5 lessons from 2019- the business edition

Last year, I wrote a blog post about the lessons that I learned in 2018.

I honestly loved reflecting on the year and writing out those lessons so much that I decided to do it again. This one will be more of a “business edition” but my hope is that you can learn a thing or two from my reflections.

Here it goes.

1. Surround yourself with like-minded people.

One thing I really learned this year is that working for yourself, by yourself, can get pretty lonely (Why didn’t anyone tell me?!). One thing I started to miss was having co-workers that I can chat with, to meet with in the break room as we fill up our coffee mugs (for the 5th time) and just chatting and laughing together. I miss having someone to go out on lunch breaks with and I honestly miss the office setting a bit overall.

This is why the Rising Tide society has become such an important part of my life the past couple of years. If you don’t know yet, the Rising Tide Society is a group of creative entrepreneurs who gather on the second Tuesday of  every month (we call it Tuesday’s Together) and discuss important topics for our business. The topics range from goal setting and mental health to social media strategies and SEO. Here’s a group photo of us from this week’s meet up. It was SO good to talk goal setting with my fellow “co-workers” this week.

If you’d like to join our chapter, here’s a link to our facebook group: LINK

Photo credit: Eisley Images

2. Give more.

While I never ever expect anything in return when I give, I can’t help but notice the pattern. When you give, with all your heart, never expecting a thing in return, what you GAIN in return is so much more.

Whether it’s deciding to gift a couple their engagement session or to participate in a giveaway or even staying an extra hour without charging an additional fee- these are freedoms that I have as a business owner and every so often I do use them. Trust me when I say that giving is so rewarding and if you have the ability to, DO IT.

One of my biggest goals for 2020 is to give more. My time. My energy. My resources.

Speaking of “Friend-ors” and giving, this sunrise portrait session in Chicago was GIFTED to me by my sweet friend, Claudia who I met at Eric Floberg’s workshop this past October.
Being in front of the camera can be SO intimidating, but she made me feel comfortable every step of the way! Thanks, Claudia!!

3. Invest in yourself- Attend a workshop!!

Hands down one of the most memorable things that I have done in 2019 was to invest in myself and attend Eric Floberg’s 2- day workshop in Chicago. I can honestly say that being in a room full of creative photographers and film-makers is so inspiring. In his workshop, Eric covered photography, film making and ended the workshop by talking about his philosophy and WHY he does what he does.

I won’t spoil it for you because you have to experience it for yourself- but I’m not lying when I say there were lots of tears in the room (mostly Eric’s of course…what a baby. HA! Kidding. I was definitely crying too.)

I have to tell you that I came home after those few days in Chicago refreshed and ready to not only serve MY clients well but to also kick butt at the weddings I was working as a second shooter. I DID NOT CARE that those couples were not MY clients, all I wanted to do was to provide a memorable experience and after seeing the reactions and tears from those clients, I knew that the things I learned from Eric’s workshop were GOLD. If you’ve been looking for a workshop to attend, I HIGHLY recommend you sign yourself up for this one. He’s got another one coming up March 17 + 18.

Heres a link for more info if you’re curious: LINK

This is us at Eric’s studio, Creative Club Chicago:

4. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s the only way you’re going to grow!

(If you think I’m done talking about Eric’s two-day workshop, you’re WRONG.) Haha, sorry not sorry.

All I can say is that if I was a chicken and never pushed myself to fly to Chicago ALONE, I would have never met this wonderful group of people and Eric himself who has pushed me to further my career.

If I was too chicken, I would have not started creating wedding films this year.

If I was too chicken, I would still be at my windowless desk at an orthopedic doctor’s office in Florida that I just wasn’t passionate about.

The point here is that sometimes you have to bite the bullet and push yourself our of your comfort zone, send that e-mail, call that person, reach out and ask or JUST DO IT.  I am so grateful for every ounce of bravery that I had in the past couple of years because it has led me to so many precious opportunities.

5. Set your priorities straight.

I love my job. I love my clients (they know it). I love being a business owner- and sometimes so much that it’s to a fault.

Here’s what I discovered:

Growing up, I can say without a doubt that my faith and my family have always been a priority. They come before my job, my hobbies, and anything else really. Somehow over the past couple of years, I will admit that the lines have been blurred. If you asked me what was most important to me, I would still tell you without a doubt that it was Jesus and my family/friends. But if you looked at my life it was obvious that something else was taking up more and more of my time.

My job.

This is why in 2019 I made the decision to set my priorities straight. That is when I decided to no longer take on weddings on Sundays so I could spend the day at church and with my family and friends.

I’ve said it before but making that decision has caused me to turn down so many amazing opportunities like working at a dream venue or with clients that seemed to be ideal BUT without a doubt, making this shift in my life has been one of the biggest blessings for me this year.

Taking the time to think back on the year is one of my favorite things to do in January. Is this something that you can relate with? What is one thing that has propelled your business in the right direction last year? Are you thinking of implementing some of these in your 2020? I want to know! Leave me a message in the comments below. (Or just say hi so I know you were here!)

4 Comments

  • I’m no photographer, but I did spend quite a bit of time thinking about the past year and it motivated me and my husband to do some rethinking of how we want this year to look like. Loved reading your 5 lessons.. you’re no chicken, that’s for sure. Thanks for the motivation!

    Reply
  • So proud of you sister! You are setting some great examples and I am learning from you ! Keep writing, don’t stop! ❤️

    Reply

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