This is both my online business and personal journal where I share all of my photography and business projects! Allow me to introduce myself...I am Catherine Guidry, a Louisiana wedding photographer. I am passionate about documenting life but more importantly...living it! <3 My favorite things to do are bike ride with my husband and brainstorm new creative projects!  I am all about meeting new friends and can't wait to meet you!  

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Catherine Guidry

Today’s podcast features none other than my dad, Peter Guidry! My dad has played a huge role in inspiring my entrepreneurial spirit over the years, so I thought –  who else would be a better guest on the show?! While running his own dental practice for 30+ years, he has also been a supportive father to my brothers and I. His hard work and determination has inspired us all and I would not be where I am today without his love and support (and of course my mom’s support too!). I am so excited for you all to hear a little bit more about my dad and his experience of running his own business– I even learned things I had never known before!

WHAT YOU WILL HEAR IN THIS PODCAST:

  • Mistakes to avoid in the early stages of starting a business
  • How to achieve the perfect balance of work life and home life
  • Key pieces of advice for entrepreneurs
  • Key people to trust when starting a business
  • How to start early and save for retirement

My dad is from a very small town, a town where most of his peers went into farming right after high school, because this was the family business for most at the time. However, he decided to go a different route and pursue a career in dentistry. Upon graduating dental school, my dad chose to be an associate and work at an existing dental practice.  At this practice, he was able to gain knowledge in a setting with an established practitioner. His goal was to one day own his own practice, but this decision allowed him to save money and gain great experience and knowledge in the dental field. A couple of years later, an office space opened up and it was the perfect time for him to leave this practice and pursue his dream of owning his own dental practice.

Mistakes to Avoid in the Early Stages:

At the time he began his own practice, resources were very limited. A mistake he made is that he did not have a mentor, or an established dental practice owner, that he could seek advice from.  A mentor can help you avoid mistakes along the way and to show you the right steps in moving forward. In the beginning stages of starting a business, there are many important decisions to be made and my dad made a lot of these decisions on his own. Looking back, he wishes he would have made it a point to seek advice from a mentor and potentially avoiding a few mistakes along the way.

Secondly, he wishes he would have expanded his business at an earlier time. As his patient load increased, it would have been the smartest decision to expand at that time, but instead he chose to wait. By the time he did decide to expand, he was at the point in his career where he did not want to increase his patient volume, but wanted to focus on more detailed care in a smaller practice. Although this may be a regret on my dad’s part, from my point of view I thought he was the most successful business owner. He was not only very respected in our community, but he was at every event in my life. Every dance recital, cheerleading competition, sporting event – you name it and he was there! As a business owner myself, I now realize how easy it is for entrepreneurs to get caught up and work so hard towards their career goal, that they let their other priorities fall behind. I truly admire my dad for having the perfect balance between every aspect of his life.

The Perfect Balance:

Finding the perfect balance between work and play is a difficult task. Something that my dad references is, The Cross of Life. The Cross of Life is having a balance between love, play, work and worship. If the cross is out of balance that means more focus is being placed on one area, leaving the others out of whack. The visual of the cross between these 4 areas really helps me to remember to keep a balance in my own life!

Key People to Trust:

Thankfully, these days there are so many more resources that young business owners can take advantage of that were not available years ago. My dad’s resources consisted of good people, a good attorney, and a good accountant. Having each of these people in his corner were a huge help to him in expanding and growing his business more efficiently and profitability. When I first began my business, I knew that I needed to find a good attorney to help with contracts and a good CPA to help with my finances. Finding these key people to help you in the early stages are starting a business are so important to starting off on the right foot.

Finances and Retirement: 

When my dad first went into practice, he had to borrow money to start the business, buy supplies, etc. It was a decent amount of money and he wanted to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Making that his primary focus, he was able to get out of debt in a short time. However, because his focus was solely driven on the debt, he was not able to save or plan for retirement as early as he had hoped. Growing your savings early by letting the money compound, is very beneficial when you are ready to retire.

For some of us, retirement can be a distant thought, but I have found Dave Ramsey’s book, Complete Guide to Money, to be so insightful. In the guide, Dave talks about the different steps to get out of debt. Having an emergency fund, saving three months of income, getting out of credit card debt are just a few that are mentioned. He also discusses how imperative it is to save for retirement. For entrepreneurs, it is even more important to be proactive in saving for retirement because we do not have the option of a 401k. My husband and myself, both have set up Roth IRA accounts for retirement as well as SEP Accounts. I highly recommend finding a financial planner to help you sort out the different areas of finances and savings.

I am forever grateful for my dad’s advice on business, love, and life in general. Having him as a person to lean on throughout the ups and downs of starting my photography business has been invaluable!

LINKS REFERENCED:

Jasmine Star
Creative Live
Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money
Vanguard – Financial Planner

SPONSORS:
Showit – User-Friendly Web Design Platform: Use code MAGIC for 10% off your subscription!
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020: Peter Guidry: Maintaining Work Life Balance and Retirement Planning

April 5, 2018