March 8, 2016

The Personal Purpose Behind It All

Why do I own my own business photo

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I built this business. What is the purpose behind it all?

These thoughts have stemmed from recent coffee dates with fellow vendors and industry friends. I truly believe that community makes us stronger. It’s something that I lost focus of in 2015 (more on that later), but have made a conscientious effort to put back into my life for 2016. I’ve left each of these coffee dates renewed, energized, and focused. Hearing the dreams these friends have for their businesses, for themselves, and goals they’ve set for their futures made an impact on me. It really got me thinking about my purpose.

Not on an artistic purpose level. That’s a whole other topic involving the experience and end product you give to your clients. What I’m talking about here is a personal purpose. The part of my business that impacts my life, my family.

I brought these topics home into my conversations with Kyle (and Ada, because you know she’s listening to it all!). We began breaking down our why, our personal purpose behind why we have built this business, and it came to this: we want to run our own business so that we have time and funds to create memories as a family. Family is everything. My family is my personal purpose. This is such a freeing revelation!! Stick with me, and I’ll explain why.

Photography can be a very glamorous career. Clients can take us to exotic locations that we’d never visit otherwise. We can work with some of the top industry professionals with tens of thousands of followers on social media. We can be published in the best magazines & biggest blogs. If I’m being honest with myself, it’s very hard to let go of those things. But none of that matters if it’s not serving our purpose.

That’s why this revelation of family being my purpose is so freeing. It’s easy to let go of the all the glamorous sides of photography when I focus on why I build this business. I created this business to enhance my life, not monopolize it. I’ve often wondered if I didn’t network enough, go to the right industry events, focused my marketing in the right cities. Now I realize, my business is exactly where it needs to be right now.

I have the BEST clients, many of whom I’m friends with long after their weddings. I get to travel some, but not too much. I get to spend most weekends (other than wedding days) with my family, doing what we love together, and that is why I do what I do. I’m not longer questioning if my business is where it should be, because my purpose keeps me focused.

So why am I writing all of this? Because I know I’m not the only one out there who has felt this way. I’m not the only one who has felt the pull to be the glamorous photographer but at the same time wants to be home on the couch watching a movie with her family. Or the only one who questions whether or not they they’re doing the right thing for their business. I have a lot more to say on this whole business enhancing your life not monopolizing it mentality (many posts coming in the near future), but in the meantime, I want to encourage you to find your personal purpose. Why do you want to be a full/part time photographer?

If the answer is to travel the world and experience things, then do it! I have friends who do this every weekend, and they are living their dream! Two years ago, I would have been right there with you! That was pre-Ada. As life changes, so does your business. In a few years, when Ada’s a little easier to travel with, we might go back to being on the road a little more. Who knows. That’s the beauty of running our own business!

If your purpose is to create a home life with your family like ours is right now, know that’s ok too! Build your business to serve your purpose, and do your best not to lose sight of it.

Stay tuned for more thoughts on this subject very soon. I’m going to be sharing more of our vision, the resources we use to keep our business from monopolizing our life, and some tips on how to reach your personal purpose goal!