It’s so important to do what you love in business and in life. In the past (almost) 4 years since owning Misty Saves the Day, we’ve seen a lot of ebbs, flows and changes while Misty Saves the Day gets its own voice and continues to fulfill my passion. I had a nice call with one of my awesome employees, Lauren, yesterday, on the way to a wedding. Mid-call, I said, “Hey! I think this would make a great blog that isn’t just content photography or adventures that I’ve been on!” I have to disclose one thing about this post: these are all personal photos from the last two months. They’re both somewhat relevant, and also just a place to share them to re-iterate how important it is to live a life that you love.
Owning Your Own Business is an Experience Like No Other
I think when you first go into business, you’ve got this idea that you’re going to make your own schedule, you’re going to be your own boss. There’s a misconception that it’s going to be easy. I think my first couple of years in business, I was so hell bent on being successful, that I didn’t take advantage of making my own schedule nearly as much as I could have.
It wasn’t until this past year that I really started to say, “you know what? I’m going to do what I love when I want to do it.” Don’t worry – I’m not that cavalier about it. I just put stuff on the calendar. Want to go on a hike or go camping? I’m going to make sure that I work harder the week up to leaving to make sure that I can walk away and not worry. Working out? I put it on the schedule two weeks in advance – signing up for classes at CycleBar or regular training sessions with my trainer. I *rarely* will cancel or move things around unless I absolutely have to. You’ve got to take care of yourself first, before you can take care of anyone else.
Starting Misty Saves the Day is one of the best decisions that I ever made – not only because I have an amazing pool of clients and two fantastic employees, but because it’s allowed me to live a life I love, while still busting my ass and working hard for my business. There’s fulfillment in that, and that’s so powerful.
It goes beyond that, though – just doing the things that I want to do. It’s also about what I want for the business. What do I want my work days to look like? What do I want to focus on? You have to ask yourself that freaking Marie Condo question – “what brings you joy?” I have my answer. I know where I want the business to go and what I want my role to be, and how I want to leverage my employees to be as successful as I can be. It’s important to look at your system and ask yourself how it can be better.
You know that photography is part of it all.
I can’t say that I came up with almost any of the ideas of what I want to happen on my own – a lot of it came from my friend, Mike Dragon. He was the one who encouraged me to offer content photography for my clients – and it’s been the COOLEST thing to do. It helps that he taught me a lot of what I know.
Second shooting weddings became another bonus in all of that – and what started it all. I can distinctly remember calling Mike (while riding my beach cruiser around my neighborhood), and nervously asking if I could come to a wedding because I wanted to be a better photographer. I probably shadowed him at 30 weddings before I got to second shoot one (and that was my own issue in confidence). There is still a ton left to learn. What I’m certain of? I like doing content photography and social media – and I LOVE second shooting on the weekends.
Here’s the thing: I still don’t want to be a wedding photographer. I’m much happier second shooting and working with awesome photographers and different clients and challenging myself to work differently for different people, just like I do for Misty Saves the Day. The things that I’ve learned while I do it though? Invaluable to my clients and my business.
Live your own happy.
Taking it a step further, I’ve found so much joy in doing the things that I really love. When I started Misty Saves the Day, I just knew that I wanted to help businesses with their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Styled shoots have come and gone out of that mix.
Legitimately, why do anything that doesn’t make you happy if you don’t have to? The beauty of being a business owner is making your own mark, doing the things that you love and being known for loving doing it.
I worked a wedding with Valerie Demo last night in Richmond, and it was SO much fun. There was a ton of dancing (on our parts and the part of the guests), and multiple people told us that we must really love our jobs. Here’s the thing: we do. It’s fun.
Fill your freaking heart with all the things that make you happy. If you can’t sing along to the song while you’re doing it, what’s the point? Take pictures of all the stars all the time. Go on adventures. Sign new clients. Surround yourself with people who will support you, your business, and your happiness.
Make time for yourself. Make time for the things that bring you pure, unbridled joy. Bring that same sense of love and joy to your friends, your family, and everything that you do every day.
Some days will be harder than others – some seasons will be more difficult and it’ll feel like you can’t get out of the darkness that is owning a business until someone else shows you the light. Or you can make your own light, find the joy in doing what you do, and take that feeling and freaking run with it.