Creating or Expanding Your Team

Guest: Lesa Daniel &
Pat Chivers

Co-Owner & Studio Manager | Gregory Daniel Portraits
Titusville, Florida

DATE: March 28, 2024

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This episode is a special treat as we sit down with Lesa Daniel from Gregory Daniel Portraits and their legendary studio manager, Pat Chivers. If you’ve ever heard Lesa or Gregory’s discussions, you’ve undoubtedly heard tales of Pat’s indispensable role in their studio’s success.

In our conversation with Lesa and Pat, we explore the intricacies of studio management and team dynamics, and how Gregory Daniel Portraits thrives with a small-but-mighty team. From the luxurious client experience they cultivate to the behind-the-scenes magic orchestrated by Pat, you’ll learn how they seamlessly divide duties and leverage each other’s strengths. 

You may be a solopreneur considering your first employee or a seasoned business owner looking to expand or make changes. Regardless of your situation, I’m convinced that every team needs a person like Pat.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What qualities to look for in a new employee
  • Why hiring a team member is valuable
  • What NOT to do when hiring an employee
  • The surprising places you might find the perfect person

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [3:31] – Gregory Daniel Portraits is a luxury studio that focuses on spoiling their clients.
  • [4:45] – This team of three splits up duties and Lesa describes the role they each play.
  • [8:01] – Pat describes what she does for the studio in the background as the “air traffic controller.”
  • [9:35] – The duties are split by strengths and interests. They all rely on each other.
  • [11:43] – They don’t micromanage each other. They are all trusted in their roles and duties.
  • [14:29] – When everybody owns their job and they are proficient at what they do, they trust each other.
  • [18:17] – Taxes can be outsourced, but Pat is also in charge of managing that for the business as well.
  • [19:52] – Write out duties if you need clarity or if you are just starting out.
  • [20:39] – Separate yourself from the people you are hiring. You don’t want them to be exactly like you.
  • [22:37] – Don’t dismiss the people who love the things you don’t like to do. Value their strengths and accept that you need someone who can do the things you can’t.
  • [25:02] – Lesa and Pat discuss mistakes people make when hiring new employees.
  • [26:58] – Lesa highly recommends doing a quick weekly meeting with team members to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • [29:17] – Always say thank you to your employees as they leave.
  • [30:28] – Pat has very little client contact. She explains some of the tasks she does for the business.
  • [32:44] – Pat is bringing all of her experiences in the world to her job and to her employers as ways to improve the business.
  • [35:15] – “I have people for that.”
  • [37:19] – Lesa describes how she interacts with different types of clients and what she handles in her role at the studio.
  • [38:49] – It is important for every photographer to know that they are not going to be the right person for every client.
  • [41:22] – Lesa and Gregory have been in business for 44 years and really know what they each do well in the team.
  • [44:09] – Don’t pigeonhole yourself into thinking you need a full time employee. You might need somebody to work a few hours a week on tasks you are not good at.
  • [46:49] – Word of mouth and referrals are great. The people you are looking for could be a friend of someone you know.
  • [49:19] – Allison has had many employees and would rather have somebody who is a go-getter over someone she has to micromanage.
  • [53:01] – Have a trial period for new hires to make sure it is a good fit for you and the team member.

Links and Resources:
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All In by Mike Michalowicz

Lesa Daniel and Pat Chivers
Gregory Daniel Portraits Website

Do The ReWork
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Allison Tyler Jones
Website | Instagram | LinkedIn