I thought my doctor was going to faint. 

A couple years ago, I was having some stomach issues that required a trip to a specialist.

The doctor began by asking a few routine questions, one of which was:

“How much water would you say you drink each day?”

“Oh… I dunno, maybe 10-20 ounces?”


After weeks of worrying over possible causes of the problem, it turns out, I was just dehydrated. 😅

But… the problem with the simple H20 cure: I’m really bad at remembering to drink water. 

(Maybe it’s just me, but does ANYone else remember their parents pushing water on them at any point other than meals? And even then, I drank Kool-Aid!)

I tried seltzer water, I tried WaterDrop, I tried keeping a carafe of water at my desk. 

But inevitably, the issue was always not remembering to refill my cup.

Eliminate friction in your small business | Abby Grace Photography

Finally, I realized the issue was capacity. If I couldn’t remember to fill my vessel after it emptied, I needed a bigger vessel. So that way, even if I forgot to refill, I could be confident I was getting more ounces than before. 

I found this sunset pink 32oz-er from Thermos, and dang. If that didn’t cure my issue. 

I may not *quite* be hitting the recommended 70-80oz of water per day, but 60oz is a heck of a lot better than 20, right? (Progress over perfection!)

So what’s the, y’know, BUSINESS lesson here? 

We have to eliminate friction. 

I know a bigger water bottle might not be an earth-shattering concept, but the years I’d spent berating myself for not being better hydrated was fixed almost overnight with a change in volume capacity. 

The friction in my process was the number of times I had to refill a cup. EIGHT cups of water a day? That’s 16 trips up and down the stairs to my kitchen. 

But a 32oz bottle? Fill it once in the morning, and again at lunch time- BOOM. That’s 64oz. 

How many places in business have you learned to simply live with the irritating side effects of something that could be better, but isn’t because you haven’t taken a hot sec to figure out a better/faster/smoother process?

→ How many scheduling messages are you sending back & forth, instead of using a software like Calendly?
→ How many FAQs are you still fielding for clients who’d be better served by an onboarding doc like the Client Welcome Guide?
→ How many times has your editing queue been backed up because you STILL haven’t landed on a photo editor? 


The amount of time you spend stressing about bottlenecks (and the problems they inevitably cause) is more time than it would take to actually FIX the problem. 

But we’re so focused on the effort/time needed to make the fix that we keep limping along with a system that only works… kinda well. 

Allow me to demonstrate:

  • Original number of back & forth emails required to schedule a consult: 3-5
  • Time needed to set up Calendly: 20-30 minutes, one time.
  • New number of emails required to schedule a consult: 1.

Can we also talk about the higher conversion rate, because clients aren’t getting lost in the back & forth?

I know that the initial slow-down of training a new editor, or setting up a new software, or writing out a template, all of that can seem to be too high a cost when you’re in the middle of a frenetic day, week, or season. 

But we’re playing the long game here. 

That chunk of time you invest NOW to get a system running more smoothly will earn you compound interest in the future. 

Eliminate friction in your small business | Abby Grace Photography

→ An one-time investment of ~three hours to train my editor saves me an average of 2.5 hours for every brand client. 

That’s 50 hours per year.

Eliminating friction isn’t just about, will this make TODAY easier?

It’s about fine-tuning your business to run like a well-oiled machine, each client a little smoother, a little easier than the one before it.

Get more business help with these posts

Prefer to listen? Check out the podcast 

Eliminate Friction Like A Thermos

September 6, 2023

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