Recorded: Welcome to The ReWork with Allison Tyler Jones, a podcast dedicated to inspiring portrait photographers to uniquely brand, profitably price, and confidently sell their best work. Allison has been doing just that for the last 15 years, and she’s proven that it’s possible to create unforgettable art and run a portrait business that supports your family and your dreams. All it takes is a little ReWork. Episodes will include interviews with experts from in and outside of the photo industry, mini workshops, and behind the scenes secrets that Allison uses in her portrait studio every single day. She will challenge your thinking and inspire your confidence to create a profitable, sustainable portrait business you love through continually refining and reworking your business. Let’s do the ReWork.

Allison Tyler Jones: Hi, friends, and welcome back to the Rework. Today we’re going to be talking about erasing the board. And erasing the board is a concept that was pioneered by Gregory and Lesa Daniel, photographers in Florida, who have a thriving, successful portrait studio business. And they have just recently entered a different phase of life. They have become parents to two darling grandchildren, and they want to spend more time with their grandkids, but they don’t want to give up their portrait business. They still love their clients, they still love shooting, they still love being in the business, but they’re trying to figure out a way to do both in a way that allows them to be fully present for their grandkids and also fully present for their clients.

Allison Tyler Jones: So whether you are brand new in the business and trying to figure out how to let it keep from taking over your life, or maybe in the trenches for years are trying to figure out how can I schedule my life and my clients a little bit better so that I have some more freedom, regardless, you’re going to find so many great takeaways. They are the king and queen of branding. I can’t wait for you to hear it. Let’s do it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, I am so excited to have Gregory and Lesa Daniel back with us on The ReWork podcast today, and I appreciate you taking the time because I know you’ve not only been busy with portraits, but you’ve also been busy with grandchildren.

Gregory Daniel: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: Which is the best kind of busy there is.

Lesa Daniel: That’s it. That’s it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes. So I just want to talk about with you, and you can take this in any direction that you want to go, but you’ve had so many iterations of your business. You’ve been building a space shuttle and shooting weddings. You’ve had first, second, third, fourth, fifth acts in your lives.

Gregory Daniel: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: And you’re now evolving again.

Gregory Daniel: Lot of rings in my tree. A lot of rings in the tree, yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: A lot of rings in the tree. I know, and yet we’re still children. It’s so weird.

Lesa Daniel: And we look so young.

Gregory Daniel: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, that is definitely true of the two of you for sure. I just wanted to talk a little bit about when you decide that you want to make a shift in your business, what does that sound like between the two of you? How are you making those decisions? And then anything from whether it’s a process, a product, or just even making your life different. So, go team.

Gregory Daniel: Well, yeah, it’s great seeing you again, and I can see you, but they probably can’t see us, but it’s really great chatting with you guys and having a good little time here. But yeah, I mean what you’re talking about is what we would call erasing the board, and thinking about what if. What if we could do something? And I think years and years ago, we had to make a big shift, and we gave ourself permission to do that. I think there’s a little dirty secret in our industry that we start off in this industry because we love photography. Most of us do. I know you didn’t do it necessarily that way, but most of the folks that we talk to, they start off because they love photography. That’s the way I started off as a 12 year old.

Allison Tyler Jones: Me too. I love the gear, love the lenses, love the lights, yeah all of it.

Gregory Daniel: So you put your ladder on this wall of photography, and it’s all about photography and about how I can get folks in to take photographs of, quite frankly, anyone that could breathe. And we did that. We did a lot of it with rabbits and bunnies and special-

Allison Tyler Jones: Fog up this mirror, and I will take your picture.

Gregory Daniel: That’s right.

Lesa Daniel: That’s it. Got it. Yeah.

Gregory Daniel: That’s right. And so making a shift, really giving yourself permission, we would give ourself permission to what we call erase the board.

Lesa Daniel: So I would say every so many years we just would get a little either itchy, or we would look at our numbers, or we weren’t happy about something, or there would be some impetus to get us to start to think about this. What are we going to do in the next five years that’s different? What are we going to do? And it wasn’t a five-year thing, but you just have that feeling that something needs to change.

Allison Tyler Jones: I think it goes in seven. For me, in my life, in my other businesses, it seems to go in seven year cycles.

Lesa Daniel: And it may have, I haven’t even thought about it, but it may have.

Gregory Daniel: I think ours lines up a little bit more with our children, because I started off doing photography the way we did it, our business, photographing little leagues and soccer teams, all of these specials, and it was just Lesa and I.

Lesa Daniel: And then we were doing weddings.

Gregory Daniel: Well and little weddings.

Lesa Daniel: And then we got bigger weddings, and then we needed to make a change because our girls were going to school, and the only time that we really had for family time was either in the evenings or on the weekends. Well, here we’re doing weddings on Saturday and Sunday, and for us … It works for a lot of families. For us, it did not. So that was our change to make a difference.

Gregory Daniel: Now it’s grandchildren.

Lesa Daniel: Now we want to spend more time with grandchildren and go to our cabin with them or go places and play and do things and go on trips. And so in order to do that, we have to rethink this because we’re not ready to retire. And actually, Greg says he has retired, because you retired to do what you love, and he’s doing what he loves. So he thinks he’s going to continue to do this till he’s 90.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, yeah, I’m with him. I’m with Greg. But I think that you just struck something so profound, and it’s really profound to me just because of where I’m at in my own business, but how we kind of get this idea of … Like Ivan’s always saying to me, “Okay, so when we retire …” I’m like, “Never going to happen.” I am always going to be doing something. I can’t not do something. But we get in our mind like, “Okay, it always has to be this way. I have to be shooting weddings until my dead carcass drops in the aisle and the bride has to step over me,” or not and we can make the business work for us rather than us having to work for the business.

Allison Tyler Jones: And so I think that that’s a very common change from that wedding to portrait, because a lot of people start in the wedding business young. They’re photographing their friend’s weddings, that sort of thing, and it’s kind of a younger guy’s game, woman’s game, and then they have kids and don’t want to work every weekend, so they have to make a change. So when you’ve made those changes or when you’ve looked at your ladder maybe against the wrong wall, what does that look like in-

Lesa Daniel: In our processes? How do our processes look as we make those changes? Is that what’re you’re saying?

Gregory Daniel: I think the process of making the change. The change process is what people struggle mostly with.

Lesa Daniel: It’s scary.

Gregory Daniel: It’s very scary. It’s one of the most difficult things to do. And so you end up, because it’s so difficult, it’s all about risk assessment, assessing the risks involved in doing the change, and it’s just scary to do it. It’s all about fear and scary and all of that, right?

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah, if I get rid of my weddings, how am I going to-

Gregory Daniel: Exactly.

Lesa Daniel: Feed my family.

Gregory Daniel: Right. And so there’s really two approaches. One is that you’ve got to give yourself the ability to dream and to think about you could do this change. Not that you have to do it right now because I think a lot of folks try to approach it by tweaking things. I’m going to tweak it. I’m going to tweak it into this other level. I’m going to get over here. I’m going to tweak it one way or the other. And tweaking it is like pivoting, like a basketball player pivoting. It’s hard to pivot from where you are to get to where you want to go if you’re just tweaking or you’re just pivoting. When you give yourself permission to erase the board and imagine, “What could this be?” And do it in two ways.

Gregory Daniel: The reason I say two ways, one is there’s one thing about changing from, let’s say we were talking about weddings to portraits, but there’s also a brand change you might want to make, brand level. Maybe because I started off in a commodity kind of level, because that’s where we all pretty much start, maybe that shift is a brand shift, not just a product shift, or what you’re going to be doing shift. It’s a brand shift, which a lot of folks don’t evaluate the brand shift as well.

Gregory Daniel: So I need to take this ladder and put it over here on a totally different wall. So I need to completely erase the board. Maybe I’m erasing my client base. Maybe I’m erasing all of the thing, the design of the studio or wherever you’re doing your business, the way you dress, what you do, what you drive, I mean everything about it.

Gregory Daniel: You can go off and dream about a brand level and what you want to do, a product that you want to create. And so we’ve given ourself permission to go in and erase the board and just sketch it out and go, “Hey, knowing what I know now, this is what I would love to have as a business model in the future.”

Lesa Daniel: And sometimes it’s a formal sit down. Sometimes we do this at the beginning of the year where we are up at the cabin and we’re just … a happy place for us. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your closet, wherever you can think. So we’ll be up there and we’ll sit down and we’ll say, “These are the things that happened last year and have been happening. What do we want to change? And where do we see ourselves and what is it that we want different for our lives and for our business?”

Lesa Daniel: And so then we’ll start saying, “Well, I just want, if we are retired, because Greg is never retiring, if we are retired, then how can we make more fun happen at the same time for our family or with our friends and trips, but still make this business work and viable so it serves him and me and also serves our family?” And I love what I do, but this is his passion. I’m assisting him, and I’m happy to do that, but I can’t do this till I’m 90. He can. And so that’s great. So this solves that problem for us with where we are in our life right now. But that’s how we systematically sit down and do that.

Lesa Daniel: We do that with our classes as well. When we teach a class, we sit down and say, “Let’s just erase the board. This is a safe place. What would it look like if it could look different?” And then you start digging into how do you make that work. So you first have to have a concept of what it is you want that’s different.

Allison Tyler Jones: And allowing yourself to dream.

Lesa Daniel: That’s true.

Gregory Daniel: Right. And then you can build the bridge. What’s that transition plan to get over there to this other side? But doing it one step at a time, trying to make those decisions and that dream come one step at a time, tweaking along the way, you’re not going to get there. It’s hard to pivot to get from there to there, but if you have a dream that you’ve dreamt without the anchor of the business that you’re in, your current state.

Gregory Daniel: And I was in change management for a lot at the Space Center, and we did a lot of change management activity, and had to, where we define the current state that’s where you are, and then you identify the future state, which is your dream, and then you come up with a transition plan on how I’m going to get from point A to point B. And then those steps can get you there, and you’ll always have that beacon or that guide light that gets you to that other space.

Gregory Daniel: And we did that on all these different transitions that we’ve had throughout. My brother did it with a boat … a picture of it on his refrigerator. That was his dream someday, an unbelievable dream that he made come true and that vision. And for us, one of our first transitions was going into a really, really high-end luxury brand, mixed media painting pieces that we kind of ushered into this industry, because I had a dream when I walked into an art gallery when I was a high-end wedding photographer, and we needed to make a shift, I gave myself permission to erase the board and think about what something else could be.

Gregory Daniel: And when I walked into that gallery, I went, “Oh my gosh, I could do this.” It was right when the embellished reproductions of art prints came out. And I said, “I can incorporate this and create a gallery space for me and create these beautiful portraits.” And so giving myself permission to dream, gave myself permission to see.

Allison Tyler Jones: I need everybody that’s listening to this to put down your welcome tablet, pull your car over to the side of the road and really take that in. Because so often we think, “Oh yeah, I’d like to be higher end,” or, “I’d like to quit shooting weddings and shoot portraits or whatever. I’d like to do this.” And immediately there just comes in all the noise of like, “Well, here’s why I can’t. The kids will starve, I’ll lose all my clients.” The fear, fear, fear. And what happens with that is that’s just putting more and more blinders onto where you really can’t see the other things happening.

Allison Tyler Jones: And I think, Greg, in your situation, whether it was because you had … photography was your side hustle, so to speak. I mean, you had two businesses. You were working at the Space Center, then you were also … that your whole life was not on the line if the photography thing didn’t work out.

Gregory Daniel: True.

Allison Tyler Jones: So that probably gave you a little bit of mental bandwidth to be able to be in a gallery and go, “Oh, this is really cool. I could do this.” It gave you a sense of play, right?

Gregory Daniel: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: And so for those of us who, or people that are listening to this that are maybe feeling a little bit more like everything is on the line, what would you suggest? Maybe it’s a thought exercise of how to give themselves that mental bandwidth, to give themselves that space of feeling like impending doom if I change, or open up my mind to possibilities.

Gregory Daniel: We do it with our class. This is one of the first things that we do at Texas School with our classes, is we give them permission to dream. And the permission is you don’t-

Lesa Daniel: You don’t have to do it.

Gregory Daniel: You don’t have to do it. You don’t have to change. But let’s just dream. Right? Give yourself permission. Just dream. We’re not changing anything yet. Nothing we’re doing that’s going to affect anything, but let’s just dream. What would it be? What would it look like if you could just do anything you wanted to do, create anything you wanted to create for somebody that you love to do. What would that look like? What would that thing look like? What would that thing that you could create, that you could put in a shopping cart and push out a door, what would that thing look like every single day? If you just created that one thing, what would it be? And just give yourself permission to dream, and then just take step by step by step. And eventually you end up-

Lesa Daniel: Your step by step would be like, for us, Greg wanted to learn … It happens to be this, so I’m looking over there … wanted to learn to do these paintings. So we didn’t change anything other than he started researching, he started talking to painters, he started learning about the oils, he started learning about how you put oils on. You had-

Gregory Daniel: Those were the steps.

Lesa Daniel: That’s after you made the … right.

Gregory Daniel: Right, those were the steps.

Lesa Daniel: Right. So once you say, “This is what I want,” then we still didn’t change anything.

Gregory Daniel: No.

Lesa Daniel: Still eating. So your listeners can still eat doing whatever it is they’re doing. You’re just unfortunately going to have to add a little more to your plate to learn this new thing. So then now that you’ve learned the skill, now you can start incorporating it, and phasing one in and one out. So it’s not like you dream and then a week later, “Oh my gosh, I have to do it.” And I think sometimes when you think, “Oh, I really want to be a higher end studio, well, I guess I have to do that starting next week.” No, it doesn’t work that way.

Allison Tyler Jones: It puts so much pressure.

Lesa Daniel: It does. And then you falter.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. I feel that it’s giving yourself the permission to dream. And then also in my mind, I’m a pragmatic, I love pragmatics. So it’s like, what’s the number? Just put a number to it. So for me, I was standing in a wedding December 21st, 2012, and I was like, Scarlett O’Hara in the field, like, “As God as my witness, I will never shoot another wedding again because I hate all of these people.” But I was like, “Okay, I got to go home and think about this.” And I was like, okay, 60,000 a year was what weddings we’re bringing in for me.

Allison Tyler Jones: And I was just thinking, “Okay, so can I replace that?” So it was just back of the napkin math, subtraction, addition, maybe a little bit of multiplication. What’s the worst case scenario here? For me, it was dramatic because I literally stood there and I said, “I’m never taking one more thing.” So I did want it to be like, “I’m quitting this right now, and now I just got to figure out how I’m going to make 60,000 extra dollars a year.” And that was comforting to me to be able to put a number to that because-

Gregory Daniel: We also talk about that.

Lesa Daniel: We also do that.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, we also talk about that when you create this product in your brain, this thing that you want put in a shopping cart, now decide how much would you be happy with, with that thing creating it. Let’s say it’s $5,000, then that’s what you have a price sheet with one product and you have a number and that’s it. We can start off there. You can create a business around this thing, and now you’re-

Allison Tyler Jones: Need to sell 11 of those to make up for my weddings. Yeah.

Gregory Daniel: There you go.

Lesa Daniel: That’s it.

Gregory Daniel: You can start with this one thing, this one product, this one price list with one item on it, and you can create a business. And actually now you can market it pretty easily because it’s going to be consistent time after time after time. You’re going to be giving the same message because you only do this one thing, and all of a sudden become known for this one thing that you do. And it’s not like this cornucopia of all these things that you can purchase. So we merchandise those things, but we are known for this thing.

Lesa Daniel: And that may not make sense to your listener.

Allison Tyler Jones: Oh, I need more explanation. I need some constructions on that one. Merchandise.

Lesa Daniel: We market our mixed media pieces, period. That’s what we’re known for. That’s who we are. That’s it. But do you want some for grandma and do you need a book and do you need some for your office? Yes, of course. We do some smaller ones, but we don’t market any of that.

Gregory Daniel: We have five products. We market the one.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. Yeah. So it’s like Red Lobster. You can get a hamburger at Red Lobster, but you’re never going to see hamburger in their ad.

Gregory Daniel: Right.

Lesa Daniel: That’s right. That’s right.

Gregory Daniel: But you can merchandise it. They can walk in and they can walk by it. They can see it. It’s what we call the milk. So our milk is our mixed media pieces that are significant besides-

Lesa Daniel: That you can go to the store to get. They have to go to the back corner.

Gregory Daniel: Got to go to the back to get the milk, and you’re going to pass these other things that are merchandise.

Allison Tyler Jones: Albums.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, right.

Allison Tyler Jones: What are you calling your secondary pieces or?

Lesa Daniel: Creative art.

Gregory Daniel: Creative art. It’s creative art. It’s not mixed media, but it’s creative art.

Lesa Daniel: It’s a creative art piece.

Gregory Daniel: On canvas, right.

Lesa Daniel: Yeah. And then you’ll see the floating art pieces.

Gregory Daniel: Those are for the transitional walls.

Lesa Daniel: And this will be on a transitional wall in the studio.

Allison Tyler Jones: Transitional wall. That’s the word I was looking for.

Lesa Daniel: Yeah. So that would be in the studio, that kind … yeah. So we do have those, and we do sell those, and it’s a great day when we sell every one of those.

Gregory Daniel: But they come in for the piece-

Allison Tyler Jones: The mixed media piece.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, that we design, they commission us to do. But on the way out the door in the shopping cart, they start loading it up with these other products. But with design. The sale is designed for that.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that. So how I think about that, what that sounds like in my world, is that really I sell two things. I sell wall art and I sell custom designed albums. Now the wall art comes in varied sizes and presentations, not very many. And the album comes very … it’s really just how many pages really. But of course we do holiday cards, of course we do other things.

Allison Tyler Jones: But I feel like that that makes it so easy to talk to clients about what you’re doing when it is tightly, tightly curated, and the message is tightly curated. Because then I know if I come to you and you can do a 90-foot portrait that’s got painting on it in my Florida house for five stories, pretty sure you can do an 8 by 10 for me.

Gregory Daniel: Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: I’m not worried about that. So often in our industry, we have our ladder leaning on the wall of a lot a little. Oh, you need 8×10, you need 5×7, you need wallet?

Gregory Daniel: Because we started off that way. And so what I’m talking about, when you dream like this, and you dream that this product, you know what your product’s going to be, and you know that’s what’s going to be in the shopping cart, then it’s much easier then to market it, sell it, know who you are, be able to do that, and then all the other things get priced that are relative to that piece. Because now you’re going to pivot off of that piece. And so pivoting to something small, you’re going to have to have more value to it because it’s worth more because it’s relative to this other big piece that you started with. Instead of pivoting from an 8×10 on a price list, my 8x10s are this cost from pivoting from that to try to get to a big piece, it’s hard.

Allison Tyler Jones: Really hard.

Gregory Daniel: If you start at the main course, the big piece, then you can pivot from there. Then that makes sense.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, and the genius of that, I think, is that as you’re painting your own dream, I’m painting the dream for the client’s dream, because my dream is what I want my clients, what I really want them to have. I don’t want you to have a bunch of 8x10s and 5x7s in a dusty box under your bed that you never did anything, with or in a bunch of little frames on top of your piano. That’s not what I’m best for. If you want me, let’s do something amazing and big of your family that holds the entire wall, that anchors the entire space. But people don’t even know that’s possible unless we paint the dream.

Gregory Daniel: The built-in marketing piece for every party that they throw.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Right.

Lesa Daniel: If it’s an empty box under the bed, you get no marketing out of it. If it’s a beautiful wall, everybody wants one.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right, but the client gets nothing out of it either.

Gregory Daniel: True.

Allison Tyler Jones: They’ve had to dress their kids, drag them down, borderline divorce of their husband, and then it’s underneath their bed reminding them of how horrible it was. No. And then he doesn’t want to do it again because they didn’t ever do anything with it the last time. And so this way, it’s the value for the client. It is about our dream, but it’s how our dream of what we love and what makes us happy and lights us up, how that brings value to the client’s life.

Lesa Daniel: That’s very true. That’s very true. That’s very well said.

Gregory Daniel: Yes.

Lesa Daniel: Very well said.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, I think your website, your Instagram feed, is a perfect example of how it is. You kind of really show two things really well. You definitely show the artists the back-lit pictures of Gregory embellishing, and him with his gloves and walking in with his little sport coat up to their house. So very much the artist, but then also what that’s translating into for the client, because the clients don’t really care about us. I mean, they want to know that the person that’s doing it knows what they’re doing, but in the end, they just want what they want for themselves. But unless we have the vision and can paint that for them, they’re going to be stuck in 8×10, 5×7 land, because that’s how the whole industry has trained them.

Lesa Daniel: That’s right. That’s exactly right.

Gregory Daniel: Yes. Our brand is a status brand. So it’s a FOMO brand. It’s a fear of missing out because my neighbor has one, and it’s a decor brand. So it’s their home decor, it’s FOMO, it’s status, and it’s artistry. So those are the things that we-

Lesa Daniel: And those are the words that we use when we think about our marketing too, that we specifically do that. I mean, we could put all kinds of things on there, but how can we show some more artistry? How can we show some more status? How can we show that, “Golly, I wish I had one of those.” So those were our words that we focus on.

Allison Tyler Jones: So I want to go back to that. So status, artistry. So these are kind of your pillars of your marketing, right?

Gregory Daniel: Yes, correct.

Allison Tyler Jones: Status, artistry, FOMO, fear of missing out-

Gregory Daniel: Right, which is-

Allison Tyler Jones: D├ęcor.

Lesa Daniel: Which is part of status.

Gregory Daniel: And the status is the FOMO and the status. Your brand, deciding what your brand is going to be, what it’s about, our brand circles around the status. We’re basically selling status, and they’re in the most beautiful homes. That all kind of goes around with it. But the centerpiece basically is status.

Allison Tyler Jones: If you’re a portrait photographer, you know the next few months are going to be crazy. This is our busy season, and how to make the most of that busy season is to make sure that our client communication is in order, that we are not having clients showing up with the wrong clothing, that we are not having clients shocked in our sales appointments by our pricing and needing to go home and measure, going home and asking their husband, and then sales burning down and our clients not getting what they need and we not being able to build a sustainable business.

Allison Tyler Jones: So how are we going to make sure that this season is the most successful that it possibly can be? Well, it starts by getting on the same page with your clients so that nothing is left to chance. And how I’ve done this is that I’ve spent the last 13 years revising my own internal consultation form, which by the way, you can download the consultation form that I use in my business absolutely free.

Allison Tyler Jones: But I realized after tweaking that form for about 13 years, that I needed something more. And it wasn’t just a pretty brochure, and it wasn’t a price list with no context, because we all know you can send a price list to somebody, and they’re still shocked by the price because they never looked at it, or they have no idea what those prices even mean. It’s happened to all of us.

Allison Tyler Jones: What I realized is I needed a single printed piece for my client to take away with them that would leave nothing to chance, and that it would allow me to educate my clients about the price range of my products. It would help them to understand what we would and wouldn’t be shooting for during their portrait session, like actually creating a game plan for what is it that we’re actually going to be shooting for, and let’s prioritize that.

Allison Tyler Jones: And then also something that would allow the clients to feel confident about selecting the clothing for their session and a printed piece that would allow them to share with their spouse and be able to put together the game plan for their session. So I needed it to be part brochure, part getting ready guide, part last minute checklist, and part consultation form, because my consultation form was internal. I was keeping that form, but I wanted this printed piece to go with my clients, and I wanted it to be sexy and good looking, and that they felt completely and totally cared for. So I wanted all of this in a single booklet that the client would take with them at the end of their consultation.

Allison Tyler Jones: Now, I’ve been using this. I created it about five years ago. It’s called the ATJ Game Plan booklet, and I started off by using it in my studio, and I’ve been revising it for the last five years. And now for the first time ever, I’m offering it to the ReWork community to use in your portrait studio. So what’s included in that. In this course, it’s a little mini course, not a big long course, there’s a video lesson with me on how to use the game plan booklet in your consultation.

Allison Tyler Jones: You will also have a video recording of an actual client consultation with me in it, and a client using the booklet in real time. And then you’ll have layered PSD files of the game plan booklet that we use in our studio every day, as well as a PDF version of the latest and greatest ATJ consultation form. So all of that is included for just a one-time payment of 295. Just 295 to completely change the way that you interact with your clients, the information that they have, how taken care of they feel, by making things transparent to them, putting together the game plan for the session so that everybody’s on the same page.

Allison Tyler Jones: We all know what we’re shooting for, we know how much it’s going to cost. They know what to wear. Everybody’s on the same page. This is the document. This is the booklet that has changed my business, and I want you to have it too, if it works for you. So go to That’s and download that booklet and start using it in your business this busy season. I know that the game plan booklet will be a game changer for your business.

Allison Tyler Jones: Would you say you started there when you started to make this change, when you started building the bridge from where you were?

Gregory Daniel: Yes. That whole piece was personalized art for your beautiful home, which in a gallery it also revolves around status. I mean, that’s the kind of client that would purchase these pieces in a gallery from a known artist. All of that was all the vision, and the pickup card actually from was my brother’s boat for me. The pickup card from that gallery was over top of my computer for 20 years as I was heading towards that target. And so everything that we did, all the decisions that we made, all the changes that we put into play, were all towards that target of creating a brand, a gallery, a space, a vision to communicate. This is the products, all of it.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s your filter.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: And so then I’m sure things came along. You go to imaging or whatever and you see something new that you could bring into your studio, and it probably helps make the decision making on new product much easier.

Lesa Daniel: Oh, much easier. It’s like, “Oh yeah, that’s really cool. That won’t work for us.”

Allison Tyler Jones: We’re not doing purses.

Lesa Daniel: Right. But that’s really cool and that would work for us. So it does make that decision making. I can go through a trade show pretty quickly and, “Yes, no, yes. Whoa, what is that?” Something. So it’s very freeing when you really know who you are.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah. I mean, we even had a decision model that I drew up.

Lesa Daniel: This is Greg’s mind.

Allison Tyler Jones: Lesa’s eyes are rolling. I just want to say for the record that Lesa is rolling her eyes.

Lesa Daniel: A change management-

Gregory Daniel: Decision model.

Lesa Daniel: … decision model that could be very easily used at the Space Center. Rocket scientists think this way.

Gregory Daniel: It had to do with brand. Is this thing that I’m looking at, do I have to purchase it to support the brand? I mean, do I have to do this for the brand? Then it’s worth it. I have to invest in it. If it doesn’t support the brand, then you go through a different decision tree. Maybe it’s more efficient. Is it a time thing where it becomes more efficient? Well, if it’s not, then I have to go to another gate to make the decision. If it does save me time, then maybe that’s something I need to invest in for time saving, just decisions like that.

Gregory Daniel: Once you decide those, “That’s how I’m going to make these decisions,” when you’re walking through a trade show, all of a sudden things become very clear, very easily, and you can walk right past items because you can make these decisions really fast, like, “This doesn’t have anything to do with my vision, my brand, and where I’m headed,” or, “I have to have this because it’s going to support my brand.”

Allison Tyler Jones: And because you allowed yourself that time to dream and have that vision in your head, even though I feel like sometimes when people hear this and they’re thinking about making change, they feel like the change has to be fully formed.

Gregory Daniel: No, no, not at all.

Allison Tyler Jones: I think it can be a mirage in the distance and it just gives you a direction, and then it becomes more clear the closer you move toward it.

Gregory Daniel: You’re right, the whole vision started with the pickup card, because I had this dream and this vision of what that could look like in my mind. And so having that in front of me every day kept me back in line. It kind of triggered my brain, “Don’t stop thinking about that. Don’t stop-”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. You know you love that. So keep staying with that.”

Gregory Daniel: You know you love that. Right. So it kept me on track. It took me years to create this brand. I mean years.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah, it makes me think about … you’ve read Mike Michalowicz’ The Pumpkin Plan?

Gregory Daniel: Yes. Yes.

Lesa Daniel: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: So he talks about this change management decision cycle that you were talking about earlier. It makes me think of … there’s one part of that book that he talks about when you go to make change in your business, you need to run it through three things. So see if this fits your decision cycle. He said, “Does it preserve your unique advantage? What makes you special, your X factor? Does it serve your best clients? And then does it serve the bottom line?”

Allison Tyler Jones: And I think there’s an efficiency thing there too. I think it might’ve been four. There were only three that I could remember, but so often I found myself thinking like when I was doing … I wanted to stop doing custom holiday cards because they were so hard. And so I was thinking, “Okay, well if I just do templated ones, that’ll be more profitable. It’ll be more efficient.” But it cratered my unique advantage and it didn’t serve my best clients.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah. So what you’re talking about is what I would say to make sure … and the decision models run through priorities, right? So you go through one decision. And so those right there, there’s got to be some sort of priority with it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Waiting.

Gregory Daniel: With me it was the brand. It was the brand. It had to go through that gate first, and then it would go to the cost gate, and then it would go through maybe the time gate. It would go through these different gates. So when you make the decisions, it’s not like it has to be for all of them. It doesn’t have to clear all of them, but it’s got to clear them in that order. Because if it doesn’t meet the brand, uh-uh, we got to stop. We’re done. It goes to the, “No, I can’t.” Right?

Allison Tyler Jones: Because that’s your identity.

Gregory Daniel: Right.

Allison Tyler Jones: Basically you’re out of integrity at that point.

Gregory Daniel: Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Gregory Daniel: This big thing, this big huge printer, I’m going to love doing it. It’s going to save me so much time or it’s going to save me so much money or something like that. It’s like, “No, you don’t have to have that.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Gregory Daniel: I have one, by the way, but I mean, it’s just an item. It might not meet your brand or what your brand is for or what you need it for, right?

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Or it might be like, “Oh, we could get this printed. We could outsource this and get this printed by this cheaper lab or whatever. And it’s more efficient and it’s going to be more profitable for us, but the quality is not good and they can’t deliver on time,” or whatever. Your out of brand. So brand is the key.

Gregory Daniel: Brand is definitely the first gate.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. So that would probably fall under that, in my mind, is that the unique advantage. The thing, the brand is so closely tied with your photographic style, with how you do business, with who you are, how you want to deliver your service, what you think your clients need, your expertise, that’s all wrapped up in a little ball that then you just filter everything through.

Gregory Daniel: Right. Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: And as we’re always looking ahead, that’s always a little bit of a mirage in the distance. That’s the future … what did you call it, your future?

Gregory Daniel: Future state.

Allison Tyler Jones: Future state.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah. Current state and then future state.

Allison Tyler Jones: Current state, future state. Yeah. And it’s always been intimidating to me. I’ve gone to classes where sometimes I’m like, “All right, you need to have your five-year plan. What are you going to do in five years?” I’m like, “I don’t know what I’m going to do in five minutes.” And I don’t like to be locked in, but to me, I have seen the power of having a direction.

Allison Tyler Jones: What would you call it? I think it is just a future state. This is how this feels to me. Kim Wiley, when they were making huge changes in their business, she said … she put her hand on her … I’m putting my hand on my chest, on my heart kind of by my neck sternum right here. And she would say, “Okay, this next year, how would I feel if I shot X number of sessions?” And she would just kind of close her eyes and she would feel, “Yeah, no, that’s still too much. And then how can I do less?”

Allison Tyler Jones: And for her, that was a way of sifting through. And then she realized, “Okay, why does that feel bad at that much volume? Well, because I can’t spend the time that I want to spend. And for my brand, for my clients to get the attention that they need.” So it does all filter through.

Lesa Daniel: It does. You’re right.

Gregory Daniel: And just to circle back around, is so important, this brand, when we talk about designing something, brand really comes first.

Allison Tyler Jones: Agreed.

Gregory Daniel: So what brand wall are you on? And then what brand wall are you going to put on? Then you can create a product on top of that brand. But most folks, it seems like that I talk to, they don’t take brand into that much consideration. And brand, it becomes easy when you look outside of our industry because everything that I look at is from outside the industry. And I want to model after what these big, huge brand corporations spend billions of dollars creating, and creating in the minds of our clients so I don’t have to push up a rope. I don’t have to push a rope up a hill. They’ve already done this.

Gregory Daniel: And so all I have to do is pick which brand I want to be and what brand lane I want to be in, and I can go find many examples within that branding, whatever brand it is you want to be, whatever level you want to be. McDonald’s, Olive Garden, fine French restaurant, whatever you want to be, there are plenty of brands out there. And then you can build products on top of that brand. But it’s hard to create a product and not really think about the brand level you’re going to be at.

Gregory Daniel: Because when you start off with photography, there’s that dirty secret thing again. In our industry, we don’t start off with, “Geez, I wonder what kind of brand I want to be and then I’m going to start photography.” It doesn’t typically work that way. So our lab is on a happening brand wall, right?

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. What is that? I mean, you’ve been president of PPA. You’ve been so involved in the industry for so many years. What wall are they putting the ladder on? What are the big mistakes that you see very common?

Gregory Daniel: I think they typically put it on their own experience growing up, whoever they are and how they identify themselves as a consumer wall.

Allison Tyler Jones: A consumer of how they experience photography or portraits or whatever.

Gregory Daniel: Or just brand, whatever their particular brand is that they want to be or that they are.

Lesa Daniel: What do you mean want to be? You mean are.

Gregory Daniel: Well, that they are. That they currently are.

Lesa Daniel: You started in this business, and I am a-

Gregory Daniel: Well, if I was a Kennedy, I probably would have a luxury brand. I grew up that way. I am exposed that way.

Lesa Daniel: That’s all you know.

Gregory Daniel: That’s all I know. If I was raised in a yacht club, I would be that brand kind of level.

Lesa Daniel: But if you’re not raised that way-

Gregory Daniel: Then you might be a commodity or maybe whatever. You might just be a commodity brand because that’s-

Lesa Daniel: Right. That’s all you know.

Gregory Daniel: … what you are. Right?

Lesa Daniel: It’s what you know.

Gregory Daniel: Maybe I just frequent Target and I look at that brand level and that’s what brand I’m going to create because that’s what I experienced. I see a lot of that. But that’s because it’s not intentionally decided. And so if you don’t intentionally decide the brand of business you’re going to have, then you’re going to just fall into what you are used to, what you grew up around, what you’re surrounding, right?

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. I see a lot of ladders against what other people are doing. What’s everybody else doing? Oh, they’re selling X number of files for X number of dollars. That’s the ladder. We’re going to put that against that house.

Gregory Daniel: I think it’s just a non-recognition of the brand. It’s not taken into consideration. Even when you’re looking around, you’re just looking at products and product pricing, but you’re not considering the brand level you’re at. Right?

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. And you still have a brand even if you’re unaware-

Gregory Daniel: Exactly. Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: … you have a brand. It might suck. It might not be the one you would like. It might not be good. It might be super confusing, but you have one.

Gregory Daniel: Of course.

Lesa Daniel: That’s true.

Gregory Daniel: Absolutely.

Allison Tyler Jones: So choose it intentionally.

Lesa Daniel: Choose it.

Gregory Daniel: Right.

Lesa Daniel: Choose it.

Gregory Daniel: Sometime in this industry, I think we just give yourself permission to stop and start over again with the brand in mind first and then go from there, because most of the folks that I talked to, they’ve never stopped long enough to identify what kind of brand they want to be and what could that look like and how can I build that?

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. I would love to do that exercise. And Lesa, I want you to weigh in on this, because I feel like it’s very common when photographers come to classes and they hear certain people talk or whatever, and they think, “Okay, so now I need to be Gregory Daniel. I need to do mixed media pieces, paint.” You know what I’m talking about.

Lesa Daniel: I know exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: Or I need to be Tim Walden or whatever. And so erasing the board, what are some ways that you have seen photographers out there that are doing exciting cool things that are not what you’re doing, but still have really cool brands? I know you don’t have to name anybody, but is there anything that anybody that’s doing cool things that are not exactly what you’re doing?

Lesa Daniel: Well, we do have a friend who is making a pivot, and her particular pieces look fabulous on metal. And so we were talking with her that you need to be this fabulous photographic metal artist, and she lives in an area where she can pull that off. So that needs to be your brand. And she went, “Oh, I never even thought of that.” So something-

Gregory Daniel: Like a thought went from just creating new displays from these huge 40 inches, and I’m like, “No, no, these things need to be eight feet. You need to at least have an eight foot one when they walk through this front door.”

Lesa Daniel: Big, giant metal pieces.

Gregory Daniel: They had massive frame around it and just in your face, bam, when you walk in this gallery, and think in those terms instead of-

Lesa Daniel: And she went, “Oh.” And she could pivot that particular one on a dime, because her work’s already there. It’s just a different display and her-

Gregory Daniel: And her brand is on the right level.

Lesa Daniel: Her brand is on that, and so she could change on a dime. So that one is a really cool, easy thing. Maybe it’s all acrylic if you’re doing a lot of modern homes and that kind of thing.

Gregory Daniel: That would stand out, and she is standing out. It’s big, really cool.

Lesa Daniel: Can you think of another one?

Allison Tyler Jones: So it’s just re-envisioning, looking at your work … kind of almost when you’re erasing the board, you’re not erasing you, you’re not erasing your talent.

Gregory Daniel: Hey, no.

Allison Tyler Jones: You’re pulling back and say, “Okay, if the photographic industry did not exist, if there was no such thing as an 8×10, labs all burned down tomorrow, sorry, labs. We don’t wish-

Gregory Daniel: Or a standardized size.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah, if that was not in the cards, what do I love? What do I continually gravitate toward? What has been on my Pinterest board for the last 10 years? Or what have I pulled out of magazines? Because we all do it. What has been my sketchbook? When I travel what do I love? And go there and dream and scheme. Yeah.

Lesa Daniel: Maybe it’s the art sketches that can be done from a photograph. Maybe you love that and maybe that’s something that you want to pivot on and start marketing that and make yourself different that way. It could be anything. It could be the actual piece. It could be the size of the pieces. It could be the presentation of the piece. It could be so many different things.

Allison Tyler Jones: Things we’ve never even thought of, have never even been considered.

Lesa Daniel: We know someone who is taking her pieces, she’s adding depth to them with some sort of medium, I don’t even know how to describe it. She’s just making them from two dimension to three dimension, and then she’s cutting them and making them mobiles or mobiles. I don’t know how you say that word, but it’s a sculpture of her piece.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, she starts, yeah.

Lesa Daniel: And that’s what she’s doing.

Gregory Daniel: Phenomenal.

Allison Tyler Jones: So cool.

Gregory Daniel: From Mexico City.

Lesa Daniel: Yes. So you could do something totally different, whatever. If you’ve gone into a gallery and you see something and you go, “I just love this. How can I incorporate this into what I do?” And we do that often, but I think that’s-

Gregory Daniel: I strongly suggest you were talking about everybody just looks around next to them within our industry. Go out. That’s what we did. We walked out of the industry, we went into the art world and just looked and dreamed.

Lesa Daniel: This is kind of a silly example, but sometimes you kind of go, “Oh, I just don’t want to get dressed up today. I’ve got clients who I just don’t care.” And Greg will say, “So if you’re walking into Tiffany’s, would the girl behind the counter be like, ‘I didn’t want to get dressed up today. I really didn’t care.’ No, she would be fired. So she’s going to wear a pretty little black whatever she wears. So just think about that.” I’m like, “Yep. So I’m getting dressed today and I do care.”

Lesa Daniel: So pick some industry that you can throw at yourself once in a while because we all go through it. It’s just like, “Oh, I just don’t want to do it.” But we’ll do that at each other often. Or we’re trying to figure out a new product. Well, Tiffany’s is known for their big engagement rings, but do they sell-

Gregory Daniel: Charm bracelets?

Lesa Daniel: … charm bracelets? Sure they do.

Gregory Daniel: But you have to walk to the back gate.

Lesa Daniel: Yeah. But you have to go buy the pretty big diamond rings first.

Gregory Daniel: Merchandise.

Lesa Daniel: So we try to think in terms of how can we apply some of the things that they’ve used for how many decades? We use that in our business.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s like the key chain. You can buy a Hermes Kelly bag for $50,000. You could get a key chain for maybe a couple hundred, a few hundred. But you still have a piece of that brand.

Gregory Daniel: Right.

Lesa Daniel: That’s right. That’s right.

Gregory Daniel: Style and status.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yep. I love it. So many good things here. So it’s summer. This podcast episode will probably be releasing early fall, maybe end of the summer. And we’re kind of heading into portrait busy season. What would be your advice if somebody is wanting to make a change, don’t really know exactly where to start, and your change management decision cycle … where would you have them start? What would be the first step in your mind?

Gregory Daniel: The first step would be to get away and dream. Okay? Give yourself permission to get away. We call it get off the grid. Get off the grid-

Lesa Daniel: Go to a coffee shop. Just do something.

Gregory Daniel: Just get away. Give yourself time and permission to dream, and to dream about something that could be just totally different, and dream about the brand level that you would like to be. And that would be the first step.

Lesa Daniel: And write it down.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, write it down.

Lesa Daniel: You must write it down.

Gregory Daniel: And then the next step would be really, really dream about what you would love to just do, even if you didn’t have to do it, right. What would you love to do every single day? I come in every day whether I’m supposed to or not to play and enjoy what I do. I love what I do. I mean, it’s ridiculous how much I enjoy doing what I do. And because I love to create, I would create a-

Lesa Daniel: So what would that be for you?

Gregory Daniel: What would that be for you? What would it be, if you could create something, whatever you did, whenever you sat down to create-

Lesa Daniel: You would be happy.

Gregory Daniel: … you would be so happy and fulfilled that you created that thing.

Allison Tyler Jones: You think that’s a good place too when you think about … that tells you what you don’t want to be doing. Right?

Gregory Daniel: Right.

Allison Tyler Jones: Sometimes maybe we don’t even know what we like, because we’re so busy doing so many things that we hate. And so it’s like, “Okay, what do I hate?” I find, I don’t know why, this must say something about my personality, it’s easier for me to make decisions coming from the negative like, okay, I don’t ever want to open Quicken or QuickBooks.

Gregory Daniel: We don’t either.

Allison Tyler Jones: I do not ever want to fill out a tax submittal form.

Lesa Daniel: I don’t either.

Gregory Daniel: That’s Pat.

Lesa Daniel: Yes, we have somebody that does it. Because I know where my skills are and where they aren’t.

Allison Tyler Jones: I never want to retouch anything as long as I live ever again. But I love being with clients’ kids. I love shooting. I love being in the sales room chatting, dreaming up ideas. That’s really, being with clients. That’s where I want to be.

Lesa Daniel: And then that’s how you’ve made your business.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. But I think when we wear all the hats and we’re so beaten down by wearing all the hats, we can’t even get out from under it. We just think that that’s the way that it always has to be. And really it’s our business. Have you ever been so busy and so crazy in your business and you’re like, “Life is so hard. This is so crazy.” And then you think, “Who made all these appointments? Who exactly is there to blame?” It’s me. So we can change it. And you guys now, let’s just wrap up with that. Now you are getting ready to do a change management cycle-

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, this year.

Allison Tyler Jones: … decision cycle. Because now we have, you and I both, we all have these gorgeous grandkids, and we want more time with them. And so how are we still going to do the things that we love that pay the bills and support our dreams, and how are we going to go live those dreams? So what are you doing about that?

Lesa Daniel: What we have done is we’ve blocked off certain times. I mean, it’s really no different than if you want to block off for a vacation. It is really no different.

Gregory Daniel: We gave it a name, which helped.

Lesa Daniel: Yes. And we gave ourselves permission to do that, because we are … work ethic has always been very important to both of us. And so I always thought that if you’re supposed to be there at this time to this time, you were there from this time to this time, and you give it your all. I mean, that’s just how I was raised. That’s just who I am, and that’s the way you’ve been too. And so we’ve called it hibernation instead of vacation, because vacation sounds very-

Allison Tyler Jones: Indulgent.

Lesa Daniel: It does. It does. That’s the exact right word. But hibernation is what we’re calling it. So we will mark off, we’ll be gone for these two weeks from the studio. The phone from the studio is forwarded to me, to myself, so our clients do not know. I have access to emails, I have access to texting if they want to know something. I don’t initiate anything, but I can respond. So they are not at a loss because I don’t want to do that.

Lesa Daniel: Pat who works with us, we are very, very fortunate that she is at a stage in her life where she just wants to work when there’s work to be done. She doesn’t need to be here just to manage the studio and to keep the doors open. So when we’re gone, she may come in a day or two if she has work to do, she may not. Just depending on what she has going on as well.

Gregory Daniel: And then all the deliveries are directed-

Lesa Daniel: Are coming to our home.

Gregory Daniel: … to our home.

Lesa Daniel: Where if we are out of town, our kids can put them inside our house as opposed to leaving. So we just made some changes as far as the logistics. And then when we come back, we are extremely efficient, and we know how to be efficient because Greg, many years ago, worked two full-time jobs. So we don’t do it. We just got lazy. And so now we just stack people and it’s really no different than the busy time of year where you are very efficient and stack people. It’s the same thing.

Gregory Daniel: What we did really was, to summarize what she just talked about, was that from a process standpoint, at the beginning of the year, we were up at the cabin and we did this. We said, “First off, we want to be able to spend more time, taking segments of time, going places and have the freedom and feel like we can do that, and spend more time with our kids and our grandkids and that sort of thing.” So we wanted to do it in blocks of times and not … our other priority on this was to not change the amount of income, not change.

Gregory Daniel: We were perfectly happy with the amount of clients that we have and our targets and all of that. But I said, “I think we could probably compress these and do the same in the same amount … just do them in blocks.” And the thing was that I think one of the things was that we have a gallery and a studio in two different locations. We call them different gallery studio, but the front door had hours like Monday through … Tuesday through Friday.

Lesa Daniel: Scraped that off.

Gregory Daniel: Erase that off.

Allison Tyler Jones: Take that off. By appointment only.

Gregory Daniel: That was like you had to be there. Well, we had to have somebody here to answer the phone and take the orders and things. It was like, “No, no, no, no. Scrape that off. Now we can go erase the board. Go think about what would that look like and let’s give it a name.” And we did the hibernation thing and we called it hibernation. And then all the things you just talked about were the things that we had to figure out how to get the hibernation to work.

Gregory Daniel: So first we dreamt about being able to hibernate and how many times and what that might look like at the end. But then we had to do all of the things that you just mentioned. We had to write, “Well, what about this? What about that? What about this? We make this happen. Well, how about the FedEx guy? Where’s he going to go?” But all those things you have to write down and figure out how to get there from here.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s called mitigate the downside.

Gregory Daniel: Right.

Lesa Daniel: That’s it. That’s it. And one thing we also did, if someone is in our stage of life wanting to do this, we looked at our slow times, and those are some of the times that we planned some of the hibernation. So why shoot yourself in the foot? You don’t want to be hibernating in November. Let’s hibernate other times.

Allison Tyler Jones: Work with the flow of business.

Gregory Daniel: Right. You’re just pushing things out. And what Lesa does is she puts airplanes on the runway for me. She puts them on the runway. When we take them off is up to us. You can do runway. You put planes on runways-

Lesa Daniel: I like you to call clients and say, “Let’s get you in. You haven’t been here for how many years or whatever.” Well, I don’t do that right now. I will do that getting ready for putting them on October, November, December, or whenever I’m going to be here, that’s when I put those planes on the runway. So it’s not a happening.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. I love it. I love that. Well, and you said another thing that made me think. When you go to a restaurant, there’s a perfect amount of busy to have a restaurant. They’ve got tables and it’s kind of hustling and bustling and going, the food comes out hot and it’s just like they’re in their groove. I feel like that’s how we are in the busy season. We’re just in the groove.

Allison Tyler Jones: And then when we’re in a slower season and it’s like one shoot in a week, or it’s like things can fall through the cracks because we’re not in our game. So what you’re actually doing is you’re going to this hibernation where you can be fully present with your grandkids and your family and really be off and enjoying your time, and then compressing everything into these false “busy seasons” to where you can percolate at peak efficiency. It’s genius.

Gregory Daniel: It seems like it at this point it’s working really well.

Lesa Daniel: So far so good. So far so good.

Gregory Daniel: We’ll let you know next January. But so far it’s been good. It really is.

Allison Tyler Jones: I think to your point about this work ethic, we also are in this industrial problem. I don’t know if you went to public school. I went to public school, Monday through Friday, this 8:00 to 3:00, and then you go and you work for a 9:00 to 5:00 job, and it’s like, “Why are we running our own businesses? If we just want to do that, we don’t need to work 9:00 to 5:00 if it’s not-”

Gregory Daniel: Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: We don’t need to do that, but we have this somehow we’re not … we’re being lazy or whatever. So I love the idea of … and then I don’t know what you’re doing. This is probably getting a little bit into the weeds, but for me being able to do what you’re doing, how we’ve created that to either do vacations or whatever, is we just do everything on the calendar and say, “Okay, this is where we’re shooting. This is where we’re going to view them.” And basically just color code that on a calendar so that we know when we can schedule that stuff and when we’re going to be off. Rather than just letting these onesie, twosie little appointments just bleed into your life.

Gregory Daniel: Yeah, yeah, that’s exactly what we did. No, that’s exactly what we did.

Lesa Daniel: No, that’ll drive you crazy. Yeah, the onesie, twosies-

Gregory Daniel: We block-

Lesa Daniel: You can’t do it.

Gregory Daniel: We sat down and did the blocking at the beginning.

Lesa Daniel: Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that.

Gregory Daniel: If it works. We might have to adjust next year, but at this point it’s all working.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Well, and with you in your hibernating, I mean, sometimes you are traveling, but many times you’re probably just at the park with your grandkids.

Gregory Daniel: Absolutely.

Lesa Daniel: That’s right.

Allison Tyler Jones: So if a Kennedy flies into Florida and needs a session, you can do it. If it’s worth it-

Lesa Daniel: We can do it.

Gregory Daniel: We can figure out.

Lesa Daniel: Yeah, we could probably makes that work.

Allison Tyler Jones: You could put that plane on the runway and then we’ll have that plane take off in a month or two once we’re back from hibernation. But we can put the plane on the runway.

Gregory Daniel: Exactly.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. We can shoot it. Yeah.

Lesa Daniel: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so you can make real time calls, but you need to have a plan.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s just funny how we put ourselves. We find ourselves in a box only to realize that we put ourselves there and that we can just get that box cutter and get right out. How many metaphors have we had today? We’ve had box cutters, we’ve had planes. Pretty soon Greg’s going to start talking about the Swiss cheese effect, and then we’re just going to have to-

Gregory Daniel: That’s right.

Lesa Daniel: He’s the metaphor king.

Allison Tyler Jones: I know. Well, this is why we’re friends. I understand his metaphor. His metaphors speak to my metaphors. Yes. We have a metaphor sandwich going. Well, I appreciate you taking the time. Your insights and perspectives are so valuable, and I think speak to whether people are wanting to create a high-end brand, a middle-end brand, just a brand. Be intentional.

Gregory Daniel: Intentional brand.

Lesa Daniel: Exactly. Intentional. That’s the key.

Gregory Daniel: Absolutely.

Lesa Daniel: Be intentional.

Gregory Daniel: Brands and products. Be intentional.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love it. You’re the best. Thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate you so much.

Lesa Daniel: You’re welcome.

Gregory Daniel: Take care.

Lesa Daniel: Thank you.

Gregory Daniel: Thanks for having us.

Recorded: You can find more great resources from Allison at, and on Instagram at do.the.rework.


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