It hit me yesterday evening. I knew it was coming up but hadn't gone back to check the exact date. Yesterday was the anniversary of me leaving my day job to go all in and pursue a photography career! It's been quite a journey and today I'll show you what that time looked like for me.
Looking back about 18 months ago, I was starting to feel the pressure. I had a growing photography business, a school aged son, a day job that required hours in the car each day, and the regular day to day stuff that goes along with being an adult. I was working for my family as a landlord in a townhouse community not far from Washington DC. Months before, I was juggling all of that and another job on a cattle farm! My day to day looked like this- getting up long before the sun, taking care of my son and dog, dropping Brody off as early as I could manage with the before-school daycare program, stopping to grab a coffee and breakfast, and hitting the road for the 90 minute stop and go (mostly stopped...) commute. I'd get to work and hit the ground running! The clock was ticking as soon as I opened my office door because I couldn't stay in the office until 5pm like most people- that commute back was a killer and if I left anytime after about 3:15 that commute could easily have another hour added. Now, I'm sure when you hear the word 'landlord' you think about a glamorous job, right? ;) Let me tell you, my days were filled with rent collection, deciphering leases, language barriers, contractors, evictions, break-ins, police officers... oh man, there was never a dull moment. There was even a time when the owner of the property and my boss were on vacation at the same time and a tree came crashing down on several townhouses. Houses condemned, TV cameras were there, and I may have been in over my head! This job definitely took an emotional toll on me- evicting someone doesn't exactly feel good!
All of that alongside a wedding season with 35 weddings on the books was overwhelming to say the least. I would get home from work, do the whole homework-dinner making-bath time-bed time routine, and then I'd get back after it for my business! I would edit late into the night, crawl into bed, and start all over again the next day. I needed a nap, a break, and at least 7 more hours in the day. Something had to give and it was becoming more and more apparent that I couldn't do it all and do it all well. My heart was in my business! I had started it from absolutely nothing years before and I was in a place where things were finally taking off for me.
Leaving the security of a day job with a predictable paycheck... terrifying! To go from getting ready and dressed for work every day to rolling out of bed and throwing on some sweats sounds like a dream, right? It has been a hard year! Don't get me wrong, I have quite a collection of comfy pants, but being totally in charge of your schedule takes a whole lot of discipline. I have been constantly working on my daily and weekly schedule this whole year! Working from home has it's own set of challenges. Do I write that email or do I load the dishwasher? Edit or fold those 10 loads of laundry? And to be honest, some days the laundry wins. And that's ok.
The benefit of not wasting 3+ hours per day in the car alone has been monumental. If Brody has to stay home sick from school, I'm not calling out and leaving someone hanging. If school closes early for bad weather I'm not dozens of miles away playing beat the clock to get there on time! I have been able to add more services, like mentoring, because my schedule allows it. Also, the grocery store is a lot less crowded at 8:00 on a Tuesday morning!
So to the hustlers, dreamers, and goal-getters- if you want it, it's yours. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be running a successful, fulfilling business out of my own home. To be available for my family and loved ones is so important. It might take a while (or several years..). It might might seem impossible. It might seem overwhelming. It might seem exciting. And liberating. And totally awesome. And it is all of those things and more! I believe in you! If you need help getting a plan together so that you can take your business full time, please get in touch! I have a few mentoring dates open in the next few months and I would love to help you!