Oh, I remember it so clearly. This time last year, I was crying, complaining, and felt defeated. My husband witnessed the worst of it (sorry, Eli!). I had maybe 3 people on the books for the Spring and I was so confused as to why I wasn’t booking more clients. Here I am exactly one year later, and I have an incredible amount of clients on my schedule and I am getting new inquiries almost every day. Normally I would say, “Woah, I don’t know what happened!” But I actually do know… That’s what I’m going to share with you today!
“If we don’t have dreams, what do we have?” I heard this on some random Netflix show I was watching the other day… It spoke to me. If we aren’t dreaming and fighting to get where we want to be, then what are we doing!? It’s time to reach your goals and begin living your dream! YOU are the only one who can make that happen. It all starts with YOU. So, let’s get you going!
Here are some ways to grow your business and start booking more clients from my personal experience! These tips worked for me, but keep in mind it took an entire year to get there. I have practiced, worked hard, tried new things, followed through, and taken chances. I went for it and I made it happen. It’s not going to happen for you overnight, but it will happen over some time and on YOUR time. So stop comparing your business growth to someone else’s because it doesn’t work that way. This is YOUR experience and YOUR story. Soon you are going to stop feeling defeated and start feeling refreshed with a newfound perspective and confidence!
If you’re interested in an educational opportunity with me, check out more information about my “Shades of Pink” Workshop on June 18th!! Find the registration and investment at the bottom of the page! Mentoring is fully booked until the Summer- if you are interested in some one-on-one time, shoot me an email! I can’t wait to hear from you!!
To sign up for my Education Email list, click HERE!
Last year I told myself, “I’m going to make 2017 my year”. Now, let’s review what happened since last January…
JANUARY- Eli and I moved off Hatteras Island and into a cute little duplex in Carrboro, NC to start our life together.
APRIL- I became an official business owner and really started to build my brand.
JUNE- Married to the love of my life!
JULY- Started offering weddings and launched my new website and brand.
AUGUST- Started offering One-on-one Mentoring.
OCTOBER- Started working as The Caroline Doll photographer!
NOVEMBER- Eli and I made the move to Richmond, VA!
DECEMBER- Eli and I are living happily in our first home together!
Wow… This really was my year. I pushed myself to take chances, to just go for it, whether it worked out or not! Through the wedding planning craziness, traveling all over the East Coast for sessions, mentoring and shooting weddings, leaving the country twice, moving twice, making big life decisions, working two jobs and other small jobs on the side, and trying to grow my photography business… it has been a challenging, yet very joyful year. To think that I did all of those things within a year makes me so humble and thankful! It seems like every year gets better and better with my husband by my side, supporting everything I do.
I made several business goals last New Years and I accomplished every one of them. I did so much more than I could ever imagine and I sometimes can’t believe I did it all. When you really set your mind to the goals you want to accomplish, you WILL get there! You can’t be afraid of what people might think, or concerned you won’t be good at it, or just hold off until you feel more comfortable. Get out of your comfort zone, have a little faith, believe in yourself, make moves, and be your own cheerleader! TAKE CHANCES.
If you weren’t satisfied with what you accomplished in 2017, then 2018 will be your year!! Start your goal sheet now. Write them down, type them out, make sure they are right in your face every single day. Push yourself to make shit (pardon my french) happen!!!!
Let 2018 be your year of taking chances, new beginnings, big accomplishments, lots of success, and happiness!
“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10
Sometimes my Dad decides to send a family group text and include his morning devotion. August 25th, my birthday, he sent this message to us. I saved it on my phone because it was strangely relatable to a lot of conversations I’ve been having with friends lately. I used to try doing the morning devotional routine, but then I figured out that I’m 100% not a morning person and I would just fall back asleep after 30 seconds of reading… maybe someday I’ll get there. Lately, I’ve been finding that a lot of my spirituality comes out in my writing, so here’s an unexpected message I thought I would share with you all.
“If you are not experiencing love, joy, and peace, you have settled for less than what God intends for you. If you have been making excuses for why you are not experiencing an abundant and joyful life, determine today to settle for nothing less than God’s best for your life. Stop following the world’s way of finding satisfaction. Instead, listen to the Savior’s voice, and you will find true fulfillment.”
Your 20’s can be weird, right? Once you’re out of college, it’s like………… huh? What is life? Or maybe you’re still finishing college, or maybe you decided not to go to college… either way, it can feel weird. Overwhelming interviews, figuring out where to live, the pressure to do this and that, finding what you’re meant to do, comparing yourself to friends, deciding whether to get married or not to get married, discovering everything you dislike about your job or where you live, feeling alone, feeling confused, and feeling unfulfilled. This doesn’t just go for those of you in your 20’s of course, but I’m 25, so I’m speaking from my point of view and based on some of my experiences.
I get all of these feelings and obstacles, and I think we ALL do to a certain extent. Most of us have been there, done that… if not, it’s going to happen sooner or later. These struggles last longer for some more than others, because we are all different no matter how close in age we might be. I’ve been hearing the same thing from friends over and over. To sum it up, they’re feeling unfulfilled and they know there is more for them somewhere out there- but they don’t know what, when, where, or how to get there!
It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re confused about what you’re doing, where you’re living, or maybe even who you’re with. Maybe this means it’s time to find your courage and make a change. Or maybe this means it’s time to simply look at your life differently. Whatever it is that needs to happen and whatever you are confused about, does not have to lead you to feelings of unfulfillment, sadness, or anger. It doesn’t mean you can’t be joyful and thankful throughout the process. It does not mean you should settle for less than what God has intended for you. Let’s try to not make excuses and, instead, open our hearts to an abundant life. Instead of listening to the world and what society says, take a moment to listen to the silence. Be with yourself in peace and listen. You will find your answers and you will open the path to living an abundant life.
Eli and I love Trevor Hall- there is a peaceful and calming feeling that comes over us when we listen to his songs. His “Chapter of the Forest” album is especially our favorite. One of my favorite songs on the album is “Green Mountain State” and it says “there’s a way, there’s a way. there’s a way…and there is always.”
There is always a way. Always a way in and a way out. Choose joy. Choose fulfillment. It can take time and effort, but just remember that you are intended to live an abundant life.
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in some of my other blogs!
I mean like really hard. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and I’ll always be that way. I forced myself to be this way a long time ago and now it just comes naturally… it’s a part of who I am. I give my all in everything that I do.
There are those people we all know: the ones who easily succeed in school without having to lift a finger or open a book… and then there are the people who have to try extra hard to make it through… that was me.
Elementary school- I literally couldn’t learn the times tables no matter how many times my teacher jammed it in my head. Middle school- I actually couldn’t comprehend a single thing I was learning. High school- tutors on tutors on tutors. Math, science, history… it was all a nightmare. That left me to English/Writing, Music, and Arts… those were the only subjects I felt confident in. Obviously, I succeeded more in the creative field- where I (happily) am today.
Back then I thought I was a failure, and that I would never get a good job because I felt so stupid. Really? Stupid? That wasn’t true by any means, but that’s how the school systems can make you feel when you aren’t learning at the same pace as the majority of students. I, of course, was blessed with the typical loving parents who always told me how smart I was and how amazing I was doing in school, but I knew, truly, that it wasn’t my strongpoint and I struggled with that.
I wasn’t stupid, and I’m not stupid, I just learn differently. There is nothing wrong with that. Knowing this, I had to work extra hard at everything I did. I was so hard on myself, especially when it came to tests. I would bawl when I came home with a bad grade– not because my parents were upset… they were proud of me because they knew I worked hard — it was because I gave it my all, and I still didn’t see my hard work pay off. Yet, the person beside me could miss class for a week and text through every lecture, and still receive a better grade than me.
Taking the SAT was a nightmare. I took them twice and my scores were terrible, both times. Sadly, I didn’t get to experience the excitement of being accepted into the college of my dreams, like all my friends did. I experienced something way different. I was embarrassed, distraught, and felt totally alone. I had to accept the fact that I had to stay at my childhood home during what was supposed to be my freshman year of college and attend a community college instead. It just wasn’t what I pictured. Most people think of community college as a lesser thing, so I did too. I was in a really dark place and on top of that, I was diagnosed with Still’s Disease after being in the hospital for a week. I was on medication that gave me bad reactions and I was going through a healing process with my body.
My friends were all leaving for college, while I was dealing with illness, depression, anger, and, truly, I didn’t even want to leave the house. As it turned out, staying home and going to community college was honestly the best possible experience for me and it was exactly where I needed to be. I learned so much about myself, about my work ethic, and ways to succeed through college. I was determined to succeed and would not stop until I got accepted into a four year university. After two years of working my butt off at the community college, I was denied by the school I had my heart set on, but I was accepted into two colleges- VCU and ECU. I took a chance and chose East Carolina to study Hospitality and Special Events… thank the Lord I did or else I would have never found my great friends and my amazing husband. It all happens for a reason, friends.
I have never worked harder in my life for the Bachelors Degree that I received from ECU in 2014. Even after transferring from a community college, I only graduated one semester behind. I have never been more proud of myself for getting through college. It is SO rewarding to finally receive a degree knowing all of the stress, tears, and struggles that I went through along the way. I somehow found a path through the biggest challenges, but I believe it had a lot to do with the thousands of prayers I sent to God. I proved to myself that I could succeed, and not just succeed, but do it better than I ever thought I could. ECU gave me the biggest blessings at just the right time in my life.
Three years down the road, here I am owning my own business and succeeding more than I ever dreamed I could. I’ve been given the greatest opportunities thus far by working for some of the best people I know. I was given a gracious chance to prove myself and what I had to offer. I have been blessed with incredible experiences in many different areas. I have been inspired, encouraged and taught by amazing women in the creative industry.
This is where I belong. I can feel it and those who know me can see it. I get to use my best skills every day: organizing, planning, creating, coordinating, collaborating, sharing my heart, inspiring others, and working really really hard every day to improve and better myself. I wasn’t meant to remember and talk about history, or understand science, or work with numbers. The schools may not have planned for that, but looking at my life now, I couldn’t have it any other way. All I needed to do was put my best skills and my accelerated work ethic to use and now I truly feel that I can create anything I desire. A lot of people don’t have those skills, and that’s okay because they’re using their strengths to do big things.
I was meant for this field and I will succeed in it.
Here is some advice for anyone who feels they might be a little like me… This is your life, be who you are meant to be. It is your duty to prove your worth- work hard to get where you want to go. Nobody else will do it for you, only you can make it happen. There are so many opportunities out there for you. Some jobs might require a Masters Degree or some employers might look down on community college, but just know this… It only takes one person. It takes ONE person to see the real you, to believe in you, take a chance on you, and trust you. You might get denied a lot and leave you feeling worthless and harsh on yourself, but do NOT give up.
I’m telling you now, there is a place for you and it’s waiting for the right moment. It’s all in your hands. YOU can define your own success, YOU can decide what’s best for you, YOU are in control of your own life… nobody else is. So remember, hard work and dedication will take you anywhere you want to go in life. It’s not about being book smart, it’s about believing you can do anything and making it happen. If you’re trying, you’re improving. If you’re failing, you’re learning. If you’re changing, you’re growing. If you’re seeing all of this and continuing to work hard, you are succeeding. The money isn’t the reward in the end. The rewarding part is whatever is truly important to you.
Keep dreaming and follow your heart.
First step? Write down your weekly and monthly goals. Stop dreaming it, and start living it. I want you to feel empowered and inspired, because I believe in YOU! If I didn’t have my little support community through school, I would have given up and I wouldn’t have the happiness that I have now. If you need that support, that kick in the butt or a cheerleader, you let me know. I’m here to help and I would LOVE to hear from you. It’s time to hear the encouragement you need to get you on the path you deserve for yourself. This is much more than a career, it’s your happiness and the fulfillment of your life. Discover yourself and be exactly who you are meant to be.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa