Thinking Out Loud
I haven't written a "night post" in forever! Wow, I kind of miss these. Normally I blog the night before or even a couple of days before I post but I've always liked night posts. I feel like it's more relevant because I'm writing what I'm literally feeling and thinking in the moment. It's funny. When you step back from a job, business, any situation really, there's so much more clarity to be had. The pressure is off and the time to think is infinite. That's what's happening to me lately. A lot of clarity but a lot of headaches in the process..I'm hoping writing it out will take a little bit of weight off of my shoulders.
I went to a workshop today for my job and one thing that really stood out to me is this: Stop looking left and right at what others are doing and focus on being the best that YOU can be. I've heard this phrase 100 times before but it resonated a little deeper with me today. This year (or longer) off of shooting weddings so far has been interesting. It's been great because I don't have to worry about anything other than my job and the rest of my time is basically free. I've spent a lot of that time weighing the pros and cons of owning a small business and how that would look for me - is it something I really want? To be honest, in this moment, I'm not really sure.
Owning a small business is a lot of work. It takes perseverance, patience, a creative mind, a business mind, and a lot of other characteristics that could easily take up the rest of this post. That's a lot to handle. Is it impossible? Of course not. Lots of people accomplish it every year. But a key component for me in figuring out if I do want to own my own business is WHY. I know this for a fact - it's not for the money. If I was doing it for the money, I would be taking every inquiry from every family and friend who have offered head shot sessions, corporate event gigs, kid's birthday parties, etc. and I've turned them all down. I also wouldn't be taking this time off. I'd be sloppily trying to market to brides, have a mountain of unorganized paperwork/documents, and overall be unprofessionally representing my brand. So trust me, it's not about the money.
I know why I love photography and why I love wedding photography. But if I'm going to run a business where that's my primary job, I need to know WHY I should do it by running a business. I can shoot weddings and not have a business. I have enough experience where I can just second shoot and not have to worry about anything else. But there's still a nagging feeling in the back of my mind weighing the pros and cons. Working in the corporate insurance world where there's little to no creativity to be had, it's hard to keep a spark in you. Maybe that's part of the problem - my lack of enthusiasm and constant questioning. I can't tell you when the last time I even picked up my camera was.. It's kind of sad really. I used to have notebooks that were full of ideas and I haven't written in weeks.
It's no secret that I follow a lot of entrepreneurs, specifically wedding photographers. Over the years their businesses have had such a big impact on how I view the way I think businesses should be run and I've internally set those as my expectations. Because of that, I think it's easier for me to see how those expectations could fail rather than succeed. That's the problem though. I shouldn't be looking left and right and so deeply into another's business. I should be focusing on being the best person I can be, using my best business ideas, producing the best work I can, and building a brand and business that works well for me and my clients.
I know, with the rambling I sound a little crazy. But I think this is how most of us think internally, and most of us are afraid to share this much of it because of what others may think or say. But trust me, you're not alone. This post actually did help a little bit. I feel like I can kind of gain control of my blog back and use it how I did when I first started blogging - as an outlet to think out loud about my journey. Have a great night everyone.
Stop looking left and right at what others are doing. Instead, focus on the best that YOU can be. And if anyone ever tells you that your best isn't good enough, shame on them because they have no idea what you're capable of. -Ron Fulton, my workshop instructor.