Choosing to start a business when I was 20 years old seemed like such a big dream. It didn’t start out big. It started out as a thought…Maybe I could do this. I remember looking at wedding blogs, before Pinterest existed, and devouring the images in front of me. Taking mental notes. What sort of images felt like me. Because the only way I would be good at my job, is to create images that made my heart want to burst.
Failing was never an option.
Not because everyone around me had such high standards. Or because I was worried about disappointing anyone. But because my tribe of people has never allowed me to doubt myself for more than 10 seconds. My tribe is my family & my friends. Those close to me that know me best.
There is a common statistic that reads that 60% of “professional photographers” will fail within the 1st year of starting a business. After that 25% will fail in the 2nd year. Meaning my dream was one with an 85% turnover rate. Less than 1 out of every 4 photography businesses wouldn’t make it to year 3.
I recently published a blog about “The Birthplace of My Insecurity”. In which it felt like I ripped open my heart and showed everyone a piece that had not ever been in the light. It was SO freeing. But in that post, I didn’t give you another side to the story.
I might have felt insecure in some areas. Being awkward, or tall, or having bad hair.
But one thing I never felt…Was stupid.
I’m not trying to be prideful or anything like that. I wasn’t the valedictorian, and I didn’t graduate with a 4.0. But I had parents who constantly validated my intelligence. They told me that I was smart. That my opinions mattered. They actually ASKED my opinion when they had a big decision. Hearing my thoughts as though I had wisdom.
Honestly, THAT is something I think about all the time. The fact that my parents…Older, wiser, smarter asked ME, even when I was 15, what I would do in a situation. It made me feel important. Like part of the team. And it consistently validated to me that I had what it takes.
My parents always remind me that I know how to hustle. And that hard work always pays off.
I watched them. Always giving, always hosting, always loving. My dad owns his own business and my mom has worked in sales and at public schools for my entire life. These people know how to work hard. They know how to get things done. These people showed up for every piano recital, volleyball game, sports banquet, parent teacher conference. How they did it, I don’t even know.
But I do know how I did it. I did it because I didn’t have to do it alone.
I think it’s really hard to doubt your ability when the people who know you best tell you that you are capable.
It’s really hard to be discouraged about my business, when my tribe consistently encourages me. Not only with words, but by sharing my posts, referring their friends and colleagues, and by stopping by with lattes during my editing marathons.
I honestly didn’t ever think that my business would grow to where it is now. But my mom & dad did. And so did my husband, and my best friends. They never doubted for a minute that I would chase my dream hard and fast. And so reading those statistics, I am amazed. I am amazed that 5 years later, I am one of the 15% who made it.
But you know who’s not surprised? My family. Kyle. My besties. They just keep telling me to dream bigger, hustle harder. Because they think I am capable.
And because of that…I’m starting to believe it as well.