I’ve never been one pick a word or motto for the year, but I do always love utilizing the slower winter months as a time to reflect. To look back on the previous years successes and identifying room for improvement not only for my business but for me as well. While establishing myself over the past several years I found myself becoming a “yes (wo)man”. A people pleaser first, a business woman second and if I’m being totally honest, my family coming in last.
Fast forward several years, and a few babies later and I can finally say I’ve grown. Do I still have room for growth? ABSOLUTELY! I feel it’s important to push myself to try new things, to do uncomfortable things, to do things that make me a little nervous. Because these out of the box things are what spawn some of the best creativity and growth in me.
In recent years juggling a full time job, a photography business, a family has been exhausting to say the least. I can still vividly remember the moment the light bulb clicked in my head. It was 2017 and I was coming off the busiest year of my growing business! I should be elated right!? This is what I’ve worked so diligently on. These are those pre-defined ideas of success I had in my head, right? Then why didn’t it FEEL like I had imagined it would? Why was “success” leaving me feeling frazzled? This photography business was nothing like I had imagined. In that moment, late at night, sitting in front of my computer once again after my babies were in bed, that light bulb came on. I was burning the candle at both ends trying to be “successful”, booking more clients, more sessions, saying yes when I know I should say no. And all for what? So I could sing my own praises and boast about how “busy” this year was for my business? Why? Because that’s what I would see other photographers do and I suppose that was what it meant to be successful.
If I’m being completely honest in that moment I was putting my competitive spirit first before community, before my clients, and before my family. Let me say it again real loud for the people in the back; fellow creatives, aspiring creatives, fellow mompreneurs, you do not need to judge your level of success or value based on what your peers are doing. Having this “ah-hah” moment has been a game changer for me. Finishing the remainder of 2017 and moving into 2018 I made a conscious decision to shift that mindset and begin to redefine what success looked like for me. I became intentional on the amount of work I took on so I could begin to elevate my client experience. Beginning to carve out an idea of a feasible work/life balance.
Do I have room for growth? Of course I do. As winter hit and I reflected on 2018 a phrase was laid on my heart, I kept hearing it whispering in my ear. Be Present. What did that even mean? Coming from one of the busiest years in 2017 and then taking an intentional step back in 2018 to put focus heavier on family with the arrival of our third son, I pondered over what 2019 would bring. I kept seeing these words in my minds eye, Be Present. 2019 is going to be a year of redefinement once again. As my baby shifts to toddler hood I feel that I can intentionally take on more clients while still providing a personalized client experience. Being present means setting boundaries. I don’t need to be a “yes (wo)man”, I don’t need to answer messages at 11PM. Will I still answer the occasional message when I shouldn’t be? Probably, but I’m learning and I’m growing and I’m working on being in the moment. Re-prioritizing for my family. Being present with them and for them, so that we can have memories of our own. Redefining what success is for me, and for 2019 it is maintaining that balance I started to develop in 2018.
Success for me is being able to shift my mindset and raise the boats of others, because we’re all out here floating, just trying to do our best. Success is stopping the need to compare myself to other creatives. Success is enjoying the creative freedom that comes with being a little selfish. Taking time for my boys, documenting our lives. Success is being able to have a refreshed heart for this business and to be able to love on my clients in ways I haven’t been able to in the last few years of being “busy”. And at the end of the day success for me is a happy client. My heart always flutters when I see you post a favorite picture or one that is exceptionally meaningful and I see it is an image that I created just for you. At the core of this business, the story telling, the moments, the ability to preserve each season of life is really what speaks to my heart.
For those of you who have been on this journey with me from the start, your support has always been the wind that fans my creative flames. I’m always so humbled by the people I get to talk to and work with. Most days I’d hardly say I feel worthy of any praise. But when I silence those negative thoughts and REALLY listen to those I’ve worked with. When I see and hear what these images mean to them, that is when I realize what it means to be successful. To my repeat clients, it’s with a refocused and renewed spirit I can wholeheartedly say I am SO EXCITED to see you again. For those just joining and checking GBP out, I am SO EXCITED you are here! I look forward with so much anticipation on what meaningful story I can tell for you. 2019, let’s make some magic.