This is the most AMAZING interview with the wonderful Emily Quinton; a photographer, author, founder of Makelight and a mother of four children. She lives with her husband and children in South East London.
It is so inspiring and jam packed with great advice!! I really resonated with pretty much every word...
1. Tell me about you and your business? Your elevator pitch if you will.
Makelight is an online learning community that teaches and inspires people to build their creative business and life through courses, tools and weekly Live Q&A sessions.
2. What are your top 5 actionable social media tips?
* Get organised. Spend some time each week planning the content you are going to share that week. Leave room for spontaneity too but being organised will help you feel confident and also make sure that you don’t have to spend too much time being distracted by social media each day. Use an app like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts.
* Use the platforms that you enjoy. If you enjoy using a space then that enjoyment and enthusiasm shines through. If you don’t enjoy it it will feel forced and your audience won’t react to that as well. Do not feel you have to be everywhere.
* Show up. It is very important to regularly be on social media. The online world is busy and if you’re not there it can be easy for people to forget you. Getting organised helps you to show up even on busy days.
* Be nice. Remember that social media platforms are social networks and not just advertising platforms. Be nice to people. Connect with them, be a part of the community. Share, give back, find your tribe.
* Do good work. It is so important to create good content and have a great place for people to land from your social media posts.
3. What are your top 5 actionable photography tips?
* Plan your photography. What images do you need for your blog, website and social media. Create monthly and weekly lists. Then look at the weather forecast and your diary, and try to book shoots in for the best days.
* Find the best natural light that you can. Get to know the light in your home and/or workplace. Look for the best windows and take your photos close to the windows.
* Learn how to focus your camera. What is the hero of your image? Make sure your focal point is on your hero.
*Think about your backgrounds. Your background is like the canvas of your photograph and is really important for whatever kind of image you are taking.
* Slow down. We are so lucky to have digital cameras and we can take so many more images than we ever could in the days of film. But it can make us lazy. Take time to slow down and really think about the photograph you are taking. Why are you taking it? Think about that for few seconds. This will help you to frame your image better, to move into the right position and will result in a much better image.
4. What do you believe is your secret to your success?
Being adaptable and resilient. Life moves fast these days. Things are always changing and I think the more adaptable you are the better. I am always looking at what I am doing now, what other people are doing now and then looking ahead to what is next.
I am very resilient too, which I think goes hand in hand with being adaptable. If things aren’t working, I learn fast and move on. I am 100% committed to whatever it is I am working on but also always ready to switch things up as and when needed!
5. What has been your best piece of advice?
“Everything is figureoutable.” by Marie Forleo. This line from her Supersoul Sunday talk has helped me out so many times in business and in life. It’s one of those lines that really stops and grounds me when everything feels like it’s going wrong.
6. What is your favourite business book, podcast and blog you have read and heard?
* I think my favourite business book has to be Busy by Tony Crabbe. A book for business and life. It has taught me so much this year. Everyone should read that.
* My favourite business podcast is Happier by Gretchen Rubin (I’m not sure if that is officially a business podcast but I find that so many things are applicable in my work and in my life.
* My favourite business blog is Marie Forleo’s. I love her posts each Tuesday and take a break to watch her YouTube video each week.
7. Where do you see your brand going? What would be your dream project?
I would like to have an app and a Makelight book. Those are two dream projects that I hope to make happen in the next couple of years.
8. How do you manage to run a successful business and have four children? Do you have any advice for mum’s with their own businesses?
Let go of perfectionism as soon as you can, remember that you can’t do everything and that is totally ok, and remember that just as you’ve got into the rhythm there will be a curveball and you’ll have to rethink things - that is just how parenting works, so the faster you can accept that the easier it will be. I’ve recently lost my evenings as my older two stay up much later than they used to, so my quiet work time during the evening as disappeared. It was a bit of a shock at first but I’ve just had to look at how I work in the week and celebrate the fact that for now I get extra time with them. It won’t be long before it all changes again and they are off with their friends all the time!
9. How do you tend to manage your time? What would a typical week involve? Do you have any time off?
I do have to be super organised both with my work and at home. Three days a week I pick the children up from school, so I can only work between 9am-3pm on those days and then two days a week I have childcare after school and work 9am-8pm. On my short days I have to be really focussed to make the most of the day but I actually think that’s really helpful for getting things done!
Each week I make new content both for my members and free content. I run at least one live Facebook Q&A for members. And then there is planning, admin, social media, book-keeping and of course emails! At the moment I do everything at Makelight about from the video editing and tech support, so it’s a varied amount of things each week.
Every week I have a date night with my husband and once a month the children have a weekend away. We usually work for 6 of those a year and take really good time out for the other 6.
10. What is the most changeling thing about running your own business?
Balancing my work and my family. Some days I want to give it all up and be a full-time mum. Each year I want to improve the balance that I have. This year I cut down my childcare and now pick up my children 3 days a week. I would eventually like that to be 4 days a week. Building a team could really help me to that.
10. If you could do it all again what would you do differently?
Nothing. All the mistakes that I have made me who I am today. All the things that have gone wrong have helped me to learn and make necessary changes. There are so many things I could have done differently but I’m grateful for all that I have learned so far.
How amazing was that, Emily has a wonderful outlook on life!! I completely agree about being adaptable and resilient!!! I think even when it's good you still need to be resilient and being adaptable is KEY; everything changes and we need to change with it!! Another thing I would add is persistent, just like an amazing athlete we need to practise, practise, practise!! Keep going when you think things are hard, rubbish and annoying!! What else would you want to do if it wasn't this... nothing, KEEP GOING and hopefully you'll make it but like Elizabeth Gilbert said in the last post...
"You may or may not get everything. You might put everything you have into something and it might not work."
I hope this interview has inspired you as much as it has me!! WOW Emily, thank you so much for your honesty and incredible advice!!
What do you think? I would love to know please comment below.
Lots of love, Rose x x x
Hope to see you on Tuesday 5th Dec