I’m going to get real and honest on the blog today. As you’ve seen, I recently rebranded my business. With that came a new look on my website, a new logo, adding Ben full-time, getting an intern, and a change in my business philosophy. All of these things are ones that you can see outwardly and see how I’ve changed my work; but what you don’t know is during the rebranding time, I not only did a lot of external rebranding, but I did a lot of “internal rebranding” as well.
So what does this mean? What kind of internal rebranding did I do? I believe wholeheartedly that my business and everything from it comes from the Lord. Early on in my business, I prayed about starting it and completely gave it to the Lord and trusted him to grow my business; and He did! I was getting about 10 weddings a year, which is exactly what I needed to balance along with my full-time teaching job. The whole time, I prayed and trusted the Lord to provide the right weddings for me and the right amount of ones I needed.
In 2013, I had only a few weddings on the books at the beginning of the year. I had raised my prices and found myself struggling to get as many weddings as I had the previous years. I joked, but also believed that the Lord was opening up my schedule for us to have a child that year. He definitely did! I had just 6 weddings that year, and it proved to be perfect for having Levi and teaching full-time. But I found myself not spending time with the Lord on a regular basis and completely forgetting to associate my business success to Him.
I came back at the beginning of 2014 ready to shoot more weddings again, but found that I only booked 4 weddings for 2014. I ended up shooting 6, because I helped a friend out and took over two of her weddings; but I found myself getting frustrated and angry. Instead, I should have looked at my heart and seen that it wasn’t in the right place. I focused on the money I wanted to make. I focused on the number (or lack of) weddings I had that year. I began to compare myself to others in the industry and found myself becoming jealous and hurt. It was an ugly place to be. I never really considered giving up, but there were definitely times of true discouragement and frustration. I didn’t know what to do. I had at least part of the answer (internally rebranding), but I just didn’t go to Him in prayer!
Once I came back from Katelyn James’ workshop on Branding and Marketing Essentials, I knew I was going to be rebranding my business and needed to reevaluate how I approached my business when it came to prayer and relying on the Lord. I had many hours of driving to get back from Richmond to Atlanta, so while I did a lot of talking on the phone to begin my rebranding, I also did a lot of praying!
I came home and immediately did work for the rebrand, but also began spending regular quiet times with the Lord again and gave my business back to the Lord. I cannot attribute my growth this year just to the rebrand I have done, but also to my heart and attitude to the Lord and my business. I have done a complete 180 back to where I need to be in my heart with my business. At the start of 2015, I had only one wedding booked. By the end of the year, I should have probably 11 or 12 weddings, which is exactly where I want to be with my work-mommy-life balance. His plans are perfect and He knows exactly what I need. I already have 4 scheduled for next year. The Lord is GOOD. Not because He’s growing my business, but because He is growing ME.
I want my life and business to reflect Jesus. I want to be a shining example of what it means to love others. I want my business to glorify the Lord in every aspect, from the first meeting I have with a potential client to the last picture I deliver to them. I want there to be no doubt about who I live for and why I run my business the way I do. I pray for all of these things now on a daily basis. My business verse and life verse have recently become Matthew 5:16. It speaks directly to my heart and everything I want.
I’m excited about the continued growth of my business, but more importantly, my relationship with Him. I also hope to grow my relationships with others in the business as well. I’m a part of the amazing online community of creative believers in the business through Pursuit31. I have applied to be a small group leader for the Atlanta area. I hope to be able to meet other fellow sister believers in the business and grow with them. I also plan to be a part of the #communityovercompetition initiative started by Rising Tide Society. I am so excited about this new community and the growth it is already creating within the photography community. My heart needs this. I need ladies I can pray with, talk to, and share successes and failures with. Rather than see these ladies as competition, I want to see them as friends and a community. I hope we get a group set up in Atlanta soon! This is another important part of my internal rebranding as well. I still have a long way to go, but I’m getting there. God is faithful and He will lead me and guide me. I have no doubt about that.
So there you go… raw and real on the blog today! Thanks for sharing and listening to my heart.