I’m writing this post almost 3 days shy of the last wedding of the season. (Yes, you read that right, I said last and it’s only October). To some that may sound crazy, but to me it’s perfect.
2018 was the year of boundaries. Boundaries on my heart, my business, my time, my family, and my vendor family. Ever since starting this business in 2013 I’ve had the mindset of “do everything, give everything, be everything,” and this year I said no to that mindset and shut the door, and shut it pretty hard.
If I’m being perfectly honest with you, last year around this time my calendar was packed with obligations and I was feeling depleted. I could feel myself on edge with my friends and family, and I was so nervous that might trickle over to my clients (side note, it never did). I was so enamored with the art of being “busy” and the ‘more more more’ game, because I felt MORE made me important, when in reality it just left me feeling exhausted. Around the holidays, I found myself saying I’d take a break, but would never really follow through. And after Christmas I realized something needed to change, and change drastically.
You see every year (up until this year) my life followed a pattern.
January-March (Year prep, bookings, styled shoots, creative work, etc.)
March-October (weddings, editing, engagements, portraits, senior shoot outs, travel, etc.)
October-December (Booking season, minis, holiday prep work, still weddings and engagements).
Add planning Rising Tide meetings in every month + workshops and you get one burnt out, slightly cranky human.
So when January hit, I made changes to my obligations in order to ensure 2018 would not be like the previous years. So I:
- Left the Rising Tide Community Leader Position
- Followed my heart and pursued ONLY weddings/couples/engagements
- Left the Senior Photography community
- Said No to people/places/things that didn’t bring me joy or push me forward to be my best self
- So No to work I was not passionate about
- Said No to feeling like I had to help everyone
- Set boundaries on the work I was taking on.
- Gave myself time off (where I actually took time off)
- Got help (Sarah is my lifesaver)
- Established a workflow that transformed my life and business
- Got closer with my vendor family
- Deleted a lot of creatives on social media (Say no to the comparison game)
- Limited the amount of weddings and sessions I took on
- Deleted my entire instagram (hello fresh start)
- Took a healthier approach to my business.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say these small tweaks truly transformed my business. Saying no and setting boundaries truly made this year one of the most enjoyable and most profitable years of my business to date. Each wedding and session I photographed, I knew I gave my all to, and I am SO happy with the imagery, experience, style, and kind words from my clients that reflect it. For the first time in a long time, I feel focused, refreshed, and joyful at the end of this season and am excited to take some time off before another beautiful year of amazing adventures.