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Many online business coaches and educators started in a local service-based industry, and I am no different. I had a 6-year journey that focused on my local photography business before I could feel God nudging me toward a new dream. I went through seasons in life that lined up with the adage, “Do, Teach, Inspire.” And that is a great snapshot of the entrepreneurial journey for many of us. So I’m excited to share my journey through the years with you!
Where It All Started
In 2009, I shot my first wedding before I even had a camera. It was a small family wedding at my church and I absolutely loved it. I started doing photography for fun, taking photos of my friends or folks online who needed shots. By 2011, I got married, finished my MBA program, and moved from Breckenridge to Nashville, where I chose not to start my own business and instead entered the corporate world.
In 2012, we moved back to Colorado where I got a job as a banking officer, complete with high heels and power suits and 55-hour work weeks. After almost a year with that job, a manager came into my company (who for some reason or another didn’t like me) and long story short, I ended up getting fired for silly things like writing thank-you notes to my employees. I was absolutely devastated and this proved to be my first big life lesson. I was only 26 years old at the time, and the reality hit me that this world can be a messy and brutal place. In true Scarlet O’Hara fashion, I swore to never work for anyone else again, and three days later I registered my business with the Secretary of State to officially start a photography business.
In 2013, we made the move out of the mountains to my hometown of Fort Collins. My photography business was official and I hit the ground running. My first photography promotion model was my dog, I begged friends to partake in Halloween mini-shoots, and I actually ended up making about $10,000 in that first year. It was an absolute dream.
Things Start Picking Up
Toward the end of 2013, I really began to focus on SEO in an effort to bring in consistent leads. That’s when my business really started to take off. That year, I booked 10 weddings, 25 sessions, and I was pregnant with our first baby. In August of that year, I gave birth and I felt like I could absolutely conquer the world. I booked a wedding four weeks postpartum, and I wish I had taken more time off. Word to the wise if you’re considering having babies while you build your business, there will always be more work and you can most definitely take a little extra time off. After having my baby, I actually made 4x what I had made the previous year, and 2014 turned out to be a great year for building the business.
2015 was an insanely busy year for me. I booked around 30 weddings, 75 sessions and I eventually hired a videographer and wedding associates. I even took trips to Europe and Costa Rica with my one-year-old. It was absolutely exhausting, but in 2015 I doubled my income yet again.
I lovingly refer to the next couple of years as my ‘hustler baby’ years. My income continued to double and by 2016 I started to realize that I was doing it all myself. Here I had built this business and created something great, but I began to feel that I was photographing too much while I was also trying to focus on motherhood and my marriage and all of the other ‘real-life’ things that need attention too. So, in an effort to scale my business, I significantly raised my prices. It was terrifying. I also dove head first into the IPS (In Person Sales) world to sell product and create a true experience for my clients. This was the best decision I ever made for my photography business. By 2017, I felt that I had established my dream, and everything was going smoothly.
Power Of The Pivot
At this point, I could feel myself starting to burn out on shooting weddings. I could tell that my heart wasn’t fully in it. I didn’t want to be gone every weekend for weddings and the pressure of the wedding industry was building. Sometimes God closes doors for us, and the opportunity for me to step away from weddings came in 2017.
In 2018, I ended up booking over $43,000 worth of senior photography clients within 15 days and my senior rep program blossomed. I like to think of 2018 as the year I claimed freedom; the year I decided I was going to do what I wanted to do with my business. You’re going to come across pivot opportunities that God places in your path, and I realized the power in these pivot opportunities, which are essential to the entrepreneurial journey.
Preparing For a Different Dream
That year I also got pregnant with our third baby. By this time, I knew God was preparing me for a different dream; I had less energy and my love for photography was waning. I could feel God telling me that this door was closing and I was preparing for the next stage. I chose to close my business and began to educate myself on building online courses. It was a scary decision and I had to give it to God, to acknowledge that I was afraid and to leave it in His hands. I was honest in my intentions of simply wanting to help people, and God answered.
In 2019, I took a bit of time off. I was building my program, I turned away over 250 inquiries, and I was coaching a few local clients. By that summer, I went officially online as a Christian business coach. Since then, I’ve been in the online coaching space, primarily with photographers but with a bit of branching out to other creative and online business owners. I can look back and see exactly where God was directing my steps and walking alongside me, and I encourage others to see those opportunities in their journeys too.
I adore where I am now in 2021, but if I hadn’t taken that 6-year journey in a local, service-based industry, I would never be in the position to teach as I do. I wouldn’t have had the experience to help my clients in a way that makes sense to them. Looking back at everything I poured into my business and being a female Chrsitian entrepreneur, I see it as a beautiful journey. I can see where God has put my story together and connected everything so far. So that’s my own interpretation of ‘Do, Teach, Inspire.”
Unstoppable Hope Challenge
I’d love to invite you all to the Unstoppable Hope challenge! If you’re a photographer, this is for you! Starting February 15th, we’re diving into this 3-week challenge. In this challenge you’ll enjoy heart-centered community, videos, and live photo biz trainings. We’re really going to dive into God’s plan for your business and our different stories. Join us at the link below!
Join the Unstoppable Hope Challenge
A 3-Week Free Photographer Challenge which starts Monday, February 15th
Join My Free Community
I’m building a brand new community off of Facebook. Are you tired of constantly getting distracted by social media and not being uplifted when you do hope on? Join my private network here.
1-1 Beta Coaching (Open to apply)
Interest in applying? The application won’t take long and if you are accepted, we will schedule a short chat. This is a brand new program I am putting together for individual clients, and a GREAT opportunity to get 1-1 access to me. So let’s claim your story, create epic launches and scale your biz.
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