after all of the photography conferences and connections made over the last few months, something i have really been challenging myself with lately is the idea of success. what does it mean, when do you feel like you’ve “made it” and (to keep it real)~ how do you not get overwhelmed with what everyone else is doing. success. its a funny concept isn’t it? it means something different to everyone and typically can’t be defined, yet everyone wants it, and most people are working to get there. being a creative, it is hard to “scale” where you are on the success train. and after chatting with my sister about it a couple days ago as she is an aspiring writer, i had some thoughts that i wanted to share.
i am starting to understand that success is not about how much money you make. it isn’t how many weddings you have booked or how much you charge or how many fans you have on facebook. success is definitely not how “busy” you are, and i don’t think it can be solely based on your professional work at all. i believe that success is a lifestyle. the successful people in this industry who i look up to, are the ones with priorities. they are the ones who spend sundays with their families, take a spontaneous break on a wednesday afternoon to go for ice-cream with their friends. they are the ones with a system, who make work fit into their life instead of making life fit into their work. it’s so easy to get caught up in trying to be as busy as possible so you can be considered “successful” ~ and i have definitely fallen into that thinking before. there is nothing wrong with being busy, i love the busy lifestyle that scott and i lead, but what i have to challenge myself on is that that, ultimately is not what will make me successful. for me, success is having the freedom to choose how i spend my time. and even though we have a fast paced lifestyle, it is how i make time for the other important things in my life. i am so grateful for all of the leaders and role models in my life who are amazing at the balance of it all, it is these types of professionals who i look up to, and now, that is what i am working towards. creating a system that fits with the values that scott and i have. one that will support the lifestyle that we want, with the priorities that are important to us. family. friends. eachother. taking time to help and inspire others, and having time to serve my clients to the utmost best of my ability. and when you look at it like that, what a fulfilling life to strive for. it’s one of those things that we can always be working towards and no matter how good we have it, it can always be better. i am thankful for these incredible photographers and amazing friends, who have shown me that this idea of success, is one worth celebrating. these people have come into my life at such a critical time in my business, and i am so grateful for their open hearts which help keep me on track. if you want to follow some of these incredible photographers, check out katelyn james who works with her awesome husband michael, karen and issac stott, mike larson, josh newton, jane ammon, jeremy kester, karina and rob crouch, alyssa and ben turner, kenny kim and there are really so many more. it’s inspiring to see people like this fit their work into their life. to me, that is the ultimate success and i am honored to call these people my friends. <3
one of my favorite quotes that anyone has said before came from our amazing friend jeremy kester. he said “i don’t want to just collect data, but actually listen. i want ground swell not star light. i don’t want a platform, i want to make an impact. i don’t want followers. i want friends. so i’m gonna give that a try.”
so today, i challenge you to make some time. call an old friend that you have been meaning to catch up with. visit your grandmother. spend an extra hour after dinner with your family talking about the day before you jump up to do the dishes (that should be an easy one, man do i ever hate doing dishes, haha!!). these are the things in life that matter. and i truly believe that once this is second nature and a way of life, professional success will follow. for me, my new goal is to stop saying the words “i don’t have time”, and instead ~ figure out how i can make the time. whether that means being more productive when i am in my office, starting my day 30 minutes earlier, being more organized throughout the week. whatever it is…. i promise that if it is important, i will do everything i can do to make the time.