We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracy Battaglia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In my experience work life balance is dynamic and ever changing. Much like a teeter totter, it goes through seasons of up’s and downs. Sometimes work is heavy and others life is full. Boundaries around your profession are incredibly important to avoid burnout and unhealthy patterns causing you to miss out on the joys of life. This is especially important for small business owners, as we tend to be more passionate and committed to our work. It’s hard to not overwork and put in constant never ending 80+ hour weeks that surly lead to life passing us by. Your boundaries need to work for you and your particular season of life, and your life is frequently shifting and growing hence the balance is dynamic and ever changing. A decade into my career, I have been through almost every season as an entrepreneur. I started my photography business when I was single and fresh out of art school with all the time in the world to constantly hustle. Then I was soon married and needed to factor his schedule and needs. Then came the big life changer: motherhood. Becoming a parent is a whole new challenge because your children need you so much those first few years. Work took the backseat. Then we MOVED to a whole state -that was like a re-launch in and of itself and work was demanding in order to survive the move. A few years later my son went to school and then I launched a second business! Then COVID…enough said. I am very proud of myself and my hard work and dedication to this healthy balance I have created. My strong boundaries, systems and workflows have helped me avoid burnout and be present for my life. At the end of day, sometimes work is heavy and you push on and put in the hours. Sometimes your family needs you and work needs to compliment life’s demands. Even the best system of work life balance can be completely disrupted by COVID – can we just say “homeschooling” and economic disasters and utter confusion? Now we are all learning new balances and testing out methods that will work. So all this being said, work life balance must be dynamic and flexible -ever growing and changing as life does. The end game is to experience a joyful, present, life-giving blend of my career and life journey.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am the proud owner of two businesses. Fully Alive Photography and Finding Joy Consulting. Fully Alive Photography was formed in 2006 when I graduated with a degree in film photography. I started with street style journalism, storytelling, and lifestyle (babies, kids, maternity, family etc) photography. That evolved over time as I found many ways to use my gifts, and I now serve all walks of life from wedding couples, lifestyle clients, editorial work, to lots of entrepreneurs/brands by offering joyful, life-giving, storytelling, authentic experiences through photography. I empower my clients by helping them feel comfortable, excited, confident, joyful, beautiful and alive through the entire experience I have crafted and cultivated over the past decade. Finding Joy Consulting was born from the realization that I was creating content for so many entrepreneurs and businesses but many of them weren’t getting the most out of the content because they didn’t know how to best use the images, market themselves, or just simply run or launch the business of their dreams. I met so many lost and tired entrepreneurs or want to be entrepreneurs not sure where to begin with a million what-ifs. I dealt with all the same feelings out of art school with no business sense and I struggled to learn and wear all the hats. It was a rough journey and if I could make it easier and better for just one person, I knew I needed to. So I formed my first offering and I showed up in a new way to share my joy, experience, and business practices and know-how that I was good at. I created my Finding Joy Consulting to empower people, help calm the overwhelm and fear, hold their hand through the process, and create clarity out of the confusion. First I created a Launch course to walk them step-by-step through the entire process and life of entrepreneurship. This would show people the behind the scenes and actual steps of launching and growing their small business in really clear practical ways. When COVID hit it was so clear that help was needed even more, so I started offering much more than the Launch course, first with consulting packages and then I dived into website design to really get my clients up and going with a strong online presence and brand they could feel proud of! I am excited as this brand grows to help as many people as I can as they launch & grow while feeling confident, joyful, and more alive! ___________ The question about what makes me different….This is such a tough question for me because like many of us, I crave being an individual, being needed, and significant. I often ask myself what makes me any different? Why am I special? It’s a journey for me to embrace that what sets me apart…is that I am “me. I am simply me-and that is enough. Cue Taylor Swift songs now… But in case you wanted to know a little more about who ME is… I am hard-working, dedicated, loyal, kind, honest, creative, quirky, joyful, excited, and 100% invested in each and every client and human that walks into my life. I am proud that I love & feel big and I never do anything halfway. ___________ I am where I am today because I worked really hard and never gave up on myself. I invested in my personal growth and my mindset. I invested in my business and into mastering my craft. Being an entrepreneur has not been an easy journey and I’m still in the middle of it! Sure, it’s often hard but also life-giving and worth every moment, much like parenthood. I rise to the challenges by fighting the biggest hurdle…my own fears! I fight against negativity, fear, and fatigue by believing in myself and going back to the basics of kindness and self-love when I forget. I’ve learned/still learning to fail forward and focus on a gratitude perspective. I will continue to invest in myself, in others around me, care for my clients, all the while focusing on becoming the best version me I can be. I believe this is what makes my business successful. ________ Whether it’s the couples, families, kids, or brands I serve as a photographer or the people I empower to start or grow in their entrepreneurial journey; if we take the risk to become a little more vulnerable, not let fear drive, let go and push ourselves to something more authentic- life can truly be more joyful and beautiful. So, as a reflection of me and my story, my brands exist to encourage and empower people to live that more authentic, confident, beautiful and joyful life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Gosh, Arizona is one of the most breathtaking places it’s so hard to stay in the city! I’d travel the whole state if we could…But if I needed to stay IN the valley (and pretend it’s not COVID) I would do all these things- yes I would cram them ALL in that week because I love adventures! Eats & Drinks I would start at Green New American Vegetarian: I am OBSESSED. My favorite eats & soy ice cream in the city. Then I would go to Teaspressa: both Arcadia & then the downtown Phx location. It’s such a magical experience. They put so much care and heart into crafting an experience for their crowd and feature a ton of local products. Then for more tea…The Teapot: I’m not even a tea girl- I’m totally an espresso lover…but I’m a sucker for local businesses with gorgeous light, great decor, cute local artist knickknacks and friendly owners, the Teapot has all this and more to offer. Featuring an awesome backyard with picnic tables and a playground, wifi, and ambience to die for it’s the perfect spot to chill and work remotely with the kids. Then I would totally take them to the Farmers Markets: Downtown Gilbert or Phx. Love all these local artisans, fresh local foods, and it’s where I do most of my grocery shopping during season. After that we would need to swing a trip to the Scottsdale Quarter: True Food Kitchen is there-this is another favorite of mine. If we were kicking back I’d be in Tempe at Los Taquitos or Mucha Lucha. Those taco joints are heavenly. Experiences & Nature Besides all the food there are many experiences to be enjoyed in the valley. Horseback Riding for one! I grew up with horses and this would be a must! There are a lot of companies but I’m lucky enough to have a few friends that can take us out! We would be at Escape The Room: This is one of my favorite things to do! There are several throughout the valley. We might be hiking at Camelback, Echo Canyon, or Papago hikes: all have great views ranging in difficulty. Or trailblazing the most beautiful venue in the gallery- The Desert Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful preservations in state- this is a must! Also as a photographer that teaches courses there -it’s my second home and heaven. Give me more time and I’d drive out to the Queen Creek Olive Mill: LOVE this place, the food, the grove, all the things, buy some local olive oil and stay awhile! If I was going to pamper myself I’d be at The Scott Resort & Spa: I would make them stay there and relax. It’s just gorgeous. and then for real love I’d go to Pampr’d Soul Nail Salon & Spa: This is the best salon experience in the valley. Then maybe back to the Scottsdale Quarter to buy my favorite jewelry at the Gorjana Store: Love the shop. Love the products, Love the people! So thankful my friend and client Risa Kostis (local fashion icon, stylist and consultant) introduced me to this fabulous brand! Give me just a little more time and I’d show them around Old Town Scottsdale & Civic Center Park: It’s so iconic and filled with local artists, good food, and shops. Then walk down Roosevelt Row in Phx because it’s is loaded with culture and amazing art & murals.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the support and love of my family & close friends. My husband for loving me despite all the learning curves of this journey, holding me when I’m discouraged and feel like giving up and especially for supporting us financially through the time-consuming, expensive, and risk-taking launch process a decade ago. Then he’s been there for all the learning curves every day of my journey. My parents for always having my back and believing in me-that I could indeed be an entrepreneur before it was a popular and totally acceptable career path! They have always been supportive and encouraging and even occasionally helping with the businesses hands-on. Then also a shoutout to my close community of friends (you know who you are) that let me bounce ideas, fears, tears, struggles and celebrate my joys and achievements. I am so grateful for the people in my life. I am also grateful for my faith… however confusing it has been over the years my belief in God and who God is and has called me to be has been instrumental in forming me into the person I am.
Website: https://fullyalivephotography.com & https://findingjoyconsulting.com/
Instagram: @fullyalivephotography @findingjoyconsulting
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fullyalivephotography & https://www.facebook.com/Findingjoyconsulting
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqbf3BVXGSKfmA2NZs2YafQ & https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUHSDhDlpdd9844OdJ-W1HQ
Other: PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/fullyalivephoto/ Note: I have both of my businesses on google, websites, facebook, instagram, and youtube but just the photography business is currently on pinterest, yelp , twitter, and linkedin.
Fully Alive Photography