As a little girl I've always had a bit of a romanticized notion of what owning a
business would be like. I remember watching movies with happy shop-keeps and cute shops, with fun bakers with a splash of flour on their face in their adorable eatery, with well-dressed boutique owners organizing pillows or outfits, with..., well I could go on, but you get the point. And even all their problems seemed to be resolved within the 90 minute movie or 60 minute episode. They were independent, interesting, successful and loving what they do.
And while reality is starkly different and the solutions to problems don't lie on the other side of a commercial break, owning a business feels just as satisfying as the wrap up of one of those movies. Everything isn't tied in a neat bow, but I still have the feeling that I'm creating, nurturing, building something. Unlike the movies, it's messy and overwhelming, and a bit terrifying. I make as many mistakes as right calls. But day by day I feel like I'm moving forward, one step at a time.
The point of all that is, that the urge to open this business started long ago, and that it turns out that dreams come in all shapes and sizes, and are never quite what you expect.
Now on to more practical reasons! I still have a full time job, and I run my business practically full time. So why did I start?
First, because I LOVE photography. I was spending a great deal of my free time on it anyway. I didn't really have a purpose then. I just knew I wanted to capture things. Life, people, events. Starting the business gave that urge purpose. I knew what people, what events, what lives I would be capturing and affecting with my photography. Starting and running the business was an extension of what I wanted to be doing with my life and in my life. I wanted to get to know people and events and to be a part of special moments and to capture them.
Second, the money! I might love what I do, and get a great deal of joy from delivering these photographs to people, but I couldn't keep doing it if I didn't make money. As a business person you have to be honest with yourself. If you're not making a profit, you're not running a business, you have a hobby.
Your time, your energy, your skills are worth something. And until I believed that I couldn't run this as a business.
It certainly didn't seem like it at first, but running a business is one of the best ways to take control of both your time and your finances. There is a direct correlation between the work you put in and the outcomes. That doesn't mean that every idea that you pour your heart and soul into will work out and bring in tons of cash. Too often, we put in all our energy and time and thing still don't work out. But with the right set of tools, enough mistakes under our belt, some hard work, and a little faith, success is achievable.
Lastly, because I thought I was good at what I do. I still do. I truly believe I provide a valuable service. All the drive, dreams, passion, and urge to make money and a successful business can't help you if you aren't delivering something people want to buy.
I didn't know for certain, but I really believed that I was selling something that people would want to buy and would bring them value!
To me that's where the secret sauce lies. It's at the intersection of your passion, your skills, and the value it brings other people. When you find what inspires you that you're good at and that can make other glad they paid you for it, you're more than half way there!
So tell me about your business? What drives you? Why do you want to do what you do?