I have been standing quietly by over the past couple of weeks. It tends to be how I process things. I like to take everything in, reflect and then speak up, instead of reacting instantly to something or someone. I want to share the journey I have been on over the past couple of weeks and how it has ultimately inspired me to grow and learn during this season of uncertainty.
If I am being honest, I, like so many of my fellow entrepreneurs are being hit hard with the virus situation. As a Photographer you have to be in the same room or space with someone to provide your services, that is just a fact. So, needless to say fear began to set in as I realized how serious this pandemic was.
Just before the bottom fell out I had some incredible momentum building. I was scheduled to shoot both on the east and west coast, I was seeing amazing results from my networking and was asked to speak in NYC as a thought leader in the Culinary Branding world, I shot a conference in Boston and was building upon all the connections I was making. I was also beginning the search for an assistant, so things were moving along.
Just after I flew home from Boston everything started to shift. I was scheduled to fly to DC that weekend and then NYC, Texas and then California. The morning of my flight I messaged back and forth with my husband (who is still overseas in Qatar) and decided I would cancel my flight over growing concerns, rent a car and drive since it was only about 6 hours.
This same morning my NYC trip was canceled and I knew then I would need to put all other trips on hold as well. I am obviously thankful that my NYC trip was canceled due to how it has escalated there now, however there was a selfish part of me that was disappointed too.
Once back from DC it was time to hunker down with the boys and the dogs. I spent the first week editing my DC shoot and therefore still working. But after that was over I realized how much I didn’t have to do! It wasn’t an all of an all-of-a-sudden thing that happened, but I realize now that over those next few days I just kind of did nothing. I didn’t realize I was having a pity-party, but I definitely was.
In the midst of all this, spring has sprung here in NC! But for me, with that comes terrible migraines! I ended up with two, pretty much back to back, with a couple of days of relief in between. So “technically” that is why I have been out of touch. But if I really take a hard look in the mirror, there are things I could have been doing on those few days of reduced pain that I was not acting on.
I was completely deflated, I was trying to think outside the box, but was seriously blocked and couldn’t get a handle on why or how to move out of it. I listened to so many inspiring people online who were keeping creativity alive, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Then Katelyn James, who if you don’t know, is a photography educator and has the most amazing spirit, came on to a FaceTime live and explained how she was in the middle of creating an offer for all her photography students and in the heat of creativity, the Governor of her state came on to update them on the latest Covid-19 situation. After that broadcast Katelyn said that she could not even remember her ideas, they just stopped and it was because she was suddenly feeling fear. Fear for her family, her community, her business, just fear in general and I realized that was exactly what was happening to me.
I was checking the news every hour online (we don’t have cable thank God lol) and I am not one to even look at the news, I typically get my updates from my husband haha. But, to know me intimately is to know I tend to sit in fear a lot. I don’t mean to, but I ultimately get in my own way. From the outside no one would ever know this, but Craig is my rational brain and talks me off the ledge frequently. So when I started hearing crickets in my business, I just sat inside it and allowed it. It took me a long time to put myself out there creatively, so I think, buried deep in my subconscious I allowed this situation to give me an excuse to stand still and not move forward and tell myself I didn’t have anything to offer.
And that was the END of the pity-party. Yuk, who wants to be that girl! I know I have a lot to offer, I am highly creative and think outside the box on a daily basis both personally and professionally. I have decided to do the opposite! I was holding back even when things were building, but if this situation teaches nothing, it should show us above all else that life is too damn short.
My goal this year was to build and grow and bring my husband home from overseas. We planned for him to retire from his demanding corporate job, join me and our family at home and build “The Hut” somewhere on the water which is how we refer to our dream-home.
I am going to be bold and do things outside of my comfort zone now. I am first going to let you hold me accountable and tell you all the things I am going to do that fear has been holding me back from.
I am also going to expand my services and use the opportunity to serve new businesses, my community and pivot my business to create even more beauty and joy in the world. I am still going to bring my husband home next year. I get choked up thinking about how thankful I am for him and his commitment to our family. We are so fortunate that he still has a job right now and that is such an amazing gift.
Instagram Stories – Yup, don’t laugh, this is at the top of my fear list. Putting my face on video. Let’s face it, I am a Photographer I am WAY more comfortable behind the camera and I’m also a perfectionist so it’s a tough combo. But that all changes now. My business coach told me when I started with her that I needed to do this and I continued to put it off. So now, GULP, I am doing it and doing it often!
New Service – I am opening up a new service to all business owners! Virtual Brand Photography is now a thing! I thought outside the box with the help of my Six Figures Lab mastermind group and have a an amazing service to support businesses even during these times.
Serving The Healthcare Community – It is vital to me that I honor those in the healthcare profession. They are doing all the heavy lifting for us and sharing my gifts with them is the best way I know how to say Thank you!
Finally, and most exciting of all, when things settle down I will be offering to a new, very special service. It is still being crafted and fine-tuned, but get ready for some teasers!
Now I need to hop off this long-winded post and “take some action” in the words of Natalie Eckdahl. But I hope this is helpful, even to just one person who might be feeling stuck in place right now. We are all feeling it and we are all struggling to find a way back from it in our minds. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is glimmering and getting closer each day. Stay focused on that glimmer it will help you find your way out!
Please visit the links below to learn more!
This is near and dear to my heart.
Right now, healthcare workers are in the thick of it. But when the dust starts to settle they are going to deserve some TLC.
Giving back with my gifts is the only way I know how to say Thank you.
Time and Place to be determined, but will be located within a 1 hour radius of zip code 28117. However, I will be dedicating a full weekend to these sessions so we are able to get in as many sittings as possible!
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