I have always had a fire in my belly for my business. I knew from a young age I wanted to have my own business, if I am honest I never knew what I wanted it to be, it wasn’t till I was 21 I found that I wanted to create a business primarily as a wedding photographer.
I do not have a formal, university education in Photography. I am completely self taught, spending hours learning, practising, researching, getting work experience with some of the best photographers. I have now got 5 years worth of experience behind me. I attended a couple of photography workshops, specifically related to wedding photography, which I found super useful in guiding me to find my style and give me the confidence I needed. For any of you doubting whether you should invest in your business – do not hesitate! I think the key thing is making sure you are investing in the right thing for you!
Having invested in myself and my photography in the last couple of years, I feel I have learnt a lot and putting that into practise! However the last 2, specifically photography related, workshops I have attended I felt, hand on heart, where bit of a waste. Not because I thought I was above it, definitely not because I felt I had nothing new to learn, but I felt I had already grasped the basics and what I needed to do in that side of things was now let myself grow that into my style and working with the type of clients I wanted to work with. This would come with time, and working hard and putting myself out there, not by paying an awful lot of money to someone who was teaching me something I had already been taught, but just in a slightly different way.
What I realised I was missing was investing in training and education about me! About being in business, about marketing and sales. So I decided at the beginning of 2015, that I wouldn’t book onto anymore photography related workshops, but that I would invest in me and my business.
I found a business mentor, who had a photography business previously, but was now branching into coaching. When I first emailed her to enquire, I had a major a passion and desire to really take my business to the next
level, the excitement, an OMG I going to do this and smash it vibe about me! I had said for the last couple of years ‘oh next year I will leave my full time day job, and become a photographer full time’, next year would come around and I would say the same thing. I hated this! Was I ever going to get there? However, I can say hand on heart, I would not have been able to follow my dream and quit my day job and now call this my full time career, if it wasn’t for taking that step to contact a mentor.
I took the decision, to invest in paying for 1-2-1 coaching for an intensive couple of weeks, and in addition go into a 12 month business programme. Specifically focused on me and my business, what I needed to focus on and get clear on. Someone to hold me accountable, kick me up the arse, challenge me when I made excuses.
It was a lot of money, money I didn’t really have! But if it wasn’t for that, I genuinely think I would still be in my full time job, unhappy and day dreaming out the window hoping for a chance to run my business full time.
I don’t think I would have booked my first 3k client or had a 5k month that year – I don’t think I would have had the confidence to travel as much as I did last year and put myself out of my comfort zone – I don’t think I would have got really clear on the type of clients and weddings I want to photograph. To see the passion I had inside of me to travel and document this, in addition to weddings!
I don’t say this to brag, but to show you that when you invest in yourself, I believe it helps you get clear and direct on your goals and what you want to achieve and if you really put your mind to it and have someone accountable to you, then you can achieve it!
I hope you found this post inspiring and consider about investing in yourself.
Much love, Charlotte x