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Update on My Confession Earlier Today


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Thank you to all those who wrote to me via my Facebook Page and on my blog comment section regarding how I can start to get my life back and get away from my computer “occasionally” to be with family, exercise, or just to take care of myself.  I have tried to respond to some of these comments and I appreciate them all.

Here are a few things I plan to do immediately:

– Start setting more limits and learning when I need to say “no” or “go to google” or “try to search the blog…”

– Consider the future – I need to think about this one.  Do I want to grow my business more, keep it where it is, or slow things down – and if it is stay here or grow, what type of help do I need to get there (hire people, get a forum, etc)

– New website – started with a new designer today – since the contest is ready to go from my past site, I hope this will not take more than a month – 2 months.  And I “may” hire someone (could be one of you) to help me get the content into place.  I know a few of you expressed interest in extra income.  Once this new site is done, instant downloads will be available!!!  YAY!

– FAQ – I will be gathering questions – and will take some into FAQ posts on my blog.  Some may become their own solo posts as well.  There is no way I will get to every question this way but it is a start.  I will also add an FAQ section to my site when it is done (and can answer more questions pertaining to buying and using my actions there) – again maybe I should “hire” someone to help with this.

– I called my accountant today to find out how to hire someone.  This is a 1st step.  Since I am a single employee LLC I was not sure.  But the answer is that I need to issue a W-9 and submit 1099s to employees that earn over $600 – and that they would be responsible for their own taxes.  So that is not too hard if I decide to go this route.

– Moderators – anyone interested (knowledgeable about photoshop and/or photography) and want to help a bit?  Before starting a forum, I want to see if Facebook works as an exchange platform.  But I need a few people willing to check the FB wall and discussion page once a day and to answer questions left there (and if unsure of an answer – to contact me).  At this point there are very few of these but ideally I want to get many customers and fans interacting there – not just mods.  To get it going I need a commitment from a few people to be watching.

– An email letter.  At this point I cannot imagine sending out a form email every time someone emails me (regardless of the reason).  But I think having a template ready to go is a good start so I can hand reply when it fits and is appropriate. I thought I would share this with all of you now – feedback welcome.  But also I wanted to share it so you will have some of the same links I will be giving out.  You may be able to save a step or two this way. So here it is:

Thank you so much for writing.  My customers and fans are so important to me.

While I would love to answer every email I get personally, I don’t feel I can give a good answer to each and every person personally due to the volume of emails I receive. To solve this, I have decided to do a monthly FAQ post on the MCP BLOG. I will try and answer as many questions from my customers and fans as I can in these upcoming FAQ posts. Thank you so much for understanding my situation and for thinking so highly of me to ask me a question.

Here are a few more avenues that you may pursue to get answers to your immediate questions:
–  The “MCP Fan Page” on facebook. You may post in the “discussion area” tab and/or on the “wall.”  My hope is that photographers can helping each other here, and time permitting that I can stop by and post answers to some questions as well.
–  Join a photography forum as they are often filled with many people eager and willing to help you.  Here are two forums that I really enjoy and try to visit at least a few times a week: Clickinmoms and Phaunt Forum. The important thing to do when choosing a forum is to find one that is right for you.  Sometimes it may take you a while to find one that is just the right fit.  This type of resource can be so valuable as you will have many, not just me, willing to help you.
– I love seeing before and after shots.  Please continue to share with me and post them to my Flickr group. I approve these submissions weekly and if you include permission for me to use them, along with step by step instructions, you may just see them in a future Blueprint on my blog.

If you are just starting out in Photography, I highly recommend reading Understanding Exposure.  It will help you learn how to shoot in manual and get a better grasp on lighting.

If you are trying to learn Photoshop there are thousands of amazing resources to consider.  Start at my blog – you can watch video tutorials and read Photoshop tips/tutorials and before and after images with step by step blueprints.  As you know, I teach online group workshops and one on one training. NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) is an amazing resource for learning Photoshop, as they have thousands of videos, a help desk and much more.

Thank you for your business and for following my blog. Keep watching for more Photography and Photoshop tips, tricks and tutorials.

Thank you,

MCP Actions


No Comments

  1. Stephanie on October 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    yay!! excellent!! I would love to answer questions on facebook but I would not call myself an expert in any area. lol…although I am good a researching and that will help…BTW at the end of this week I will email you my post for using brushing for holiday cards/scrapbooking 🙂

  2. Amy Dungan on October 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    I completely understand about needing your life back. I’ve been in the same position. I’ve had to just say no to some thing and was amazed at how freeing it is. I now choose the projects I work on… they don’t choose me. 😉 If I can be of any help in any way Jodi, please just let me know.

  3. laura h. on October 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    i like it. and i’d be happy to watch the facebook page if you need an extra set of eyes/hands/etc. i do hope you find that time very soon!

  4. Kayla Renckly on October 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Sounds like a great start Jodi, you can only do so much.

  5. Puna on October 19, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I wish I knew enough about photography to help! Unfortunately I’m just a hobbyist and would be on the receiving end right now. Good luck to you Jodi! Getting help is a good thing.

  6. Kelly Ann on October 19, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    It sounds like your new site will get you well on your way to where you want to be. I have noticed that a lot of blogs now have a little blurb about the blogger at the top of the page. For yours, you could direct people right to the FAQ sections, Facebook, and other sites that you would recomend. I have seen some blogs that use the Amazon A store (I think there may be a widget, not sure, havn’t used it myself), where you can set up a list of products that you would recomend. You could set up one for books or, one that just lists all of your gear, so people could see with one click the items that you use and (I would guess) love.

  7. Jonathan Golden on October 20, 2009 at 2:48 am

    I think life balance is extremely important. My heart went out for you when I read your tweet on Saturday night (at 12:15AM) stating that you were up answering emails! I think a FAQ page will be extremely beneficial. For one, it will be a lot of work up front but it will bring a huge breathe of relief when you can direct those who email you to a location where they can get a majority of their questions answered. I don’t think people learn when you constantly walk them through the small issues one at at time. Give them a little bit to get the ball rolling then they can figure out the rest on their own. I usually have to repeat steps several times before it sinks in. If I have someone hold my hand, I’m lost when I try to repeat the steps without my hand holder. Without knowing all the facts, I’m pretty sure you get a lot of follow up emails from the same people. Email from followers is by no means bad but repeatedly answering the same question becomes unmanageable. GL with your new plan!

  8. Dave on October 20, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I’m not sure your employee information is 100% correct. I believe it’s right for an independent contractor, but not an employee. The IRS has pretty strict guidelines about who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. Make sure you know the difference!

  9. Karen Baetz on October 21, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Jodi, once or twice I’ve sent you a photo I just didn’t know what to do with, you fixed it, emailed it back to me and told me the steps – I duplicated them and fixed my photo. When I get stuck, I would gladly pay someone for that expertise – if that someone was a person I respected. That’s the problem with online forums. It’s like a box of chocolates and it takes too long to figure out which one is good! I would love access to someone (who knows as much as you do) that I can email a photo too, or email to ask if a camera needs to be upgraded, and get one person that I trust to give me the best professional answer. That’s worth paying a small fee for, in my opinion.

  10. Karen on October 21, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I have been thinking about your earlier post. I think many struggle with this and balancing with family needs. You have so many things going on in your life. I don’t know what to suggest with the business end but I have 2 grown children that no longer live at home and 1 that is a teenager. Children grow so fast and you can’t get back the time you miss with them. I would have done things differently with my time when the older 2 children were growing up if I could go back. I would recommend you set a certain amount of time each day to devote to your work and being on the computer and then make yourself stop and devote the rest of the time to your family regardless of what is going on or what you want to get done. Things will get done in time. Doing work after they are asleep at night is not a good answer either. Being tired the next day affects your time with your family and also your work productivity. I have seen many that just end up quitting the business end altogether when they finally realize how much it has overtaken their lives and they are unable to find a balance and make themselves stop working so much. I see that you are working to make changes and that is good. Keep focusing on that until you are where you want and need to be. I love your blog but don’t do facebook or twitter. I am a Mom that works part time and don’t have the time right now to devote to facebook or twitter so I am not going to get started on either. Perhaps when my youngest is grown. This is one of my choices in balancing my time. I don’t usually leave any comments on any blogs because I don’t wish to take the time, but I do follow yours and get your updates on my email and enjoy it thoroughly and felt like I needed to leave a comment today. Best wishes.

  11. Brenda on October 26, 2009 at 3:25 am

    F.A.Q. I love the idea. I learned a lot from your blog, and can be an excellent option.

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