Owning your own business can be very mentally and physically draining. It requires so much motivation and attention on a daily basis with little-to-no money during the beginning stages.
Every day, I leave my house by 9:30 am, walk down to my favorite coffee shop, order a small black coffee (the budget beverage), sit and work. I sit in the same spot until 5:30 pm, researching ways to optimize my Instagram, Pinterest, and website; apply to freelance blogging positions; and reach out to retail brands for collabs or freelance positions. It’s exhausting and exciting… but mostly exhausting. A lot of days I will spend questioning my own creative abilities, my mental state and lots of tears. I question God a lot too, wondering why it’s taking so long to see consistent results.
But yesterday, my fiance Patrick and I went on a long walk. I opened up to him more about how I feel about starting my own business, wondering if this actually wasn’t God’s plan for me at all and I just chose to ignore Him. But Patrick gave me some great advice (as he always does) that is still resonating with me. He said, “maybe God is shaping you into who you need to be. Maybe there is something He needs you to work on for yourself before you see great success in your business.” Maybe I need to shed some more tears, push myself till my fingers are numb, and understand what real struggle in a business is before I can grow. Patrick was right, of course, and I have a good idea of what God needs me to do. He needs me to be patient and learn to wait instead of seeking instant praise and success. But that is not who I am. Patience is not in my vocabulary. What does that word even mean?!
When I started Ulivo Design, I knew I wouldn’t see consistent success immediately, but I think a tiny part of me hoped it would happen sooner than later. And when it didn’t work out in my favor, I became extremely discouraged. The challenge with being a millennial and living in a social media-crazed world is that instant satisfaction is all we seek. Our patience level has significantly decreased and we seek satisfaction through quick scrolling. Or we judge our successes based off of others we see on social media. I do this constantly. I constantly judge my success and creativity as a photographer based on “more popular” feeds. It is a hard thing to stop doing, but I’ve recently learned to take my favorite things about these successful photographers and bloggers and use them as inspiration. Some of the photographers that I have been extremely inspired by are @civitatestres, @majas.foto, @jessicakobeissi, @rachelgulotta, @d.ludolf, @erik.trent & @blackprints.
So here I am, writing this blog post in my favorite coffee shop when I flip back to my Gmail tab and see a new email. Someone needs photography for their business. Now, maybe this is a test? Maybe it’s not? I know to not get my hopes up, but instead, take this as a sign. This is a sign that I’ve made the right decision, and as challenging as it is, it is what I need for myself to grow as an individual. To improve my patience, grow in self-confidence, stick with it and persevere. I don’t give up on things because they’re hard and I surely don’t plan on doing it now.
In the few months since I’ve started my own business, I have grown a great deal, even though it doesn’t really feel like it. But looking back on the accomplishments I have made puts it all into perspective for me. For right now, this is what I need to be doing for myself. To strengthen myself both personally and professionally so that I can grow into a hard-working 20 something individual destined to live up to her full potential.
The thing that keeps me most focused right now is my future goals. They help me continue to push myself and go the extra mile to stand out in this crazy self-employment business.
If you’re going through something similar, I would love to chat with you about it and how you stress-detox. What do you do to calm your mind and focus on the future? Let me know!