You know sometimes in life there seem to be a thousand signs pointing you in the right direction. Everywhere you turn you see or hear things that help guide you along your way. Well I’m really hoping that for some of you, this post will be one of those signs.
I was explaining to one of my coaching clients last week that things haven’t always been rosy for me. The reason it came up was that she asked whether things have ‘always come so easily’ for me.
So I thought it was about time I shared a few home truths.
Taking the leap to running my own wedding photography business was HUGE for me. I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs and my experience of my relatives being self employed was actually really negative. One close relative was a restauranteur who spent every living moment working; he often spent Christmas Day away from his family. Another relative suffered greatly with ill health whilst self employed which had a huge knock on effect on his family. My Dad had a brief spell with running his own business which ended in him being deeply unhappy. There were signs everywhere telling me that running a business was not for me. I remember clearly telling someone very close to me that I was setting up a business and the response I got was a laugh and a “Really?!”
I’m lucky because my husband has ALWAYS offered me unwavering support. I know some of you don’t have that luxury and I know that this makes it incredibly tough. His support is really the thing that got me over the line on so many occasions. If you’re not in this position then I strongly recommend you find your own cheerleader. It doesn’t have to be your husband, wife or partner. It could be a friend, a former colleague or a coach or mentor. The wedding industry is vastly more difficult without someone in your corner.
I remember years ago on a cold and drizzly October Sunday being at yet another wedding show (in my first Autumn I did 12 wedding shows in 16 weeks). I’d left my husband and baby at home to spend the day in the least inspiring venue I’ve ever visited. This was absolutely not my vision. I met precisely 2 potential brides who both raised their eyebrows when I told them my price. My price at the time was barely breaking me even.
I felt deflated, I felt sad, I felt a little embarrassed. Why hadn’t I listened to all of those signs? Who was I to set up a wedding photography business? How on earth was I ever going to make a living from this?
I texted my husband telling him that there was no money in the wedding industry, that the industry was overrun with competition and it was virtually impossible to find customers willing to pay money for what I was offering.
I was throwing the towel in.
The next day I went back to work feeling a whole host of feelings. I was gutted that I had wasted my Sunday. But I was even more deflated to be back at work. Life was totally on top of me.
The reason I felt so sad about the failed wedding show was that I cared deeply about the business I was trying to create. It was the first time I’d considered giving up and the reason it cut so deep was because I wanted it so desperately.
I wanted the freedom
I wanted the money
I wanted the lifestyle
I wanted the creative outlet
It was that exact moment I made a decision that paved the next 10 years for me. I made the decision that I was going to find a way to make my business work. I was going to learn to take the knocks. I was never going to find myself in such a gloomy place ever again. I was going to learn and study how I could be the best at what I do and put it into action.
The easy thing to do would have been to quit.
On my way home from work, I stopped my car and wrote a list of WHYs. Why did I want this? I carried that list everywhere with me and still to this day have it pinned on my noticeboard. That list carries me through tough times and flashes of doubt. I really do recommend that you get clear on your WHY.
I hope it’s been useful hearing a little more about my own journey. I try hard in these newsletters to offer help, advice and inspiration. But today I wanted to actually reach out and say that yes, I know it can be tough. Trust me, I’ve cried many tears over my business. But I’ve found a way to make it work and it works really well. You too can have exactly the same no matter what your situation is right now.
** I truly believe that whatever you can imagine is absolutely possible **
I hope you have a fabulous week!