People might wonder why I this is so important to me to help other creatives in building a striving business and I wanted to try and put it in words so others can understand why I as a photographer, entrepreneur also find it so important to push people towards pursuing the things they are passionate about.
There are certain events that happened in my life that gave me more drive to create something for myself. For me, it wasn’t just that I was incredibly in love with photography, or running a business, but it’s what I needed and valued personally to have the life I dreamt of having. My goal was living my life on my own terms.
When I first met my husband Jon, I was getting ready to start my first year in college, and he was in the Army with orders to deploy to Iraq for 12 months. He left four months after I met him, and I married him exactly two days after he returned home. Kind of crazy to marry someone after such a short time, but after being married to him for almost 10 years I know that out of all my life decisions, choosing to grow old with him was by far the best one yet.
They say things become easier as time goes on, but the truth is, the next 12-month deployment in 2010 was even harder. Not only did I have to say goodbye for 12 months again, but I had to see him say goodbye to our daughter, who was a little over one at the time.
He missed an entire year, and I know how hard that was for all of us. We both knew that being together, truly together as a family was important. We just didn’t know how to go about making that happen. The idea of being together after going 12 months apart for each deployment seemed like a dream that was never going to happen.
I got my first camera when he was on that deployment because pictures were the only way I was able to let him see into my world, and see his daughter grow up. I took pictures of everything and at the time had no idea the path it would take me on and the passion it had sparked deep inside my heart.
Fast forward a few years, his contract was up, and he got out of the Army. We were together, but things were hard. Living paycheck to paycheck was our current reality, and as a stay at home mom, I didn’t have much that I felt could contribute to our family financially.
Being a stay at home mom was important to me, and it’s something I’m so happy I have been able to do because my husband knew how important it was for me to be home with our kids. He worked nights at the time which was hard. Although he was home, he was often catching up on much-needed sleep, and due to our schedules being the complete opposite, it felt again as if we didn’t get to be together very much.
I kept taking pictures and eventually started my photography business, used what I had and put everything I had into making my business work. There were so many sleepless nights where I stayed up till 4 am because it was the only time I could really focus on getting things done while my daughter was asleep. At this point, there were no guarantees that this would be the way I could have my family be together but I also knew that not trying wasn’t going to be an option. Years passed and although my business wasn’t the most stable, we decided to go for it full force. My husband quit his job to be home with me and our kids and for the first time, we were truly together.
To us, that was our big dream, and I know there are others who want that as well. All too often we put the value on our job, and moving up some ladder and forget what’s most important in life, and that’s being together. Truly being there with the people you love the most.
The reason I offer business coaching is that I know it’s possible to have a career you love, while being with your husband every day, and be a stay at home mom.
People are told that they have to choose.
Choose to go back to work, or become a stay and home mom and I’m here to tell everyone that you don’t have to choose anymore. You can have both. You can be incredibly successful in a career and be the stay at home mom you want to be.
You can have a life where you have breakfast dates every morning with your husband because neither one of you has a job they have to run off to.
You can have dinner as a family without feeling like you just got home and had to tuck your kids into bed to get ready for the next day to start the entire process over again.
You can have a life where you’re not always running arms wide open to the things that you care most about in life because you’re forced to choose other things instead.
It won’t happen overnight, but I know that there’s more to life than working at something that doesn’t make you happy. Figure out what you love to do, and most importantly what you value in life. The only way to get there is to decide that you want that change. Be in control of choosing the path you want to be on and then go after it.
If it’s being home with your kids full-time, while also financially contributing to your family. It’s possible I promise. If I can do it, and my sister can do it, and hundreds of creates that I’ve seen turn their passions into a profitable business giving them personal freedom to prioritize what’s most important to them, you can do the same.