Headshot above taken by the amazing: Kate with KLEM Studios!
Hello Lovely folks!!!
For this blog I have decided to talk about my personal growth. By doing this I hope to be able to inspire others to realize not all coffee is good coffee (yes I will always make coffee references). You may need to adjust but that doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking it (unless you don’t like coffee, then don’t feel like I’m forcing you to drink it).
Over the years I have not only grown as a photographer but also as a business woman, a wife, a dog mom, a friend and sister.
That being said lets start from the beginning (of my business because you probably don’t want to hear about my bull-haircut days). When I first started to think about becoming a photographer I did a lot of research. When I say a lot, I mean buy/read multiple books, communicate with experts in the field, and ask my closest loved ones their thoughts. I would not be the photographer I am or have the connections I have without Community over Competition. I am a person that loves to learn! I love to learn from books, blogs, articles, how to videos, and others. The best learning experience however, EXPERIENCE. The support I received as I dove into this new adventure was tremendous. Not only my family and friends but most importantly my husband. You probably guessed, but I am strategic person, I don't often leap before looking (unless we are traveling and wine is involved lol), therefor I did not quit my day job. To add I was working another job on top of my 9-5 as a painting instructor. So my plate was pretty full...well overflowing. I went SEVEN months without a day off. You heard me. Seven months of working seven days a week! As the years continued, my business continued to grow and succeed (minus the minor bumps and bruises to be expected). I quit the side job but continued to work the 9-5. Working these two jobs over the years (yes two full-time jobs) has helped me learn that I am hardworking and its okay to ask for help. Its ok to take some me time given the workaholic in me tends to leave no room for other festivities.
I recently hired a virtual assistant (whom I will refer to as the "VA" .. ha ok if you are like me you said that in a deep, weird Morgan Freeman voice!! ). You probably see where this is going but over the past two years of constantly working I started to lose sight of a few important things in life.
Such as: MY HUSBAND - FREE TIME - ME TIME - SANITY - SPONTANEITY - HEALTH.
Hiring a the "VA" ( ok this time for sure you heard the voice haha) helped me balance my home and work life a little better than I did before. This means almost as much play time as there is work time. No to mention the hubby and puppy time! It took hiring a VA to realize that I was putting in enough work time to equate those two full time jobs. I always thought to myself, "You are not actually working two jobs, you just feel like you are". I think as creative business owners we trick ourselves into thinking we don't "work" ask much as others. NOT TRUE!
When I started having my VA track her hours. I realized she alone was putting in 25 hours at minimum a week. I was still putting in time as well for editing, emails, blogs and finances. The list really goes on and on. This doesn't even touch on shooting time! I would wake up in the morning answer some emails, go to the 9-5, only to come home and edit until bedtime (maybe slipping into the gym at some time in-between). I realized as I started tracking and adding it up. IT WAS ANOTHER FULL TIME JOB!
For those of you who are still telling yourself that its not that much time, I can't complain because its not a 'real' job, blah blah blah. I have news for you, IT IS. Your time is worth monetary value.
DON't underestimate yourself! It is ok to ask for help. In fact, it is the best thing I have ever invested in, because I was investing in myself!
This journey is not over but I wanted to share a few thoughts while I had the time to do so!