This week I am feeling grateful.
Sometimes it is so easy to look at what is missing in your life or what other people are doing and to get caught up in wishing you had more money, more time or whatever it may be. Occasionally, you have to remember to stop and smell the roses...
Running your own business isn't what I expected - mine started as a pure hobby...then I realised maybe I could do something I love and get paid for it!! Easy.
Wrong. I soon discovered that I had so much to learn if it was going to be a success. About finances, how to work a Mac (I'm still struggling with that one), how to make your business visible so that people know you exist, what products to offer, how much to charge for them? How do you build a website? What's SEO? The list is endless and resulted in hours spent on youtube, reading countless books, asking for help in forums and getting out there and networking (scary!). I still have a lot to learn but what I have is a little business that I am so incredibly proud of that I could burst.
If anybody had asked me to work a weekend when I worked 9-5 I would have had palpitations and expected to be paid oodles of overtime... now, most of my work takes place on a Saturday and Sunday and I've never moaned about it. Ever. The pay-off for being available when my clients are is that I get to see my son in the nativity play, I get to spend the day on the sofa with Ellie when she's ill and I can take as much time off as I like during the school holidays - I can also go back to work when I like because I've had enough of the school holidays!
Another upside of my job is that I always have gorgeous photos of my kids! Sometimes I will book a session with another photographer so that I get to appear in the odd photo but this week for instance, I'm hoping for a snow day on Friday because I have an admin day booked in and I'd much rather spend it playing with my children in the snow (and taking their photos...shhh...don't tell them or they won't play ball).
I get to do my hobby ALL of the time. So that thing that I used to do in every spare minute that I could grab that was "me time" is now the thing that I get to do whenever I want. If I fancy it, I can take myself off for walk with my camera and call it WORK.
I get to spend time with genuinely happy people - the Photoshoot itself is great fun - for me as well as my clients and quite often we have a really good laugh. Families that book a session with me do so because they are in a good place and want to have their memories of that time recorded.
I get to be outdoors - this is my happy place. When I'm feeling down, I get my boots on and go for a really long walk, it instantly lifts my mood. If you haven't already realised I love nature. Being able to work in our wonderful borough of Charnwood makes me feel very lucky indeed.
I hope that this post doesn't come across as being smug, because I am not, at all. I'm hoping that it will show that through determination and hard work anybody can have a job that makes their heart sing. You just have to want it badly enough. Follow your dreams, stop making excuses and start doing the thing that you love, Julie.x
Do you want to know what my lovely and talented friend Emily loves about her work? She is a cake smash photographer in Preston, Lancashire. Want to know what a cake smash is? Well then head over to her latest blog - the answers are all there!
Julie is an outdoor Children's and Family Portrait Photographer based in Loughborough, Leicestershire. She specialises in the Charnwood area but will happily travel to most places in the East Midlands. She only has a couple of sessions remaining during the spring - please contact her if you are interested in booking one. You can see more of Julie's work on her website.