This spring I will be celebrating six years in business as K.J. Brewer Photography. What a journey it has been!
I decided to turn my hobby into a legit business shortly after I found out we were expecting our first daughter and right after accepting a new position at a new company. That's a lot of change all at once! Our family made another big change when my daughter turned one and we decided I would stay home and I became a work at home mom. At the time, I probably wouldn’t have called myself a “work at home mom” because I didn’t believe my business was “enough” to call myself that! I have learned and grown so much over the past six years.
Here are five of the valuable takeaways I have learned over the past six years...
1.Define your own success.
Only you can define what success is for you! It looks different for everyone. Last year I set a goal to photograph five high school seniors. I had recently decided to transition my business to focus on senior photography. I would be taking the fall off when our second child arrived and I knew I could take on that many sessions, serve my clients well and still serve my family how I wanted to.
And guess what?!? I met that goal! But did I share it? No. Why? Because I felt it was too small. I let comparison rob the joy of meeting my goal.
Remember comparison is the thief of joy...celebrate your wins no matter how big or small they may seem!
2. Spend more time acting versus reacting.
In the summer of 2018 I read the editor’s letter in Better Homes and Gardens (anyone else read the editor’s letter in magazines?) In his letter, editor Stephen Orr shared about how we are in a near constant state of reaction. He went on to say that the opposite of reaction is action. “And action requires thought, strategy, and planning. To be inspired, we need to carve out time to think. We often feel we don’t have time to be creative. But most of us do...” This statement hit me hard.
I love supporting and connecting others, that’s what Western Legacies is all about, but I found myself spending a lot of my time and energy reacting to what everyone else was doing, especially on social media. I knew I needed to spend more time acting, working towards my personal and business goals.
For me this looked like setting healthy social media boundaries in order to spend more time acting. It is much easier to keep comparison at bay when we're putting the work into getting where we want to be.
It’s ok to take a break from consuming to allow more time for creation and growth.
3.You're not everyone's cup of tea and that’s OK.
Not everyone will book you, not everyone will like your style and that's OK. We are all created with unique gifts, talents and perspectives.
Love yourself and your work and you will find your people!
4.Love those you serve well.
Throughout the years I have taken a lot of classes and followed a lot of successful business owners. My biggest take away hasn’t been some secret to beating the algorithm or how to gain thousands of followers but rather to love those you serve well and build a genuine connection with them. One of my favorite parts of high school senior photography is getting to know my clients and their families and cheering them on in whatever they do. I love taking my daughter to fair and finding my clients’ animals and connecting with them outside of their sessions.
Genuinely serve your customers and give them your best and you will have life long customers.
5.Get out of your comfort zone and put faith over fear.
Planning The Gathering last year was a huge testament for putting faith over fear. It was something that I felt led to do but there were many points along the way that I had to intentionally give it to God and choose faith over fear. I even thought about canceling it at one point when we only had one person signed up. As soon as I turned it over to God, we started selling tickets!
Our inaugural event was transformational and I am so excited for the future of Western Legacies!
I hope you find this post encouraging and that you will define what success looks like to you, step out of your comfort zone and go use your unique gifts to create your Western Legacy. - Krystal