The first time I met her, I knew I loved her. With her curly hair and a laugh that comes directly from her soul, I just knew I had to be friends with Millie Holloman. Like best friends. Forever. We sat together among a table full of photographers, but somehow Millie had the ability to make each person she talked to feel like the only person in the room. She is warm and genuine and she tells it like it is. She’ll push you, ask more of you, challenge you to go higher, all the while making sure you stay grounded.
In short, she’s the kind of friend that everyone should have.
So when my friend launched her brand new “Get it Together Kit” for photographers, I nearly popped with pride. Because I knew that anything that came from Millie would come directly from her heart….and from her soul. Just like that laugh I love so much. I also knew that I had to do an interview with Millie here on this blog….so that all of you could see how amazing she is too.
So without further ado….Meet: Millie
1) Millie, thank you SO much for doing this interview with us! You are a person I have looked up to as a role model for how to run a business since we first met over Chicago style pizza in…well…Chicago! Whenever I have to make a decision about how to grow our business while still keeping my sanity and somehow putting the first things first in our lives, I always ask myself: What Would Millie Do? It has been so amazing to watch your business explode over the past few years, and I could not be more honored to call you my friend. You have no idea how proud Justin & I are of you! Soooo….tell us. What was that make or break point where you knew you had to “Get it Together” or this business was going to take over your life?
Mary, you are far too sweet! I’ve always thought highly of you and Justin too. You know when you meet people and just think… wow! Now they are the real deal! Well that is the two of you! I’m so looking forward to my visit soon. We’ve got lots to catch up on. Now on to your question. Just about 3 years ago I started to realize that I had gotten to a point in my career where my business was running me. I clearly wasn’t running it. I was letting the amount of work I had to do dictate the amount of time I worked and my life became chaotic quickly. I can’t stand the feeling of losing control and decided there was no real “advantage” to running your own business if you could not control it and choose how you wanted to live and work so I set of on a course to reorganize and get it together!
2) The GITKIT is full of systems to streamline your business to take back your life….which one is your favorite and what has it done for your life?
It’s hard to pick just one but I guess I’ll try. I am a big fan of the system we created which I refer to as the “flowstand”. It’s really helped me to always know where all of my client communication and information is and access it very quickly! It helps me feel organized and gives me a physical, tangible way of knowing where we are with each and every wedding.
3) You are so amazing at finding & keep employees who are just as passionate about Millie Holloman Photography as you are. Tell us more about how you set up your studio environment & culture to do that!
It’s taken some time to find the right team of people but when it works, it works! We do work hard to keep open communication in the studio at all times. I believe most relationships fail because of unmet expectations so I’m really clear on what I expect and what my employees can expect from me. As for the open communication part… we’ll cover tough issues or conversation quickly so they don’t spread into bigger issues. I really do have a great team and without them I’m half the woman I appear to be… seriously! As for our studio environment: I wanted to create a place where everyone would be inspired to work and create. We like to mix things that inspire us into the workplace like magnet boards full of inspiring images and object, fresh lavender, and fun personal touches. It just feels like home and who doesn’t love the way home feels?!
4) What would you say your work/life split is now? Is that where you want it to be?
It really depends on the season. During our slow season Mid Nov – March & July – Aug it’s about 50/50 which is where I want it to be all the time. During our busy season there is lots to be done in terms of shooting and much to be managed so it typically ends up being about 65 work / 35 personal. I prefer it to be 50/50 ALL the time and I’m working towards that! We’ve made some new rules this year to implement moving more towards 50/50 in our busy season like our “Fun Fridays” which you can read more about on the Get It Together Blog.
***And now for the super exciting part!! The oh-so-generous Miss Millie has given us our very own GITKIT to give away right here on this blog to one of you. To be entered, all you have to do is finish this sentence in the comments below: “The area of my business (or life) where I most need to Get it Together is….”
We will be taking entries until 5pm EST Tomorrow!! And we will announce the winner on Thursday!! So get to commenting!