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I'm a twenty-something wedding photographer in Texas. Every single day is one step closer to transitioning into a full-time Girl Boss, and it is an adventure to say the least. So grab your favorite cup of coffee and enjoy this ride with me.
Tomorrow marks the two month anniversary of my departure from Corporate America, and it has been an adventure to say the least. I balanced my full-time IT job with my growing photography business for two long years. When I was finally ready to take the leap, I was so ready for sleeping in, making my own schedule, and living the great life of a creative entrepreneur. While I thought things would be a breeze once I went full-time, I learned pretty quickly that the grass is definitely greener, but it takes a whole lot more than putting pants on in the morning to keep that grass green!
In just two short months, I learned some pretty valuable lessons:
When friends learned that I was taking the leap, I can’t tell you how many things popped up. Everything from lunch plans and coffee dates, to venue tours and workdays with fellow creatives, and even random trips around the country. On top of that, weekday meetings and photo sessions not only made their way to my calendar, but I had them every single day. I had the mentality of “Of course I can make it BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A SECOND JOB HOLDING ME BACK!”. That mentality led me to complete burn out in just two weeks. This is not the freedom that I worked so hard for.
I had to take a step back and evaluate my priorities and where I could say “yes” to those opportunities. I formulated a game plan of what I needed to get done each week, where I wanted to grow my business, and other things that were important to me like downtime, time with Andrew, and having flexibility in my schedule to take care of errands when I need to.
I’ve always considered myself a hard worker, but we all have our days where your mind isn’t 100%. However, when working a steady salaried job, the paycheck looks the same even when you’re having an off day, week or month. As a creative entrepreneur though, that is definitely not the case. An off week mean missed deadlines, mountains of editing, and a poor client experience. Now, I’m not saying that you don’t have the freedom of taking a week long vacation when you want to. But taking a planned vacation where you took care of what you needed to before leaving is very different than sitting on the couch with ice cream and Netflix for a week.
I am a Type-A person, but working at home all day brought out the lazy. I quickly found myself succumbing to hours of couch time, social media scrolling, and not getting much done. I didn’t come this far to only come this far though. It was time to add some structure to my day to day schedule to stay on track. I started to use my planner again. I made a weekly schedule for my must dos: social media posts, blog posts, client interactions and editing. After those are in place, I fill in the gaps with new ideas and ways that I want to grow my business!
I am so thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to pursue my dream of being a full-time photographer. For those of you who are full-time, what things did you learn after you made the leap?