February 24, 2017 marks my ONE year anniversary of saying goodbye to the corporate world. Last year, I left a job that I truly loved; one that challenged me and that I was actually halfway decent at. I left that job for a new home in Erie and now hold three “jobs”: running my own photography company, nannying the cutest (but biggest pain in the butt) 14 month old, and co-running a real estate firm with my husband.
Here are the five biggest things I have learned in my first year of not having a 9-5:
When you don’t have a set schedule, it’s really hard to make one – every single day is different for me. I don’t have specific days I nanny, or specific days I work on photography (although if it was my decision I would work on We, The Light 100% of the time!). So I learned that even if every day is different, I need to be intentional on setting a schedule so I can actually get stuff done that needs to get done (and, no, I don’t mean doing dishes or cooking).
It’s really lonely to work from home alone – I love that I can wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt all day (come on who doesn’t?!) but I also just yearn to talk with people, to bounce ideas off of others, to lean on other people’s expertise. Simply put, I want to go to a real company Christmas party and not just celebrate with myself in Christmas jammies and a cup of peppermint hot chocolate. I really, really miss all the amazing friends I was “forced” to make at work, but then truly grew to love and value their friendships. I miss small talk and chit-chat – the only chit-chat I get now is with my dog and asking her if we should go downstairs and get lunch now, and that gets REALLY boring after a while.
I feel satisfied almost every single day – Even though I work way more than I used to and can rarely tell you what day of the week it is, I am so incredibly thankful that I get to do something EVERY SINGLE DAY that I feel proud of. I so often struggled in my previous jobs with finding a sense of accomplishment, value and worth; but when you are doing everything you can possible think of to build your dream, and choosing to put your blood, sweat and tears into every social media post, every photo session and every relationship you’re building, you can’t help but feel accomplished at the end of the day.
It’s ok to ask for help – I am never one to ask for help. I am stubborn and I feel as if I have to be completely self-sufficient. But, I’ve learned that there is no way one person can conquer starting a business completely by themselves. I have had to learn to reach out to my husband when I need help with dinner. I have learned to reach out to friends who are really good copy-writers to read over content that I wrote and provide feedback. I have learned to reach out to other photographers and just ask “how did you do it?”. Even though I am still far away from being comfortable when asking for help, I am at least on the right track to realizing that I cannot do this alone.
I wouldn’t be anywhere without two people – One: Jesus. Without knowing that I have someone who placed this passion within my heart and also says He’s willing to walk along-side me every single day, I would fall short over and over again. Two: my husband, Ben. He has been so gracious and patient with me figuring everything out and getting this business off the ground. He always says he’s proud of me in moments of uncertainty. And he is the one who forced me to take photography lessons in the first place because he knew my heart better than I did.
I am so thankful to all my friends and families who have supported me along the way. I am thankful for the late night texts from friends thinking of me. I am thankful for people sharing my love of photography with others. I am thankful for the patience and understanding I have received when I feel frazzled. I am so thankful for you.