Welcome to a new episode of the OpenFrame podcast! The conversation with wedding photographer and coach Sachin Khona is a fresh perspective in times when photographers and creatives, in general, feel pretty lost in reaching their potential. Sachin is based in Vancouver, Canada, even though he grew up in the UK.
After more than ten years in the industry, Sachin reached a level of clarity that feels liberating and inspiring. Whether he talks about how to achieve big goals by breaking them down into smaller and actionable steps or why following a vision pays off in the long run, Sachin approaches everything with intent. He is a master of having a plan and being accountable while pursuing it.
In this engaging episode, we tackle multiple sides of running a business by putting our values at the forefront. We speak about the dreaded hustle and why it's important to reframe how we perceive it, in order to change the narrative. We also look at the work-life balance through different lenses, which surface new layers of acceptance — work-life harmony. On top of that, Sachin shares a few practical ways photographers can continue doing what they love, without sacrificing their whole personal life or feeling that they always run short on energy. As he says “self-care is business care”, and it’s a powerful mantra that helps him stay present and aware in anything he does.
As solopreneurs with a million things on our to do lists, we often miss out on important life events, because we bury ourselves in work. You can prevent this by being more intentional and acting accordingly (i.e. add essential dates and birthdays into your calendar a year ahead and plan your time off). Active, not reactive, as they say.
Here are some of the highlights from the conversation with Sachin:
- A vision is a picture you have in your mind, of the life you want to create for yourself. We create vision boards for work, for the perfect shot, for our clients and projects, so why not do the same for our own lives? Your life is the most important project you will ever have, and you better make it count.
- Intention is the primary key to taking care of yourself, of your business, and your relationships. Without intention, you end up drifting, because you are not clear on where you are going.
- Having a vision can help you move forward consistently. Knowing the destination helps you enjoy the journey and take small steps to get there. If a certain goal feels daunting — break it down into smaller ones to stay on track.
How to create a roadmap to reach your vision:
- Think of it as a road trip in the car: you can reach your destination through various routes, but you always need pitstops along the way. Divide your big vision into smaller goals and get there at your own pace.
- The hardest part of achieving any goal is taking that first step because it often feels terrifying. After making the first move, things flow effortlessly, but you need to always gravitate around your vision.
- Accountability is a powerful tool to help you reach your goals. A great way to practice it is by working with other folks within the community. Set daily rituals and strictly follow them or hire a business coach to keep you accountable.
- Nobody rises alone. People who are excited by how you imagine the world will be drawn to you, and can help you reach your goal faster. Authentic connections and strong relationships give you the resources to keep going.
- Define ''hustle'' in your own way since there's no absolute truth out there. As a one-person show, a bit of hustle is necessary, but it is up to you to keep the rhythm healthy and sustainable.
Ultimately, it is possible to hustle without burning out — but you have to do it intentionally. As Sachin wisely says, there is no work-life balance, but there is work-life harmony. For instance, if you travel a lot for work, get the most out of that time! Spend it alone, reconnect with your inner self and recharge your batteries. Shaping small behaviors like these brings a lot of advantages if you want to achieve longevity in the industry and continue enjoying your work. Therefore, mental and physical health should always remain a central part of your lifestyle.
Some of Sachin's self-care rituals:
- breathing exercises
- having a good breakfast
- walks in nature
- time slots booked in the calendar for himself only
Since no recipes are set in stone, you can integrate self-care at any point in your day and customize it to what works best for you. Something as simple as a short walk in the park, sitting in the sunshine, or breathing intentionally for five minutes, can help you slow down and center yourself.
Similar to the roadmap with specific pitstops, self-care doesn't have to be a big challenge that overwhelms you before you even kick off the process. You don’t have to block out a whole week and go on holiday. Instead, find small solutions that can integrate into your daily routine.
Show some love for this episode on social media and leave a review if you took value from this conversation. This interview is also available on Youtube. Don’t forget to subscribe to OpenFrame on your preferred streaming platform( Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor) and share this episode with a friend who you think would love this!