4 Things I Learned in My First Year of Owning a Business
Dang.. it’s been a year & half of owning Sydney Marie Photography! This week I spent some time thinking back on all of the many many lessons I’ve learned over that time just to see the growth in myself & my mindset. Sooo, I thought I’d share a few specific things that’ve made the biggest difference in my life & in my business.
I HAVE TO VALUE MY TIME.
This is FOR SURE the most important thing I’ve learned over the last few years & still working on every day. When I started my business, it was my number one priority, which meant that everything else.. and I mean everything.. in my life came second - my family, my health, & my friendships slowly dwindled away as I put more & more time into my business. Heck yes, I was in love with my job and the quick growth I was seeing! But at the same time, I was truly unhappy at my core. So I did some major soul searching, listened to some incredible podcasts on ‘managing time’ & decided that I was going to truly value my time. NOW - I make time to workout, I make time to rest & detach from my laptop & my camera, I make time to do creative projects completely unrelated to my work. In my mind, I thought I needed to hustle like Gary V every minute of every day. But once I realized how my personality fits in the work I do, I noticed that my business is growing even faster than it did before. And more importantly, I am happy with how I’m spending my life every day.
2. I HAVE TO VALUE MY SKILL.
Oh man, this is an ongoing struggle for me ever since I began my photography journey (and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way!). When I first started out, I didn’t know what my skill was worth. And in return, I struggled with pricing my services and would constantly over-work myself by taking on too much. At the beginning of this year, I read THINK & GROW RICH and took a little survey that was in the book. A few of the questions were “Have I delivered service in the best way I know how?” “How have I improved services/creativity?” — I sat down and really thought these through for myself so that I could start VALUING my ever-growing skill and really pin point where I wanted my services & brand to go. NOW - I feel very comfortable with my pricing & have scheduled out my time so that I can perform my skill & my services at my vey best.
3. I HAVE TO DREAM BIG.
It’s no doubt that I’m a dreamer. I think up ideas for my business in the car, while I'm ordering coffee, while I’m editing - it’s never-ending. Last year, I thought I was dreaming big, I really did. I would write down all my “dream venues” and “dream shoots” in my notes. I had a small idea of how many weddings I wanted to reach and how I would do financially for the year. Then I read, 10X RULE… & dude, I really leveled up my dreaming game! With every “dream” or goal I had, I would level it up even more. And with that motivation in writing, most of the business moves I made would reflect it. NOW - I have achieved 10X more than I ever thought I could in just one year and have even more incredible opportunities coming up because of the work I put in for it this year!
4. I HAVE TO BE OPEN TO CHANGE.
I used to hate change. I hated anything that would make me stray away from my daily routine for literally most of my life. I’m also super stubborn so that really doesn’t help the “open to change” cause very much. YES - I believe I feel the most “successful” when I’m in my routine & getting things done. BUT, that’s not the life that my career path has taken me, unfortunately. Wedding days are FULL of change. The industry and social media changes daily. And with that, I’ve had to drastically change my mindset to be able to properly function in this atmosphere. NOW - I’ve realized that enduring change has helped me create some of my best work & experiences. I’m currently in the process of creating a balance of routine and change in my business so that it can continue to evolve into what I envision it to be.
What have you guys learned in your years of owning a business?? Please feel free to comment on the post or my Instagram! I’d love to chat with you!
p.s. I highly recommend the books mentioned above. They’re amazing!