210 - She took a long road to becoming a professional photographer: Tom interviews Erika Hatfield - Screw The Commute

210 – She took a long road to becoming a professional photographer: Tom interviews Erika Hatfield

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Erika Hatfield has worked as a professional photographer for over 12 years, after completing her master's degree in education and finding out working in a school was not a good fit for her. She started a second business called Next Level Photo Education. She develops courses for kids and adults, and mentors aspiring professional photographers.

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 210

How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars

[03:43] Tom's introduction to Erika Hatfield

[06:38] Photography mentorship program

[13:29] A wild non-entrepreneurial kid working various jobs

[16:10] Life in the Army as a medic

[20:54] Transitioning to her own business

[27:16] Marketing her photography

[29:37] Sponsor message

[31:38] A typical day for Erika and how she stays motivated

[34:49] Parting thoughts for us Screwballs

Entrepreneurial Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Higher Education Webinarhttps://screwthecommute.com/webinars

Screw The Commutehttps://screwthecommute.com/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

Screw The Commute Podcast Apphttps://screwthecommute.com/app/

Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – orders@antion.com

Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there!https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel

How To Automate Your Businesshttps://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/

Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Programhttps://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/

Erika's websitehttps://erikahatfield.com/

Next Level Photo Educationhttps://nextlevelphotoedu.com/

Hatfield Photoshttps://hatfieldphotos.com/

Erica on LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/erikahatfield/

Free PDF 10 Things Successful Photographers Dohttps://bit.ly/2pBiTQG

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Related Episodes

Lee Mosler – https://screwthecommute.com/209/

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entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

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Episode 210 – Erika Hatfield
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey, everybody, it's Tom here with Episode Two Hundred and Ten of screw the Commute podcast. We're here with Army veteran Erika Hatfield. And if you saw her, you would think she's not even old enough to be in grade school, let alone be in the army of veteran. She's got that anti-aging people that all the older women envy. So we'll bring her on in a minute. Tell you about her cool business Episode 209 was also a veteran, Lee Mosler. He's a veteran that's built a lifestyle business so he can homeschool his son. Very inspiring episode. Now check out our podcast app in the app store. You can do all kinds of cool stuff with it. And we have complete instructions on how to use it at screwthecommute.com/app. And yeah, you can do all kinds of cool stuff even if you're listen to a podcast. The phone rings, you answer it, the it automatically pauses the podcast. When you hang up, it puts it back on right where it was. It's pretty cool. All right. And also as a thank you for listening. Grab a copy of our e-book, How to Automate Your Business. Just one of the tips in this book has saved me over seven and a half million keystrokes and allowed me to handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and forty thousand customers without pulling my hair out. And we sell it for 27 bucks, but it's yours free as my. Thanks for listening. And while you're at it at the download page, there's another white paper that some people are charging four five and six thousand bucks for the information. So check that out on the download page. It's a little surprise for you at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. Then all the links and things we talk about today and Erika's stuff will be in the show notes. This is episode 210. So to get to our show notes for a particular episode, you always go to screwthecommute.com, slash and then the number two one zero for this episode. All right our sponsor's the Internet Marketing Training Center Virginia it's a distance learning school. Hey, we got approved by the Department of Defense for a military spouse scholarship program. So we give a scholarship to all military, law enforcement and first responders in the Department of Defense. Gives an extra one to military spouses that are eligible. So make sure you check that out. If you want a nice lifestyle business and it's portable so you can take it with you in the wherever you happen to be stationed. It's really something I've been living for 25 years now. Just love it so you can check that out at IMTCVA.org. That's the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia and doesn't matter that it's in Virginia. It's distance learning. So you can learn from anywhere. And the beauty of this is you can work from anywhere because companies don't want to pay a lot of money to have you sitting around, writing blog posts in their office and paying all those big rent when they could be letting you do it at home. So check it out. And if you are military, put slash military after that. And of course, it'll all be in the show notes.

[00:03:47] All right. Let's get to the main event. Erika Hatfield has worked as a professional photographer for over 12 years after completing her master's degree in education and finding out working in a school was not a good fit for her. She started a second business called Next Level Photo Education. She develops courses for kids and adults and mentors aspiring professional photographers. Erika, are you ready to screw? The commute?

[00:04:21] Before we started recording here, we. It's a small world, isn't it?

[00:04:28] Really is.

[00:04:30] You live right now in where?

[00:04:33] Washington, Pennsylvania.

[00:04:35] And we met actually in Washington, D.C., right through the military influences conference. And I'm from Claysville, Pennsylvania, which is eight miles from Washington, Pennsylvania, where you live now, which is just crazy because nobody is from there.

[00:04:54] Right. That's why I said I usually say Pittsburgh. And, you know, because people don't know Washington and nobody knows Claysville. It's just so funny that you're down the road.

[00:05:05] You know what else is funny is you did call it Washington, and I just called it Washington. But nobody there calls that Washington. They call it Wershington. Right. But when I moved to Washington, D.C. and people said, well, where are you from? Well, if you said Wershington you'd be screaming that you're the biggest hick on earth. So I was always say in Washington. But what was really odd was when I would call home. To my mother or dad. Talk to him on the phone. I'd say Wershington. Because that's what they they're used to. So. So pretty crazy. Pretty crazy. So tell everybody what you're doing now.

[00:05:47] So I work mainly as a personal brand photographer, so I work with business owners. I take pictures of them at work or their headshots or with their family or whatever aspect of their personal brand that they want to photograph. I also photograph some families and seniors, but my main focus now is on teaching.

[00:06:08] Did you ever do any, like, shots for, like, people who want to get on Match.com or, you know, they want shots for their online dating?

[00:06:18] Yes, I have actually my husband's best friend. He's single. He's six foot nine. And I actually just took his pictures for his is dating profile.

[00:06:28] Did you have to stand on a ladder. You're like three foot nine or something.

[00:06:35] Yeah. Definitely needed a ladder.

[00:06:37] Yeah. Six foot nine. Wow. So. So you're teaching this though. How how are you? How do you teach photography?

[00:06:47] So I have a four month mentorship program. And right now I have several photographers that we talk every Tuesday hour, every week. We developed a plan at the beginning. So we went through every aspect of their businesses, from photography to editing to marketing to even having the right message and what niche they're photographing and being focused and having a plan. So each week we have different goals that we work on. You know, we we review photography that they have taken throughout the week and go from there and set new goals. So it's a comprehensive four month program.

[00:07:20] Wow. Wow. And there's this. So they don't have to be there in person for this?

[00:07:25] No, we do it all by zoom or usually zoom so I can send them a recording, but I can also use other video.

[00:07:31] But is this all the business part of it or I mean, do you critique their their work and pictures and stuff?

[00:07:37] This is for every aspect of the photography business. So we look at photography every week throughout the whole program and then we also work on all the other aspects and it's completely customized. So, you know, maybe one person's really good at marketing and that's not something we really need to work on and they need help with editing. So I look at the whole business and everything this person's doing before I even decide what we're gonna work on together.

[00:08:00] Well, you know, what makes me want to commit suicide is trying to find a picture that I know I have.

[00:08:08] You don't have your files organized?

[00:08:10] Oh, sure there are. I know they're all on the computer somewhere. So you got some on the phone. You got some in the cloud. You got someone the the the the P.C.. You got some on the iMac and you figure I'm just gonna go to lunch. I'm never gonna find them. So what do you use to keep to keep your photos organized?

[00:08:36] Oh, I organize them in files as soon as I import them and then they're backed up online, they're backed up on a hard drive that I can plug in.

[00:08:44] How do you how do you name them?

[00:08:46] So for my clients images, I actually named them with their name. Of course, here are personal images. I just organized by folder by month. Then I'll do subfolders if there's a larger event or something that I want to make sure I can find. But I usually just do them by month.

[00:09:05] Yeah, but what about three years from now? You can't remember what month you took a picture and what you know, let's say you went to the North Pole. There's that Santa Claus. Well, you knew that was in December. But I mean, how would you name a picture like if you went on a trip with your husband to Bermuda or something? It all say Bermuda.

[00:09:25] I'd make a folder. So if there's something important, you know, say October. If I took some random pictures, they weren't really for anything. They just go in the October folder. If I take some pictures of Halloween day, they're in a subfolder called Halloween twenty.

[00:09:43] Yeah, but how would you find those random ones that you took in October? What would you how would you name a reminder?

[00:09:51] Halloween. Or, you know, whatever. Whatever. I would have named the folder. If it was a trip, it would've been the name of the trip. If it was an event, it was the name of the event. So I always do a subfolder for anything I think I'm going to want to find.

[00:10:02] You're making it sound too easy. You know, you're a 12 year professional. This 25 year old hacker over here. Never find anything.

[00:10:13] Mac gives you a finder. It is easy.

[00:10:16] Well, on the iMac. Yeah, but they got the. You just never know. Is the photo on your phone? Is it in the cloud? Is it on my PC? Is it on iMac? And another thing, see, I'm not really a Mac person. So I thought, hey. All right. You go use the finder. Right. That seems logical to me. But then there's this other thing called the spotlight. What's that?

[00:10:43] I really don't understand the difference, to be honest.

[00:10:46] Yeah. I'm like, oh, maybe I should be using this. Yeah. So so anyway. If I ever commit suicide, it'll be because you didn't teach me how to find my photos.

[00:10:58] You you're to get all in one place. One place first. Oh yeah.

[00:11:02] Gone. And then. And then what happens when you have 48 copies of the same one? How does that work?

[00:11:09] Well, then you need to clean up. You should definitely be able to find it if you have 48 copies of it.

[00:11:16] So. So anyway, this is. Do these courses start all? I mean, does somebody have to start at a certain time or you know, they can start any time now.

[00:11:30] My mentorship program run. You can start at any time. But it is required that you already know how to shoot in manual mode. So you need to know how to set your settings on your camera. I have a different course for that. And that's not necessarily just for photographers because I feel like a lot of people learn how to use their camera. I've had business owners that, you know, shoot with a DSL or for certain things so that ecourse just lets you go through at your own pace and learn how to use all the different settings on your camera.

[00:12:00] You know, I have a 7D, the Canon 7D, but I only use it for video and I barely get that job done. The audio sucks, so you got to do a separate audio for the video and then sync them up later. So thank God for cell phones. So. So how long have you run this business?

[00:12:23] I started this business two years ago.

[00:12:27] The mentor part of it, right?

[00:12:29] I wasn't mentoring at first when I wrote it because I have my master's degree in education. I started it because I was photographing kids mainly. That was my market. And every January here, it snows, it's freezing. We're not doing any outdoor pictures. So it's just that slow time a year where there's nothing to do. So I thought, what if I could bring in some kids from the community, teach them how to use cameras or iPads, they could take pictures with iPads for this class, whatever it is. So I was trying to fill that gap in my schedule where I don't have as many photo sessions as I normally do. And also do something to get back to the community. So that's how it actually started. I was just going to teach, you know, some kids photography class.

[00:13:11] What ages they were?

[00:13:13] From six up to fifteen. But I ran several different classes at different age groups. And I had kids that had, you know, your camera. And I had kids that shot with shattered iPads.

[00:13:28] And that was in Washington. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's take you back. You were your entrepreneurial as a child kid. You have lemonade stands or what?

[00:13:38] Oh, I was. I was. No, I was. It was one of those wild little kids that was just always running, doing something, I really haven't changed. I always wanted to do everything, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I mean, honestly, I'm still not sure one knows what else I might do.

[00:13:58] You know, I heard I heard somebody say, don't worry if your kids don't know what they want to be when they grow up. It probably hasn't been invented yet. So, were your parents entrepreneurial?

[00:14:13] My dad actually is a business owner. He rents apartments.

[00:14:19] OK. Did you ever help him with that?

[00:14:21] I did. And then I realized I didn't want to do that.

[00:14:25] I didn't want to do that then. Did you ever have a job?

[00:14:31] You mean when I was younger?

[00:14:32] Yeah. Any time.

[00:14:35] I did some different teenager jobs, babysitting cashier. I worked at my cousin's farm for a little while. And several restaurants, Kings, the King's family restaurant. So I just got to tried some different things. But. You know, before I graduated high school, I thought, you know, I either want to be a teacher or an artist or doctor. I had those three things picked out, okay. And I had no idea what I was going to go to college for. But I I didn't go to college right after high school, so I didn't have to. My decision was that.

[00:15:12] Was that when you went in the army?

[00:15:13] Yes.

[00:15:14] OK. So what how was that decision? What what made that decision?

[00:15:19] Well, I enlisted at 17 and then I had to wait till I finished high school so I could go to basic training. And, you know, a big part of it was that I I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I didn't know what I was gonna do next year. And I wanted to go away from Washington, Pennsylvania, and experience something new.

[00:15:39] How could somebody want to leave that beautiful area? Claysville? You know, people people wait their whole lives to have a vacation in Claysville.

[00:15:50] You know, this dusting of snow and freezing temperatures.

[00:15:58] Hey, next time you go back there, tell me how high the grass is at my house. Am I been up there for years.

[00:16:06] OK. So, you know, I'll take a picture.

[00:16:09] Oh, good idea. Perfect. Yeah. Yeah. Put it in the Novembers folder. Tell me about the army. What do you do in the army?

[00:16:17] So I was a medic. And when I finished training, I actually I was at Fort Irwin and when they told me I was going to California, I pictured California like you see on TV. It's not at Fort Irwin. It's like in the middle of the desert. You know, it took an hour and a half to go to a restaurant. It's even more secluded than Washington. You know, I'm thinking I'm going to California, going to a town smaller than my hometown in the middle of nowhere. But, yeah, I actually worked at the aid station, so I ran sick call in the morning and help soldiers at doctor's appointments, things like that.

[00:16:58] But you're a medic. Can you fix a sucking chest wound?

[00:17:03] Not anymore.

[00:17:05] I heard I heard this one guy say the general or somebody he said the sound of a sucking chest wound is God's way of telling you you need to slow down.

[00:17:20] So you're from Washington? Oh, wow. Definitely the first person on this podcast from that area. So. So what? When you got out then, would you do so?

[00:17:34] I was eight months pregnant when I got out of the army with my oldest daughter. And we actually moved to Texas for a while. We did not want to come back to Washington. We lived in Texas and I actually worked as a nanny and took my daughter to work with me for a little while in that job. It was amazing. And about six months later, you know, my family was pushing and I wanted to go back to school and finish my education. So we, you know, ended up back here in Washington. We moved back in the summer of what was it, 2006, and came back to Washington.

[00:18:10] Where did you go to W&J.

[00:18:13] So I went at the school thing. I kind of went to a lot of schools. I'll start by saying that. But yeah, I came back to go to W&J and I was pre-med because, you know, getting out of the army as a medic, I came to stay in the medical field, forget the art, forget the teaching. I'm going to you know, I'm going to be a doctor. I go to W&J and I'm a bio psych major in the pre-med program. And a year later, I had another baby. And after my second was born, three months later. Okay, get ready for this.

[00:18:51] I'm ready.

[00:18:53] I got pregnant again.

[00:18:54] Oh, geez. Three months later.

[00:18:56] Yeah. Yeah. My second and third daughters are three hundred sixty three days apart, almost a year. I managed to have the same due date two years in a row. So at that point I decided that finishing as a pre-med student and going to medical school was probably not going to work with our new lifestyle. So the funny thing that happened, I. It was almost Christmas time and we needed some extra money to go holiday shopping. So I thought, well, I'll get a seasonal job and, you know, we'll see how it goes. So I start working at J.C. Penney's portrait studio.

[00:19:35] Who's going to watch the three kids?

[00:19:37] Oh, we have we have Nana for that. Grandma. One of the perks of living background is that grandma can watch the kids. So I take this part time job at J.C. Penney portrait studio thinking, well, I'm not a photographer. I don't know anything about taking pictures. So I'm gonna be like their secretary and schedule their sessions and stuff like that, you know? Well, that's not how it works at all. At J.C. Penney, a portrait studio. So you have to learn every aspect of the business. You take pictures, you print pictures, you know, you do orders, you do everything, you know. So. Shell shock. I found out I have to learn how to be a photographer for this part time job. And I fell in love with it. So, you know, that made that transition a little easier. I got this part time job. I got pregnant for the third time in three years and I found something else I loved.

[00:20:30] So a few months later, I was promoted and I became a manager of a Target portrait studio because at the same company. OK. And then I did that for about two years and I ran the portrait studio and.

[00:20:45] Then you had six more kids.

[00:20:48] No, no. I had my tubes tied.

[00:20:49] No more kids. No more.

[00:20:57] OK. So how did you transition to having your own business?

[00:21:01] What I loved about it is that we were busy. You know, you have so many people coming into Target and so many kids to photograph that. I got a lot of practice quick, so I learned how to photograph and talk to people and work with people. What I didn't like is that the company kept changing things and making it more and more difficult to give my customers what I felt I needed to give them. So, you know, when it got to the point where we had about 40 minutes to photograph us a session, show them their pictures and place their order before the next client came in. I just felt like I was rushing everybody through this process right faster than I should have to way faster than I wanted to. And there was nothing I could do to change it at all. I couldn't give them more time without breaking a company policy. So that's when I decided to start my business. So I left Life Touch in 2010, January 2010 and started Erika Hatfield's photography.

[00:21:56] Ok. Now, did you plan save up money? Did you know how to run a business at the time? How did you make that transition?

[00:22:04] I knew photography and nothing else. And and I'll say this too. I knew studio photography, right? Because it's all in studio. I really didn't know how to shoot outdoors or with different lighting setups and things. I knew how to use studio lighting and that was it. But I thought I knew everything. And I spent a long time focused on the photography and how do I get my images to look like those images in the magazines. And you know, that was my focus for a long time. I spent I spent like five years, you know, just learning everything I could about photography. And I wasn't making any money, honestly, I wasn't, you know, and and luckily, my husband had a good job and and I kind of had more of a stay at home mom. My role at that time in our lives. So I didn't need to make a certain amount of money and it was OK, but it started to get frustrating. I'm like, OK, it's been five years. I'm not really doing any better financially with this business. So I decided to go back to school and finish. So I went and got my bachelor's degree in elementary education and then I got my masters degree in special education thinking I'm you know, this photography thing is not going to work out. It's never gonna be profitable. I'm just gonna go to work every day. I'm going to be a teacher. Collect a paycheck. That's it. So while I was in school, my youngest daughter got pretty sick. She had to have a kidney transplant after her transplant. Her disease came back and we had to go the hospital and we were there at least one full day a week. You know, you lose a full workday every single week just from this treatment that was working. It was helping her. But we had to keep going. And that was really what what got me thinking again. You know, I'm in school to be a teacher. How am I going to go to school four days a week and, you know, go to the hospital with my daughter? I can't you know, I can't be in two places at one time. And that's what really made me start missing the flexibility of being a photographer and start wondering, well, what if I could make it work? So that's when I, you know, really started to realize that I needed to learn something about business and not just photography if I wanted to make it work.

[00:24:17] But you're pretty good shooting at that time right?

[00:24:19] I was at the photography skills. I mean, there's always more to learn. There's always something, never stopped. But I felt a lot better about where my photography was at. But I didn't know how to actually be profitable at the end of the day. And a lot of what I learned about business was actually from the vetrepreneur tribe that some other people that that have mentored me along the way. But the business part was really hard for me to learn. It did not come easy to me.

[00:24:44] Well, this is this is not atypical of people's journey to their business life, because, you know, life gets in the way hospitals get in the way education gets in the way. I mean, everything is up and down and all around. It sounds like you've been up and down all over the place, but you're still stuck in there. That's that's the thing.

[00:25:05] I did. And what I figured out was, you know, a lot of people start their business with the you know, I'm going to photograph everything. I photograph kids and weddings and seniors and pets and sports and all these things. And then somebody calls and they say, oh, what do you do this? Well, that sounds fun. I guess I'll do that, too. And then they add that. But what really changed things for me was finding out that I had to focus on one genre or one niche, one specific kind of session. And that made everything else so much easier. So, you know, when I was photographing kids exclusively in families, I taught classes for kids. So, you know, everything I was doing was all tied to that same kind of customer and client. And it made everything so much easier.

[00:25:52] Yeah. And word would spread in that community faster, too, for word of mouth, because I know when I first heard speaking, I went to eighty seven different industries in the first five years. And the problem was nobody in the if I spoke to the Pennsylvania Dry Cleaners Association. They didn't know anybody in the Nebraska Plumbing Association. So no referral. So, you know, so. So. Yes. Focusing absolute. But they don't look back and cry about it because at eighty seven industries gave me an enormous experience, just like, you know, all the stuff you shot gave you enormous experience.

[00:26:31] I think that's what lead me to the new specialization also because with personal brand photography, it is all a lot of different genres. You know, it's sometimes it's a woman with her family. If she's a business owner or studio head shots, outdoor pictures, you know, we could do a whole big variety of different kinds of shoots within a personal brand session. So I am glad I did it, but I definitely like focusing on one one thing to market for it.

[00:26:58] Why would you turn it down if somebody calls you up and then offers you some work?

[00:27:03] Well, no. I live in Washington, PA. I've been doing senior sessions all night. I can't tell people no. So I don't advertise for it. So it's like it's work for me to find those clients. Those are clients that are already just coming to me.

[00:27:20] So what way? What ways do you market your photography business?

[00:27:24] I do mostly word of mouth. And I've since the beginning of my business, which it was easier in 2010 than it is now. I'd say probably over 75 percent of my clients have found me through Facebook.

[00:27:38] So is it you showing your images there or what? What part of Facebook, your personal profile? Do you have a business profile?

[00:27:47] I'd say both. I think it's really both. I have had the business page for, you know, since I started in 2010, and we have a lot of good local groups where I'll put out information, things like that. You know, there's always those posts of like people looking for a photographer within the local groups and they you know, there could be one hundred twenty nine suggestions within five minutes because it's such a saturated market. And I don't really find people that way. But it's more about that, that they know somebody that I've already worked with and they've seen someone else's pictures. Those are those are the people that call me.

[00:28:21] But if you're just putting the stuff out there, is it just you put pictures up where you just put comments or postings?

[00:28:30] I put pictures up. I started to do some live videos and get back into that once things slow down. And we're not doing construction on the house. But I was doing some live videos for business owners showing them how to take a better selfie and how to get better lighting for your live videos and things like that. So now that we're transitioning to personal brand photography is our new focus. I'm kind of trying to figure out what what people want to know about photography. You know, for a business owner. So.

[00:28:56] Got it. Got it. Got it. So what's what's in store here? You're going to move?

[00:29:01] We are we are getting our house ready to sell so that we can move somewhere warmer.

[00:29:07] Oh, come on. We're going to take Nana with you.

[00:29:12] She might try to tag along,.

[00:29:14] Well, that's your baby sitter. How old are the kids now?

[00:29:17] Well, they're 11, 12 and 13.

[00:29:19] So were you thinking about going?

[00:29:22] We're talking about South Carolina.

[00:29:26] OK. When you trade the cold for hurricanes are a perfect yes. You know, hurricanes are warm.

[00:29:34] So my kids said we can take you know, if there's a hurricane warning, we have to come home and visit our friends.

[00:29:39] Perfect. Perfect. All right. We got to take a little sponsor break. When we come back, we're going to ask Erika what a typical day looks like for her. And maybe she'll get some business tips for for those that like to be in business for themselves and not have to go to work every day. And then and why you might ask her how she stays motivated too.

[00:30:04] Hey, everybody, I want you to check out a webinar. If you're even considering higher education for yourself or your your kids, you want a better lifestyle, lifestyle, business like Erika and myself have, I want you to check out a webinar. Don't don't just, you know, apply for college and then cross your fingers that you're gonna get a marketable skill and not have be in debt for the rest of your life. You're really going to be mad when you watch this webinar because it really exposes a lot of the things the higher education people are doing. And one of the things is they're inflating grade point averages to make it look like they're doing a better job teaching to justify the big raises, intuitions that they come up with pulling it out of the hat in the testing showing that the kids are dumber. So I don't know if I'd want to mortgage my house to pay for something like that, especially when the studies are showing that the kids are spending eight hours total. Preparing and going to class per week. The rest of the time is eating, partying and shopping. So check out this webinar at screwthecommute.com. You can just click on webinars or go slash webinars and you can either download the MP 3 file or watch the actual thing with all the visuals. But it's going to make you mad, but it could save you a couple hundred grand. And if I can help you get out of this mess with a good marketable skills school, check out my school at IMTCVA.org.

[00:31:43] All right. Let's get back to the main event, Erika Hatfield's here, she's an Army veteran. She's a mother of three. She's apparently, a contractor, a construction expert. Now, I don't want to be seen on her house. She's as sick of the cold. She's a former neighbor that I didn't even know I had. So what's a typical day look like for you, Erika?

[00:32:08] I'd say there is no such thing as a typical day.

[00:32:12] Right, you know what time you get up there? I mean, you go kids, you get up in the morning, you give you a workout.

[00:32:18] You do not get up in the morning. I'm not a morning person. My husband gets them off for school because they're on middle school this year and the bus comes at like 7. It's way too early for me. So I am a night owl and I usually sleep in until at least 10 or noon.

[00:32:35] Oh, good for you.

[00:32:38] Everybody listening to hear that she sleeps. She's got three kids and she sleeps until noon sometimes. Isn't that beautiful. That's a beautiful thing right there.

[00:32:52] It really is. Plus, it's so much easier to get work done at night when everyone's sleeping.

[00:32:58] Why was quiet? Yeah. It's quiet.

[00:33:00] There's no interruptions at 2 or 3 am. No one bothers you. But, you know, I think, you know, I have two businesses. And then, you know, I also teach for VIP kids.

[00:33:11] So I. Oh, yeah. We forgot to tell him. Tell him. But that's on the side. You doing this? English as a second language thing is for fun and the little extra money.

[00:33:21] Yeah. And so it's teaching students in China. So they're 12, 13 hours off from what we are. So, you know, total opposite. It's, you know, in the evening, it's their morning. So it's teaching overnights or during the more early morning hours that that's available. But I really enjoy that. It's just a fun little extra gig. But I think having multiple streams of income is nice. Because especially with us getting ready to move. You know, I never want to put all my eggs in one basket. You know, if we if something would happen with VIP kids shuts down next week, I'm still gonna be OK. So but what it does is I don't have a typical day because every day is different. One, you know, a couple days a week. I'm you know, I might be up all night teaching VIP kid. I might go to sleep for a little while and get up and go do a session. And every Tuesday, I take mentoring calls. So I'd say my weeks are kind of similar, but a typical day. Oh, no.

[00:34:22] So you work out.

[00:34:25] Not really like yoga. But yeah, I like my life is a workout at this point.

[00:34:31] Yeah. I like to watch people doing yoga. That's a lot of fun. So how do you stay motivated?

[00:34:39] I'm just motivated.

[00:34:41] You're just a motivated person.

[00:34:42] I've just always been motivated. I always have a million ideas and. Go, go, go. And. That's just that's just how I am, I think coffee.

[00:34:50] There's coffee and coffee and ideas. So the people listen this we call him screwballs. So what kind of parting tips would you have for operating a nice lifestyle business like you?

[00:35:05] I would say. Choose what's important to you. You know, I work with a lot of business owners where we go in and they've been taking all their own pictures and they're so stressed out about it. You know, I think sometimes it's important to step back and figure out what your strengths are and hire out the ones that aren't. So, you know, even with our personal brand clients, we go in and take all their pictures for their website and their their social media and they have this bank of images. And now they don't have to be stressed about taking pictures. But I think just really knowing what you're good at and and capitalizing on that can help a lot.

[00:35:47] There you go. So I got to tell you something you're going to hate as a professional photographer. So, you know, I've been around a long time and long before everybody had a camera in their hand every second. And I used to cost me four hundred and forty dollars for a product shot to take a picture or one of my products. And I had to go up and spend the whole day. This guy. And he'd spray dulling spray on me, all my stuff. And, you know, just do this whole rigmarole for for an end up with one or two shots. So once once digital cameras came along, I have this beautiful picture of my product on this beautiful flowing blue background. It was in my laundry room with an old ratty t shirt, lean over a chair with the product, leaning up against it. It was free. It was pretty. And. They'll sell them to this day. So I know that professional photographers don't want to hear that. But, you know, that's that's the rakes. So, anyway, thanks so much for coming on in and tell him about your Web site and where they find you. And if we happen to have a listener in Washington that needs it or Claysville or even need some photography. How do we find you?

[00:37:13] Ok. My next level Web site is nextlevelphotoedu.com. And that's where you can find like my classes and things like that. We have a business or we have a Web site for our other business, which is Hatfieldphotos.com. So that's my photography business. That's where you can find out about actually having pictures taken and anybody's welcome to add me on Facebook or find my pages. There's a Hatfield photography and a next level page on Facebook and I'm pretty active on there. And LinkedIn as well.

[00:37:49] Run that by me again. So the first site was for the mentor program or one in the manual mode class. OK. And then so we'll have all these in the show notes for everybody. Things is click on them. But when we just pass Veterans Day a week or so ago. So I want to thank you for your service. And if I ever have a sucking chest wound in Washington, I'll know where to go.

[00:38:16] I'd rather you go somewhere else. You should go to a Pittsburgh hospital. And only call me if you need a picture.

[00:38:25] All right. Sounds good. So thanks so much. And we'll catch ya next time.

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