I had a great meeting with my mentor today. She is amazing. Gave me some very helpful information, told it to me straight and is very encouraging. Everything you could ask for in a mentor. She's like my coach who can give me all the right speeches, tell me exactly what to do but it is me who has to put in the work, break my bad habits and go out there and make things happen. She really helped me organize everything I want to accomplish which right now sounds like a daunting task but she believes in me and that is really helpful. I tend to dream big and then either not follow through or give up when it gets too hard. But I'm so passionate about my photography and my business that now is the time. It will be 6 years in January since I opened my business so I have to take this leap. I have to grow my brand, I have to get rid of the safety net of me always putting down my business and just classifying it as a hobby. Sure it is scary but I took a leap of faith moving to Texas 3 years ago and it has been such a great experience.
So where do I start? Well the first step is looking more professional. That means getting a domain name for my website and getting rid of the site 123 tag. I need to be a .com to show I'm serious. Next I need an LLC or in other terms a limited liability company. I need a tax id number and will start charging a state tax. Then I need to revamp my prices. I haven't changed my prices since moving to Texas and they reflect someone who is just starting out. Not someone who has been a professional for over 10 years, has a bachelor's degree and has a studio. I need to value my time and work more so I need to start charging like I'm worth it. I need to start working on my marketing so I'm not over saturating my brand. Don't just make random posts just to make them or just to promote the same boring stuff. I need to make posts that will excite people and draw them in. I need to be the face of my business. I need to be real and authentic. Not just try to sell people something but share why I do what I do. Photography has been my passion since I was a child and I need to share with people why it is my passion and not that I just want to make a quick buck. I need to relaunch everything basically. I need to set policies that work for me and protect my clients and me. So we both understand what the other wants and expects. I need to value myself and my work more and not just be a people pleaser. I need to stop giving digital images for clients to print on their own. This will be hard for me because I don't even print my own personal photos from anywhere nice. But I have to put the past bad experiences behind me and work with professional printers so my work shines even better. This will also make me look more professional because I'm not giving away digital images through e-mail like I did back in college.
I have a lot of bad habits as a photographer/business owner that I need to correct. The biggest one being a people pleaser. I have let clients walk all over me in the past and I've also practically given away my work because I want more clients. But more clients doesn't mean better. Its quality over quantity. And not that I haven't had fantastic clients in the past. I have some amazing clients who I absolutely love working with but I've also had some difficult ones who expect a lot of work for little pay or take advantage of me completely by either not showing up or not paying. Yes, I will take all of this and apply it to what I would like to do. My other bad habit is not being patient. Rebranding and relaunching is not going to happen over night. It is going to take a lot of work and I have to be consistent. I can't just give up at the first sign of trouble or no new growth. I have to be patient and let my hard work grow. I also have to believe in myself. Because I'm a people pleaser I also tend to lack confidence in myself. I mean I believe I'm good enough to put myself out there but I've never thought of myself as a "professional" in the same realm as other professionals. Again I keep telling myself this is just a hobby and I don't invest a lot of money into it because if it doesn't work out then I'm not out a lot of money. Sure I majored in it in college and I've done it for years but that doesn't exactly convert to dollars. Again I have to break this habit of putting myself down. This isn't just a little hobby that I like to do on the side. My business is like my 3rd child. I want to grow and nurture it. I don't want anything to happen to it and I made this so I want to protect it. That sounds a little crazy but it is true. I named my business in honor of my mom and I will fight for what I've created.
Like I have mentioned in another blog, I love Rachel Hollis. She has really inspired me. So I don't want to just grow my photography business. No I want to build an empire. See how I dream big? I don't want to just stick to one style of photography and I don't even want to stick to just photography. I want to add my other loves into my business. I want to write, craft, do public relations, do graphic design, host events and just have a media business. I don't want to do what everyone else is doing. I don't even want to do exactly like Rachel Hollis. To be authentic and be me I have to do what works best for me. I'm not girly and not even bubbly or a people person (yes I'm a pleaser but not a people person). I'm not always self confident and I'm a tomboy who would rather not wear make-up or do my hair and lay around in sweats. I eat too much junk food, get hangry, I yell when I don't get my way, I'm super cheap when it comes to taking care of myself, I cuss like a sailor and I consider myself a bad mom at least once a week usually because we watch way too much tv. I am an open book and tend to share way too much but if I can put my flaws out there and not be afraid of someone judging me then I can put myself out there as a business owner. I know not everyone will like me and I'm already okay with that but I can't be afraid to try new things. I've fallen a million times already and I will continue to fall but I will be able to tell my daughters I at least tried. My parents can look down on me and know that I have giving it my all and they can be proud of the daughter they raised.
2019 is going to be great and I'm going to jump right in with both feet. I hope people will follow my journey and I also hope to inspire a few so they know that they can accomplish something great also. Sure its right at New Years when everyone dreams big and plans something new and we all know most will fall off the wagon by March. But this is something I can actually stick with. Of course I want to lose weight, get healthy and exercise more. I do plan to do all of that. I am one of those people who breaks my no sugar rule or no eating after 9 pm rule in the first few weeks but I'm not worried about that. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my business. I'm going to hold my head high and do everything I can to make this work.
Have a great night!