You guys, I said yes! Yes to bigger goals, to better dreams, to wanting and achieving more and more.
For quite a while now I have been hinting at the big changes happening in my business and my own life. I've had some serious plans that I've slowly been implementing in the background, and this is definitely the year for making big waves.
I've spent so long now being inspired by remarkable entrepreneurs - Marie Forleo, Jenna Kutcher and Jasmine Star - just to name a few - and make it part of my weekly to-do to read their blog posts, listen to their podcasts and watch their youtube videos. All of them aim to empower other entrepreneurs with words of wisdom, formulas for success and tricks of the trade, and my goodness I have been making notes and drawing up plans.
I know I've come so far with this photography business of mine since it started in 2013, and I am really freaking proud of what I've achieved in that time. Something that has realigned/grown/developed during this whole process is that I've realised that while I am good at taking photos (and absolutely love taking photos), I am even better at running a business, and I am so excited to take on that title of "CEO" and to really stretch myself fully into it.
So that's where the shake up comes in - this year I will be moving more and more into the part of my business that is my newfound love and embracing the new challenges that come along the way! My goodness I so enjoy building my brand, working out marketing and advertising strategies, pushing myself to create better and better social media content, managing, training and empowering my fantastic team, and I'm even starting to embrace the bits that I've never been such a fan of - like the finances and accounting!
One of the key steps that has allowed me to do this is taking on an office manager. I had reached the point where the admin side of running a photography business was so time-consuming that it was stealing the precious time I needed to devote to photo shoots (and being able to see my treasured friends and family!). So now while my outstanding office manager handles email communication, invoicing, scheduling and so much more, I can focus on frying up the bigger fish!
Also having six FANTASTIC associate photographers and a few editors sharing the shoot & edit load is beyond amazing - I love how this has become a team act around here :)
I can't help thinking back to around the end of 2015, when I felt myself knocking up against that glass ceiling so gosh darn hard, and I sat down with my fantastic creative business coach for a lunch and a bit of inspiration. "Where do you see your business being in five years?", he asked. We drew up a plan. "Ok, what if that happened in six months?"
I had to piece my brain back together at that point, as my mind was blown. Shame for all the other restaurant-goers who ended up with it in their lunch, my apologies.
The first step was to let go of my I-have-to-do-everything-myself because no-one-else-can-ever-live-up-to-my-insanely-high-standards philosophy. And then realising that there's actually quite a few people out there who are remarkable too (shame, I'm not actually such a special snowflake), and that with taking on a team I could expand my brand in ways I never thought possible.
So yes, change is a good thing around these parts. It involved and will involve some pretty big leaps of faith, and over the past few months I definitely felt like I was free-falling off the side of a cliff, but my goodness it has been so unbelievably worth it. And now it is time for the next step.
But now, don't freak out, I'm not saying I'm never picking up a camera again - I LOVE photography, I love hanging out with all of my treasured clients who I've shared the last few years with - you guys feel far more like friends than anything else! It continues to be a complete and utter honour to document all the milestones in your lives, and the tiny little magic moments in between that I know are even more of what should be remembered - the completely adorable thunder-thighs on your six month old, the morning you made pancakes and ended up with far more flour all over the kitchen than in the actual batter, the quiet cuddles during story time with your little one all snuggled up into the nook of your neck - I'm still going to be there to snap many more of those moments!
I'm just going to be changing up my schedule over the next year to accommodate more time spent doing the new things I've learnt to love - running this fantastic brand I've created, training other entrepreneurs through workshops, travelling, continuing to develop and grow my phenomenal team and snapping family sessions and weddings as I go. Because my goodness, as a creative, if I don't feed my passion and follow it down new exciting paths I start to wither up inside. And that's not pretty.
So yes. Yes to new experiences. Yes to taking leaps of faith. Yes to continue to grow as a human. Yes to the days where it all feels rather shockingly overwhelming. Yes to risks. Yes to dreams. Yes to conquering new ground. Yes to all of the possible challenges ever, and yes to having created a brand that grows and morphs and continues to develop with each passing day.
Please take a moment to explore my fresh and new website design (launching mid-March 2018!), and let me know what you think of the new look? And if you like, share some love, by posting/commenting/sharing the news all over social media. I'd be so so appreciative.