Fear. Failure. Forgiveness. Focus. Forward.
Fear. Failure. Forgiveness. Focus. Forward
I’ve been putting off blogging for a while now. I guess for a few reasons…The main one being…dun dun dun… FEAR. Fear of not knowing what to write about or even how to write it. Fear of adding another responsibility to my plate and then dropping the ball, at least that’s what I kept telling myself. Truth is I had gotten so caught up in “working in” my business and making myself busy that I didn’t make the time to really “work on” the relationship building part of my business by blogging, sharing, educating, and interacting with the people that I serve.…BUT It's 2018 and I figured it's now or never, time to do it, even in fear and give you all a chance get to know me aside from Instagram and Facebook, the woman behind the camera, what I do, why I do it and even how I do it.
This blog will feature lots of fun stuff and helpful info like tips on how to look slimmer on camera, what colors work best, makeup tips and photoshoot behind the scenes... it will also feature my journey from leaving my cushy job in the corporate world 4.5 years ago to building my current (soon to be international) Beauty and Branding Photography business, not knowing what the hell I was doing most of the time. Unlike the images that I create with my clients, my story getting to this point isn’t picture perfect (at all), it’s full of personal and business challenges, disappointments, celebrations, doubts, wins, and major WTF moments that I look back on and wonder how the hell I’m even still here.
Just like most Entrepreneurs starting out I’ve learned so many lessons the hard way, when I started I didn't have a clue as to how I was going to make this thing work and support myself and to be honest...some days I still don’t. Keep in mind that I’m a self taught photographer, image retoucher, makeup artist, and now business woman. When I started out Google and YouTube were my best friends and most reliable resources. I didn’t know anyone outside of my small bubble, had no real training, no mentor, no coach, no business plan. Just a crazy dream, faith in a higher power and a belief that this was all a part of what I was called to do.
It felt so right!!! I was happy as hell to be out of that grey cubicle doing something that I loved, something that brought me true satisfaction, it was like a drug...it didn't feel like real “work” at all. I mean I was finally excited to get out of bed in the mornings, and Sunday nights didn't make me sad...I was having fun, meeting interesting people and being creative while making everyday women look and feel like supermodels. Amazing people where coming out of the woodwork to help me becuase they beleived in me... it was a magical time. Well at least that part of my life was, around this time I was also going through a very very painful divorce. It seemed like the more my heart broke the harder I worked..I was riding so high yet feeling so low and to top it all off I wasn’t making any money!!!! When I finally got the courage to run all my numbers I remember feeling like a total and complete FAILURE! How was I working so hard, creating all this magic but still dead ass broke……how did I get myself in this mess… and more importantly how was I going to get myself out of it? I knew something had to change and that something had to be ME! I realized that I was the only person holding me back but I didn't have all the answers. I decided to change my mindset around the business side of what I do and I hired my very 1st business coach. A whopping $900.00 a month... $900.00 that I didn't even have at the time, I had to "borrow" it from my savings to pay for 2 months of coaching with her. But I was bound and determined to learn as much as I could to change my situation and my understanding of "the business". I'd finally realized that I needed to do things differently to get different results and in order to build an empire and leave a significant legacy I’d have to stop playing small and fully step up to the plate as a business owner (the part that feels like WORK), educate myself and get a handle on all those things that I mentioned and more. This did not happen in my 2 months with her but it set me in the right direction....it was a start.
Looking back, I was so naïve but in some ways that naivety served me well, without it I might have never taken the leap knowing what I know now. Who knew that I actually needed more than a cool logo and pretty business cards to have a profitable business? Who knew that I'd be required to stretch myself beyond my super introverted, just leave me alone, anti-social ways. Initially what I really needed was to realize that what I brought to the table was extremely valuable to many but not everyone would be my client. I needed to value my time and talent and charge my absolute worth (and add tax and tip). I needed to stop discounting or giving my services away because I felt guilty or because someone needed a “favor” and would tell everyone about me. I also needed an Actual Business Plan, along with Knowledge of SEO, Marketing, Networking, Branding, Copy, Return on Investments, TAXE$, Accounting, Social Media, Cost of doing Business, spreadsheets and more spreadsheets and the guts and grit to execute it all.
So here I am…At this point I’ve basically spent my entire life savings funding this dream, definitely not the smartest thing I’ve ever done but it’s done. I risked it all and I invested in myself at 110%. I don't regret that at all but in all honeslty there are still parts of me that just wishes I'd played it smarter not just harder...and for that I’m in the process of offering myself FORGIVENESS. Forgiving myself for all the mistakes, for not knowing what I didn’t know, for doing work for people that didn’t value my Art or my time. I’m forgiving myself for being human and I’m more determined than ever in owning my seat at the table in the business world not just in the photography studio. I’m moving on, no longer dwelling on my past mistakes and letting them hold my future hostage. My FOCUS has shifted from a place of defeat to a position of power, power in knowing that I have what it takes to do more than survive…. Power in knowing that I will THRIVE despite it all.
Moving FORWARD, my goal is to use this blog to connect with other women that are where I’ve been: where I’m at: or where I’m going. My business is so personal to me because I am the women that I work with.....the brave, the resilient, the strong, the intuitive, the smart.... and I am here to help women live life on their own terms despite the hand that they have been dealt, photography just happens to be one of the ways that I do this. So where ever you are in your personal or your business life please know that you don't have to stay there. You have options, you always have options.