Messy Success Episode 2: Relationships that can leverage your success | Elizabeth Henson Photos

Messy Success Episode 2: Relationships that can leverage your success

What We Talk About in this Episode

  • Relationships in business: valuable friendships can leverage your success.
  • If you already have a business besty: how to navigate those relationships and make them work for everyone.
  • If you don’t have a business besty yet: how can you find one?


Show Notes

What is a business besty? It’s the people in your life that you can talk about everything business with. Studies show that you need five people in your life that we can talk to about our businesses. These aren’t casual conversations – it’s the nitty-gritty, the struggles, the highs and the lows, the emotional rollercoaster that is owning your own business. It’s important to find those people that can help you build the best business possible and who you can help in return.

So let’s talk business with three of my business besties!

Sharon Hundley

My mentor, amazing human, empire builder with a team of 11, wedding photographer, boutique editor, and now owner of a rental company, Sharon Hundley is a powerhouse in this industry with a six-figure business. In my conversation with Sharon in this episode, we discuss everything from what makes a good business besty to maintaining relationships with other vendors to finding your business besty.

Some highlights from our conversation:

On what makes a good business besty:

“I need a long-lasting connection. Not just a seasonal friend or a self-serving business besty, a self-beneficial relationship. I need that genuine and long-lasting connection. […] Another thing that I really look for in this type of relationship is someone who can just consistently encourage me and push me, and vice versa, towards improvement. Not just someone who is going to encourage me to chase dreams, I need someone who is going to sit me down and say, ‘Actually, this is an area you can really improve on.’”

On the real secret in the wedding industry:

“If you are a wedding photographer or a wedding planner, a wedding day is not a success just because you show up. It’s a success because every vendor showed up. It takes a village to make a beautiful experience for your clients! It’s not just one person pulling that weight.”

On acknowledging the other people in your circle:

“It will not discredit all of your hard work simply by acknowledging the fact that you didn’t get to where you are today by yourself.”

Angie McPherson

Angie is a storyteller, an adventurer, she loves TV, movies, and gifts. She’s got so much personality and she’s so smart. Angie is a marketing guru and I love learning from her. We have grown our businesses side by side and we’ve launched every project side by side, brainstorming every day. I’m so happy to have her in my life and I’m so excited for you guys to meet her!

On why her business besties matter:

“Going from a full-time, 9-5 with coworkers to being at home, all day, by myself with my dog was a big change. So having friends has been the best part of moving my business forward and making me feel like a part of a community.”

On why she loves podcasts:

“Podcasts are my favorite way to consume information, hands down. I still want to make ample time for education, inspiration, and motivation. Anytime where there’s quiet time, I love to just pop in my headphones and find something. It always gets me so pumped up. I could be having a really down day, whether it be business or life or anything, and I always find a topic where someone is speaking to my heart.”

One piece of advice for someone who might feel lonely in business:

“Coming from an extroverted extrovert, put yourself out there! Join a Facebook group for your industry, it can be a local one, it can be super specific. Just putting yourself out there and putting yourself in the way to join a tribe or start your own tribe… you have to do the work!”

Amanda Hedgepeth

Amanda is located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She believes in the simple life and she’s taught me so much about having a more simple life. She’s an online shop owner, a wedding photographer, she’s served over 120 wedding couples on the East Coast and internationally and she loves shooting sessions on the beach. She’s always been an amazing educator and mentor, she hosts workshops, and speaks at so many different events. Amanda always makes time for what matters the most.

On how her business besties help her:

“My business besties remind me who I am and what I’m good at. It has been such a gift. I feel like my business is only going to continue to grow and get better because of that. The funny thing about that is that I think people think the opposite. They think that if they have someone that they’re friends with in business, it’s a competitive thing. But it’s only grown my business.”

On quality over quantity:

“I’d rather have few business besties than tons of connections and relationships that just aren’t really anything but ‘oh, I know what she does, but I don’t know anything else about her.’”

On boundaries and requests to share things on social media:

“I don’t want to share if I don’t know a lot about it and if I haven’t been involved at all. Not to sound shallow, but it has to align with my brand. I also want to want to share things. I’m really good about authentically showing up. My time is valuable, even if it is just a post. My voice, my platform, are valuable. It has to be something I believe in and I want to do and it definitely has to be politely asked!”

On advice for people who may not have a business besty yet:

“What it comes down to for me, really, of all the experiences I’ve been through, you have to find someone who is genuinely kind. Someone who is secure and kind… that trumps everything. It’s even better to find someone who loves learning, who wants to succeed, and who shows up. There is nothing more important than showing up.”


  • Put yourself out there and meet people!
  • Work with other vendors and develop meaningful, long-lasting connections with them.
  • Show up and be authentically you when you do!

Guest Bios

Sharon Hundley

I’m Sharon Elizabeth and you can find me building empires and encouraging others to do the same… I run a photography team of 11 and I’m also a private boutique editor for other professionals! I’m waving at your awkwardly over here from small town Smithfield, Virginia where I specialize in Wedding Photography and Women’s Beauty. I also own Back Porch Rentals, hand crafted heavy duty farm tables and benches built by my family with your family in mind. My kinda peoples are the ones who give tight hugs, kick their feet up and dive right on in to the heart stuff. I love the simple things in life and believe that pickles are evil.


Angie McPherson

Angie McPherson is a wedding and marketing strategist based in Virginia. She loves long talks about entrepreneurship, binge-ing TV shows & podcasts, responding with GIFs, tear-producing laughter and having living room dance parties with her family. Her favorite part of her business is making every client experience easygoing and fun; whether it be photographing a wedding or educating other creatives through mentoring and workshops. Best. Job. Ever!



Amanda Hedgepeth

Amanda Hedgepeth is a photographer, online shop owner and simple life lover living on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her nerdy husband and three little girls. She has served over 120 wedding couples on the East Coast and internationally, loves shooting sessions on the beach for vacationing families, educating via mentoring, workshops and speaking events all while making enough time for what matters most.




Other Mentions:

Sharon’s Beauty Team:

kristine marie makeup artistry

hair by kara shae

kellen’s salon 

markia nicole MUA / hair stylist 

susanne mayer 



Liz’s Vendor besty Holly


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