I know...that's a hefty title, right?! Well...let me tell you, it's so stinkin' true!
This time last year, I was working full time as a church admin assistant, very part time as a photographer, and wondering if this is just my life and I should accept it and "bloom where I was planted?" I wasn't totally miserable or anything, but I did have this nagging feeling that I should be doing art, some way, some how. I decided to choose "FOCUS" for my word of the year with the intention that I would find time to focus on my relationship with God, with my husband, and my little side hustle, Simpson Photography.
Around mid-January, a facebook ad popped up in my feed for a year-long "business for photographers" course. I watched a webinar about the class and it was really more expensive than what our tiny budget would allow, but without even a second thought, I signed up. Anyone who knows me knows that this un-calculated risk is just not something I would ever do. (My husband was DEFINITELY shocked!) I soon regretted it lol. The teacher was nice but the content wasn't really anything I was ready to handle. You had to basically "spend money to make money" and LOTS of it with this course. I dropped out.
Another facebook ad (they're really good at targeting me, right?!) showed up around that same time for photography, social media, and business courses from Cyrissa at Sparkle Society. I had no clue who this glitter-clad boss lady was, but she was my kinda crazy! (Unicorns, sparkles, high-energy, and so much fun!) You get the idea...
I had the opportunity to take a social media course with her, BUT because I was afraid from my last class mishap, I let it pass.
Cyrissa didn't just let me slip through the cracks though, she saw some potential I didn't even know I had & stayed in contact with me just out of the kindness of her heart. I learned to trust her and around March signed up for her beginning photography class. I decided to just go back to the basics and re-learn it all. This course was so fun & really helped me hone in on my craft. I needed more! I had quickly become someone who loves to learn. I signed up for a beginning course on social media for business owners. Loved that too! (That's also when I started popping up in your newsfeeds more- gotta stay consistent!)
By the time April rolled around I was booked so solid I was requesting days off my day job just to complete all my photography jobs. Business was good...real good! Whatever Cyrissa was teaching worked! I signed up for yet another class, this time, a big girl class based around community with other photographers and growing your business. I set goals for Simpson Photography and took one gigantic leap of faith telling my boss I would be leaving by the end of the summer to pursue this dream full time. I told myself if I booked my schedule solid for 3 months, I could do this. That's exactly what I did. (Click the "Contact" tab at the top of the page if you want more info on booking with me in the future!)
May, June, and July seemed to fly by with all the photography jobs and regular work and classes...and and and... in the midst of all this crazy, I was introduced to my FAVORITE podcast, Misses Ambitious. One of the hosts grew up with me & it was so cool to hear more perspectives on the beginning stages of being an entrepreneur. Plus these two talented ladies are so encouraging!! If y'all haven't checked out the podcast, what the heck are your waiting on?! https://www.missesambitious.com
FINALLY, August was here & that meant Simpson Photography was officially open for business full time. No more waking up before the sun to an alarm clock I wanted to smash, hurrying up just to wait in the 10 minute line to get out of my neighborhood (because school traffic). No more driving another 45 minutes (on a road with no passing lane) in zombie mode to my 9-5. No more needing the approval of a boss before completing tasks. This life, this journey, was mine & I was so excited I made a dance video...seriously...here it is if you want to see it lol.
I've stuck with Sparkle Society, continuing to take every class I can get my hands on and I'm now in the upper-level mentoring group- Sparkle Squad. They are the most fantastic group of humans I've ever met! No joke! Cyrissa has built a beautiful community of fellow photographers and small business owners that care about one another, genuinely...words don't do it justice. Just see for yourself here. https://www.facebook.com/sparklesociety
My fall calendar sold out by the 5th day of fall this year, and I only advertised one time via facebook for my Christmas sessions before they were sold out. I've still never even paid for an ad! Y'all are just awesome & believe in this little dream of mine!
This holiday was a welcome time to rest and be with family, but now I'm ready to work! Bring on 2018!
Clients have become friends and friends have become clients and THAT is a beautiful thing! I want to say thank you to all the wonderful people who have supported me this year. I AM a photographer, storyteller, chaos coordinator, baby whisperer, wedding cake connoisseur, #magicalunicornladyboss, entrepreneur, artist, and #sparklesister. God has blessed me SOOO much more than I deserve. When I think back to where I was just one year ago, I'm amazed by just how quickly this change happened! When you work hard, it pays off. When you aren't afraid to follow your dreams, it pays off. When you put your faith in God, it pays off.
Moral of this story? Don't be scared...this life requires a little risk. God's got you & he wants so many good things for you! What story will you be writing this time next year?