm, that’s so good. You said two things there that are like, oh, these are quotable moments. You said, “you can’t put happy on a piece of paper.” I love that. And what did you just say? You said “put myself back on my to-do list.” Love it.

Julie: The women that I’ve attracted through the instagram account (I created a wholehearted entrepreneur), that was where I started kind of showing people how I was reclaiming my life. And a lot of women grabbed onto that because it was like giving them permission to matter in their own life, like we said with the to-do list. We’re all so great at putting the needs of our kids, our husbands, our extended family, our friends, our church, all sorts of things on that to do list, but you need a to-DON’T list, too. It needs to say “I don’t want to do 60 weddings this year. I would rather lose 20 pounds, invest in my health, lose the anxiety along the way, and do 20 weddings.” That’s what I want to do.

Lori: Yeah, so you aren’t thinking about completely exiting the industry, you’ve still got weddings going.

Julie: I sure do. 2019 is still- I’M still shooting weddings. I’m not booking my associates for weddings, currently. We’ve really let that program go and finished all the contracts that we had in place and let everybody know sort of the direction of the company. I still shoot weddings but less of them. In 2020, I had announced that I would be retiring from weddings and the only weddings I assume or I anticipate shooting, from 2020 on, are for legacy clients. That would be brides that I’ve photographed and really connected with their family, and now they have sisters getting married that they definitely want me to photograph. And I want to, too, because I do have a lot of joy working with those families and being a part of that significant moment in their family’s history. I’ll always love the storytelling of a wedding. I just couldn’t keep giving away so many Saturdays. Giving them up for my family to go have happy moments with other people. I needed to claim those Saturdays again. So, 2020 is going to look really different than 2019.

Lori: Yeah, that’s exciting! And something to look forward to, for sure. So Wholehearted Entrepreneur, that is your new instagram site and new business with the nutrition and fitness. Is that something you’re coaching women through, as well?

Julie: Yeah, I started in January with this 14 day challenge that I’ve really been thinking about for months and months. I saw it back when I was a dietician in my early twenties, and I still see it just as a woman looking around at the culture we’re in: everybody in January wants this quick fix. And I think that’s what the game changer was for me last year, was recognizing that taking your life back is like turning around a gigantic ship. It is not some little moment that someone, again, on a piece of paper can say, “here’s a food list that you should or shouldn’t eat”, and then everything’s fixed. It’s not a lack of knowledge, it’s a lack of doing that makes it hard for women to kind of turn that big gigantic ship around. Is wanted to have people approach this long journey of a healthier you with a very eyes-wide-open mentality. It’s gonna take a lot of work, and it’s going to take a lot longer than you probably want it to, to lose those 20 pounds or drop two pant sizes or decrease your resting heart rate by 20 beats per minute. But that’s overwhelming when you start thinking of it that way. The only quick fix I want women to think about is one 24-hour period at a time. So, this 14-day challenge, I introduced January 1st on that instagram account to really break down what one-day-at-a-time looks like because I don’t see too many people in the industry saying that and coaching people through it. It would be small measures like, day one, they had to take a picture of wherever they thought they might exercise. Whether that was in a home gym, just moving the coffee table and doing some videos at home, or maybe it’s you with your dog walking out in the neighborhood, or maybe you love orange theory or bar or some other method. I’m not specific about what people want to do. I want them to find something they enjoy, but it’s really helping women think through, okay, this is going to be a long journey. How can I truly incorporate exercise, fitness, nutrition into my everyday life just as it is now, with all the baseball and all the kids things and all the husband’s needs, and really coach them through one 24-hour period at a time. So we can move in the direction of goals, but really focus on the daily habits it’s going to take to get there.

Lori: Yes. So, working with women, what would you say is, what’s your number one tip, or maybe even a few tips, to just getting started? I think, a lot of times, that’s the hardest part. We know we need to make changes and we know things need to look a little different, and we might even write down our goals or resolutions that we want to lose that 20 pounds. But then, January 1st comes and it’s, “What do I do now?” So what would you say are those tips for just doing the thing?

Julie: Well, I really want to work with women before they ever start on their “why”. They really have to define why. The goal of “losing 20 pounds” still doesn’t tell me why. Why do you want to lose those 20 pounds? And in my case, it was, “I don’t want to be so anxious at the end of every day that I want to have a couple of glasses of wine just to calm down.” I don’t want that because I know, over time, bad habits will make me an inferior version of myself. I won’t be the best wife to my husband, the best mom to my children, when I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. And, as a Christian, I always remind women that we are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. So many women aren’t loving themselves well. So even if you’re doing all the things for your neighbors, if you could focus on loving yourself for just a little while, until it becomes more habitual, just imagine how much better you will love the people around you. It will be spilling over into their cups, too. I want women to give themselves permission. It’s not just starting an exercise plan or starting a healthy eating plan. It’s starting to put yourself on your to-do list and you have to sit down, possibly in the quiet before anyone else wakes up, and say, “Hey, I matter too in this family.” I might matter more than anybody else, because I’m pretty sure I keep all the plates spinning! Haha. I need to be thinking of how to fill my cup so, again, it can splash over into everyone around me, because you can’t pour from something that’s empty. And that’s what women are doing. They’re starting at an empty cup saying, “well I want to lose 20 pounds and I want to do this.” And I’m like, but why? It’s probably because you want to be a better wife, a better mom. In my case, I wanted to have less anxiety and really get a better focus on what I can do with these last years with my children under my roof. It’s not like, you know, a funeral when they go to college, but I know I’m living in the good old days. When I’m going to look back and be like, oh, I loved when the four of us were all together for dinners. I want to be fully present and fully available and active and excited for everything that my family could accomplish together. And I was not that person when I was overworked and overstressed.

Lori: So good. So good. I am past that time now, my kids are out of the house. And, as you know, most people know I did end up divorced when my kids were teenagers and one even younger. So I just love that you are getting that message out there and that you are taking such bold steps to making sure that that’s a priority and keeping your faith and your family first. So, so good. And I love the message that you have to share through wholehearted entrepreneur and have loved watching you through that. Will you share a couple of your successes through that? You’ve lost some weight, I know you’ve lost some body fat, and so will you just share what you’ve done in the last year?

Julie: Yeah, I think that the biggest gain has been that I’ve reconnected with the Julie that I really recognize. I had gotten to be a version of myself that was pretty far off-track. By losing weight and inches and all those things (I’ve lost about 22 pounds at this point and dropped at least two sizes, possibly three), but it’s so much bigger than that to me. I learned how to wake up excited for every day again. And all of that was possible because of nutrition and exercise. Putting myself on my to-do list. I have gained myself again and I feel like I sit in the driver’s seat, as the glue that holds my family together. Now I’m driving the bus, where I used to feel like I was being run over by that bus, and I love this feeling. It’s like harnessing all your power again because you got up 30 minutes earlier than everybody else and you sweat a little or because you started really saying, let me plan out my meals so I’m not surprised that at dinner everybody’s going to want to eat something and we end up in a drive-through. I want to be in control. I want to say, “we have a plan for that.” I’ve anticipated roadblocks and I know how to get through them and just taking ownership again of my life and really rising to that amazing responsibility of being someone’s wife and also being their mother, and it’s an amazing role. You can never be replaced as those. You’ll be replaced by other companies and other job positions you may have. You may think that you’re the best thing that’s ever happened, but if you quit, they will hire someone else. In your family, you are irreplaceable. So I want to take control. This is an awesome responsibility and I want to wake up everyday excited to do the best I can in those job roles, those positions of influence, and really send my girls out into the world with a working vocabulary of what a healthy marriage looks like, what a healthy body looks like, what healthy stress management looks like, and what getting back on the wagon looks like. If you have a bad day and you slip up, hey, that’s okay. Forgive yourself. It’s not about shame and guilt in perfection. It’s about saying it’s progress over perfection. We’re always moving in a general direction, but we’re going to do it in a way that is happy and wholehearted.

Lori: So good! Thank you so much for sharing all that. My goodness, you’ve dropped lots of good nuggets for us, for sure.

Julie: Well thank you! I still want to dance on a bus with you again, though! Haha.

Lori: That was so fun! I will never forget it, that’s for sure. Too funny. I’ve just loved watching you through this journey. Where can everybody find you?

Julie: Yeah, the whole hearted entrepreneur account on instagram is the best way for people to find me. I will tell you, it’s still a private account, so I do have to vet all the people that are coming through. And I’ll tell you why I’ve done that, because I’ve had a lot of people say, “Gosh, you could get so many more followers if it’s public”. But those who follow me know that you’re gonna watch me work out and sweat in the morning at my house every day on that account and I don’t want to invite, you know, a bunch of random strange men to instagram to do that. Haha. So it is still a private account because I do share every single day, the workouts I do, the meals I’m eating. I don’t put a ton of information about my children, but there is some of that personal information on there. I promised to approve the vast majority of folks that come to wholehearted entrepreneur, but it does help me weed out those random Joe’s that you think, “Uh uh! You’re not watching me sweat!” Haha.

Lori: That’s really smart.

Julie: Wholehearted Entrepreneur would be the wellness coaching side of what I’m doing right now, but the wedding photography is still OldSouthStudios.com and Old South Studios is our instagram handle, as well. You’ll find current weddings and engagements and bridals, and I’m still loving that part of my life, too. I just know that I had to make some changes, proactively, so that I can be fully present as the best wife and mom that I wanted to be.

Lori: Beautiful. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. I really, really appreciate it.

Julie: Well, thank you for your time. Congratulations to you on the new podcast! I’ll be a loyal listener to you and I’m looking forward to hearing more great information from fellow female entrepreneurs, as well.

Lori: Thank you! I appreciate you!

Julie: Alright, have a good one! Bye!

Lori: Thank you for joining me today for this conversation with Julie Staley. If you are someone who’s struggling with putting yourself on the to-do list, go ahead and check Wholehearted Entrepreneur on Instagram. I know you’re going to be inspired by Julie’s daily workouts and all of the great tips that she shares. I hope you’re enjoying this podcast and, if you are, I would absolutely love and appreciate it if you would go over and subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review. It just takes a couple of minutes and it really, really means a lot and it helps others to find us, too. I want you to know how much I appreciate you being here, so thank you and I hope to have you back next week!

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