A question I get asked ALL the time is how (and why) I got into entrepreneurship. It’s always, for some reason, a question I try to avoid answering- because it is SO much harder to explain than what people expect. Today, I promised myself to sit down and write down my thoughts to really explain where I came from and how I got where I am today.
As a lot of you know- I’ve been on the go most of the last couple months. Between traveling to Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, California, South Carolina, and now Florida in a few days- my entire life has been out of a suitcase. BUT, by the grace of God or the universe or whatever you believe in, I’ve been able to continue to successfully run my business while being gone. Here’s how I did it:
It’s my 24th birthday today, and I was getting ready to write a blog where I talked about all my goals for this upcoming year of my life- then I was like, but wait, what about all of the damn accomplishments this year?!
I have this flaw- it’s called striving and never arriving. I always am too busy trying to do more, be more, make more, rinse & repeat that I sometimes (usually) forget to look at what I have created, how far I’ve come, and how amazing that feels.
Alright-- you know it, I know it, we all know it: photography is a really competitive, saturated market. In all reality, most creative fields are. I see so many people hustling and bustling every single day to build their business but there’s one foundational piece missing that is really going to set them apart from their competition in such a competitive market…
This is a blog topic I’ve found myself continuously adding and erasing on my content calendar. I always preach authenticity and try to show you guys the real me… but, admitting your flaws and short-comings and failures can be really hard. As someone who really believes in trying to showcase real life through business and all the struggles that come with that, I decided today to sit down and actually write it and be totally transparent and real with you guys.
I put out a question sticker the other day on Instagram asking if anyone had anything they wanted me to write about blog-wise, and this was the first question. I think it is SUCH a good question and I want to breakdown the steps I take to really get the creative juices going so I can create my best work.
I remember when I first started in the business world- I had just hired a business coach when we talked about creating an avatar for my ideal client on one of our first calls. Uhm, ideal client? My ideal client was anyone who would pay me over $7 an hour. Seriously. I knew I had built the blueprint for a successful business but also had NO IDEA how to actually make money by getting clients.
We are all CONSTANTLY hearing about how important Instagram is, am I right?! It is SUCH a powerful platform, but sometimes, when you begin to use it for business, it gets slightly overwhelming. Here are 10 tips I have learned over the years as both a past social media manager and a current brand designer to keep your Instagram feed looking good and professional.
As entrepreneurs who are always wearing 5,000 hats, there’s always so much more we could be doing to keep growing our businesses. I have found some incredibly helpful tools this last year that help uplevel my business and really save me time and money (and when you’re an entrepreneur, you know time IS money!)
Here’s a list of my favorite tools and resources that I use every single day:
Something I get asked a lot from clients, friends, and even strangers is “What makes up a good logo?”
I work with so many creative entrepreneurs who find the absolute most beautiful hand-illustrated super-freaking-intricate logos and send me examples of them when they want something designed for their own brand…
I learned a lesson back when I was working in the corporate world and went through the branding process with my old company (I wasn’t doing the work, I was just the director of marketing that helped make some of the big decisions). This was a HUGE branding project, we’re talking an almost six month timeline with a six figure price tag.
Everyone who knows me and who follows me knows that I am always shouting self-care from rooftops. I think business boils down to one thing: mindset. And mindset all depends on how well you care for yourself throughout this journey of business. I am constantly (unapologetically) prioritizing my self-care.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Wellness is a business decision, people.
This last year I quit my 9-5 job. I broke off an engagement and relationship. I launched a successful web design and branding business where I’m now booked out for months (!!!) I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina from Louisville, Kentucky. I learned how to live by myself and pay the bills alone for the first time ever. I got off all my anxiety and depression medicine by practicing mindfulness. I doubled my corporate income by working with my dream clients in my own business, doing work I love. I adopted a dog I couldn’t love more if I tried. I made new friends. I fell in love with myself again. 2018 was so good to me and I learned SO many lessons along the way.
One of the most common questions I get asked is how I took the leap from my 9-5 into being a full-time entrepreneur. It feels like there a million different things to consider (and a million different ways to talk yourself out of it) but I’m going to break down exactly what I recommend doing before handing in your notice to ensure you’ve set yourself up for success as a business owner.
One of the most popular questions I get all the time, from everyone who views or follows me on Instagram- is WHO is taking these photos of you?! My friends all have their own conspiracies- they think I have a tripod I set-up in my room every single day to take a million of my own (not a bad idea), they think I have a friend in my apartment building who I have come down and use my camera to take these photos of me (also, not a bad idea).
In this video where I was interviewed with Her Exchange, you will learn: The difference between a logo and brand, how to use Pinterest as a tool to help build your brand, how to use your current dream clients to attract more like them, the “5 things strategy for your social media and blogs,” what to look for in a branding and website partner, the pros and cons of sites like Fiverr and when to use them (and when not to!)
It was a very slow build up, but one day I realized that my fear of not living out my potential and having the life I dreamed of and knew was possible, had become so much greater than my fear of leaving my safe, secure, practical, but unfulfilling job.
We need to journal-- we hear it all the time from the top people in our industry, from our therapist, from Tim Ferris (who may also kinda double as our therapist). We order our lovely patterned journals and our perfect liquid pens off amazon and then boom- we finally experience writers’ block. Like we want to write… but about what?
As creative entrepreneurs, it is so important for us to stay inspired. We see a lot of the glamorous parts of entrepreneurship- the Pinterest-worthy home offices with faux fur rugs tossed around the white leather chairs in the spotless homes… the women who are making their keto dinners for the week every Sunday while producing a podcast and doing Facebook lives.
As many of you know, my own site, along with all of my clients’ sites are created with Squarespace. During calls with new clients, they ALWAYS ask me why I choose Squarespace over all of the other hosting platforms out there. I wanted to answer that question here and really delve in into the ins-and-outs of Squarespace and why I continue to use it, even with my previous experience in Wordpress.
It’s MOVING DAY! So exciting but as I sit here and watch each box being moved out of the place I called home, I can’t help but get a little sad. I adopted my first pup in this home. There has been so many laughs, so many tears, and so much love in this home.
I’m following my dreams, and I am so lucky to have an amazing job allowing me to work remotely. I just visited Raleigh for the first time ever recently and found an apartment and now I am just trying to figure the rest out. My new mantra for life and all it involves is “it’s figureoutable.”