10 Reasons I Love Being my own Boss
One year ago, I made the leap to focus solely on my photography business after four years of shooting on the side. I knew being my own boss would be an adventure, but I couldn’t have predicted how right it feels.
To celebrate one year under my belt, I thought I’d share some of my favorite parts of self-employment.
1. Exploring creative outlets. Picking up a set of watercolors has done my personal life wonders. My previous illustration style wore calluses on my fingers. I was so focused on getting every little detail right. Watercolors let you leave things to chance a bit — you can just go with the flow and see what happens.
2. Letting go. First of all, I apologize if I’ve just caused a Frozen sing-a-long in your head with this one. I made this painting to remind myself to stop trying to control everything. One of the many reasons I love my husband is because he knows how to handle life’s obstacles with ease. He doesn’t assume the roof will collapse if there’s a crack in our ceiling. I am trying every day to allow things to happen, instead of making them happen.
3. Really connecting with clients. I strived to support my clients these past five years, but at the end of the day, my full-time job had my undivided attention. Now that photography is my main focus, I’ve had the chance to mold a customer experience that I’d want if I was on the other end of the relationship. I may be a company of one (or two on wedding days), but getting my culture right will only help in building a long-term, enduring brand. I cherish my couples and I’m grateful for the friendships that have developed from our connections.
4. Stepping out into nature. This might not apply to the never-ending winter we just experienced, but regardless, I still try to get outside at least once a day. Taking a trip to the post office. Making a grocery store run. Scouting photo locations. Visiting the dog park. Grabbing lunch with a friend. It might seem trivial, but soaking up fresh air always gives me a boost of energy.
5. Taking time to breathe. I’ve had a gym membership for a few years now, but I never really took advantage of it until I could balance my own schedule. Being able to set aside an hour for yoga is invaluable for my concentration and health. Breathing. Stretching. Setting an intention for the day. When you’re behind a computer for the better part of a week, yoga is a lifesaver.
6. Enjoying food. At my previous job, I would pack my lunch and eat it at my desk while working. My poor co-workers had to listen to my enthusiastic “nom” noises as I inhaled my meal. I always told myself, I should eat better. I should take the time to pack my lunch the night before. But I always left in a rush, with a granola bar and can of soup, or whatever was easy enough to grab. Now that I’m home, I can take the time to really enjoy food. Calamari salad with a side of fruit? Yum. Shrimp tacos? Yes please. As a result, I feel healthier, happier, and more focused.
7. Wearing slippers. All. The. Damn. Time. While I might lose some points for style, I don’t care because slippers are amazing. Now I just need a velvet smoking jacket and we can call it a day.
8. Sharing my space. Having a warm, twitchy dog next to me while I work is the best. I welcome little distractions from my four-legged friends, even if their bathroom habits make me grumble to myself sometimes. For the most part, they just sleep all day, but they really perk up right before Pete gets home. And by “perk up,” I mean Betty White barks at the door for two hours straight. They might drive me crazy sometimes, but I still love these guys.
9. Enjoying a new view. Part of having a flexible schedule means being able to prioritize hopes and dreams. One of our goals for the new year was adding a member (no, not a sixth pet) to our family. We were blown away with gratitude when the new year brought a positive pregnancy test. It’s surreal to think that by this time next year, I’ll have a six-month-old bouncing on my lap. Just typing that makes me get all weepy. Yes, pregnancy brings hormones (and a ravenous appetite if you’re anything like me in the second trimester), but I am just so excited for what this year brings.
10. Always growing. I might hit some roadblocks along the way, but I can’t wait to grow as a business, a person, and a family. I’m so lucky I had the emotional support of my husband and the most amazing clients to make it all possible. You guys are the best. (And yes, that’s a bathroom selfie.)