Jade Boyd Co.

Personal Branding

Client Spotlight: Building your Personal Brand with Randi Beranek

Client Spotlight: Building your Personal Brand with Randi Beranek | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd
I'm Jade!

MBA | Business Strategist | Productivity Coach | I help busy service providers bring order to chaos with minimalist strategies and systems.

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Have you ever struggled with knowing how to balance maintaining a sense of privacy and building your personal brand as a service provider? Showing up as yourself while also curating an intentional, business-building personal brand can be a difficult path to navigate. Today, I’m excited to share this conversation with my past client, Randi Beranek, a pharmacist turned brand photographer who helps businesses and brands stand out online.

Randi is one of those people who exudes confidence. In any situation I’ve met her in, it’s seemed to me that she was fully showing up as herself. In this episode, Randi is sharing tips and strategies for how to build an authentic personal brand, how to become more confident as a business owner, and also how to take a countercultural, grace-based approach to prioritizing your personal health. Press play to learn how you can build your personal brand just by being yourself.

Client Spotlight: Building your Personal Brand with Randi Beranek | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd

Key Takeaways from this Episode

  • How Randi developed the courage to be herself in business
  • Finding the line between vulnerability and professionalism while still maintaining privacy online
  • Randi’s quick business success and what contributed to it
  • The contributing factors that led to Randi’s best month ever
  • The passion podcast that Randi co-hosts
  • How Randi prioritizes her health as a small business owner
  • What’s next for Randi and how to join the waitlist

Connect with Randi

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Click here to read the full episode transcript!

Randi Beranek: That made the transition better I think that a lot of people, you know, were supportive, even people I didn’t know, but I think when people hear that you left a job with that much security, they know that it must be for good reason.

Jade Boyd: Welcome to the podcast, Randi.

Randi Beranek: Thank you so much for having me, Jade.

Jade Boyd: For those who don’t know you yet, could we start by giving a little bit of an introduction of yourself, just who you are and what you do?

Randi Beranek: Sure. So my full name is Randi Baranek and I am currently a brand photographer in Eastern Iowa, kind of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa City area. And I actually started out as a pharmacist. So that’s what I went to school for and did for 11, 12 years before I left my full time job to pursue my photography business.

So that’s what I’m doing now, and, I left my job in 2022. So coming up on two years of that. And then my husband owns a couple businesses in the Cedar Rapids area. And we have two kids, Levi and Evelyn. They’re about 10 and 7 right now.

Jade Boyd: I can’t believe that was only two years ago. It seems like you’ve been in the game for a lot longer than that.

Randi Beranek: I agree. It seems like it’s been so long ago that I left, and especially because I can not picture ever going back. Like it seems so foreign to me.

Jade Boyd: Like a whole different era.

Randi Beranek: Yes. It’s wild.

Jade Boyd: I do want to talk more about that because leaving a career in pharmacy, it feels bigger to me than like leaving a nine to five where you don’t have to have a doctorate and then starting a photography business, or even for me getting an MBA and then starting a photography business, it seems a little bit backwards, but I know that there’s a lot of feelings that come with quitting a full time job for sure, but also a career in pharmacy, and I had three clients who through coaching, like left their nine to fives last year. And it seems like something that should be like, yeah, I’m so excited, this is the best, but in reality, it can come with a lot of mixed feelings.

So I would love for you to speak into like what that transition looked like for you to start a business and leave a career. That was a very long career in pharmacy.

Randi Beranek: Yeah. I have so many feelings. . I think, you know, initially I loved my job, but over time, and I think with covid being mixed in there, I just realized that I wanted a lot more flexibility in my life and I just wasn’t loving going to work every day. And for a long time, I thought that that was just what life while you’re working is, right? You just, nobody loves their job. I mean, there’s a handful of people that talk about it all the time, like do what you love, but that’s not realistic. And so for the long time, I kind of pushed those feelings down a little bit. Like, you know, this is just how my life is going to be. And so when I did kind of start exploring the idea of, you know, starting my business on the side that was more acceptable to me than leaving my job, but, you know, over time, things happened at work and at home that it just made it clear that like, I could actually leave my job and that was wild because I was like, who in their right mind goes to school for six years and has this job with like all these benefits and all these things to start their own business, basically making no money at first. Like that’s, that’s ridiculous. You know, what are people going to think of me was a big part of it, like kind of a, who does she think she is that she can just walk away from this type of job and this type of security that, you know, a lot of people want, who do I think I am to be like wasting the money that my parents, you know, helped me pay and get through school and yeah, just all of those, things, like I shouldn’t be allowed to do this, like, it just doesn’t make sense. And of course we were, you know, concerned financially too. So that was another aspect of it. Like, can we actually make this work for our family? And yeah, going from something so science based, which is, I feel like more valued in society versus something that’s more artistic and creative, which, you know, still, I think in society just holds less value to people.

Jade Boyd: Especially when they can’t understand it. It’s like if when you say you’re a pharmacist, people understand what that means. But even like when I told people I was a brand photographer, they’re like, so you do headshots? It’s like, well, yes, but.

Randi Beranek: Exactly. I never really had to explain myself quite as much as I did, and so yeah, that was big too. And you know, there was, even now I feel like it’s getting a little bit better, but even now I feel like I still have people in my life, like approaching, asking my business, asking about my business as if it’s a hobby, you know, how’s the photography thing going? And that was a lot at the beginning. So that made me really nervous too, but, I was very pleasantly surprised when I did finally leave my job, it took some courage to tell people, you know, when they say, what do you do? Like, oh my gosh, I have to remember I’m not a pharmacist anymore. I have to say I’m a, photographer.

I’m a brand photographer, and that felt really foreign and strange. But when I did tell people I left my job, I was blown away by how many people, almost everybody said congratulations. That’s so exciting. And I was like, what? It is? I mean, it is, but I just did not expect that reaction from people. So that was that made the transition better. I think that a lot of people, you know, were supportive, even people I didn’t know. But I think when people hear that you left a job with that much security, they know that it must be for good reason.

Jade Boyd: I can relate to that. In my last semester of grad school is when I started, like, really going hard, like, I’m gonna start a business when I graduate and joined a startup accelerator after I graduated. And a lot of my classmates were like, oh, that’s so cool. I’m jealous. And I was like, Well, you could do that too you know, it’s nothing special. It’s just a different decision. But it is funny how we think like, oh, they’re gonna look down on me or think that. I’m not reaching my potential or whatever that is. But in reality, people really admire entrepreneurs for different reasons, even though there’s still the comments of like, oh, you know, how’s that hobby of yours?

Like it’s so mixed.

Randi Beranek: Yep. Yeah, for sure.

Jade Boyd: So I love that you shared your fear of like, what are people going to think about me? Because I think that’s huge, not only for leaving a full time job, but in business in general to pursue something you’re passionate about and like sell yourself. It’s very vulnerable, but as a brand photographer, you help other women really build up their confidence and build their personal brands and learn how to show up confidently and Yeah. Not care as much about what other people are going to think and put their own business and their own, like needs and wants above that fear of, Oh my gosh, I don’t want them to think X, Y, and Z about me.

So I would love for you to talk into this because I think you’re so good at doing it yourself. You set such a good example, at least from the outside looking in, I know from the inside out, it might not always seem that way, but you do like exude confidence. And in whatever situation I’ve met you in, I have always felt like you’re showing up fully as like Randi, like not putting on a face. So I think a lot of people have the question of like, can this be taught or is this just who you are? So anything that you can say to speak into, like, how have you developed the courage to be yourself and what advice do you have for business owners who are really struggling with that?

Randi Beranek: That’s a good question. I don’t feel like I was always this way and I don’t know if it was something that I learned or if it’s something that was just kind of always there, but I didn’t allow it to come out until I had this business and this reason for it to come out. But I do think there’s lots of things I learned along the way that helped me get there, so I do think it is something that people can learn or kind of a muscle that they can flex and just build over time, but gosh, talking into my phone on stories the first time I was like, oh my goodness, this is so ridiculous. The worst. Like, first of all, I’m literally talking to no one right now. I’m talking to my phone.

Second of all, people are going to see me, this professional pharmacist now, talking on stories. They’re going to think I’m trying to be an influencer. Like, this is so embarrassing. But I think the thing that I learned and I don’t remember who told me the first time or what it was, but it was just like, the people who care and the people who are going to judge you for that are not your people, you know, whether that’s your acquaintances who think, oh, this is so cringy, like, maybe they just aren’t your people in your inner circle that you, you know, that they aren’t going to be the ones that you’re going to keep around to support you and your journey and then also when it comes to clients, like if potential clients don’t like what they’re seeing from you, then they aren’t your clients. I think, you know, I probably learned this from, maybe Maddie Pashong or somebody who has a pretty strong personal brand, too, and had learned that along the way, like, your people are going to hire you because they identify with you or they like what they see from you, and the people that don’t like it are just, they’re just not your people.

And it takes a while to be comfortable with that. But I think that’s what kind of helped me get over the hump initially. And then, you know, as I kind of grew in business, I realized like, this is one of the ways in which I grow my business and I see other people doing this and I totally understand like that’s what they’re doing. That’s what they have to do for their business, and so, I don’t judge other people for doing it because I know that’s part of the process and I take some comfort in knowing that other people, you know, know that about me too and know it’s, it’s part of what I have to do as a business owner. And I think just showing up as myself and being confident in myself. I, I don’t know where that comes from, because I don’t consider myself an overly confident person really, but I think 1 thing that I do enjoy is when I have had the courage to share something that I feel like is vulnerable, I always get back like, so much more than I’ve put out there in terms of other people coming back and saying, oh, my gosh, I identified with that so much me too thank you for sharing. And so over time, I found that that kind of feels like something that is a, you know, I feel like superpowers is a strong word, but that’s something that really works for me is sharing my vulnerabilities and being authentic because for whatever reason, I find that that really connects me with people more, much more so than sharing the small smatterings of things that really go well for me. I am sharing my shortfalls and sharing my struggles and things like that’s what really connects me with people and draws people in. So,

Jade Boyd: Which, when you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of sense because we all, to some extent feel like I’m the only one who A, B, or C. And when you see somebody else who’s admitting that publicly and you have that like, oh, me too, for a service provider especially, it builds that trust and connection in a way that a lot of other things can’t.

But I think as business owners. I mean, when we start out, but also even if you’ve been in the game for a long time, there’s always that perception of like, I need to show up professionally for my business, or I need to like be the legit person I’m marketing myself as when I’m showing up on social media or wherever else, but in reality, there has to be some sort of balance between like, yes, you should probably be a little bit more professional and not be a complete mess if you’re showing up for your business, cause you don’t want that to be your brand either, but also being yourself. So what tips or recommendations do you have for balancing, like, yes, be yourself, be vulnerable, be authentic, but also put those like boundaries in place so that you are showing up and building a brand that you want to build and being like intentional about what you’re creating and showing so that you’re kind of shaping other people’s perceptions of you in the way that you want them to think about you and your brand?

Randi Beranek: Yeah, that’s a really good question, and I think the, the way that I’ve approached it is when it comes to my processes with my clients. I have those pretty nailed down, like I’m not flustering and flubbering through those, you know, before I even start a project with a client, I make sure that I have everything nailed down so that what they are experiencing on their side, as far as the services that I’m providing them, that’s, you know, that’s all set.

There’s no problem there. There’s no, you know, missteps and, you know, that’s not to say never. If there is a misstep, that’s where I step into my vulnerability, and like, listen, I screwed this up and we’re going to get back on track. But for the most part, I think all my client facing things are, really wrapped up nicely so that they have trust in me that I know what I’m doing and, that I’m going to execute for them.

And I think with my marketing materials too, think I try to share, you know what I can give them in terms of my expertise and, when it comes to strategy behind brand photography and, making you feel confident, and things like that so that, you know, I’m building trust in them from that perspective too, but marketing and social media is also where I have some of the fun and share some of the vulnerabilities. But I think when it comes to talking about, like I said, the strategy and the confidence, and the impacts that brand photography can have on their business, that’s where I try to, you know, show where I’m the expert versus, you know, being vulnerable.

Jade Boyd: Yeah, and I think it’s really hard to blend those two things and I think one of the reasons business owners might feel weird about being their self is that they are trying to be two different people. I’m like, oh, I’m showing up and talking about my life. And then when I talk about my business, it’s completely different rather than, like being the same person, no matter what you’re talking about. And I feel like you do that really, really well.

Randi Beranek: I appreciate that. Thank you.

Jade Boyd: So you also mentioned being vulnerable and like privacy and authenticity is a huge topic, especially for more introverted or shy entrepreneurs who hate showing their face anywhere, and you’re obviously as a brand photographer a huge proponent of showing your face. And this like no face, account movement is trending. I know recently my feed has been filled with a lot of reels on like how I grew thousands of followers on Instagram, but it’s never showing my face.

Randi Beranek: Same. I’ve seen a lot of that too.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. And it’s something that entrepreneurs are really, I don’t, maybe afraid of, I don’t know if afraid is the right word, but wanting to maintain that privacy and especially protecting family and kids, but also showing up and being a real person on social media. So how have you balanced being vulnerable with maintaining some of that privacy?

Randi Beranek: Yeah, I, you know, when I started seeing those faceless account reels popping up on my feed too, part of me wondered if it was more a fear of showing their face versus like a privacy issue, but it could certainly be, could certainly be both, but, you know, I don’t consider myself a super private person, so it’s never been a real internal struggle for me. But I think you can share things about how certain aspects of your life, whether that’s business or, you know, your marriage or your motherhood or whatever, you can share how that’s affected you and it can help you connect with other people without sharing the details of what has happened.

So, you know, I share a little bit of my kids. They aren’t the focus of my social media by any means. But I still think if I wanted to keep my kids private, I can certainly share my experiences as a mother and share, you know, things that have happened without sharing specific details about them or their lives, or with my partner, and you know, I think there’s ways to connect with people through our experiences without sharing the details of, our very private aspects of our lives.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. And I think that line for every business owner is going to look a little bit different. And yeah, there’s lots of people telling you what you can or should be sharing versus what you should never be sharing. Like how dare you show your kids faces or, you know, there’s so many opinions out there, but I feel like every business owner needs to draw that line for themselves, and for me, I’ve just noticed, I mean, the more consistently you show up, the more you’ll recognize where that line is. And there’s some things that I post where like you said, oh, like this is a little bit vulnerable. I don’t want to share it, but then the return is actually really good and I feel good about it, but there’s also things that I share that I’m like, hmm, I didn’t feel good about that and like, I still don’t feel good about that. So in the future, but you live and you learn.

Randi Beranek: Absolutely. And I think it may kind of depend on your audience too. You know, I have a pretty small following, a pretty small, fairly local following, so, you know, maybe if, if my reach grows, maybe I’ll share less about certain things. I don’t know, but right now I feel pretty comfortable with the things that I share and how I share it.

Jade Boyd: So I also want to dig into your business success because like I said, it’s crazy to me that it’s only been two years because it definitely seems way longer than that, especially the last six months. I feel like you’ve just been everywhere and doing amazing things, but I would love for you to talk about, since this podcast focuses on scaling, a lot of service providers struggle to think outside the box and like, how could I possibly do what I’m doing not one on one, like what other offers could I potentially create that help me not trade so much time for money? And last year, you created a really unique brand photography offer called the Content Collective, which I was actually a part of, and it’s amazing. And you’re in round two right now. And I would love for you to share just the strategy behind the offer and what it’s done for your business since you launched it.

Randi Beranek: Yeah. So it’s interesting over time, the strategy behind it has actually shifted. So it started as a way to make brand photography more, more accessible, less overwhelming for people. So, I was part of a female entrepreneur group that you were also part of Empower Her. And I was asking the group, you know, what holds you back from booking a brand photography shoot? And the majority of the feedback was based around how overwhelming it is to plan a shoot, because it’s, you know, three or more hours long, you have to plan all these outfits, plan all these props, and it’s just really daunting to think of having to do all that. And so the content collective was born out of, let’s make it smaller chunks, easily to digest, and more frequent so that one large session is not this looming thing. You have a bunch of tiny sessions so that it’s just quick, easy and not as overwhelming. So it started out as sessions every other month, and I piloted it in the second half of the year. So July to December, and it works really well, but the feedback that I got at the end was that maybe the sessions were actually a little too frequent and a little too short.

So it was interesting because I think in theory, you know, the strategy went in with small, short frequent sessions, didn’t translate when it came to actually, having sessions built that way. So, based on that feedback, I modified it for this year and so now it’s a year long membership. So people can pay monthly. So, you know, bite sized payments are super easy. You know, a little, a little easier, for small business owners, especially, and sessions are quarterly and they’re a little bit longer too. So we have like 30 minute sessions once every quarter, and it’s nice because I, I feel like I build a relationship with these clients, you know, just working with them closely over the course of a year, and I’m able to photograph six people in one day, you know, just over a span of a couple hours. but they get content that lasts them, you know, basically for a full quarter until or longer, depending on how they use their images until their next session comes around and the quarterly sessions are nice because they can factor in like seasonality and, changes in their business, because I think you and I both know as small business owners and especially when you’re newer to business, things change pretty quickly, you know, your, your goals and your offerings and things can change, so being able to show that with brand photography throughout the year, I think is a benefit to the members as well.

Jade Boyd: Yeah, absolutely. I love that you mentioned that you got started with marketing research because when it comes to scaling or thinking about like, how could I do this differently? I think a lot of business owners just put pen to paper or ask a business coach or someone else, and don’t actually think to ask their clients or people who might consider hiring them.

And I love that this came out of things that you were hearing from other entrepreneurs in Empower Her, but a lot of them were your clients at the time too, or had worked with in the past and how that creates an offer, and also that you just got started. And I think that’s something that entrepreneurs wait on a long time too. Like they want to be absolutely certain, that this is the perfect offer and it’s going to book out immediately when in reality you just launch it and learn and then you make tweaks and relaunch it. So I would love for you to also speak to like what this has done for your own business in terms of growth and what you’ve been able to accomplish through it.

Randi Beranek: Sure. It’s interesting before I worked with you last year, I, it’s one of those things where, you know, what you need to do, but like you don’t actually do it. And so sitting down with you, especially during our like intensive strategy call at the beginning. I really realized, like, I need to have a strategy when it comes to, to utilizing my social media, and marketing and launching, and so when I launched the Content Collective this, past December, January for enrollment, I utilized a lot of that strategy we talked about, and I think it built a lot of momentum because I actually was, like, speaking about what I should have been talking about all along when it comes to brand photography, and so using the right messaging and being strategic about it. Plus, you know, I was obviously posting a lot more frequently during my, you know, enrollment period, but I think those things combined just really built up a lot of momentum.

So besides, enrolling for Content Collective, I also found myself getting a lot of just general inquiries for brand photography. And so, that made for like a very busy but very successful and exciting couple of months for me. And that’s when I had like my record month so far in business.

And I think, again, it was just a combination of like finally nailing my messaging and my strategy behind, you know, my social media and also my email list and things like that, and the momentum from just talking about things a lot and people seeing what I’m talking about. and so that’s been really good for my business.

And then also, I think it has shown me like, you can just do things and try them because really the Content Collective was just six months just to try it and see how it went, and it just happened to go really well. So now I’m continuing it. But if it didn’t go well, you know, it was something that I was ready to say, nope, that didn’t work. We’ll try something else. So, I’m thinking about, doing something in the coaching space too, coming up, which you and I have talked about a little bit in the past. and I think in the past I was overthinking it and thought it had to be perfect before I offered something like this.

But now I’m more of the mindset of, you know, let’s just give it a try and see how it goes and I can always tweak it and always scrap it or, you know, make it better, whatever it is.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. 100%. We talked a lot about this when we were creating your marketing strategy and your marketing plan, but just the importance of consistency. We even talked about like, oh man, some reels create them. There’s no thought. It takes no time. And then it’s really successful. And then you put all the intention into another post and it falls flat and it seems like there’s no rhyme or reason, but there is power in showing up consistently.

You’ve showed up pretty consistently ever since we created that plan. So I would love for you to speak into like, what did that look like for you? Was there a period where you’re like, oh, I don’t know why I’m doing this. And then, oh, it’s working, or what did that look like from, from your perspective?

Randi Beranek: Yeah. Consistency was a big piece that I was not following through on before. I would make a post when I felt like it, or when I felt like I had something to say, instead of, you know, saying what I know people need to hear over and over again. I thought if I said it once they’ve seen it, that’s it, which is, I knew that wasn’t the case, but it didn’t stop me from still thinking that, and so, yeah, being consistent was hard at first, but we had come up with a plan together of like mapping things out ahead of time, so I didn’t feel like I was always back to the drawing board each and every day, you know, I had a calendar already written out of what I needed to talk about, and so that made it so much easier, and I really tried to implement that going forward, and you know, social media is a long game, so it wasn’t like my bookings just went crazy after I started being consistent, but I did notice, and this might seem silly, but you know, when I would open my Instagram prior, I would have no, or maybe one DM from somebody. And I was opening up my Instagram recently and during that time period of consistency, and even now it’s not uncommon for me to have four or five or six DMs. which seems so small and like, what, you know, who cares? What is the DM? It’s not a booking, but it’s just consistent interaction with people, and so I’m staying top of mind for people and so when they are ready for a brand photographer, they’re more likely to think of me because we’ve been interacting on social media.

They’ve been seeing my things on social media and that’s not to say that it’s definitely not all marketing, like I enjoy having conversations with people, whether they’re a client or a potential client or not, you know, I just enjoy connecting with people, but the fact that that may also lead into an increase in my business is just kind of the icing on the cake. So it’s really just been cool to just build relationships there.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. And I think it also lays the groundwork for, I mean, after being consistent, then you’ve launched and you’re showing up a lot and selling a lot. And when you already have those established relationships, at least this is from my experience, it feels a lot better to show up and promote yourself when you know the people who are following you and you have real relationships and conversations with them. So it’s not like, oh, I’ve ghosted you for a few months and now like buy my thing because it’s, it’s not as fun to show up that way, but it’s also not as successful to show up that way either. And then jumping around just a little bit, you mentioned that it had been your best month ever or best couple of months, because we’re at the end of February when we’re recording this. And do you feel like consistency is the thing that led into that? Or I’d love for you to break down like what contributing factors led to the best month ever in your mind?

Randi Beranek: Yeah, I think, you know, I think part of it was just, it was timing. I can’t discount the fact that, you know, I enrolled for Content Collective at that time. And so I had an influx of projects at that time, but that was a small part of it. I think the consistency was huge. strategy was huge. Actually having, you know, a point to what I was saying, and a plan for how to build on that. so consistency, strategy, and the momentum from those two things combined, I think, is what led to my, best couple of months ever. And I’ve noticed recently I’ve been slacking a tiny bit on my consistency and I can tell, you know, things just slow down a little bit and that’s okay for me right now I’m feeling pretty busy and so, you know, that’s, more or less intentional but, it’s just wild to see how things change with those small changes in consistency.

Jade Boyd: Yeah, either way, for the better, for the worse, which I think that we forget about because I think it’s easier for us maybe, and maybe this is just me projecting my own beliefs onto other people, but I do think it’s easier for us to believe like, oh, when I slow down, then my business is going to slow down and have that fear, but not have the belief that, if I pick up the pace, even if it’s like a little bit more consistent that I’m going to actually see results from that, but that is also true. So if you’re only believing one way or the other, I just want to point out that it works both ways.

Randi Beranek: Yes, that’s a very good point, for sure.

Jade Boyd: Yes. I also want to get into speaking because this podcast is so focused on balancing business and personal life. You also are very passionate about health and wellness and you co host a great podcast called Give Them The Bird, which is like really entertaining to listen to for anybody who is listening to this. And also just one of those podcasts that I feel like anytime I listen to it, it’s so relatable, especially to hear like a health and fitness person talk about like, oh yeah, here’s what happened when I ate a whole box of Oreos and I don’t feel bad about it, like there’s something really freeing about the content that you create. And I would love for you to talk a little bit more cause I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the story of like how you got so interested in health and wellness and like what that looks like for you as an entrepreneur moving from a full time job into entrepreneurship to still prioritize your health and wellness while, you know, it’s really easy to fall into the hustle game as a business owner, especially within the first few years.

So I’ll give you the floor to speak to your passion.

Randi Beranek: Yeah. this was not always a passion of mine by any means, and it’s definitely not your typical health and wellness podcast. This is like you said, it’s a full box of Oreos and body appreciation and really pushing back on the diet industry. So, you know, when I was working full time, looking from the outside in, people probably thought I was very passionate about health and wellness, but I was on the diet train, so I was going to the gym five days a week, 6 a. m. every morning, and I was counting every macro that went into my body, I was weighing everything, I was My Fitness Pal, like logging the multivitamins that I had in the morning. It was, it was a very rigid and no flexibility. And I was by typical health standards, very fit and healthy, but I just got so tired of constantly tracking and constantly feeling like I didn’t have the ability to just go out and have dinner and drinks, you know, with friends because I hadn’t, you know, tracked or planned for that, and Haley, who’s the original host of the podcast, she had the podcast for two years before I joined as a co host, her sister went to the same gym that I did. And so I met her through there, and I, actually, before I met her in person, I learned about the podcast and I started listening to it. And it just was like mind blowing to me that there was this world out there that was completely opposite and was pushing against the diet industry and the messaging was, you know, you have a whole life to live that doesn’t require your body look a certain way, and your body is the least important thing about you.

And I was just like, it was so freeing to hear that. And so I got very interested in that and started listening to the podcast. and then I met Haley and she actually offers some coaching as well. And so I did some group coaching with her just around, you know, ditching the diet mentality, doing some intuitive eating, and I just loved it so much. And then she eventually was looking for a co host and wanted somebody that because she’s a health professional. and she’s a certified trainer and intuitive eating certified and she has like a boatload of certifications in that space, but she wanted somebody who is kind of more of a normal person, a lay person, if you will, and I just love chatting with her and it just, I had quit my job. So it worked out that I had time to podcast and I was like, why not? Let’s, let’s do this. And since then it has been like weekly therapy for me when I sit down and talk with her, because, it is really freeing, like you said, to hear somebody who is a professional in that space to hear that, you know, she still has struggles with body image and with, you know, feeling like, you know, if she doesn’t go to the gym, she’s failed or things where we know that isn’t true, but being able to talk it out and holding space for feeling the feelings, is it’s just, I just love it so much.

So, It’s one of those things where like, I feel like we’re very realistic about the fact that you’re not probably not going to wake up every morning and say, oh my gosh, I love this body. Like it couldn’t be better, but what we are doing is giving ourself grace and saying, my body still deserves respect and it deserves food and nutrition and energy and, you know, moving forward in that way. So we’re always learning. We’re always sharing what we’re learning. We have guests. and we’ve kind of expanded our scope this year. So it’s not just health focus, but it’s more just kind of pushing back on societal expectations of a lot of things, so it’s been fun. A lot of fun.

Jade Boyd: I can relate to a lot of what you just shared. I think we might have talked about this in the past, but I similarly feel that like five years ago, you would have seen pictures of me and thought, oh, she’s like the picture of fitness. And I was running every day and really watching what I ate. I felt guilty. I remember when my husband and I started dating, we went out to eat all of the time and I felt horrible about it every single time that we would go out to eat and that like fear of not being able to control what I ate and then over the past few years, I honestly can’t pinpoint what changed, maybe it’s just getting older and not caring as much about what certain people think about you. But I feel like I, even though I don’t look the way I did five years ago, I feel much more healthy. Like it’s not just a body thing. It’s like the mind and mental health side of it as well. So I would love for you to speak into like what that has it looked like for you transitioning from working full time and going to the gym at 6am every single day to like now, what does it look like for you to prioritize your health as a business owner?

Randi Beranek: Yeah. So I really kind of swung to the other side of the spectrum when I left my job, I think, partially because I was exploring the, you know, the other side of things and pushing back on the diet industry, but I think the lack of structure that I had in my life, I was excited not to have like a schedule and have to be somewhere, you know, by 8:00 AM every day, but I think I loved it a little too much, and I had literally no structure in my life. And I would sit on my couch with, you know, I was working, I had my laptop, but I would just sit all day long, and then I would wonder like why do I feel so crappy. It’s like you haven’t outside you haven’t moved all day, but I think I kind of needed to go through that to get where I am now, and so now I do prioritize movement a little bit more in my life, I’m definitely not an everyday gym person, but I try to be active a couple of times a week because I know that I feel better when I’m doing that and it’s helped me realize that a little bit of structure in my life is a good thing. Food for me, that was the easiest thing for me to like, give up was the food rules. I think because I was had them for so long that it seems counterintuitive, I guess, but I had them for so long. I was just ready to get rid of them. And so I don’t really have any like off limit foods anymore, but what I do find myself doing now is not thinking about food, not taking up all that head space and just eating when I want to eat when I’m actually hungry and then stopping when I’m full versus before it was a lot of, you know, I only get this treat once in a while, so I’m going to like eat until overly full, but I think having that limit anymore than I just stop when I’m full because I know I could have it later if I want, or, you know, something like that. So I just think it’s a, it’s not a focus anymore, it’s just a more healthy approach to the nutrition and then the movement as well. It’s just a lot healthier approach for me.

Jade Boyd: I would love to know as a brand photographer. I mean, it’s really cliche in photography that any client is going to be like, oh, like make sure you hide this or edit this out afterwards or I don’t like that photo because I don’t look skinny enough or whatever that is, but especially because you’ve done so much growth and development and have so much knowledge about health and fitness and like diet culture yourself, do you just want to coach every single brand photography client on like, hey, let’s talk about this before your shoot.

Randi Beranek: Yes. Yes. You know, it’s not a routine part of my like communication with them, but it probably should be because it’s true, like most people have some insecurity and a lot of them do vocalize it. It’s a lot easier for me if it comes out via like email or something in our communications, I just feel more, comfortable approaching them about that versus in person, I just don’t know, you know, what their boundaries are and like, I don’t want to make something awkward, but I do just want to shake them and be like, your body is the least interesting thing about you. And yes, we’re showing your body in the photos, but what we’re doing really is showing your personality through the photos. And obviously I’m going to do whatever I can to make you feel comfortable because I want you to like the images and use them. So, you know, we can use angles and we can use different things to make you feel comfortable when you see the photo, and I try, I don’t ever offer editing of any kind when it comes to like how a person’s body looks.

And thankfully that’s never something that somebody has really asked me to do, but you know, my first response I think would be, you know, I’ll do whatever you want, but I want you to know that, like, like I said, your body is the least interesting and important thing about you, and the people who think that it is are not your people. But it can take a while to get there yourself and to really believe that. And so I, you know, everybody’s on their own journey and I try to respect that too. But yeah, I do just want to feel like. Ah.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. And I think the really hard thing about brand photography is that no one else is going to look at those photos and think they’re bad. Like even as a photographer, in my experience, I mean, this is a phenomenal photo of you and you don’t like it for this tiny reason that nobody else is going to notice at all, but that prevents so many entrepreneurs of showing up and like in brand photography, booking the photo shoot and investing in those photos, but also showing up or sharing, becoming a personal brand in other areas too, which is, it’s really sad and something that is just another obstacle for women when it comes to growing business. I don’t think men struggle as much with that.

Randi Beranek: You’re so right. Yeah. So many women and yeah, I’ve talked to so many that are like, I really want to invest in brand photography, but I want to lose 10 pounds or I want to, you know, and it’s just like, you’re waiting to promote your business and you’re waiting to like, do something that you love and it’s just so sad. Like just do it now.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. Take the first step. You can always get new photos in six months or in the Content Collective every three months.

Randi Beranek: Exactly.

Jade Boyd: So I would love for you to share again, I think that your last two years has been such an exciting journey and has been really fun for me to watch through like the group that we were in together, Empower Her, but also as your coach and as your friend, and I would love to hear a little bit more about what’s next for you in 2024.

Randi Beranek: Yeah, so I, you know, I mentioned it briefly, but I’m, I’m kind of thinking about getting into the coaching space. I don’t know exactly what that looks like yet, but, you know, I think I have a lot to say when it comes to feeling confident and building a personal brand, and just the very beginnings of business, because I’ve invested a lot in my own coaching and I feel like I’ve learned a lot and there’s things that I know that I take for granted that I know because I had coaches help me with them early on and it feels like, you know, kind of second nature to me now, but there’s a lot of people out there just getting started that don’t know some of those foundational things. So I think you know, what I would love to do is help people just getting started with their own, you know, service based businesses and helping them feel confident and showing themselves and coming up with a strategy and figuring out, you know, how to talk to their, their audiences and, and things like that.

So, you know, again, I really don’t know what it’s gonna look like for sure, but I would love to launch something in 2024 kind of a group coaching model, and then as far as brand photography, you know, I’m still doing personal brands, but also, you know, working with teams, and service based businesses in the area to really help them level up their, their visual brand. So how they appear online, whether that’s social media or website, with the images that really tell their story and aren’t, you know, your standard stock images that really don’t fit with their brand and their vibe.

Jade Boyd: I just have so much excitement for you to step into coaching. I think confidence is something that like, yes, it can be taught and yes, you can like put a framework around it or whatever, but it’s really contagious. Just being in contact with people who are showing up in a way that you want to show up, there’s something contagious and so energetic about that. So I’m super excited for whatever you end up launching. And if you have a wait list or something, we’ll make sure to link it in the show notes for anyone who’s listening, but I would love to end on the question. What would you tell someone? Who’s like on the fence are thinking, can I really do this too?

Because we all look at other entrepreneurs and like, Oh yeah, she’s two years into business and she’s like doing X, Y, and Z and she’s already coaching. And you know, we can think, Oh, that’s great for them, but it’s not going to be possible for me. I would love for you to speak to that on an ending note.

Randi Beranek: Yeah. First of all, I thought that too, and I still have moments where I think that, I think one thing I’ve heard, along my journey is that confidence is not like an end destination. It’s like you can have periods of confidence and then you can have periods where you’re not confident and that’s like totally normal and okay.

So keeping that in mind, but I think something I’ve learned from you actually, and it’s really starting, has really started to sink in for me in the past, you know, six months or so is that you can try things. Like you don’t have to have the perfect plan and like your life mapped out before you launch your coaching program, you know, but I used to think that like I used to think that if I don’t know the exact niche that I’m going to talk to you and have like a, you know, trademarked system for how I’m going to get these people to point A to point B, then what’s the point? But, you know, now I’ve realized, like, I can just put something out there, see if people are interested and if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. And finding small ways to trial things.

You and I talked about this actually when, when you were coaching me and you talked about, you know, how can you prototype like coaching? How can you like see if people would be interested or what people want to talk to you about? And so I offered free coffee chats and I filled them out each time I offered them and people came to talk to me, actually, interestingly, a lot about social media, and that’s kind of what got me thinking, like, maybe I can talk to people about how to be confident and show up on social media and use that for their business and things, so, yeah, I think it’s normal to have those feelings, but if you wait until you’re ready, you’re never gonna be ready, so you just have to jump in and do it and try it and know that things are not gonna work and that’s fine.

I have, made freebies and, just all these little things that I thought were going to be such a hit and I had like one or two people download them. It’s like, well, okay, that didn’t work, and you know, sure. It sucks. Sure. I put in work, you know, to get it there, but whatever, I’ll move on and pivot and do something else. So, and also time, like it is going to take some time and that can be hard especially for people like me who like instant gratification and like, you know, things to happen quickly, I’m impatient, but there’s just something about time and waiting for people, you know, people don’t know how wonderful you are and it takes them a little bit of time to figure that out and you’re not always in control of that. So, just keep at it. And things will happen.

Jade Boyd: I love it. There are so many good nuggets in there. I feel like we could talk for a lot more time about everything that you just said, but in wrapping up for everyone who loved this episode and wants to get more in your world and catch your contagious confidence on social media, where’s the best place to find you after the show?

Randi Beranek: So I live on Instagram. so my Instagram, I’m sure you’ll link it, but it’s, randileaphotography. I also, my website is the same, www.randileahotography.com. I’m on Facebook, but it’s, you know, copy paste of my Instagram. But the, the page is again, Randileaphotography. So, that’s where I hang out.

I’m on Instagram stories a fair amount. So yeah, I’ll get some goodies for you to, to put in the show notes too.

Jade Boyd: Perfect. And I would also say that your email list is such a fun place to be. I get excited anytime you send an email. I have told Randi in a different life, I think you would have been a copywriter and I love when you’re on vacation because your autoresponders are also so funny. So pop on the email list too.

Randi Beranek: Yes, please do. It’s a fun place.

Jade Boyd: Well, thanks so much for coming today. This is great.

Randi Beranek: Thanks Jade.

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From MBA to Brand Photographer to Business Coach, I learned the hard way how to build a life-first business that allows me to work part-time hours without sacrificing profit. Now I help service providers simplify and scale their businesses so they can earn their dream income while living life on their schedule. If you're ready to build a sustainable, profitable service business (without the burnout), apply for the Business Edit™ Group Coaching Program today!

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