We’ve had our fair share of interior designers and branding experts for our weekly Haven Maven series, but today, I’m so thrilled to be hosting our first featured lifestyle photographer, Mol Goodman. Molly is SO much more than a photographer. She’s a woman who empowers other women, wants to see them succeed and truly loves what she does. The ingredients for a successful boss babe? I’d say so. Molly and I chatted over the phone for the first time a few weeks ago and it was unexpectedly refreshing. I knew we’d go over some of the feature details… but what I didn’t anticipate was diving into a conversation that would give me chills. I quickly realized, her success isn’t just because she’s incredible behind the lens, but because she also cares enough about her clients to go a step further with them. You’ll see what I mean when you hear what she has to say below! We’re pairing our interview with imagery from a home designed by none other than her crazy talented mama, Darci Goodman, who happens to be her biggest inspiration.
Molly is our newest creative on The List and has so much to offer beyond beautiful images. She also works with creatives on business coaching and knows her stuff. I highly recommend reaching out if you’re in need of a bit of direction for your brand and biz!
How did you get your start as a lifestyle and interiors photographer?
My three avenues of photography all had their own funny little starts; wine, food and hospitality are a byproduct of my major in college, lifestyle is a reflection of my love for creation and creating, and interiors is a direct trajectory of being a five year old sitting in my mom’s office playing with tile and fabric samples.
What/Who has been your biggest inspiration in becoming the kick ass boss babe and business owner that you are?
My mom, Darci Goodman, has run her interior design business since my sisters and I were little. She’s professional, hard working, successful, and kind to all her clients and vendors. She sets a standard for excellence in everything she does and if I told her that right now, I’m sure she’d be shocked. She just does it. She just lives and breathes her talent and from that her business has grown into this insane beautiful monstrosity.
What is your favorite part about shooting interiors? Which room is your fave to shoot?
Kitchens. Without a second thought. Gosh, really, I can say that every important moment in my life has happened around a table or at a stove. The pulse of a whole house is beating from the heart that is the kitchen. As an interior photographer, I shoot to the cadence of that pulse, that magnitude of love and family.
Walk us through a typical day in the life of Mol Goodman…
I meet my mom and dad for coffee every morning. They both own their own businesses so we discuss nerdy things like new revenue streams, cash flow projections, and ways to challenge our different mindsets. It’s like business school… Every. Day. After that, I have coaching client meetings until midmorning, whether it be me with my own coach or me coaching a client. And then for the rest of the day, I either shoot or edit. If I’m lucky, after shoots, I go for a glass of wine with a client to check in, talk shop, and relax together.
You also offer business coaching (mainly for designers). Can you tell us a bit about how you help entrepreneurs, beyond beautiful images?
Through a process of implementing reliable habits, creating efficient systems, and developing precise strategies that are both feasible and executable I help interior designers and creative makers streamline their business systems and mindsets to make more room for their craft. Coaching was born out of necessity. When I first started doing interior photography, I would ask my clients, “What do you intend to do with these images?” Most of the time, they couldn’t even give me a lazy answer like, “Instagram!” or “Pinterest!”. The images would just end up sitting on their servers. I couldn’t justify their investing earned money on photography when the images wouldn’t be used in a way that they could see a return on that investment. So, I realized this small marketing issue was a symptom of a greater business dilemma: there was no system or plan for generating projectable revenue. I went to my own business coach and we started sketching out what it would look like for me to coach interior designers and creatives on whole business strategies that lean into clarity, marketing, sales, and other gritty areas of business.
What is your best advice for other business owners who are trying to discover their own unique purpose?
Find some strategic partners. Strategic partners are going to be your “business besties” and your pace setters. You don’t need a tribe of followers telling you that you’re great, you need an inner circle of people who are going to be hard-asses when you aren’t cutting it. Nurture your relationships with them, care about their problems, consider their solutions, and walk with them through the wins and the losses. These are your strategic partners. Also, read more.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a business owner?
My business coach, Greg Faxon, has a great book called, Don’t Let the Fear Win. It radically changed the way I work. Whatever it is that scares me, that’s pointing me directly toward what I need to be doing. So, I let my fear and my doubt and my anxiety pave the way for my decision making. No one ever grew by doing only what was comfortable and easy.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Or, what is your favorite quote?
“In order to kick ass you must first lift up your foot.” – Jen Sincero
What is one mistake you’ve made in your career that has made you better for it?
Thinking I knew it all. I thought I was an invincible photographer. Until my Uncle, a seasoned photographer, asked me to prove that my work was balanced, tonal, and complex. I didn’t know how to use a flash, I didn’t know what tonal meant, and I didn’t understand that complex wasn’t just a word we wino’s use to describe the finish of a great bottle of Sancerre. So, I got serious. I spent 6 months diving into various editing styles, learned everything from film to editing super moody, and found my aesthetic (and my humility!).
If you could sit next to any other boss babe in the world on a 5 hour flight, who would it be and why?
Candice Kumai. She’s everything I want to be: creator, chef, photographer, writer, and traveler. I have a long way to go in many of those arenas (I’ll probably never be a chef, my years in culinary school were like doing hard time) but to learn how she achieved everything that everyone said she couldn’t is something to look up to.
Favorite room in your own home and why?
I have a gorgeous honed white marble table. It’s not even a room. I have a small Walker Zanger table where I shoot food and products for clients, read all my books, journal, take calls, and plan my business strategies. Its the most peaceful place in the house.
Instagram account(s) you’re currently crushing on:
Always @mimithor. She is an elegant and graceful renaissance (wo)man.
Current favorite book and/or podcast:
I read a lot. I have 6 books cracked open all over my bed and nightstand right now. Pat Conroy is my forever favorite author. My favorite podcast is “My Favorite Murder” it’s hilarious and exactly my specific (sick) brand of humor.
3 apps you can’t live without:
MileIQ, Dubsado, and Instagram (duh).