Lauren Dragon-Cook: Hello everybody who is tuning in! Welcome to the cool kids club! I am Lauren Dragon-Cook, the owner and founder of Wedding Boss Life. I am with Brianne Hultzman who is an amazing photographer. She is based in New York now. She traveled across the country to Colorado where she was living with her husband and daughter who just turned one. She is now living in New York while her husband is deployed.
Let’s do the dang thing, shall we? We are going to be chit chatting today about Brianne’s journey essentially and what it has looked like for her in the just the last… how many months?
Brianne Hultzman: Since January, so like 6 months?
Lauren: It’s only been six months? This is going to be such a good one.
Brianne: It’s only been six months.
Lauren: I can’t wait. We are here lets do the damn thing. Brianne, tell us a little bit about you. Who the hell are you? Why should we love you? What do you do?
Brianne: Alright, so I am Brianne. I am a wedding and portraits photographer based out of Western New York. I will be turning a quarter old… 25 this year. I have a daughter, her name is Kayleigh. She just turned one last month. My husband is in the army so we travel everywhere! We just this last year went from living in NY to Indiana to Colorado and now back to New York and then moving back to Colorado and figuring out what is next!
Lauren: That is a lot.
Brianne: It is a lot of moving. I think I’m an expert packer now.
Lauren: Is that even a thing? Awesome!
So Brianne, you are a photographer. You obviously love the creative world and everything that revolves around there. Tell me a little bit about where your business was say December 2017.
Six Months Ago
Brianne: December 2017 I was really slowing down in my business. I was in Colorado for almost 8 months and I noticed my business was really slowing down. I was in a slow season. I was excited for a new year, but I was also worried because I literally had no bookings for 2018. Probably for about 3 weeks after going into January, once again I had no bookings. It made my gut sink, because I was thinking is it me? What is wrong? I actually booked one session the entire month of January and it was proposal at garden of God and then again it went silent.
I had never been in a slow season before because the year prior I remember having 32 sessions in January. So going from 32 sessions the previous year to one session. It was heartbreaking. Is it my prices? Is it me? Does my breath smell bad? What is this!?
Lauren: So fair enough though, you had concerns with what was going on.
Brianne: It was rough.
Lauren: What was the turning point for you? Where were you like… I need to do something about this? I need to figure out what is going on.
Brianne: I was thinking to myself, clearly there is something wrong. I was listening to podcasts all the time and getting any information I could possibly get. I am also known for adding myself on Facebook groups, so one day I’m on Facebook and scrolling to look for anything to do with weddings. Suddenly on the side bar it said group of wedding creatives. I thought that sounded neat so I clicked it and added myself. When I did that I had to answer three questions and then I was added to your email list.
The next week I got a welcome video. I thought it was so nice! I loved it! After I had my welcome video I wanted to check this girl out and find out what she was all about. I heard about doing a check in with you for 30 minutes for free. I went ahead and signed up for the 30 minutes and either that night or the next day I got a video from you. I remember when I was answering the three questions I said I was a new photographer. And when I watched the second video you sent me, you told me I was not a new photographer and that my work was incredible. I felt like this woman was my soul sister right now. I went ahead and sent the video to my best friend and was like “dude I am so excited. I get to talk to her on Wednesday and she is going to rip my whole website apart. I am so ready.”
I had my 30 minute chat with you which turned into a whole hour chat because our vibes just clicked and were so perfect. At the end you said “listen, I know I can help you one on one.” And I was like “well can’t I just do free 30 minutes from now on?” And you were like “nope.” So you told me how much it was, my heart sank for a second because I didn’t have money at the time. But I sat on it for two days and even though I didn’t have the money, I made it a point to make sure I could do it. Somewhere deep inside I knew I needed some sort of coaching. I needed someone that wasn’t a photographer to tell me what to do. That just made sense. And that is how it all started!
Lauren: Half the time I don’t even know where people are coming from or how they found the group. I have no idea. So its pretty cool to listen to your experience. So where were you at though personally? Lets get real and raw. That is the whole point of these Tuesday chats.
Did you even realize that you were struggling? Where were you at? What did life look like for you?
Brianne: I was a lot like grumpy. I was so sad and so depressed. My husband went out to a training in California for the army and I’m over here just taking care of our daughter. Basically single mom-ing it. I didn’t know what to do. I was very sad. I was in a really deep dark place and I honestly thought about just quitting photography all together. I was thinking everything negative. Nobody wanted to be around me and I don’t blame them whatsoever because I was pretty depressing.
Lauren: Aw, the muffin. But you know what… lets point this out for a hot second. Look at where youa re now and you can look back and see that.
Lauren: So many people go through life and all they do is point their finger at someone else. Blaming other people for their problems. I am saying to you… this is huge! That is a lot of looking inwards.
You were a hot mess basically.
Brianne’s Experience with Lauren
Lauren: So when you decided you wanted to jump on the Lauren train and work with me, you were looking for business guidance and help and someone to tell you what the hell to do. To make it flourish.
Brianne: Yes, give me direction. Give me a road to be the next Jenna Kutcher basically.
Lauren: We will take it! What ended up happening during our four sessions. I would love to hear form your perspective.
Brianne: Holy smokes. There was a ridiculous amount of self reflection. We just really broke everything down. I know the first session you were giving me tips and tricks and ideas. What I need to do with an email list and my website. We worked out my brand voice and how to present myself the way I talk right now. When you go ahead and look at my website, it is a clear representation of how I talk in general. That was HUGE!
There was just a lot of self reflection and going back and thinking back to where it all began. I could go on for days right now!
Lauren: No that’s fine! I have gotten many emails in the past, “now that you’ve come out of the wedding creative closest, do you only do business stuff? Do you only do x, y, and z?” I think this helps people paint a really good picture of what to expect.
Brianne: It was… the first session or the second session… you told me that you were into the woo-woo and of course I was like “Yes! I got myself a psychic and a life coach and I am so excited! My life is made!” I went ahead and had you pull cards for me and what it was like.. two days later everything that happened on it was ridiculously accurate and I texted you like “WTF Lauren!” I was mind blown!
Our third session together we really talked about my feelings towards my business, another couple tips and tricks, and a card reading. It hit me like a bunch of bricks. I was crying, you were crying, we were balling. It was very intense and after you told me to work on my website and between that time I went ahead and worked on it. You asked me if I was the same person because it looked nothing like your website before. Which is pretty amazeballs.
Shifting from Dark to Light
Lauren: It really is. I just love the fact… I think that you were in a super dark place. You already have admitted that. It was a lot of negativity towards yourself.
Brianne: I felt so guilty. Trying to stop me feeling so guilty all the time. Like even if I ate a Cheeto I would feel guilty, something as simple as that. I always felt the need to have permission for Lauren to say “hey you can go ahead and do blah-blah-blah.” I was unsure, but that was you saying “go ahead, I’m giving you permission just do it damn it.” So I did it and I felt way better about myself but also how my business has just thrived off of it. I have been able to raise my prices now and feel confident with my pricing which is just huge! Now I know my self worth which is big. To be back in the place where I was in January, self worth out the window… self care out the window. That was bad. And I’ll be the first to admit I struggled with post partum depression and I would get back into that mode and feelings of suicide and it was really bad. You really got me out of it.
Lauren: But how? What did I do? What did we do together? What did we do to shift that? I remember that moment, but I want to know if you remember it.
Brianne: I have mom brain, I don’t remember anything right now. But I do remember going through my whole personal life and sitting down and doing a lot of reflection. We figured out where everything stemmed from. That was big. How everything connected.
Lauren: I remember the moment. It was either the second or third session. I remember your grandfather came through.
Brianne: Oh my god, I’ll tell you! That was so crazy because I was thinking about my grandpa a lot. He actually came through and he just had this smile on his face. I just keep seeing joy. Joy, joy, joy, joy.
She kept seeing joy and It didn’t make sense at first. And then it hit me… my grandma’s name is Joyce. It does not get any closer to that. And of course he always had a smile on his face. Around that session too my daughter was looking around and looking at the couch and she would just start laughing at the couch. I would see things in the corner of my eye and then when grandpa came through it was such a relief. I miss him so much. You said “its okay baby girl.” And I remember thinking I don’t know if he would say baby girl, but I know he would remind me it was okay. I think when he gave me that “its okay, keep going”, I really took that into my life and it pushed me even farther and farther.
Lauren: I totally remember that and remember where a lot of your stuff stemmed form when you were six, so I had seen the number six just pop into my head. I remember the back of my head hurt really badly and I said there was a traumatic event. There was something that happened when you were six. I just kept seeing it. I said the back of my head is hurting, why? And that is when you said to me “yeah I was in a car accident.”
Brianne: A mini van hit a motorcycle head on and there was some serious neck damage to the motorcyclist. My parents pulled to the side of the road and us kids were sitting in the back. I wasn’t allowed to look back because it was very traumatic and ever since then I have had very bad anxiety especially on the road. Even just getting close to a car in traffic… the anxiety comes back to that. Once I realized that it got better from there. Not to say I don’t have any anxiety anymore about it, but it was nice to bring it back to the surface to see where it stemmed from.
Lauren: That is when a lot of your shifts happened. I could feel the shifting actually happen.
For those of you who don’t know… I am intuitive and part of that is being an empath. I can actually feel your emotions when we are having a one on one conversation, but I can also feel when energy begins to shift. The reason why I saw a shift and why my head was throbbing was because I was feeling those things you were feeling.
That was the moment where you woke up. My divine purpose in life I have been told by friends who are energy healers and by many people… is to wake people up. Wake up souls essentially.
From about January to March things started to come into alignment for you. What did you start to see? What did you see all the time? Signs?
Brianne: I literally would see repeating numbers all day everyday. I would have 111, 333, 313131. I paid off my student loans. I’m not going to tell you the number, but I’ll tell you it was repeating.
Lauren: What did it mean?
Brianne: It was saying I was on the right path and everything I was doing was good. There was abundance that would be coming my way.
Lauren: Yes. You paid off your student loans… what was the van? Remind me.
Brianne: Oh I forgot about that! You can’t make this stuff up. I am reading a book right now called “effortless Entrepreneur”. It is by these guys who run this company called “college hunk, hauling junk”. Never heard of it before in my life. I was in Florida at my in-laws house and I was reading. It was such a quick read, which was weird because anyone who knows me knows I hate reading. I went ahead and was reading this book and it was just insane! I was highlighting everything. And we had to go to Lowe’s and I went to Lowe’s and we are driving back onto the highway and suddenly there is a car in front of us and it was the college hunk hauling junk. I texted Lauren, “you would not believe what just happened”. The entire trip I was there I think I saw it 6 times within the last three days and then when I got back to Colorado I kept passing a sign that I never saw before. It was on a picnic bench. I was just like… how!?
And now I am on a different book called “You are a Badass at Making Money” and you have to say a daily affirmation of “I love money and money loves me”. The craziest thing happened… I was cleaning out the spare room and I came across the cards form my bridal shower three years ago and I found $40 in gift cards that I never used. And then yesterday I was in the car joking around saying “I love money and money loves me” and I bought myself two lottery tickets and I won $25.
Lauren: Oh my gosh. So many people I feel when the shit starts to shift, as I like to say, you are going to probably be perceived by others as being bat-shit-cray.
Brianne: Oh I am totally being judged by my parents. But hey, it works. I am also on another book called “You are a Badass”. It’s a great book too.
Lauren: I just remember, when you had seen that van you had had a revelation of some kind and I was reading your text and I said “yup, she is in alignment” and then literally you texted me about the van the next day and it was like “yup, there is the universe giving her a wink.”
This group, this community that I have strived to create is so much more than just systems and processes of how to run your business.
Brianne: Absolutely. This is the best group I have ever been a part of. I feel very safe in this group that I could actually express myself and show off my work.
Lauren: I know we talked about this before, just having a successful business begins and ends with you. If you are not right, if things are off in your own life then how are you going to have this picture perfect business if you yourself are struggling with something? That is why I wanted Brianne to tell her story. There are so many parts that are being left out and what not, but it is okay because I think everyone is getting the general jist of the story. It is a transformation. It is a matter of literally just transitioning into who you were meant to be. That is exactly where Brianne is at right now. She has embraced and shifted exactly aware of where she is.
Brianne: I totally want everyone to jump on the LDC train.
Lauren: I mean… there is no stopping.
Brianne: It is life changing to be mentored by you, honestly. I talk about you literally every day. You are basically my big sister. No life.
Lauren: Aw thank you babe. It makes me tear up. Oh tell me about your husband! Right before he left, he wanted to hop on the phone with me and get a quick reading basically. I just smile thinking about it. I felt something shift for him as well.
Lauren: Speak to that for people.
Brianne: So basically what happened was I would get readings every two weeks? I went ahead and told my husband to get a reading done. I set it up and texted her and asked her “are you able to do a reading at 8pm?” Obviously he had to work that day and so we set everything up. He was really anxious at the beginning. He wanted his grandparents to come through. His grandma passed away in October. At first, I wanted to be in the room listening to this, but they wanted to be private.
His grandma came through at 3pm earlier that day, basically make a presence that “hey I’m here”. He got very teary-eyed and then towards the end his grandfather came through. He is the one that made Brian who is he is today. His message to Brian was “I look to you as a son”. I know that Brian felt his grandfather was basically his father growing up and taught him some life lessons and morals. Everything stems back to his morals. Brian also got clarity on what kind of career he wanted to do because obviously every place has pressured him to be more in the medical field. He was thinking “maybe I want to get into environmental science” but after talking to you he knows in his heart where he is supposed to be. If he says something doesn’t feel right, I don’t question it whatsoever. He trusts his gut now and figured out he wants to go to school for environmental science during his stint in the military.