As much as it may not appear on the outside, behind the scenes of running a business (at least for me) consists of frequent breakdowns, late nights, tears and a roller coaster of pride and self-doubt. There are so many amazing things about being your own boss, but it also comes with an extremely heavy responsibility to wear 20 different hats, and while one day you’re the photographer, the next you’re the editor, and then the accountant and then the administrative secretary (and the list continues), the reality of it is that it’s hard. It’s also insanely rewarding, but there are so many moving parts to making sure things run smoothly and even though it may seem like endless beach days and “free time” on Instagram or from the outside, an entrepreneurs mind rarely ever gets a break. On paper this last year was my most successful year to date, and at the end of it, I wanted to quit. It was my best year of my life in many ways, but I was tired in my business, I felt my passion for photography slowly slipping through my fingertips and I couldn’t remember what it felt like to go hang out with my family and not be drowning in guilt that I should be in the office doing something else. I wanted a break, and so 2 months ago I quietly stopped taking photography jobs and only booked new clients for Peter and Micah in hopes of escaping what seemed like inevitable burn-out.
On one of our recent flights, Peter and I sat down next to each other and decided we were going to spend our time brainstorming how we can continue to generate income for our family and live the life we want, without sacrificing my mind and heart for what I love. We wrote a comprehensive list of both of our responsibilities and then we began to highlight tasks that we needed help with and that we could outsource. Over the last 2 years I have slowly begun to let go of my pride and realize that outsourcing is okkkayy. It’s okay that I can’t do everything on my own anymore, it doesn’t mean I’m failing, it means that I am growing. And as I slowly learn to let go and trust in my team I am reminded again and again that there is so much strength and reward in working together, and that together, we can accomplish so much more than I ever could on my own. There is no way I could have survived 90 weddings this passed year without Peter, without Micah, or without my wonderful editing assistant Alyssa. It took me 7 years to realize the power in outsourcing within my business and as much as part of me wishes I had figured it out sooner, I’m also grateful for the opportunity to learn the hustle. And after much thought, contemplation, resistance, nervousness and excitement, today I am literally on cloud 9 after FINALLY signing on the dotted line and hiring my first Virtual Assistant!! Our team is growing and we officially have 4 lead photographers, a part time editor, and now a VA who is going to free up the time and space for me to get back to focusing on what I love and giving my clients the experience that I believe they deserve. I haven’t written a personal blog post in OVER A YEAR, because my inbox has taken over my life and I don’t have time or space left in my mind to even think of the words, I haven’t submitted a single wedding out of the 90 we photographed this year, I’ve barely posted a quarter of them and I’m working passed midnight on most days just to give clients the attention and service that this business requires. I’m so ready to get my mind back to a healthy place in my business and to love my work again (and to sleep!). I’m so proud of the dream team we are building, success to me is happiness and a stress free life and as we continue to grow and learn we’re getting closer every day. I couldn’t be more excited to welcome my new VA to our team and I can’t wait to get to work!!