Five Things I learned in 2018

“The journey is never-ending. There’s always going to be growth, improvement, adversity; you just got to take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.” Antonio Brown

Each year we grow as individuals, we get to understand ourselves better, and learn from our experiences in our successes and failures. So after looking back, here are five things I learned last year.

San Luis Obispo Portrait Photographer Best of 2018 Highlights

One – I don’t have to do it all.

Being an entrepreneur, owning my business and being the sole person for everything can be a lot to handle. I realized that rather than ‘saving money’ and doing it all myself, that I should look to others who are experts in their fields. Of course, we can do it all, but I’d rather do 10 things extraordinarily than 100 things half-hazard. So I started to outsource this year and has been amazing!! I now have an accountant and bookkeeper who take care of my financials and taxes. Now, I don’t have this huge cloud looming over me stressing about getting my own taxes done this month!!! I also outsourced my client gifting. Through Jasmine Starr and her Coffee & Conversations, I connected with Meghan who owns Poppy & Oak. I loved her style and how she approached gifting. We created a perfect curated welcome gift for my couples branded with all the purple! Yes, I am paying for both of these services but now I have peace of mind for my business and I am creating a better client experience for my couples. This has given me more time to on my business rather than in it.

Two – I need to give not only others GRACE, but I need to give myself GRACE.

GRACE was my word of the year for 2018 and I plan to carry this through 2019 as well. In today’s society, we are pressed to get everything done yesterday and, at least for me, I give myself high standards, so this only adds to this situation. So if I feel too much pressure to get a project or task done, I remind myself to give myself grace. I am only one person. I also need to give other grace. If someone annoys me or does something different than I would have, I now take a step back and give them some grace too. I don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life, so giving them some grace that they are doing their best is the least I can do. We need to let ourselves breathe, take time to care for ourselves, and take some of this daily pressure off!!! So, I’m giving you permission to drop what you are doing right now and go for a walk, or just do something small that makes you happy!!

Three – It doesn’t all have to be done TODAY.

Points one and two dovetail into this point of it doesn’t have to all be completed today. I typically have a mile-long to-do list that needs to be tackled and I love feeling productive, so I often want to get many things accomplished each day and each week. As I work on giving myself grace, I realize that it doesn’t all have to be done today. It can wait until tomorrow or the next day. I work 2 full-time jobs, plus wifely duties and volunteering 5 hours a week, so I have to a couple of top priorities in place and then tackle that long list later. So in order to not feel overwhelmed, I like to have a productive Monday and Friday. If I can get the house cleaned and tackle #1 on the to-do list, on those days, I am content. It doesn’t all have to be done today, and it can wait until tomorrow (or the next day).

Paso Robles Inn Spring Garden Wedding with burgundy and florals

Four – Taking the initiative on projects.

I have learned that with my personality, I like to be the quiet listener in a group. I like to absorb what is going on and thrive in one-on-one settings. So I got out of my comfort zone. I took the initiative to put together a small group of lady photographers that I admire, respect and adore their zest for life. I wanted to create an intimate referral group where we can not only help each other succeed but to provide a space to connect and build one another up. I trust that if I am not available, I can refer clients to ladies who I know will deliver an outstanding experience and product. We all have different styles and personalities, so it has been fun building up this little group. I aim to do more of this getting out of my comfort zone by reaching out and making deeper CONNECTIONS with Wedding Planners and Venues.

FiveTime is your most valuable resource.

Time is limited so we have to prioritize what is most important to us and make the time to accomplish those things. Amy & Jordan Demos mentioned that they combine tasks/shoots/meetings to certain days so they are saving time getting ready, driving around, etc. So I made a conscious effort to have meetings in San Luis Obispo, do all my errands on one day and schedule photo sessions back-to-back. I also looked at my schedule and decided to take certain days off from sessions by limiting the number of days I would go out each week. This meant that weekends are for weddings or having the day off for family time and putting my portrait sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I also researched and recommended more locations that are in my area to take pictures, so this saved me time driving to and from these locations. Although I love exploring different parts of the county, I also wanted to make the most of my day. This often gave me ample time to get home, download the photos and edit that night. I realize that I function best with 8 hours of sleep, so I know that I need to be done with work by 10pm and that I get home from my other job at 4:30. These hours are precious so I plan accordingly and I will continue to implement this for 2019.

So what did you learn in 2018 that you want to continue to implement this year? What did you learn about yourself and your personality? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about it!

Anniversary Photos in Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, CA


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