"You can't extinguish the flame of entrepreneurship"
We have some big news for what's next for us in 2023. There is a TLDR at the bottom of the post if you want to skip and not read the post. It's long, I'm sorry!
We have had this business for the last 10+ years as a side hustle. It has always been in the background while I worked other jobs and started our family. We started a conversation a few years ago when filing our taxes for the business, Cameron asked if I actually wanted the business or not. If I didn't want to push the business to be a full time thing and only a part time hobby we should reconsider the business organization. We have been breaking even or operating at a loss and it made sense to close it out if we weren't going to push it. At the time of this conversation I was extremely torn. I loved my full time job at Crossings Community Church but I also loved my business. I couldn't see giving either of them up but I knew I needed to make a decision as to where my career was going.
So fast forward to March of 2022. Cameron started a new job and I had started a new position at Crossings. We started the business conversations back up and I'll be honest they were tough! Cameron and I actually started seeing a counselor over these conversations. It got to the point that we couldn't have a conversation without work and careers coming up and it ending in a fight. So through MANY conversations, many counseling sessions, and several months I came to a decision on what to do. I needed to quit Crossings and pursue my business. As I type that I am getting teary eyed because I LOVE both but I know in my heart what I need and that is to be a business owner.
Through every step of this season of discovery I have received nothing but confirmation from God on my decision. It seemed like every day that I made the next big decision in this journey something totally unprovoked would push the business further. There was one day when I finally started letting my heart dream of what it could be that I received a bride that was referred to us from a previous client. This lead turned into a wedding I photographed and now a great client! The next big break through I had of saying this is what I wanted I received 3 leads within a matter of hours from my heart change that has resulted in 2 sessions. At every turn and corner of this journey God has been saying keep going I am with you.
I have learned a few key things in this season of change that were completely unexpected:
You will quickly learn who is in your tribe (and who isn't)
When you start a journey of entrepreneurship there are going to be those that surround you and lift you up. I have quickly found who those people are going to be in my life. There are several that are current friends that have rallied around me and encouraged me. They have encouraged me and told me the qualities I poses that will help me in this journey. Their encouragement means the world to me. It is those encounters I remember and go back to on the days I start to doubt my decision. I also found a wonderful tribe of professional moms that meet once a month. There are women of all stages of careers from working for a company, business owners, to consultants of companies, and beyond. These women are incredible and I can't wait to further those relationships more! On the flip side I have learned the ugly truth that other business owners have warned of and I couldn't believe it is true. There are people that when you say you are going to own a business and quit your job are less than happy or supportive. It's fine, I'm not here to please everyone. Entrepenarship can be a lonely journey when you have those around you trying to pull you down. That's where your tribe of supporters is so incredibly important! To that tribe of supporters if you are reading this, thank you with all of me! You are what is helping me hold my head up and walk away from the discouragers.
You can't extinguish the flame of entrepreneurship
I have worked in a full time job for the last 10 years. In that decade I have felt this unhappiness and uneasiness of knowing it wasn't right. When I think back through it and as I listen to other business owners the answer is I don't like working for people. I know how awful that sounds but it is honestly the truth. I want to be my own boss and I don't want to have a boss over me. I have learned that the boss doesn't matter. I have the same feelings with the incredible bosses I have had as well as the not so great bosses. If you have the flame of entrepreneurship in your soul you can't extinguish it. You can hide it but you will never fully get rid of it. It is when I finally realized that ember was still burning and I started fanning the flame it exploded! My excitement and desire to see what my business can be is uncontainable!
Freedom to say yes
There have been some oppurtuinites open up to us this year that we said yes to before we had decided to make this change. These opportunities would mean travel and getting to see and do new things. They were things we simply could not pass up, once in a lifetime opportunities. It dawned on me that I wouldn't I have enough PTO to accomplish these things. The freedom self employment gives will allow us to say yes to big things! I can't wait to share some of these travels with everyone!
So what is next? My current position at Crossings has been posted and has been filled. My timeline of leaving isn't set. It all depends on how quickly they can hire and I can train my replacement. I want to make sure I set my team up for success in this transition. I will also still be helping out Crossings after I leave in a contracting role to still provide photography to support the church. In the meantime I have been working non stop between Crossings, being a wife and mom, and business owner working to grow the business. We are marketing and getting new leads and clients to have weddings booked and clients on tap for the rest of the year. It is exhausting but I know the seeds we sow now will be the fruit we reap as a business later this year.
I am excited and terrified of what this coming year will bring!
TLDR - I am leaving Crossings to be a full time business owner with the photography business.