This July will mark my 3rd year full-time with our business. I still remember the nerves, anticipation and excitement of taking my love for photography in both hands and leaping into the unknown. It was a period of hustle. I hustled so hard, wanting with every fibre of my being to make a success of this business. I hustled to save enough money to feel secure to leave my accounting job. And for two years straight I hustled every season to ensure the numbers stacked up & that I could continue to pay myself and meet every mortgage payment.
There is a time for hustle, and hustle I did. But that time has now passed. I feel 'at home' in our business. Well established. I've proven to myself that it's viable. Now I'm ready for the next season of business; sustaining.
2019 and beyond for me looks very different to the previous few years. The hustle and big hours are being replaced with a calmness, steadiness and balance that has got me just as excited as I was taking that leap full-time. It's not that I can now sit back and rest on my laurels - I don't think you can ever do that when you're in business. But I am learning to button off, say no to what doesn't set my heart on fire and create more space for life.
Instead of stressing about getting enough bookings to keep my cashflow happy, I have been concentrating my energy on doing the work that brings me joy and letting the latter take care of itself. Rather than allowing my calendar for next wedding season to fill up every single weekend, we've capped weddings at a maximum of two per month. I no longer say yes to commercial shoots, because I'd rather be shooting portraits & weddings (and those enquiring value my honesty & recommendations for better suited photographers that love shooting commercial stuff because it will mean better results for them!). I've quit putting pressure on myself to post to social media at least 5 times a week! I plan to take it slow this winter, to work on some personal projects and recharge my creativity. Not to mention that we're building!
I am so excited for this new season of our business. It's like that feeling of free-wheeling on your bicycle after you've worked hard to get your speed up. We're still moving forwards, but without having to push as hard.