Self-Employment | Month 4

5.02.2012

First off, wow.  I can't believe I'm now starting month 5 of this whole self-employment thing.  I can't even believe it's already May.  The last four months have gone by so quickly I feel like I can't blink because, if I do, I'll open my eyes and it'll be Thanksgiving.

One big thing that happened for me in April is that I met my goal for wedding bookings in 2012!!  I did not expect to meet that goal this early in the year.  Actually, in all honesty, I wasn't even totally confident I'd meet it at all.  I am so thankful that it happened so soon and I can now focus on increasing my bookings beyond that goal.  Any opportunity to practice and gain more skills and knowledge is always a good thing!

Of course, this last month had its downsides, too.  I've started to notice that I have a very specific, emotional process after every shoot that I'm hoping will get better as my confidence increases.  Basically, I love every shoot as it's happening, I hate my work when I review it immediately after because, of course, all I can see are the technical flaws, but then when I come back and start the editing process, I fall in love with the work all over again.  I need to learn how to skip that "hate it" part and be confident in the work so I can love it from beginning to end.

I also need to stop comparing myself to others.  When starting something new, it's perfectly natural to do your homework and investigate how others have done it before you.  There's so much to learn there, both from their successes and their mistakes.  But when it reaches the point of comparison, when it starts to get negative, or when thoughts like "Oh man, I'll never be that good" start to pop up, it's time to step away and just focus on the work.  My work is good enough.  My work doesn't have to meet someone else's random standards.  My work is my own and the more confident I am in that, the more likely I am to attract clients who also appreciate and value it.  I don't need to defend my work or prove myself to anyone.  I just need to be.

I've also noticed I get easily overwhelmed with the business end of things when I think of all I need to do.  My "busy season" starts in just one month and when I think of all that must be done, it makes me want to crawl under the covers and sleep it all away.  I need to focus, tackle, and conquer.  Maybe that should be my new motto.

I have plans and dreams of how I want the business to grow but I also have to remind myself to be patient.  I've only been in business for 6 months.  Success doesn't happen overnight.  Mine will come in stride.  But patience isn't exactly my greatest virtue...

10 Comments:

  1. "Comparison is the thief of joy" said Theodore Roosevelt and he was right. But it's so hard to remember sometimes.

    Congrats on your hard work and success so far! :)

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  2. Sounds like you are doing well!

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  3. you got this! and you know what i think sometimes to myself when i'm stressed - not only do i "got this", i have to get it. like literally, it has to get done. and it always does. so why worry?

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  4. Dude, you've got success wrangled. Four months in and you've met one of your goals? Winning.

    I get that it would be natural to compare your work to that of others but the only people whose opinions count are the ones who pay you. Pay no mind to that little voice in your head!

    You're doing awesomely, it must feel fantastic. Congratulations.!

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  5. For what it's worth, I think your photos are lovely. It's probably that critical eye of yours that makes for a fantastic final product. ;) You're such an inspiration for taking a big leap and starting your own business, and it sounds like you're already exceeding your own expectations. Keep making goals and next thing you know, you'll look back and realize that you did everything exactly as you were meant to. :)

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  6. Congrats on reaching your goal!!! That's awesome. I think it's funny you mentioned the cycle you go through... I felt the same way when I photographed that wedding. I was all like "I should've done this" "I should've done it this way" and that really stressed me out. And it was just ONE wedding. I imagine what it is like to handle a bunch of sessions at the same time. But Mark and I were talking how you have great editing skills... That makes a big difference.

    And if you need a non-paid intern for the summer (my boss is a teacher and she won't need me), I'll be happy to help you!

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  7. I love it!!! :)

    http://estilohedonico.blogspot.pt/

    xoxo

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  8. YAY!!! Congrats to you, Stephanie :) I knew you would do it!!! Just 'being' is definitely key. You will find your sweet spot...it just takes a bit of time to get your mindset in the right place :) So excited to see you & your business grow! XO brynn

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  9. Stephanie, it sounds like you are doing so well! Congrats on reaching your goal. I have seen your pictures and I think they are amazing. When you look at it from the outside, you have really accomplished a lot in 5 short months.


    *Erin

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