Meet Kristie from Inspired Portraits
Inspired Portraits is Melbourne’s Premier Portrait Studio. Focusing on all aspects of portrait photography, we specialise in reconnecting and rediscovering what you love about the relationships in your life. From those moments of discovery, we create stunning pieces of wall art for you to enjoy for many years to come.
Why and when did you start your own business?
Inspired Portraits was formerly ‘KL Photography’ and has been in operation since 2011 operating in the Wyndham area.
Originally a Registered Nurse and Midwife, after many years (18) of working shifts and caring for people, I wanted to explore the creative side a little further and have since left nursing in the background. I have always loved photography and have had an SLR camera since my early 20’s. Photographing a variety of subjects including landscape, weddings and portraits – my love of portrait photography has taken over and this is where I spend most of my professional time. Landscape and abstract photography is where I keep my creative juices flowing and the inspiration and love of photography continues. Since beginning full time, I haven’t felt like I’ve worked a day yet! I just love it!
What does being a business owner mean to you?
A business owner to me means that I have the opportunity to change people’s lives through photography. It allows me to delve into their relationships, explore what is important to them and then create beautiful pieces of artwork for them. It allows me to combine my two loves – compassionate nurse and creative artist into one job. Having my own business allows me to be there for my 2 children for after school activities as well as during school hours. The flexibility is wonderful.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Steve Saportio and Kelly Vanyani from Intuition to Succeed have been the biggest influence to my business and me as a person. I met them last year in July and have seen a significant change in the last 18mths. The introduction of products and the way I now see clients is completely different. I am now able to see that it is possible to earn a living from a photography business where it was at one point seemingly impossible. The connections that I’ve made here in Australia and overseas is invaluable and I’m still learning every day!
What is your greatest accomplishment ?
My greatest professional accomplishment is joining BNI and being able to confidently speak in front of 60+ people during one of our open days. Public speaking was always a fear of mine and in the last 6 months, huge personal growth has seen me want and ask to speak in front of a large group.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Best piece of advice I received was to stop making excuses as to why I couldn’t do something and start finding solutions! It was quite profound at the time and I remember just standing there, a little dumb founded, thinking ‘yeah, you’re so right!’
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs?
The most effective marketing so far has been BNI to be honest. The friendships, the referrals has been life changing and business changing.
What is one lesson you learned as a small business owner?
The thing that I’ve learned is that I need to ask for help when I don’t know how to do things. Ask for help when I’m not sure about something and ask for professional help to set up policies and procedures to ensure a smoothly run business.
Do you have any new projects coming up or have you just completed a big project?
I have just completed a 12 days of Christmas promotion. It was amazing! 12 local businesses donated gifts and we ran a competition open for anyone to enter, to win one of the 12 prizes. We had a phenomenal response and will be running something similar in July (Christmas in July). If anyone would like to participate, we would be happy to discuss details. Another amazing business achievement is that 2 years ago, when I met Steve and Kelly, I said that I wanted to earn enough money to take my family overseas to Disneyland. That dream is a reality in 10 days as we head off on the trip of a life time. Dreams really do come true when you put your mind to something!
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I like to spend time with friends and family, entertaining, movies, outdoor activities, camping, going on relaxing holidays.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
The top 3 skills to be a successful entrepreneur is patience, persistence and perseverance. You also need confidence and self-belief.
What fears have you faced in business? Have you overcome it/them? How do you manage fear?
The fear of failure is massive for me. Ensuring that I set goals that are achievable and measurable is important to me. Being flexible enough to adjust and tweak the goals if necessary too. Fear of letting clients down and not meeting their expectations is awful. If a client is unhappy with their finished artwork (doesn’t happen often but does occasionally), managing their expectations as well as professional integrity is a challenge. I always meet it head on and believe that anything can be resolved using good, open communication. People just want to be heard I find and if you give them the opportunity to be heard, 9 times out of 10 conflicts are resolved.
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2017?
My top 5 goals are –
1. Dedicated studio space off site
2. Attend Pregnancy and Baby Expo as an exhibitor
3. Create an alliance with a Day Spa / Plastic Surgeon
4. Consistently service 2-3 clients per week
5. Have a completed sample range for studio
What makes you happy?
Spending time with my Husband and kids makes me happy!
Have you had to make any sacrifices whilst running your business? If so, what are they?
I have made many sacrifices to get where I am right now. Time with my children when they were younger. I spent most days editing and working late into the night just to get things done. Time with friends as I worked unsociable hours. Having said that though, I wouldn’t change any of it as it has shaped who I am as a person and as a business woman.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most and why?
I admire my friend Troy Willems. He’s a personal trainer and has seen the most significant growth in his business in 2016. I like the way he approaches his clients and the warm and friendly way he helps you achieve your goals. I also admire Tony Ebejer from Capture Recruitment. He left school at 15, got an apprenticeship and now runs a recruiting company turning over millions per year with a staff of 6. Most impressive!
Where you see yourself and your business in 2-5 years?
I see myself running a very successful studio with numerous employees. Working alongside other businesses to create a power team of growth and referrals. I see myself stepping back from the photography side and focusing more on managing, marketing and running the business as more of a managerial role.
How do you measure your success in business?
I measure success in my business as to the happiness of my clients. The degree at which they transform their lives and how frequently the tears flow with the unveiling of artwork!
Where is your dream destination to go for a holiday and why?
Dream destination for a holiday – Hmm.. There are so many! Canada, Egypt, Great Wall of China, and probably return to all the places that I’ve already visited and loved!
Its photography related – Exist in photos! You never know when your presence will become a memory.
What are your top 5 business tips?
My top 5 business tips –
Continue developing your skill and knowledge
Surround yourself with like-minded people who share a similar goal in business
Ask for help and employ professionals to set up the correct systems
Perseverance, patience, persistence
Connect with Kristie
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