In August 2018, I quit my full-time job to pursue running my own business as a wedding photographer, brand strategist, and overall creative collaborator. Being that it is December 2018 now, you could say that I am still very much in the thick of figuring out what that all means. A few weeks after leaving my day job, I got married. And by October, I was on my honeymoon for a whole month, in Italy.
I remember settling into Florence and having an overwhelming wave of panic rush over me. In the course of just six weeks, I had lit a match and completely blew up my daily life as I knew it. Nothing was the same. At least, it didn’t feel that way. Now, maybe “blow up” is a bit over-the-top. But my life will never be as it was ever again. And I would never want it to be.
Since going full time as a freelancer / entrepreneur / artist, I’ve had several people ask me, “How’d you do it? How did you know it was the right time?”
Long story short, I don’t know.
……Ha, now that would be a sad blog post if I ended it there.
The right place at the right time
All I know is that I was very aware that I was finally in the right place at the right time. Mentors, friends, and family all encouraged me to take the leap. For months, it was me who said no to it. But after taking a deep hard look at my life, I realized that the universe was handing me an opportunity on a silver platter. My rent is extremely reasonable right now, my husband is happy to put me on his insurance, we have no kids currently, and I was given the chance to sign with a studio. I realized over time and years of of side hustling, that my bank account would never be able to justify this sort of leap. Going full time, to being your own boss, is extremely risky, for anyone. But it was clear to me that if I didn’t jump in now, I never would. The risk was worth it.
At this point, the rest is up to grit. As long as I keep working, as long as I do something every day to push my business forward, I won’t fail. Grit requires resiliency and patience. It also requires a whole lot of endurance. It’s not for the faint of heart, or for the people looking for a quick fix // get rich quick. Grit requires a long-term strategy and a lot of faith in yourself and your work. Grit is simply, not giving up.
What is grit?
Grit is an entrepreneur’s best friend for life. But let me be clear, this is not a “grin and bear it” sort of deal. An entrepreneur can’t be a martyr. Grit is smart. Grit reads books, asks for help, and makes each day bearable by planning ahead. Grit is detailed, takes its time, and rests when needed. Grit is seeing the race as a marathon, not a sprint. Grit is lifting weights in the off season to make a better run in the summer. Grit is measuring out all the ingredients before making the meal. Grit is making it work, doing what you can, and not giving up.
So, if you have a dream, start living it out loud. You don’t have to go out and blow up your life like I did. That took me 5 years to do. I started small. Really, really small. I had a quiet dream and I was willing to see where it took me. Where do you think your dream will take you?