Hooray! It has been One Year!
365 days since I stepped out from under the corporate world of stability, routine, and complacency. 365 days since I stepped into the life of unknowns, 100% commission, and building a business of my own focused on the craft of photography. While also focusing on the freedoms and rewards that come with owning, operating, and managing my very own, one (wo)man business. I’ve enjoyed making my own decisions, flexible schedule, and deciding how I want to run my business while providing an exceptional service and product to my wonderful, loyal clients. I could easily write down all the goals I have met along the way, and all of my personal accomplishments in the last year, but that’s not how I measure my business’ success. I can only measure it with the many lessons I have learned. The uncomfortable, hard-fought, hours-long lessons that have taught me to be a better photographer, a better entrepreneur, and an even better businesswoman.
I have failed at some things. I have been rejected. I have been so defeated, I’ve wanted to call it quits. I have been in situations where I’ve had no idea how to handle them. It’s been tough being the sole operator. I am the good guy, the bad guy, and everything in between. There’s no asking my boss for permission or to handle issues. There’s no referring to a seasoned coworker for their guidance. There’s just me working with what knowledge I have attained throughout my time in the corporate world, through attaining my bachelor’s degree, and through my certification in health coaching. All in all, I have relied on myself for the answers, making decisions based off of my morals, my gut feelings, and my knowledge base. I’ve learned how to wear many hats, juggle the daily tasks, and continue to be creative and open-minded in my photography.
The biggest reward has been delivering images to my clients from their sessions, events, and weddings days, the special moments I had the honor to capture with my camera. I receive the most enjoyment when I see my clients’ faces when first viewing their images. Knowing I have documented a specific moment in time that they will never repeat, but can always cherish because of the images is immeasurable. It makes the long hours and difficult times so worth it.
Somehow along the way, I have luckily built a tribe of wonderful people to have on my side when I am faced with difficult moments or need the extra encouragement. These people have offered their unwavering support, professional advice, and empowerment to make the right decisions. They have taught me how to sell my brand, how to photograph in unfavorable circumstances, how to build my online presence, and so much more. They have also celebrated my wins knowing how hard I worked to get that W. They have also mourned some of my losses, reminding me to get back on my feet to try again. Without my tribe of people, I wouldn’t be as knowledgable, as confident, as empowered to continue this journey to continue my passion.
Running a business isn’t for the faint of heart and sometimes I have wondered if I am strong enough to do it. I have questioned myself if this is really what I am meant to do, but I have this internal curiosity, much like a cat. A curiosity to see what is around the next corner, what lesson I can learn from the next inquiry, what will come from the next photography opportunity. I’ve learned I can’t give up because I owe it to myself to keep trying. Because if I don’t try, then I won’t learn or grow. If I don’t grow, I will just be mediocre. If I don’t try to be better than I was the day before, the photo session before, the client before, then I am only guaranteeing myself not to succeed. So success and growth is what I will continue to chase with my curious mind.
I’ve learned to face adversity with open arms, inviting in what I don’t know and tackling what I can. My first year in business has been nothing shy of successful, full of old and new clients, exciting photography opportunities, and new endeavors and paths to entertain. My business has pushed me, challenged me, and forced me to be uncomfortable and to be better. The growth that has happened in those uncomfortable moments is immeasurable. I welcome Year 2 and gladly look forward to the new lessons I will learn, and the amazing clients I will have the opportunity to work with, giving them images of the special moments in time that they will be able to enjoy and cherish for a lifetime.