Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Meet Tracy Jones! Tracy is a superhuman Yuman! Yuma has been her home for 35 years. She has been in business for 10 months and 9 days -but states: “who is counting?” She is the founder of Horsin Around Photo Booth. Her company provides fun and amazing photo booths for your special event! If you ask Tracy who she is, she will tell you: a mom, wife and friend! And I quote; “I am the mother of two amazing kids, the wife to one incredibly lucky man and a friend to many. I give what I can, only take what I need and try my best to be a productive part of our little community here in Yuma.”
Tracy has always had a passion for event planning. However, adding an event planning business to her 9-5 schedule is a challenge she wasn’t ready to add to her plate. Still, she considered how to incorporate event planning into her small business venture and while planning her son’s wedding, she came across a photo booth. It’s when she realized that starting a photo booth business could work. It would give her the freedom to express her creativity. Her husband is tech savvy. She had the support. So, she went for it; and it organically fell into place.
Tracy has had the pleasure of providing her services for special/private and community events across Yuma; but you’d never know, unless you get to know her story that Tracy loves fiercely, she’s a fighter, incredibly insightful and a firm believer in supporting community! Tracy is inspired very much by her daughter and nieces. She wants to show them that her success is the blueprint to their own. As a firm supporter of seeing women succeed it is not only important to her that her daughter and nieces succeed but that all women trust in themselves enough to make the leaps in life that will open the doors for sustainable growth. When asked what advice she has for women, Tracy shares that it is important for women to identify their obstacles but not to obsess or to be discouraged by them. “Considering the obstacle forces us to face our fears and to work through them. In business, this is necessary if you want to grow. Until I started my own business every decision prior to that had been made from obligation and fear. I always took the safe route, never wanted to rock the boat but if I knew ten years ago what I know now, I would have just gone for it. Betting on yourself is the safest bet of all. You know what you are made of, you know the passion you have, and you know that you are willing to put in the hard work. There is always the fear of failure but what if you succeed? This drives me to my second point: as women we are often pulled in countless directions. Between work and home, we have moments where we feel we’re failing at everything; but, it all comes down to how important it is to do what you said you were going to do. Do you know how many car washes I’ve had to attend at 8 a.m. on a Saturday to raise money for new uniforms that I absolutely did not want to go to? Too many to count! But, I honored my commitment because people, whom I gave my word to were counting on me. On the opposite side of this, a lesson I learned way too late in life is that it is perfectly acceptable to say no to any and everything and get this, without an explanation! We do not have to prematurely commit to anything to be liked. Women are people pleasers by nature and saying no is hard to do. People do not like to hear no, but most will respect it. Master the art of balance in the arena of give and rest!”
The inspiration flowed relentlessly in Tracy’s interview. As we discussed empowerment, we moved to the “Aha moment” conversation where Tracy shares some insightful advice about an epiphany in business! “Most of my adult life has been spent working in the non-profit world. I am a true giver at heart, it comes easy and feels natural; but, in the business world a nonprofit mindset does not always translate well in the for-profit industry. I had to learn this lesson. I’m not alone here and because of it I share what I know. I believe true empowerment is to transparently inspire. As I faced the business pricing structure challenge, I found a support system to help me work through it. I connected with an amazing businesswoman who owns event company, Own the Night Entertainment. During a conversation I was gifted what I like to call a sermon on business pricing that should have been entitled “Know your worth.” It required me to re-evaluate the way I’ve done business in terms of the pricing and discounting that I once offered clients. So, I revisited my website, adjusted my prices accordingly and decided to choose one charity annually to donate my services to. This has empowered me to sustainably support community and our family business as well.”
While discussing business challenges Tracy talked about Covid. She shared that the unexpected challenges of cancelling event bookings in response to Covid which she referred to as “tough initially.” But, soon she found that what was disguised as a crisis, in actuality was an opportunity to restructure her business. “I took the time to invest in industry education, I’ve studied market trends and revamped my website. I do not have time to waste and Covid has turned into an opportunity to incorporate necessary strategies into my business plan that I am already seeing a return on investment on!
When asked what practice keeps her grounded, Tracy stated that treating everyone with respect and dignity is it! “The energy you put out into the universe is the energy you will receive. I’m respectful because I want to be, respecting people is a must!”
One of the most powerful parts of the interview happened when Tracy discussed how her greatest life challenge impacted her view in business. “When my son was 18, he was diagnosed with cancer (he is healthy and thriving 10 years later!). I worked for a hospice at the time, I knew all the doctors, I knew the drills, after all I had sat on the other side of this conversation a hundred times but when it is happening to you it is different. You know that from this moment on your life will never be the same. You stay strong for your kids because you know how important it is for them to see that you are not scared. But you are scared. You cry in the shower where no one else can see. You drive to the middle of the desert and get out of your car and scream until your lungs feel like they will explode because that energy has to go somewhere and then you come back home with a brave face. You start with painful surgeries that end with chemo that makes your kid so sick that for days you both just lie on the bathroom floor. Then you end with the PT scan that say all the cancer is gone; but, every year at that annual doctor’s appointment all you can think about until the tests come back clear is: is this the year the cancer comes back? A lesson learned from this is that the worst thing that is ever going to happen to me has already happened and I made it out on the other side. If my business fails, is it heart breaking? Yes. Is it life or death? No. I have the heart, I have the dedication and I have the will. I am stronger than I think and that is what is needed to succeed.”
There is so much depth to this woman! Upon closing we asked her for success tips. “Great communication and impeccable customer service are the keys to business success!”
For more information about business, inspiration and beyond Tracy can be reached on any of her social media platforms @horsinaroundphotobooth! Connect and book your session with her today!