Yesterday was one of those perfect days - I completely stepped away from business and enjoyed a day with my wife, Sheila. We did nothing remarkable except appreciate each other and the life we've made. It's so simplistic - we just hung out together.
A couple of days ago a good friend, Jared Burns, posted this stunning image of his wife, Beth. I first met Jared at Skip's Summer School many years ago, and the friendship grew.
Jared was part-time for many years and a year or two ago made the move to be a full-time photographer. Part of my inspiration this morning is all thanks to Beth and Jared and the strength of their relationship and the way they support each other.
But, typical of Sunday mornings, I'm all over the place and while this post started with things to think about if you're about to make the leap to a full-time photographer as Jared did, there's more to it. It's also about being happy and focused on what makes you smile.
Since starting my own business in 2009 and becoming responsible for my own destiny 24/7 versus working for other companies, I've learned a lot. Often the lessons have been thanks to so many of you, including Jared!
So, whether you're part-time and trying to decide to go full-time or you're already full-time and need to establish a stronger focus on your business, see if these suggestions make sense:
- If you're part-time, the challenge is to grow your business to a point where you can't afford NOT to quit your day job.
- Take your time! Don't be in a rush, especially if you've got a family. It's important to not underestimate the importance of the benefits of your day job, and that usually means health insurance.
- Do everything you can to keep building your skill set, even in specialties and techniques you think you'll never want to do. Build your skills to be as diverse as possible.
- Building a new business isn't just about a cute logo, the right location, and friends who believe in you. It's about building brand awareness. That means being involved in the community, giving back, networking with associates in photography, other retailers and the people you hope to target for your business.
- Don't be afraid to share your fears with your spouse or that one singular friend we're hopefully all lucky enough to have in our life. You've got to have full transparency with each other to grow.
- Develop a strong network of support. Get rid of the "Negators" in your life. As a good buddy of mine used to say, "Dump all the Dr. No's" - you know the ones - they're the people who always tell you why something won't work.
- When it's right, you'll know it. Seriously, this is like falling in love. You'll know precisely when it's the right time to head off on the entrepreneurial highway.
- NEVER head off on any journey before you believe in yourself! This is where your network of support comes in and can help you build confidence.
- Last but not least, stay on track with the most important thing I've learned from my wife Sheila, and I'm betting Jared and Beth have learned from each other too, "To thine own self be true!" I've written this before, you can't create images that tug at people's heartstrings if your own heart isn't in it."
Wishing all of you a beautiful Sunday and time to relax and appreciate everything in your life. If you're tuning in late to my Sunday posts, I read an article many years ago in AARP Magazine - it talked about hugs being therapeutic when they last at least eleven-seconds. So, go for those long hugs with the people most special in your life. And, if I go back to the days when I was a kid, and NOTHING was open on Sunday - make it a day of quality time with family, friends, and filled with smiles!
how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.