January 2, 2018
1. Read the Book “Quitter” by John Acuff. Took the test at the end and “passed it.”
I first heard about this book from a pair of photography educators that I follow. Then I heard about it again from another creative entrepreneur that was doing big things in the business. Then again. After the fourth mention, I downloaded it to my Kindle. Acuff isn’t fluffing anything or sugar coating what it is like to quit. In fact, I’d argue that the book was more about “Stay in your current job” than it is “Quitter” because it really hits you hard with the truth of what is to come when you are out on your own.
2. Prayed about it, without ceasing. Also, talked to my husband a whole lot.
I can’t tell you how many times I said out loud to the Lord, “Please just show me a sign that this is the thing you want for my family and me! If you send a sign, I’ll do it. Oh- that person just waved to me! Was that the sign???” haha
I probably talked sweet Bart’s ear off about my hopes and dreams for this business. He’s heard about Marketing, Funnels, Workshops, Styled Shoots, Taxes, Gear & More for the last year and a half and has taken it in stride. If I ever question whether the man loves me, all I have to do is think about how many times we’ve talked about branding and I’m reminded that his love is for sure.
3. Reached out to anyone and everyone I knew who was already living that full time life and asked for advice.
You wouldn’t want to go on a dangerous hike to the top of a mountain or raft through a white water river without a guide..so why do we feel that going into business for ourselves is something we can do, well, by ourselves?? Literally every step of this journey I’ve had a guide. Before setting up my business, I reached out to a #GirlBoss and multi-entrepeneur friend, Lauren Hager, to ask her about running a business. I called my wedding photographer, Shelly Smith, and asked her ALL the questions. I talked with fellow videographer & Mom Jill Bonilla about the hustle that is running a videography business. The minute I signed my business license, I invested in a course that would help me learn how to market and manage my business. I’m involved in more Facebook business groups than I can visit daily and they are wonderful for advice.
I also invested in business coaching, private coaching from amazing videographers The Herrintons, and attended a workshop that transformed my trajectory forever in Charleston.
We waited until we were in a better place financially and mentally before pulling the trigger. I have wanted this since I started, and might have made it even if I had quit teaching six months ago, but I am glad we waited. The timing is perfect.
5. Paid off all business debt and saved up living expenses for 3 months. (Shoulda saved for six months)
One thing I would have done differently if I could go back and do it would be purchasing equipment as I went along instead of putting all equipment costs on my credit card and paying it off. With companies like Lens Rentals and other lens rental companies, you can rent an entire fleet of gear while you build up enough cash to purchase! That’s what I would advise others starting out to do!
6. Invested in myself through education, training and an incredible workshop.
One day I will list all of the amazing educational resources I’ve devoured over the last year and a half, but for now let me just tell you that over the last year and a half, every dime of profit I’ve made in my business has gone towards purchasing equipment needed to perform my videography work and education and training on the industry.
Because what good am I doing for myself if I’m full time, but I’m producing poor quality work? Or making stupid business mistakes? Or not treating clients like they should be treated, because I just don’t know how to provide a great service? All of these things I’ve learned by investing in education and training! (That’s also why my prices have increased since this time last year, my services are now more valuable!) Thank you to The Herrintons, Katelyn James, Amy & Jordan, and ESPECIALLY Callie Lindsey for all you have poured into my business!!
I 100% believe reading “The Magnolia Story” by Chip & JoJo qualifies as educational reading. Every small business owner should get their eyes on it at least once!!
7. Listed my goals and kept track of them as I went.
Each year, I do the SC Stockshop’s Ultimate Business Assessment, and boy has it helped in setting off each year on the right foot. In fact, I’m hopping to sit down this week and get it done for the 2018 season.
I also am a crazy list maker. I will literally write a to-do list just to mark off the things that I’ve to-DONE. haha I treat my goals the same way, writing them all out and marking them off as I accomplish them!
One way that I’m keeping track of goals this year is through Trello! It’s an amazing management and goal tracking tool. You can see more by going here.
8. Gave myself grace. It wasn’t going to happen overnight. In fact, it took nearly five years if you really think about it…but it was absolutely worth it.
I started as a hobbyist, filming friends’ weddings for donations to my TV production program at school..then fell in love..and here we are today!
I hope this is helpful to those of you that are considering making the leap yourself!! You can do it!