January 23, 2019

I Have a Secret | Business Post

For Photographers, Personal

Let’s start this off by I’m still absolutely in LOVE with my job so before I give anyone premature ventricular contractions I’m not going anywhere.

Okay. Now that, that has been established. Let’s begin. PS. Why can’t iTunes know that I don’t want to listen to Christmas music? You think there would be a setting to bring those bad boys out only from November-December.

It all started early last year and things were unusually quiet. My email was moving a little slower then it normally does but I chalked it up to being just an off month and moved on. Much to my excitement the inquiries started rolling in one after another. I would exchange numerous emails back and forth with potential clients getting more and more excited about the possible booking.. Then things started going like this..

We’re going a different direction.

We love your work but have ultimately decided to go with someone else.

…… < That’s no response. Ever. Who knew ghosting was a thing via email.

It was kind of happening one after another and slowly but surely I felt my heart start to tank. Was it me? Was it my work? What in the world was going on?

I’ll be honest, I fell into a not-so-great mental space. I ripped apart my business and put it back together. I switched up email response times, I changed the length of said emails, I rebuilt the informational side of my site, I messed with my pricing, I switched up what was included in the investment, I instagrammed more consistently, I quit writing for fun, I consulted friends, fellow business owners, strangers on the internet. I’ve never felt so much stress and frustration before in my entire life.

I hope I’m not scaring anyone. My palms are sweating. Man, this is vulnerable.

My fear stemmed from the year prior. In 2016, I booked all twenty of my weddings by August of that year for the following season. That meant I went into the off season with a full calendar and ZERO stress. I walked into January of 2018 with FIVE weddings on the calendar. It doesn’t take rocket appliances to know that, that isn’t a sustainable amount of income. I was writing my cover letter and resume ready to go for the worse.

I failed and needed to go back to a “regular” job.

Update: Now my stomach is now in knots. Am I sure I want to share this with the interwebs?

Running a personal hands on business means that I took things very personally. I knew my work was beautiful and that I had a lot to offer but I wasn’t understanding where the misconnection was. It’s because there wasn’t one. It had nothing to do with me or my business practices. It had nothing to do with my images or my voice. It was simply an off year.

But I kept pushing and I did my absolute VERY best to switch my thought process to just that. An off year (which isn’t easy when it’s your livelihood). I listened & read “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero which I chalk up to being one of the very best decisions I made for myself. I ended up with 14 very beautiful weddings on the calendar and while that was still less then I wanted it worked out for the very best.

Gut Check: Feeling better but bleh. Does anyone want to see the “dark” side of life? Moving on.

Cue the confetti, yo. This next season looks VERY different in the best way possible. I’m walking into 2019 with the most weddings I’ve ever had on the calendar & I’m so dang excited about it. A little nervous but so unbelievably thankful.

As business owners, we have to realize that not every year is going to be “our best year yet” a la Chris Harrison narrating “the most dramatic season of the bachelor EVER” & that’s okay. You dust yourself off and build strength because you’re damn good at your job. Keep pushing. Just because this year isn’t your year doesn’t mean the next won’t be off the charts. Show up every dang day & NEVER consider changing your business name while walking a valley. YIKES.