I had a great conversation with a dear friend of mine this week. One that made me reflect over my own journey – the bumps in the road, the let downs, the moments where I felt like I was soaring, and the baby steps a long the way. It all matters. It all makes a difference and causes us to be the people we are today. We talked about how, no matter what, we believe in each other and that never changes.
One of the things he said to me was a quote that reminds him every day to build his dreams… Nobody Cares, Work Harder. As harsh as that may sound – my goodness it is so true. It doesn’t matter what your excuses are – it doesn’t matter what you are dealing with and going thru.. work harder if you want to succeed.
I have a tendency to come across as a hard ass sometimes. I tend to be very realistic and try not to let others make excuses without having a solution in mind. It’s not for any other reason than I truly believe that you can build the life you want. Each and every day, I wake up and hustle. I hustle to not fail, to be a better human than I was the day before, to be a better business owner, to reach dreams that sometimes never felt possible. I fight every day because I see things bigger than what is “right now”. I see a bigger and better future and I will take every opportunity to get there.
Are you making excuses? Are you allowing your fear to drive your story? What if, you worked so hard that you accomplished your dreams? What if, those dreams became reality and you could dream up more things?
So, when you start to think of the one million excuses as to why you can’t have the life you want…. ask yourself… are you working harder? Take a leap of faith and push for your dreams. Nobody cares, work harder.
I’ve gone back and forth on what to write for my blog regarding the current state of our world.
I’m heart broken for the countries that are devastated by this virus, I’m heart broken for the families in the US that are struggling to find the bare necessities at the grocery stores.
I have gone to all the extremes over the last few days and as I sit here at 5am this morning, I have to fall back on my faith and believe that we will rise above and be a stronger human race on the other side of it all.
I am thankful for those that work for companies that are still able to earn a paycheck and still provide for their families. There are so many that are not as fortunate. I am thankful for the businesses that are able to adjust and change their business models to allow their employees to either change their job or work from home.
For my fellow small business owners, entrepreneurs, and side hustlers that all of a sudden becomes your full time job. DONT STOP.
When you stop working on your business… you will stop the momentum. Yes, your sales will most likely fall drastically during this time. However, I choose to believe with all of my heart that we will rebound from this.
Let’s spend this time doing the things we haven’t had time to do.
Improve your processes. Clean up your emails and templates Clean up your files and hard drives Re-do your branding and website Organize your back office and shelves Plan out your promotions for the rest of the year
Imagine if you spent the time being productive instead of sitting in an state of panic and fear… when it does rebound… you will be way ahead of the curve and ready to conquer your world.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you later tips and info on family sessions, head shots, senior sessions and boudoir sessions. Why not start planning for your future session while you have the time. We will also be sharing info on how we can make progress in our businesses and keep moving forward.
If you can, shop local businesses, pre-book your appointments, share these businesses with your social media… ask what you can do to help. Sometimes – it’s more impactful than you know.
Have you ever really sat down and really thought about your why? Your reason for doing the job you do every day? Whether you work a corporate job for someone else, or you are an entrepreneur and building a business. Why do you do what you do? What is it that makes what you do important? What is it about you that makes you stand out?
I can’t really answer those questions for you… but I can share with you my why. I can tell you why I do the things I do and what my purpose is.
I can think way back in my little life and tell you that my purpose was always to help others. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a pediatric physical therapist. I didn’t want to work with grownups because they tend to see defeat and lack the ability to believe in the impossible. Today, I want to help people grow their self confidence and rediscover their version of beautiful. I want to help others see the possibilities are truly within them and they just have to be strong enough to grab ahold of it and run.
So, let’s talk a little bit about this in a work related conversation. Think about your industry. Is it over saturated? Does it feel as though there are SO many people doing the same thing you are doing? What is it that sets you apart and makes you stand out from those hustling for the same customers?
I can only talk to you in photography terms.. but feel free to insert your industry into the same conversation.
For me as a photographer… I can’t say I’m the best. I’m far from it…SO very far from the best. However, let’s face it, you can take some really killer pictures with a phone now. What makes me stand out is… well, it’s me. it’s what I bring to the table. I photograph men and women in all of the genres I shoot, but what where I thrive… that’s photographing women. I want to photograph women and help them see past their body image issues and insecurities.
Let’s take high school seniors… gosh I can’t imagine growing into my own skin and trying to figure out who I am with all the things in social media flying at them. Oh. Wait. yes I can. I totally get it. I look at at women on instagram, and think “i wish my hair looked like that, I wish my stomach wasn’t near as squishy as it is, I wish that my skin looked as flawless as hers.” I get it girl. So, when I talk to my senior clients and their parents, I want them to know that I see them. I hear them. I want to show them just how beautiful they are without all the extra editing and “stuff”. I want each girl to get her hair and makeup done and still feel like herself. I want her to love her experience and her images and get a big ol’ cheesy smile each time she sees her images pop up somewhere.
My headshot clients…. these ladies are hustling. They are trying to prove to the world, their friends, and themselves that they are going to make it and they are going to take over the world…. but first, they just need to get the dreaded headshot done. I want my clients to sit and talk with me, tell me about their business. Tell me about their dreams. I want them to relax just enough to let that drive and passion shine thru their eyes.
My boudoir ladies… oh these ladies will forever be my passion. Boudoir is so much more than sexy images, so much more than stripping down and revealing your body. It’s about learning and rediscovering what makes you beautiful and what makes you stand out to the world. Boudoir to me, is about remembering that you are so much more than “just a mom, or a kid taxi driver, or just a hard worker… I want to show each of my boudoir clients that they are worthy of feeling beautiful. They are worthy of doing something to feed their soul and remember how incredible they truly are.
So….my why? Why do I do what i do and how do I stand out amongst a sea of other photographers… I want to help break down someone’s barriers, insecurities, show them that having your picture taken isn’t as scary as you think it might be, because on the other side of it… you might just find you are more than you believed.
Tell me, what is your why? Why do you get up each day and hustle to grow your business? Why do you get up each day and go to work?
Have you ever had an idea… and then got really scared of it? Scared of how will you get it all done, how will you let go to ask for help, what if it’s a total flop.
Then.. you decide to just ignore it. Set it aside and find other things to focus on. No? Well, you better just scroll on to the next story then.
Me… I struggle with this all.the.time. ALL the time.
I have these really great ideas, I obsess over them, plan them out, do my research, maybe even kinda start going down the path with it. Then… somewhere in the middle of it, I get overwhelmed, I get scared, I let the voices on the inside… get louder than anything.
Gosh those voices can be obnoxious and hateful.
Fun fact about me, I like to read and listen to podcasts. I’m a constantly soaking up information. Fear, however, is one thing I have not learned how to overcome. Some days, I just pretend to be an ostrich and put my head in the sand and ignore it… and some days I sit in a place of fear and struggle to find my way out. I have yet to find that “trick” that one way to overcome it. My goal every day is to be a better person. Have you ever really stopped to think about what all that means?
For me, it means:
I want to be kinder than I was the day I lost my temper.
I want to be a better business person than I was last week.
I want to get organized and stay organized.
I want to be a better friend.
I want to not get so lost in the “work”.
I want to not live in fear of failing.
Fear… When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of it, I fear failing. I fear disappointing those who have believed in me. I fear hurting someone because of my words or actions.
All of these things… I do often. So, I try each day to be better.
When my wife says that I’m being short with my words or tone, I try to make a conscious effort to speak with a calm voice and not speak before thinking. It doesn’t always work that way… but I try. I try not to fail her. I try not to fail my marriage.
So many people tell me “I don’t know how you do it all”. Let me be very honest with you. I can’t do it all. I fail almost daily at something in my juggling act. However, I try to have ownership of what I am doing, or not doing, and I try to be better each and every day. I choose every day not to dwell on fear and negativity. Some days that means avoiding… however, I try. I get up each day and try. Try to be kinder, a better business owner, a better wife, more organized, a better friend, a better human.
Here is what I do know. Fear keeps us from moving forward. Fear causes more anxiety and stress. So I have made a promise to myself to write down all the steps to move forward and to tackle them one at a time. I trust the knowledge and believe that I was made for more than fear. I believe that we each have something bigger we are meant to do. I fight for each of my clients to find their worth and their value when I photograph them. I fight this same fight for myself.
In case you didn’t know it, I will fight for you as well.
Someone said that it is impossible for your mind to be in a state of anxiety or apprehension if you are practicing gratitude. An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike.
I think back on the last year and i see the areas that i struggled, but I also see the areas that i am so thankful for. I may not have hit all of my goals for 2019, but i made great strides in some other areas that caused me to grow: as a business owner, as a wife, as a friend and as a human in general. I am so grateful for those things.
Often times we scroll thru social media and see others that appear to be living their best life, and the truth is, we really don’t know what their story is. We may see someone who is crying out on social media and need to have grace with them. They may not realize there are other ways to find help and refocus their mindset.
I choose everyday to not put negative things on social media. I choose to not dwell in the “downs” of my life. My life is not perfect, it for sure is not all roses and rainbows, I struggle often with depression and feeling as though I am not enough. Comparison is just a yucky road to go down, so when I find myself turning in that direction – I have to stop and remember the things I am most grateful for in my life. I have to redirect my path and get back on the road that is going to help me rise above and move forward.
So with 2019 coming to an end, we will see all the posts and memes about a new year, a new you, etc… but what I really want you to remember is that you are the only one in charge of your mindset. Don’t post negativity. Don’t dwell in the sadness. Ask for help. Set your ego aside, and find the help you need. Do the work. It took you this many years to be at this point in your story – it won’t be an immediate fix. Work to focus on the things that you are grateful for. Don’t surf pinterest for sad quotes – find quotes that make you sit a little taller.
Walk into 2020 with a mindset of gratitude and hold on tight to that. This can be your year… and my hope is that your dreams come true and you find the strength within to do the work to make it happen.
Comment below and tell me what you are grateful for. I would love to know.