Today, I am talking about the things that are helping me move forward in a season of overwhelm, confusion, and frustration.
I am excited and nervous about today’s podcast episode. Lots of real talk and insights into what the rough year of 2020 has looked like for me and my business, as well as what I have been doing to work through some hard things an move forward.
Brene Brown once said, “Speak from a scar, not a wound.” This quote has stuck with me ever since it landed in my ears and I have used it in my approach to sharing things. I never want to speak from an unprocessed wound, but a scar that shares a story I have lived and survived.
Before we dive in, I want to give a disclaimer that I am so grateful.
For my job.
My support system.
For my community.
And for my health.
If you don’t know, I am a wedding, engagement, and brand photographer based in California. I am in my fifth year of business and I LOVE my job. It’s true, I’m the person who goes to work and comes back a better person. I am so in love with what I do!
Being in the events industry in northern California, things have been pretty rough this year.
March 2020 rolled around and COVID was on the horizon, but no one realized the vastness of what was happening. Being in the wedding industry, my schedule is planned out a year and a half to two years in advance. COVID definitely changed the game for that this year, though.
So much so, that weddings started getting canceled.
And here’s what I learned: gratefulness and frustration can coincide. I am proof of this. By June 2020, I knew about 70-0% of my projected income was not coming in and that I would not have my normal schedule until summer 2021, if that.
It’s been an overwhelming year to say the least. For a while, it put me in a really hard place mentally. And I knew I had to make a change because if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to have a business next year. I had to do something to keep going. And honestly, I had to do something for my sanity. Because again, I LOVE my job and I was truly upset that I wasn’t getting to have the moments that I loved having so much.
So, how do you navigate a season that is so incredibly tough on all aspects and you feel like you are sinking?
Messy action. You just have to start doing something. Even if you do not see an immediate result, you do not know what the outcome is going to be or if you don’t know with certainty whether or not it is something you should be doing with your time. Whether it’s physically, mentally, in work or in relationships, you have to take some type of action!
And messy action is just that- messy. It’s not pretty. To be honest, it’s pretty ugly. It’s not a curated workflow, perfect schedule kind of thing. I cannot even tell you how many times I looked my assistant in the eyes and told her I had zero idea what to give her because I had zero idea which direction my business was headed in. I literally don’t know what to give you, but I am going to give you something. Because we are going to do something and we are going to make it happen.
Here’s what I did know, though. When you take action today, you have results in 60-90 days. It was really important to me that I was not setting myself up for failure in this time period. In June 2020, I made a commitment that we were going to commit to 90 days of work, progress and action because we have to set ourselves up to have results. We have to get ourselves to that place.
The other thing I knew is that I wanted to be more proud of the person I was yesterday. I don’t have to be so laser-focused that I can only think about myself as going towards who I am supposed to be and what my life is supposed to look like for 2020. If I keep that mindset– if I keep comparing myself to who I am supposed to be–it’s only going to hold me back and cause burnout.
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October 1, 2020