Starting over again held me back for a long time from taking the plunge into launching my new brand, By Shelly. But once I let courage propel me rather than let fear hold me back, I could begin to visualize what this brand would look like.
Photography from the beginning of my career was a passion project in itself. I definitely used photography to create projects, but exploring the possibilities of the art form was half the fun. After 8 years in the industry I’ve been able to find a focus in a saturated field in which I could move so many different directions.
My next steps would be creating a culture that people weren’t “paid to be there” (although of course I’d be paying my employees), but people wanted to work there, and we’d all look up at 7 o clock and realize we should probably go home for some rest. I dreamed of a team that wouldn’t want to leave as much as I never want to stop working.
I dreamed of a company where people came not to bargain price but asked how much something cost with a checkbook ready at hand. Again, not because I’m in business to take peoples money but because my audience has such faith in my brand and my clients have such faith and trust in me they’ll heed my advice and pay whatever price.
I didn’t go into business to make money, although that’s the typical definition of going into business. I went into business because to continue doing what I loved at a full time place, I needed the business to make money, so I could fund the projects I dreamed of and to better serve my clients. This sounds ridiculous because obviously I should be charging for my services but my job isn’t my job it’s my path in life and I wouldn’t walk any other doing any other. Like I said, I can put multiple spins on it and thankfully have been able to pivot the multiple times I’ve needed to, but here and now I’m looking to build deep roots in this world and build a company that I not only serve but that serves me.
As a female entrepreneur I’m not only trying to build a business, I’m trying to build a life. I’m trying to build a family. I’m trying to dig deep roots in this world and to juggle the multitude of responsibilities that I do, is impossible without support. I’m so grateful to my family, friends and network of supporters that have enabled me to take this step in my career and into the world, and I hope to be able to continue to serve you and make you proud in any photography or other ventures I take in this life.
As an entrepreneur, there are some valuable lessons I’ve learned in starting over since the beginning of my career…
Heres some pieces of advice I have for anyone looking to start something, or start anew:
- You’re capable, you just have to start NOW. Perfection is overrated.
- Be your own brand ambassador
- Your story is also the brand story
- Use your voice and your platform
- Get out of any negative thoughts you tell yourself- lead with courage instead of being held back by fear.
- People pleasing leads to no boundaries (and heavy burnout)
- Always ask for more money