Episode 6

Published on:

12th Feb 2024

Power Duo: Business Insights | MMCB Episode 5 w/Josh & Karis Pharris


Embark on a journey with ShySpeaks and Ron "iRonic" Lee Jr. as the engage in a dynamic conversation with the creative power couple, Josh and Karis Pharris. In this insightful interview, they delve into their experiences as creative entrepreneurs, sharing valuable insights, challenges, and strategies that propelled their business growth.

Creator Bio:

Meet the Creative Power Couple, Josh and Karis Pharris, owners of Pharris Photography. With a passion for creative entrepreneurship, they share their journey and expertise to empower fellow creatives.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Hiring Strategies for Creatives:
  • The Pharris duo discuss their hiring journey and the pivotal role it played in expanding their business.
  • Insight into the importance of hiring to achieve financial growth and operational ease.
  • Strategies for Scaling:
  • The initial hiring decisions were driven by the need for increased productivity and reaching a higher income level.
  • Emphasizing the significance of identifying and leveraging each team member's "zone of genius."
  • Building a Supportive Team:
  • The challenges of managing multiple employees and the realization that having a team requires a set of management skills.
  • The comparison of managing a team to parenting and the growth process in becoming effective leaders.
  • Leadership Development:
  • Learning from experience and developing leadership skills to navigate the complexities of business growth.
  • Recommended resources for leadership development, including insights from John Maxwell.
  • Crucial Business Levers:
  • Understanding the true value of your creative offer beyond the surface level.
  • Establishing a strategic pricing structure aligned with your financial goals.
  • Crafting a cohesive brand message that aligns with your offerings and builds client trust.
  • Balancing Creativity and Administration:
  • The unique synergy between Karis's creativity and Josh's administrative skills.
  • Acknowledging the importance of embracing both creative and administrative aspects for business success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hiring Strategies for Creatives:
  • The Pharris duo divulge their hiring journey, showcasing its pivotal role in expanding their business.
  • Insight into the importance of hiring for financial growth and operational ease.
  • Strategies for Scaling:
  • Initial hiring decisions driven by the need for increased productivity and reaching a higher income level.
  • Emphasis on identifying and leveraging each team member's "zone of genius."
  • Building a Supportive Team:
  • Challenges of managing multiple employees and the realization that having a team requires a set of management skills.
  • Comparison of managing a team to parenting and the growth process in becoming effective leaders.

Leadership Development:

  • Learning from experience and developing leadership skills to navigate the complexities of business growth.
  • Recommended resources for leadership development, including insights from John Maxwell.

Crucial Business Levers:

  • Understanding the true value of your creative offer beyond the surface level.
  • Establishing a strategic pricing structure aligned with your financial goals.
  • Crafting a cohesive brand message that aligns with your offerings and builds client trust.

Balancing Creativity and Administration:

  • The unique synergy between Karis's creativity and Josh's administrative skills.
  • Acknowledging the importance of embracing both creative and administrative aspects for business success.

Closing Thoughts:

As the conversation wraps up, ShySpeaks teases the audience about the transformative business consultation services offered by the Pharris duo. To take your creative business to new heights, tune in and discover actionable insights that can revolutionize your entrepreneurial journey.


Podcast Introduction

  • [00:00:00] Ronald Lee Jr. introduces the podcast, emphasizing its focus on helping creative entrepreneurs.

Hosts' Introduction and Episode Preview

  • [00:00:30] ShySpeaks joins the introduction, highlighting their excitement about the guests and the value they bring to the audience.

Introduction of Guests

  • [00:01:00] The conversation shifts to introducing Josh and Karris Pharris, detailing their background in wedding photography and consulting.

The Pharisees' Entrepreneurial Journey

  • [00:02:00] Josh and Karris share their story, from starting in wedding photography at Baylor University to evolving into a consulting firm.

Transitioning from Corporate to Entrepreneurship

  • [00:10:00] The Pharisees discuss the challenges and motivations behind moving from corporate jobs to full-time entrepreneurship, including the decision-making process and the role of personal development.

Business Strategy and Pricing

  • [00:20:00] The focus shifts to business strategies, particularly around pricing and understanding market value, emphasizing the importance of aligning pricing with client expectations and service value.

Scaling the Business through Associate Model

  • [00:30:00] Discussion on how the Pharisees scaled their business, detailing the associate model's operational logistics, quality control, and client communication.

Overcoming Entrepreneurial Challenges

  • [00:40:00] The Pharisees touch upon the personal and professional challenges faced while scaling their business, including the need for leadership development and team management.

Conclusion and Next Steps

  • [00:50:00] The podcast concludes with ShySpeaks and Ronald Lee Jr. summarizing the key insights from the interview, thanking the guests, and encouraging listeners to apply the shared lessons.

Call to Action

  • [00:55:00] The hosts provide a call to action, inviting the audience to explore further resources and support offered by the Pharisees, and closing remarks.
Ronald Lee Jr.: [:

ShySpeaks: Jr. And I am your host Shy Speaks and this is the number one podcast for creative entrepreneurs to be able to get strategy, structure, and personal development all in one place. Yeah. I'm excited. I can't even, I can't even let Ron go.

ShySpeaks: I'm sure it's something you're supposed to be saying, but I'm excited because we have some guests with us and I'm not fake excited for the, for the episode. I'm really excited because this particular duo is a husband and wife duo. They are like all things creative entrepreneur, all things to aspire to, in my personal opinion, from knowing them personally.

essional about them? Because [:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Right. So no, we listen, we have the Pharisees here. They are a husband and wife duo that they, they started off doing wedding photography in this kind of, now they have this phenomenal consulting firm.

Ronald Lee Jr.: They still do photography. It's a bunch of other things, videography and all these things. So, um, like I said, that's what qualifies them to be here on the show today. So, um, yeah, so that's, that's, that's us kind of telling a little bit about y'all sales, but how would y'all introduce the pharisees? Like tell us, yeah.

Ronald Lee Jr.: How, how do y'all introduce everybody?

iness owners, creatives, um, [:

Josh Pharris: Okay.

ShySpeaks: Now I, we just said the pharisees cause we, we, we're putting y'all out there as a couple that you are, uh, but. Let's go first names. Go ahead. Introduce yourself by first name. Go ahead.

Josh Pharris: This is Charis Ferris. This is Joshua Ferris.

ShySpeaks: I love it. I can see y'all personality right now. Y'all be like, okay, super cool.

ShySpeaks: The reason why I'm excited is not just because I know y'all personally, but because You are the first duo that we've had on the podcast. And so, uh, we're excited for other creative entrepreneurs who are also married or who have business partners. And they kind of want to know what that looks like in that context as well.

ShySpeaks: Um, I just want you to know though, we're going to be diving into the film side, which is the photography and videography and the business consultancy. So you may have to just catch and glean any kind of like couple stuff. So we're going to get directly into it. Ron, you ready to go? I'm,

Josh Pharris: you

ld Lee Jr.: know, I'm always [:

Ronald Lee Jr.: I'm always ready. Um, so once again, so you guys have this phenomenal video on you on your website that kind of tells you all story, right? So we know our audience probably hasn't seen that video. I encourage y'all go to their website, watch the video so you can go get a little bit more in depth. But, um, for those who, you know, haven't seen the video or, um, you guys, uh, were in corporate America, right?

Ronald Lee Jr.: You guys had, had other jobs that weren't. Creative jobs. If I'm not mistaken, you were working for NASA. Just tell us a little bit about that. Cause this, so I can, you know, I want to piggyback on it, but tell us a little bit about that working for NASA as a creative.

Josh Pharris: Yeah. Um, well, first we met at Baylor university.

had started the business in, [:

Josh Pharris: Uh, while the business continued, because while I was at NASA, I was like, all right, cool. Got enough, you know, this is stressful. I was about to just stop doing photography, you know, but she was like, wait a minute. No, I'll help you out. And, uh, she started handling a lot of the systems and the operational side of the business, uh, to allow us to continue to build what we have today.

Ronald Lee Jr.: Okay. So you, you were, so instead of you saying I'm quitting my job, your thought was I'm quitting.

Josh Pharris: Yeah, um, you know, just Cause I mean, I was at work, you know, under the table trying to keep, you know, communication going through clients and editing and during my lunch, it kind of got real busy. And I was like, ah, you know, I'll just do this over here.

got her hands dirty with me. [:

ShySpeaks: Okay, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead. So at this

Ronald Lee Jr.: time, were you guys married? Or were you still just dating? Or a fiance? Like, yeah, where were y'all at in that process?

Karris Pharris: So I started helping him before we were married.

Karris Pharris: When, so at school, when he started the business, it started with party photography. Um, well, the real reason he started it was because he wanted to document his experience as the first man in his family to go to college. So he just started photography that way, but because he's an entrepreneur, then he became.

Karris Pharris: Campus party photographer that morphed into graduation photography. And so by the time we met, I think he had gotten, um, or someone requested for him to do an engagement session. So I was there at the first engagement session and I just directed, so I kind of came up with the creative vision. I had this Pinterest board and I was behind the scenes like posing the couple, the whole thing.

when we were dating. Um, by [:

Karris Pharris: Cause we weren't married yet. So I was like, Pay me. I need an incentive. I need an incentive.

ShySpeaks: That's right. That's right. This is not free labor, you know. Okay, but I want to know, and I think this may be helpful for other people who are deciding, I have a, my, Nine to five. And then I have what we consider a side hustle.

e was make, probably make it [:

ShySpeaks: Let's not quit that. What, what, what would you say, Cara? What was your reason for that? And then Josh, what were your thought? What was your thoughts?

Karris Pharris: You know, I dunno, actually, I don't know what my thought process was behind you. Not quitting. Do you know She wanted

Josh Pharris: to lock me down. What do you mean? She was like, let, let, let me get in there.

Josh Pharris: That'll keep him. Yeah,

Karris Pharris: that wasn't it. I can guarantee you that it was already locked down.

ShySpeaks: Right, right. He basically saying he was going to be codependent on, he's going to be codependent on you from that point on.

Karris Pharris: Yeah, that wasn't me. I, I don't know. I just think he had started this thing. And I enjoyed doing it with him and that probably by the time he wanted to quit, we were shooting like we were doing more of, it wasn't just that first engagement shoot.

we had shot maybe a few and [:

Josh Pharris: in all honesty, Caris is like the creative, like she's creative everything.

Josh Pharris: She was fashion design, art major. And so I really think what we were doing really encompassed all of her gifts and her passions from the weddings to the photography to, you know, us doing business together. All of that kind of was engulfing in one. So, uh, but yeah, so that was that part. And then as far as.

rogram manager. Then I'll be [:

Josh Pharris: You know what I mean? So I had that trajectory and mindset and they kind of, the two just kind of conflicted and before I ended up quitting, I was actually a project manager and I went to oil and gas or whatever. So I had kind of did that, but also it was. the lifestyle, right? And then also thinking about the trajectory of later, like, okay, what is actually the ceiling or the limit of being in this corporate structure, you know, versus being over here, we're able to travel together, we're doing what we want to do together, all of that.

Josh Pharris: And so kind of just thinking a little bit further ahead. Made me flip the switch and say, you know what, I do want to do this full time. But in that moment that we were talking about, it was, it was a lot. And I was like, I do, I want to do that, but I can't do it all on my own. So,

ShySpeaks: yeah, I, man, I think that that is, I know y'all are like, I don't know, but it's really some, something that's profound there.

peaks: Number one, I enjoyed [:

ShySpeaks: with my kids. How much time do I want to have to travel? All of that ties into lifestyle. So I think we should be picking careers and businesses and things like that, that encompass the life we want to live as well as something that we actually enjoy more. So I think it's great.

Ronald Lee Jr.: No, and that's, and that's what it sounds like, where it's like, this is something that.

Ronald Lee Jr.: I enjoy, but I enjoy it because we can do this together. I can't do NASA with you, right? When you go to NASA, you're doing NASA all off by yourself. And I mean, yes, it's bringing in revenue and things like that. And yes, I'm sure that we can, you know, have a nice home and a nice life with you working at NASA.

u at NASA, so don't let this [:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Let's keep this going. And was it a conversation where you were like, okay, let's figure out how to remove you from Nassau and insert you in this for a time? Or did that just happen gradually? And what was the strategy in place? Like, how did that

ShySpeaks: happen? Tell us the exit strategy. That's something that a lot of creatives need to know how to exit the nine to five world to get into the passion that they have.

catching the vision that I'm [:

Karris Pharris: So, um, we kind of divided and conquered, which allowed us to grow faster while he was still at work. Because I was able to put in more time than he was at the time. Um, but it became, he was, we were like weekend warriors. So he was working nine to five and then we were going to shoot afterwards together.

, um. So we, we were dated in:

Karris Pharris: And so pretty soon after we were married, I was like, quit. Because it was a lot, and he was tired. Um, and he would not quit. Because I am the one who's like, it'll be fine, it'll work out, look at all this business. I [00:13:00] don't care what the numbers look like. I'm just like, it's going great, we're busy. Like, you know, um.

Karris Pharris: But he was like, no, we, we need to have a plan. You know, I can't just quit. And so I'll let you speak to that. Cause I don't know what you did, but if it was up to me, we'd probably be, it would probably not have gone well. I was like, just quit. It'll be fine. But he had a plan.

Josh Pharris: Yeah, so I had a plan because I had a responsibility and so, um, I wanted to make sure that those responsibilities first and foremost were taken care of.

Josh Pharris: And that first one was her, you know, um, I wanted to make sure before I left and my job to be able to, you know, do what I want to do in my passion that she had the opportunity to do that first. And so it wasn't just, hey, let me, Replace my salary with what I'm doing. It's let's get you out. So before I even quit, she was able to quit her job.

Josh Pharris: Um, she was working in a,

Karris Pharris: I only [:

Josh Pharris: was it. So I was able to make enough to allow her to do it and substitute that with, then she started working full time in the business. So technically she was working. Full time in the business before I was, and then, um, I don't know how late, maybe a year or two later, then I was able.

Josh Pharris: To, to quit.

Karris Pharris: December:

Josh Pharris: Okay. Um, oh, what,

ShySpeaks: what was the real quick, I know we got, I know you probably got another question, but like, what was the additional year in some change for like, what, what was it? Something that you were strategically trying to get to financial wise?

Josh Pharris: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So remember the decision to go full time anyway

en we upsized, we got a town [:

Karris Pharris: Yeah. A lot of lifestyle creep. We had a baby. And then by the time he actually quit, I was pregnant with our second. Um, so just for some context in there, there was, Other things he had to be responsible for, um, and so that probably extended

Josh Pharris: the time. Yeah, so, that, and then, um, So yeah, so she was able, but what in my head in my mind was the financial aspect.

hat jump, I was using all my [:

Josh Pharris: I was using six days. I had all of that. It was, you know, every other second, every weekend, there was no free time. Go to work and then go back to work for ourselves. And so, um, but in that also came, I left NASA and I went to oil and gas to just higher salary. So I worked just as hard in my nine to five to level up, you know, uh, and maximize that opportunity as well.

Josh Pharris: Now

Ronald Lee Jr.: I'm going, I'm, I'm going to pivot a little bit, so don't get mad at me, Shy, right now as the, As the head of the household, right? You are in a position to where, like you said, you're, you're working at Nassau. You know, your wife wants you to quit, but you like, nah, I got these responsibilities. So just kind of talk about the emotional and mental fortitude that you needed.

ght. And that's kind of what [:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Right? So talk a little bit about that and how, how did you get through it? Like, how did you not buckle under the pressure? Cause like you said, we got married in seven months after. We got married. My wife was expecting, right? We got it. We, we, so we expecting a baby. We got a new house. We got another baby on the way.

Ronald Lee Jr.: Like how, yeah. How do you not buckle under that pressure?

Josh Pharris: Yeah. Um, you, you're right. It is a lot of pressure. I want to

ShySpeaks: say, Joshua, you like, and I'm the reason why I'm not mad at that question is because yes, I do want to get into the structure. Yes. I want to get into the strategy, but we said, Personal development.

I developing? How's my mind? [:

Josh Pharris: hear that. Yeah. Well, number one, you're right.

Josh Pharris: So how do I deal with it? It is tough. Um, I had to be confident in One, confidence rooted in God, right? Rooted in faith, knowing that, you know, what he, the desires that he put in my heart, our heart, was real and very much so attainable. So, that's the, the basic. Um, because, you know, it was, it was I won't call it shame, but like, you, you know, you sell somebody work at NASA.

Josh Pharris: Ooh, ooh, you know, mechanical engineer. Ooh. You know, but then when you say I'm quitting and I'm gonna be a photographer, they're like, why, you know, you want to do what, you know? And so, but because we had a vision and we knew what we wanted to do, I was able to be very disciplined day in and day out to. to achieve that.

s just like every day, quit, [:

Josh Pharris: Um, By the time that I did quit, it was, you know, we were okay. And so, um, one, yes, it was tough coming out, but having to stick, I mean, I, I, I can't say how or express how important it is for entrepreneurs to delay their gratification. Right. I don't want to live my best life right now. Am I living my best life right now in the present?

Josh Pharris: Yes, but it's going to get so much better. And so if you can have that perspective of knowing that it gets going to be a lot better later, you can eat dirt for as long as possible and continue just to build up and build up and build up that goodwill. That's going to come to you. And that's, you know, that's what we did.

rked hard. Um, she, it was a [:

Josh Pharris: That, you know, because my worst fear was like, Oh, he quit. They're doing all of this. And then that was it. And then it goes back. And I got to go back to, that's what I've been running away from. I don't want to go back.

Ronald Lee Jr.: No, that reminds me of a quote. Cause you just said that you had that vision, like the death, like, this is what we're working toward. This is where we're going. So it reminds me of a quote where it says, if you don't know where you're going, any road to take you there. Cause you don't have no destination, but you had a destination.

this is, this is what we're [:

Josh Pharris: Yeah. I

ShySpeaks: think that was the strongest thing is like, obviously faith, right. But also it sounds like having a vision I'm working towards somewhere.

ShySpeaks: And a lot of times people are like the strategy is like strategy is one thing, but vision is like, that's man, that's, that's, that's good. Yeah. Oh, okay. I hope somebody got something out of that. Y'all ready to get into this strategy? No, no, seriously, because we have, we have the, the, we got into that personalized, but they, they're, they are, they are beast in my, in my words, right?

t and let's talk about maybe [:

ShySpeaks: You finally leave the company. Uh, you finally leave the corporate world. You're in. And I know it's very important to you to make sure the money comes in properly and you guys can be sustainable. Was there some type of pricing strategy that you use that you go into some type of like, we're going to specifically focus on this so that we can make.

ShySpeaks: Replace the six figure income and double the six. Like, what, what was that? I

Karris Pharris: mean, in the beginning, I feel like the pricing structure was mostly you. Um, and I think we were probably fighting each other back and forth because he came with logic and I came with like feeling like, how is a bride going to feel when she sees this number?

of the buy, the purchase and [:

Josh Pharris: and the facts. And I was like, how are you going to feel if I say, Hey, we ain't got it.

Karris Pharris: That's literally how the conversation went. So

ShySpeaks: first and foremost, it sounds like there's a strategy to focus in the wedding market. I mean, I know that you guys started, he got the engagement shoot, then the wedding, but it's like, you can do photography and so many different facets. Is it, was wedding specifically because of the ability?

ShySpeaks: Okay.

Josh Pharris: We're talking about like, start just starting, starting business, like in college, or are we talking about? No, no, no. We're,

ShySpeaks: we're fast forward. Okay. We want to know how you going to. Get to this six figures or double this six, you know, like, how are we going to, what is the

Karris Pharris: Okay, do you want it? Nope.

Josh Pharris: You got it.

Josh Pharris: Cause you

spend eight hours? No, like [:

Karris Pharris: How much does it cost me per photo to get retouched? Um, how much is it going to cost me to outsource this editing? Are they going to charge me per photo? How much am I going to offer the client? Uh, what am I going to include in this package? How much base, just the base cost of how much did this. Cost to my business to give it to my client.

Karris Pharris: Um, and then from there, I feel like, uh, I think what is it standard is that you wanna make a, a, what is it? 40% profit off of a 40% profit

Josh Pharris: margin. It's different for

Karris Pharris: every business. Yeah, different for every business. But I think what we said was that we wanted a 40%. Profit margin. Um, I think we operate a little more than that now on the profit margin because we factor in like our expertise, how long we've been in this business, what other people who've been in this business are charging.

of like, okay, what are our [:

Karris Pharris: There's two different ways to, to really build out your pricing. The base of both ways is to start with what it's going to cost you. Um, and then, you know, on the first level, it's what are the people around you charge at your actual level? Figure out a profit margin that works for you and for your budget and for your time.

be a bride or whether it be, [:

Karris Pharris: There is, what do you want? Let's dream. Let's, let's go to the, to the sky with this, you know, from a bride, you know, are you going to have. We've had a bride who flew off of her wedding in a helicopter. Like her budget is different than another bride's budget. Um, and so we don't start with, here's what we can do.

Karris Pharris: Ooh, please, can you, we start with a minimum and then we say, let's, let's reach to the sky and the price might be to the sky. If that's what your budget is. Um, so I think there's two different ways of kind of pricing that out. And we didn't start there. Um, and I, I don't think I'd recommend anybody start there cause you're, you know, your pricing has to match your level of, uh, confidence at the end of the day, level of confidence and not only confidence, but some people have false confidence, but what you can actually produce and deliver.

nd is it worth that? Um, you [:

ShySpeaks: better. Yeah, that's good. That, like, that's good is the, um, there are two pricing models. I love what you shared there. Start with your cost because some people don't factor that in, especially creatives. They're just doing all this stuff and not even count factoring in.

ShySpeaks: Well, I had to have Pro Tools. I had to have Video Premiere. I had to have an assistant. I had, they haven't even factored out. They just said, well, I mean. Emotionally speaking, I feel like they wouldn't want to spend more than three thousand. So it doesn't matter how much it's going to cost me. So I think that that's really, really great to cause people to think like, think about your costs.

ShySpeaks: And then the second option is what are they willing to pay? Because what, whatever they are willing to pay, they're willing to pay you that. Probably to even maybe buy you out of, uh, like, let's say like, I have something else going on, but they may come with such a price where it's like, well, I can forego this one so that I can go.

idea of like, they know your [:

ShySpeaks: Competency and confidence, so yeah. Right.

Ronald Lee Jr.: So before, listen, we, we, we want to keep it going. We are not stopping. We just gotta pause because we gotta pay these bills. So we will be back in a few seconds right after

Josh Pharris: this.

Karris Pharris: What's the irony, ?

ShySpeaks: It's because it's us in different colored clothing. I mean, listen, we've been doing a lot of talking and we wanna make sure that you have an opportunity to make a statement as well,

Ronald Lee Jr.: because we've seen people make statements with their athletic apparel.

ke a statement as a creative [:

ShySpeaks: Okay. Okay. So if they want to make sure that they're rocking that creative for newer gear, where can they go get that?

Ronald Lee Jr.: You can go get that gear from What's the Irony. dot com.

Ronald Lee Jr.: So welcome back. Um, so yeah, before the break, we, we talked a lot about, uh, like your, your strategy and just your pricing strategy and things like that. Um, and then I kind of asked, you know, Josh, you know, like, how was it just kinda just that pressure of the responsibilities and just, you know, knowing that you wanted to transition, but you know, all these other things.

k and things [:

Josh Pharris: that?

Josh Pharris: Yes, I kind of speak to that because that was my responsibility. Um,

Karris Pharris: I'm sorry, before you do, I will just say everything I said about pricing, he showed me how to do it. I didn't know how to do none of that. So, I do think it's still, you know, Josh is, has a business mindset. So, and I, I, I don't. Naturally. No.

Karris Pharris: What you say right here. I just want to make it known. Yeah. He taught me all that. I didn't come up with it. You

Josh Pharris: did good. You started like, like you said, Shy, most people start with like. Oh, how, you know, don't factor in cost. So you can factor in your costs. But we, what we learned in doing that at first, we were short changing ourselves.

Josh Pharris: Um, when you don't want to go to these huge weddings and then if you're the cheapest thing on the menu, like, no, you don't want to do that. Or when a plan and you're like, that's it, you know, no, you don't want to do that.

Karris Pharris: [:

Josh Pharris: So, um, we learned is to actually understand the needs of the client, because sometimes if you have just a.

Josh Pharris: You know, something strictly that you're serving everybody. You could lose out on the opportunity to do more for that client. And so, um, I think you explained it right. That was just kind of a progression, but what I did initially to get pricing was number one rule I wasn't going to do at the time when I went full time, I wasn't going to do it cheaper than what.

Josh Pharris: I was doing as an engineer. So I was like, whatever, if I'm, if I'm trading time for money, it's got to be at least more than what that was. So that was bare minimum. But what we did to set a goal was, was think. How much do we want to bring into this family a year? And then how often do we want to work?

, [:

Josh Pharris: And then if you do like portrait sessions, we're good. That's cherry on top. You can sell another album, cherry on top. But my focus was, we need at least X amount of weddings to book, which then led me into learning how to grow a business because now we need leads. Now we need to make sales because at the end of the day, we need blank amount of.

Josh Pharris: So,

Karris Pharris: yeah, that was like, yeah,

ShySpeaks: yeah, that, that, that question though, that had nothing. The question was, Oh, and maybe you, you guys can keep it concise with the, with this, with like benefits, like health benefits and like financial package. And I know you guys do have a Ferris. Plus the consulting is when people are concerned about that.

k? Do y'all have any [:

Josh Pharris: way I saw it, what we were doing when we started the business and you think about all that, it's a slingshot.

Josh Pharris: So some of that was, Meaning we're taking a step back to be shot further later, right? So that's part of just an entrepreneur sacrifice. Now there are creative ways to find health insurance, dental 401ks. And so instead of invest, number one, health insurance, we use the Christian, uh, health insurance share, right?

Josh Pharris: So we don't have. Technical, formal, like health insurance, but we've never been let down in, uh, this, uh, I don't even know what to call it. A health share. It's called Samaritan Ministries and we should get some money from them because we plug them all the time. But I was able to like, so like any hospital bills, like we've had four kids, um, and all of that has been covered through this health share.

whenever we request a need. [:

Josh Pharris: It's, you know, we've got, it's government, not government, it's, uh, It's managed. Yeah. Um, so that's one 401k. Um, instead of, uh, investing in IRA, I'd rather invest in an IR me. Right. And so we believe that our business has way higher returns. Now, do we do it? Yes. Cause I had it and I roll it over and I do some retirement, but that wasn't initially it was first.

Josh Pharris: I need to build up. Our own cashflow and in the excess of that cashflow, now we can start putting away some for safety and retirement. But first I had to invest all that into us, whether it was our equipment, whether it was mentors teaching, I, I didn't have the luxury to say, Hey, manage this and let it grow at a maximum of 12 percent when I, Hey, go buy this equipment.

Josh Pharris: I could [:

Josh Pharris: You know, I know you want that commission, but I can do like, when you look at it on return business, like. Beats all of that. So

ShySpeaks: you're dropping bars. Yeah.

ShySpeaks: This is getting intense. Ron, go ahead. Cause you know, I got something to say. No, you go.

Ronald Lee Jr.: It's on you. He answered my question. It's

ShySpeaks: on you. All right. Listen, that, that was just for the free right there. I love what you just said. It's a sling shot, the sling forward. Maybe you shouldn't be focusing on that. You, if you especially if you already got something from a nine to five, that that was already there and it's going to roll over.

now, is that the focus? The [:

Ronald Lee Jr.: there. I'm investing in IRA. I'm investing in IR me.

ShySpeaks: Once you get that boom, what you're looking for, this said certain number that you're trying to hit this 100 is 200.

ShySpeaks: You know, now you can start come back in with your financial guy and be like, this is what we're doing. Right. And so for, for a moment, you can focus. Kind of shift your focus. And I think that that is important because people are like, I need to be doing something with that right away. Like, it's okay.

ShySpeaks: You'll be all right. Breathe. I love

Josh Pharris: it. You know, oh, go ahead. I was going say really quickly, just prioritization of that is making sure that you can have enough cash flow to cover your. Your lifestyle, your base, your bills. And then you want that safety nets, right? Once you got that safety nets of cashflow for, you know, just say six months, anything above that, now you can start investing.

re of yourself, take care of [:

ShySpeaks: Got you. Okay. So, uh, the mindset I can already tell that you already have, like, you guys have this, uh, very, vision focused, uh, entrepreneurial, and really strong creative mindset, which I think is what helped birth what I would say.

ShySpeaks: It's my first time hearing not the agency model, the associate model, which is something I feel like, I don't know. I feel like y'all kind of like, at least I would say created it, or at least this is the first time I've ever heard it within your film, your photography and videography business. Some people are wondering like, okay, how can I scale this?

you guys, with your creative [:

ShySpeaks: Can y'all tell them about that? I know about it, but I want to make sure that other aspiring photographers and videographers who want to have this amazing film company, they want to scale it, understand a little bit about this.

Karris Pharris: Yeah, I mean, essentially, it's just that you have a group of photographers or videographers who shoot on behalf of your brand.

Karris Pharris: Um, you can do it in a multitude of ways. You can receive what they photograph or video, and you can edit it yourself to deliver to the client, or you can make it their responsibility and edit it and deliver it to the client. Um, I've seen it done multiple ways with having an associate team, but it was Josh's idea.

ve, we're going to have more [:

Karris Pharris: And I was like, yes, I can. What are you talking about? Like, I love doing this. Um, and he was like, Whatever. And he just kind of started it, um, but because I'm a creative and, and the final product and the experience matters so much to me. Um, I couldn't just let him do it without me having some kind of hand in it.

Karris Pharris: Um, and so the vision, all him. The process, all me. So what it looks like on the backend, I don't know if this is what you're asking me, are you asking me?

ShySpeaks: Yeah, no, go ahead. I was going to say, so the vision of doing that associate model where you're about to get into, uh, what is the, the backend look like the process, because this is important because there are other people who feel the same way as you, they want to make sure that.

o what does the process look [:

Karris Pharris: quality? Yeah. Um, the process looks like first and foremost standards. So anybody and everybody can't be on the team, which is just.

Karris Pharris: What it is. Um, there's a certain level of gear that you have to have. There's a certain, you know, amount of experience that you have to have. Um, for me, there's just a creative filter. Like, do I like your creative eye? Do I like what I've seen you do? Um, is the quality there? Are things in focus? Do you have the basics, you know?

he good employees, you know, [:

Karris Pharris: Um, and so the second part of that is, you know, are our photographers responsible? I, we, and professional, um, I call it a wed side manner. You know, I'm not looking for people who are going to go and be the life of the party. I want you to be a fly on the wall. That's not our job. Um, and so there's a, there's a, a quality standard on the photography side.

Karris Pharris: And then there's a person, personal standard. Um, what is your character like? Are you going to vibe well with, um, our type of clients? So there's. Kind of two, two levels there. Are you on time? We've had to, unfortunately, let people go because they were late. That's not an option, um, because you represent our brand.

adsheet, just, I don't know, [:

Karris Pharris: Uh, multiple things we do client facing to make sure that our clients feel safe and happy with their photographers. Multiple questionnaires to make sure that there's communication on, on both ends. That the photographers know what they need to do. That the client feels solid knowing that the photographer knows what they need to do.

Karris Pharris: Um, we have a, A client relations manager on the back end who does all of our communications with associates booking. Because when a bride books for next year, we need to make sure we're booking somebody in time for that and securing that date. What does that look like to send a deposit before we've gotten a deposit financially?

Karris Pharris: You know, there's lots of things back in. I can go into what is the question? You giving it, you giving it,

r three steps, but then even [:

ShySpeaks: So now the associates that work with you don't have that. Not only do they need to meet the client facing criteria, they need to meet some kind of administrative criteria to be able to like work with y'all on the back end, because maybe you're, you're communicating through a certain channel. We're using, you need to be, you need to know how to use some type of spreadsheet, you know how to fill out a questionnaire, those types of things.

ShySpeaks: Okay. So real quick, what are some of the tools? Just give them a little, like give them one or two tools. What are, how do you guys communicate? If I'm a photographer, I'm a videographer and I'm like, okay, I'm gonna bring some associates that can represent my brand. You know, put the shirt on, they rep the brand, but how do I communicate with them and how do I pay them?

ShySpeaks: Or, you know, just some type of

und works best. is to put as [:

Karris Pharris: Um, and I want to empower our photographers to be creative because that's the fun part. And so instead of expecting them to like, fill out this spreadsheet and fill out this, you know, form and da da da, nope, you don't have to do none of that. Respond to this email. Show up on time. Be creative. Give me the photos.

Karris Pharris: That is the extent of what I expect from our photographers. And that is the extent of what they want to be expected of them. Honestly, like they want to get paid for the work that they do on that day. Um, and, and walk away with a good experience. And that is what I expected then. Um, on the client side, all I expected the client is that they fill out a detailed questionnaire, um, so that we know everything that they want.

heir wedding day in order to [:

Karris Pharris: Um, from who have we reached out to about this date, the meetings that happen internally, um, of matching the, the bride to the photographer, that is all internal. That's something that I do with our client relations manager. Um, and our Financial manager to make sure people are getting paid. And there have been so, I mean, we are not perfect.

f that organization in house.[:

Karris Pharris: Um, and by in house, I don't even mean I personally am doing it. I was at one point and then realized organization is, I'm a creative too. I'm really great at building systems. I'm not great with keeping up with them. And so then we outsource that. He's somebody who is, who's equally as good at building systems so that she can help me.

Karris Pharris: You know, optimize that because we have lots more systems that need to be built now, but also who can keep track of it, um, and, and who can manage herself. So, I think too, you have to know who you are and what your strengths are and find people who can fill in those gaps to help you build those systems that need to be built for, for processes like that,

ShySpeaks: I guess.

more. I know that you have, [:

ShySpeaks: I know there's more, but you're giving a lot here, so. I appreciate it. And you brought up something that's really good. I normally about this time, we try to go about 45 minutes. We're like, okay, I got, I got a few more questions I got to ask you. So I hope the creative listeners and the audience who are tuning in, you don't mind getting a little bit more extra sauce from the Ferrences, right?

ShySpeaks: So you talked about, uh, realizing that you needed to hire somebody. And so when we, we realized that a lot of times is it's, it's not like what needs to be done, it's who needs to do it. So it's not just the associates that you need to hire, but. even internally, you realize that you needed to hire somebody.

s like there's a funny story [:

Karris Pharris: that. Oh my gosh, there's a million funny stories.

ShySpeaks: Okay, so let me say this. Okay, initially, before it was just y'all two, when did, how long did it take before you realized you guys needed to hire somebody? Did you hire them so that you can go to another level of income? Or did you hire them so that you could have like a certain level of ease within the business?

Josh Pharris: Um, Karis was my first hire, so I could go to another level of income, you know, cause you only have so much time and we all have our zone of genius. And so my encouragement to all creators is find yours and get there as quickly as possible. Um, but you can only do that When you have a standard operating procedure in place to be able to delegate that work.

you complete everything you [:

Josh Pharris: Just write that down. But, um, first hire was needed because I didn't have enough time and I wanted to go to the next level. And, you know, Karis.

Karris Pharris: My first hire was helping the home. Yeah. Because if I was going to continue to build, and I think that's something women should talk about more. Yep. Um, if I was going to help build a business.

is in power or enable me to, [:

Karris Pharris: were in my giftings at work. And then the second hire, I think we just were overwhelmed. We hired a family friend, um, and we just threw everything at her and she was working out of our home. And, um, did we freeze?

Ronald Lee Jr.: You did, but it's still going to record it. So we should be

Karris Pharris: good. Okay. Um, yeah, so she was working out of our home and we just were throwing things at her and there was really no system.

uld say like three, well, we [:

Karris Pharris: Yeah. Wow.

Josh Pharris: Now that is when we learned that having employees. Is a job in itself. Having a place is

Karris Pharris: like having children. And I don't mean that in a, um, uh, a belittling or disrespectful way at all. It is just that there are people under your care. Who cannot operate without your direction. And it takes you having to level up in so many ways, responsibility wise, maturity wise, um, every single way you can imagine, just like parenting.

oint, we really had to start [:

Karris Pharris: We hired all these people because we needed to help, but we really didn't. Say what we actually, like specifically need help with, um, because if you invite someone into chaos, it doesn't, it doesn't breed success. It just breeds more chaos, um, and, and more money to spend on that chaos. That was definitely a process that matured us, um, and, and helped develop us.

yees to now we each have one [:

Karris Pharris: And a lot of contractors, because that model works so much better for us. But I think it takes, there's a learning curve. Right. Certainly a learning

Josh Pharris: curve. Yeah, for sure. For sure.

ShySpeaks: Wow. Okay. So did you, one of the things you talked about, you brought up kind of like some personal development, so to speak, in the sense of like, you have to level up all the more to pull out of yourself what it is you need from this person, from this employee or so forth and so on.

ShySpeaks: So. You have to level up your leadership now, once you're growing a business model and you're scaling it. Was there some books that you read? Was there conferences that you attended? Like, what was it that you used to develop in that area? I mean, I know trial and error. I know you were in there just getting burned by the fire, but what were you doing to learn how to, like, navigate it better?

about the people, right? So [:

Josh Pharris: So it was a lot of that, um, understanding what are their needs, what do they want? How can I empower them, build them up, uh, enough to produce the best product for the people we're serving? Um, so I mean, there's a list of books. Um, But a lot of the focus had to be on, uh, of course, leadership, team building, and then also just, um, developing the, the development, uh, uh, development, yeah, development of them to make sure that they're getting better, right?

Josh Pharris: Because the team and showing them and so, uh, yeah, yeah, I mean, it was, it was definitely a lot of that.

ght. Okay, so. I, listen, I, [:

ShySpeaks: So I just adore that. Now, for people who are listening to this, they're like, okay, I like, I want to know more about this. I want them to be, uh, inspired or feel inclined to go sign up for Ferris Plus, like the consultation side. So as we bring this to a close, I want to, I really want to tease them a little bit.

ShySpeaks: I want to make them salivate for like, okay, I got to go click the link. And we're going to have a link, a description in this, uh, of this video that you can click on that takes you directly there if you want to. Know more about their business consultation. But last question, really quick. If there were three levers that you have to pull, when I say levers, I was like, Hey, I'm consulting somebody.

hey want to know how to like [:

Josh Pharris: Yeah, I mean, number one is understanding what your offer is.

Josh Pharris: A lot of the times we think that we're photographers, so we sell photos. That's not the case, always. We are actually, um, preserving one of the greatest days of your life, these memories, so you can pass down through generation to generation. That's way more valuable than A photo, right? So understanding what your offer is, is number one.

Josh Pharris: Number two is what we kind of talked about is the pricing structure for that, right? Um, sometimes get taking it to the next level is nothing but raising your price because you're there, but that is a, a mental block and emotional block. You may not. Have that confidence, but do the numbers and really understand what you're looking for.

then third is understanding [:

Josh Pharris: Broken trust because you're saying I charge 50, 000, but you got a 10 website. You got a 5 headshot. There's no, uh, the, the, the client experience is seamless. So those are the three things that anybody can work on and optimize at any point, really understanding what is it that you offer? Second, how is your pricing?

Josh Pharris: Does your pricing match your financial, uh, Trajectory and plan of where you want to go and third, what does your brand look like? Are you talking about what you offer, uh, correctly? Does it, and it doesn't match what you are asking for in return?

t's like y'all yin and yang. [:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Like you said, like, We've seen creators that, that they, the average or the, the, the general, we make an ablament statement when we talk about creators, right? That, that admin side, they don't want to do nothing with that, right? They, they, they run from it. That's why you say we see them hop from job to job and all these things, because it's like, I don't like it.

Ronald Lee Jr.: They, they, they, they're, they, they, they operate with feelings and emotion, which is not a bad thing. It's just different when it comes, but when it comes to actually having a business, It's a little bit different when you got it, you're going to have to lean into that. And if you don't lean into it and you've got to find somebody.

nk that's been a benefit for [:

Josh Pharris: you.

ShySpeaks: And while I'm giving claps and giving applause, I actually want to, uh, thank. Those of you who are watching this and we're tuning in right now, listening, if you stay to the end, you really about that life, right? So thank you so much for tuning in. If you enjoyed this, feel free to go, like it, go drop a comment, go leave a review, go do something so we can keep.

ShySpeaks: More of these type of conversations coming at you and before we get out of here, I always, I always like to do this one thing. I want us to quote this mantra. I'm a work woman of words and I think words, uh, shape worlds. So I want y'all to say this with me and then we are out, right? Um, all it takes,

Josh Pharris: all it takes is consistency, consistency, intention, intention,

ShySpeaks: and laser focus.

ShySpeaks: And laser focus. [:

Josh Pharris: Thank

ShySpeaks: y'all so much. I am Shy Speaks.

Ronald Lee Jr.: And I am Mon Ironic Lee. And we out.

Josh Pharris: Peace.

ShySpeaks: Yay.

Show artwork for Minding My Creative Business Podcast

About the Podcast

Minding My Creative Business Podcast
MMCB Podcast helps you embrace the business of creativity!

Every week, go with Ron "iRonic" Lee and ShySpeaks behind the brand of some of the most wildly successful creative entrepreneurs. You'll be sure to gain access to the strategy and structure that
turn creative arts into viable 6, 7, and even 8 figure businesses!

Trust us, you're not the only _____ (*insert your creative genius here*) that struggled with generating a full-time income from your skillset and passion.
But musician, photographer, designer, etc. all over the world have embrace the power of information, implemented business principles & systems, and moved from creatives to CEOs thereby turning their passion into profits.

Say this out loud: All it takes is intention, consistency, and laser-focus to Mind My Creative Business!

About your hosts

Ron "iRonic" Lee Jr.

Profile picture for Ron "iRonic" Lee Jr.
Ron, is a Detroit born and raised music producer turned creative business coach. As the CEO and founder of “Vision Work” Academy Ron’s passion is and has always been helping creative people turn their creative gifts and talents into revenue generating businesses via mindset development. He majors in VISION CLARITY & BRANDING.

Shy "ShySpeaks" Amos-Powell

Profile picture for Shy "ShySpeaks" Amos-Powell
ShySpeaks is an artivist & operations enthusiast from Dallas, TX! When she's not graces mics & stages or curating community events, she's helping other indie artist setup, organize and operate their art as a business! She is the passionate founder of Indiestructure Academy. She majors in SYSTEMS & STRUCTURE!