Well friends, things are a little bit slower for me this week and I am thankful. This weekend brings a Christmas session, an old friend’s visit and then I’m off to Jacksonville for my brother’s wedding. After that I have more shoots, more visits and then Christmas! I can’t believe that this year has gone by so quickly! I am determined not to let the few free days of this year fly by without taking advantage of them. I have been doing a lot of research, planning, research, planning and more research and planning. I am so excited about the coming year. I am hoping, praying, expecting and planning for big things. I feel the Lord has led me in this direction, so I’m going to put fear aside and pursue it with everything I have in me. I am taking advantage of the weeks ahead of me. Part of seizing these days involves making goals for my business. I am happy to say that I accomplished all of my goals that I set back in October.
Here are a few of my goals for the next few months:
1. Define and refine my brand
My goal is to have my new website/ blog ready by January, get custom CD cases with my new logo, design business cards and so on. I want to hone in on my photographing and processing style. I want you to look at an image and know it’s mine, even without the logo. Although image is a HUGE part of branding, it isn’t the only thing. I also want to treat everything I do as a reflection of my brand, and that means how I word my emails, present my packages, and how I regard the details of this work. This also includes how I present myself to my clients and how my clients feel when they work with me. I want every client to feel like they are my dear friend. I want them to feel spoiled, special and excited when working with me. I want them to feel that the art they receive is worth every penny. I want to exude the servanthood of Christ in all I take on. Everything I do is an extension of my business, no matter how insignificant it may seem to me or anyone else.
2. Get official!
I need to research what it takes to officially register my business. In the past few months I haven’t made enough to even count on taxes, but I am so blessed to see that my horizons are widening and my income is growing. My goal is to keep track of everything – expenses, receipts, milage, etc…This is the not so fun, but necessary, side of having a photography business.
3. Buy a Cannon 5d mark ii (in cash)
I want to each of my sessions to become pieces of art. Part of that depends on the quality my equipment and my knowledge of technical side of photography. I think an excellent photo depends more on the creativity and talent of the photographer than the camera, but it is no secret that a great camera does wonders to enhance the photographers eye. My tools are good, but I want to give the best to my clients. Thus, my goal is to purchase the mark ii by late February/ early March and pay in full upon purchase. To be honest, I have no money saved up for this camera. It seems like a long shot right now, but I have made a list of what I want to invest in by order of importance and this is close to the top of my list. Most of my income for the next 2 months will be safely tucked away with this goal in mind. I pray it can be accomplished!
4. Be “full-time” by March
Part of the reason I want to purchase the mark ii is because I want to be full-time by March. I have calculated how many sessions/ weddings it will take to achieve this and I am going ahead full steam. My husband has been so good through this whole process. I haven’t been bringing home anything to contribute to the bills since August. By God’s grace I have still been able to buy the groceries and pay for (most) of my gas. I am so thankful for the income I have brought in, but I think it’s time to start helping carry the load. I have been praying earnestly that the Lord will bless our obedience in this area. Specifically, I pray that the Lord will increase my husband, by whatever means. I am pursuing this goal with total dependance on Him. I can do my best to make this happen, but He is my ultimate provider and it will be His will if He sees fit to bless this little business. I will be diligent, but knowing that He is the one who builds my house. If I do it apart from His will, I labor in vain.
5. Set goals every month
I think that being successful is greatly dependent on discipline. I want to have purpose in everything I do every single day. When working at home it is so easy to let a day go by without getting much accomplished. To combat that I want to set goals for my personal life and my business every month. I want to stay organized and on task everyday.
6. Give back
I believe that I am blessed in order to be a blessing. I have been so blessed in Christ. He has given me so much and I want follow His example. He has put this tool of photography in my hands and I want to honor Him with it. I hope to do this in several different ways. One of those ways will be revealed in January! Keep and eye out! I’m so excited about it!
7. Lead with humility, fail with grace
I am not perfect. Shocker, I know! Hehe! Perfectionism is a monster that I have battled with for a very long time. I hate to fail. It shakes me to the core, and I often beat myself up over the smallest mistakes. I am going into this knowing that I will fail. Making mistakes is inevitable, but I choose to hold myself to a standard of grace and not of perfection. I will not be able to do this by myself. I do need people. I am not self-sufficient, so I refuse to be completely self-reliant. Grace is my theme from this day on.
Well, that’s about it! I’d love to hear your input as well. Everyone has different strengths and I’d love to learn from your experience. I am also so thankful to all of you who are supporting me in this journey! It means the world to hear your encouragement on my photos, my art work. I am growing and learning everyday. You are all a blessing to me and I pray that I may be able to bless you in some way. I will leave you with a quote that I found very encouraging.