So, I keep getting questions about success and that made me think what is success?
I've had a warped view of success for a long time.
Last year I had my business completely crumble beneath me. I didn't care anymore, I gave up. I didn't sell a wedding for 3 months. 3 MONTHS. I couldn't pay my bills, I was a divorcee, single mom trying to figure out wtf was in my future and if this was it? This coming from a steady stream of income. A few months prior to that, I was in a position that I could actually turn down weddings.
I kept thinking man, I had it in the bag. What happened?
I spent so much effort on my business that the only thing that could hold me together (pedro) was gone. GONE. I would tell him 10 more mins, 1 more hour, almost finished, he'd get annoyed and find something else to do. Well enough was enough and before I knew it, we didn't have a relationship, we were basically roommates living in the same house. When you don't nourish your relationships, those relationships turn destructible.
After the hustle and bustle of wedding season slowed down and winter came along (usually one of my fav times of the year), i went through a depression, it was awful. I didn't leave the house for 2 weeks literally. did not step foot out of my house for 2 weeks. I had no desire, what's the point? I felt like a complete failure, I was in a shiz ton of debt, no bookings, this is awful. I gave up. I left emails go unanswered, i stopped blogging, stopped updating my fb page. I was donezo.
January, Pedro comes back in the picture. We have a great few weeks of hanging out. He said the old me was back, the me he first fell in love with. A few weeks after that that drive came back, what am I giving up for? I can do this! I had on my fridge January sales goal - 3 weddings (3... just 3)....
Look what happened.
January - 11 weddings booked
Feb - 7 weddings booked
March - 19 weddings booked
April - 18 weddings booked
May - 13 weddings booked
June - 22 weddings booked
I'M BACK! Shewwwwww I had missed myself (does that sound weird), but I finally got my motivation back. But fights started happening, "you tricked me back." WTF are you talking about Pedro. He said at first you were spending time with me, after that you're back to work again, work work work work work."
Hmmm. That's odd. you go away I don't work, you come back I work. I think half the time he thinks this is just so I don't have to spend time with him. But after thinking about it the opposite is true. I do this for my family. I want to give them anything and everything they want. I want them to have a great life. If we want to go on vaca, I want it to be possible, I want to give them everything I had. When Pedro was gone, I had nothing to work for. Yes, I had bex. But I knew he'd be taken care of. My family a huge part... 1/3 of it was gone. Turns out the only thing he wanted, Brooke Photography couldn't give him, he wanted me. Just me, not a car, not a vacation, he wanted me.
Success is hard to measure when you have it, it's only when you lose that you really realize how much sucess you had. Success is not how many bookings you have, how much money you make, success is having relationships. I must be getting ready to go on my period or something because I was in tears today because I felt lonely, and friendless. Doesn't matter how much you have, if you have no one in your life to share it with, what good is it in the first place? I don't put as much effort into my relationships as I should. I have people willing to put the effort into me but I don't put it into them. I think sometimes if I'd stop making business goals and put that much effort into my personal life that I'd have a much more rewarding life.
Last month I said, i'm only taking on so many more weddings. Success isn't how many weddings you do, success is being able to watch your toddler play T-ball on Saturday at the park. I've missed 3 years of his life, I don't want to miss the next 15. This may sound contradictory to all my other posts about workaholism and putting everything you have into what you do, that's fine and good. But learn from my mistakes don't let it ruin your marriage, your relationships, they are more important than this. Success to me is being able to do the things I want to do with the people I love when I want to do them. Once you can do that, you have success.
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August 04, 2011
The past few months have been just a rollercoaster of emotion for me because so much of my happiness has depended on whether I was getting noticed and paid. I haven't even booked a single paying wedding yet, and the one I shot in June to add to my portfolio resulted in no sales whatsoever. Portrait bookings are few and far between, yet I've invested so much money (for us, since we're ostensibly poor) and have received little results.
I feel a burden to provide at least SOMETHING monetarily to my family: I stay at home with my toddler, I go to school full-time online and maintain a 4.0 gpa, but it all seems so hollow because I'm not succeeding as a professional photographer.
So, what is success? Should I just be happy that I'm making ANY money with photography?