Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Measure of Success

This last Tuesday evening, I had the privilege of attending a business seminar called theFIX, put on by wedding photographer Jasmine Star.  I discovered Jasmine's work a little over a year ago, and let me tell you, this girl's savvy approach to the wedding photography industry is something I greatly admire... not to mention, her photos are gorgeous. 

When I saw that Jasmine was giving a seminar here in L.A., I jumped at the chance to learn a little something from a woman who launched an internationally acclaimed business in a matter of years.
The goal of the seminar was for photographers to be able to identify weaknesses in their business and to provide helpful tips on how to keep moving forward.  When I got home from the seminar Tuesday night, Andrew asked me how it went.  "Good," I replied, "but I need to do a lot of thinking."
And think I did (and think, and think, and think).  I've been mulling over the points that Jasmine presented, and there are a few points she made that impacted me the most.

The first was that I need to "embrace the struggle."  Starting my own business and pursuing this crazy dream is going to be difficult... and I'm only at the beginning.  So when I'm in the middle of those moments when everything in me wants to walk away and say, "I can't do this. It's too hard," I need to stop myself and say, "don't quit. Keep running forward, and don't look back."  I need to remember that struggle brings about change, and change is a GOOD thing.  Jasmine also pointed out that everyone in this business struggles (especially at first), and that I'm not alone in this.  Misery loves company, right? :)

The second point that Jasmine made, which prompted me to think the most, was that in order to go anywhere as a photographer, I need to stop trying to be anyone else, and just be me.  This lead me to evaluate something about myself: how do I measure my success?  Do I base success on my own personal goals? Or do I base it on what I think success "should" look like?  It hit me quite suddenly, that it was the latter.  

With that revelation, I sat down to think through what that meant, and how my mindset needs to change. I realized that I can't base my success as a business woman on other photographers' achievements or goals.   I have to take a good hard look at the direction I want MY business to go, and know that it's ok if the way I want things to run looks different from everyone else.  I need to be able to set my own personal goals and decide what I'd like to accomplish to be able to determine what success in my business looks like to me.  Finally, and (I think) mostly importantly, I realized that personal success and business success are two very different things.  Struggling and overcoming matters of the heart and becoming the best wife, friend, sister, daughter, child of God I can be, will make me successful, whether or not my business flourishes or fails. 

There are many more ideas still swirling around in my noggin, but I'm content having written about these two for now.  I'm so excited to see what happens and love every minute of learning the whole process.

I'm so so glad I was able to attend theFIX, and I'm really looking forward to her FREE Creative Live photography course in April (check it out here, if you are interested:

Also, and I'll openly admit it, meeting Jasmine Star was the highlight of the evening.  I got way more excited about meeting her than I would about any person in Hollywood, 'cause well, she's awesome.  I even got a little starstruck and got all rambly when I said hi.  Ugh!  Oh well... it was worth it :)


dariusportela March 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM  

You go Amber! Being an entrepreneur is hard work but that is also why it can be so rewarding! I'm glad you had the opportunity to focus in on your goals!

Jasmine March 23, 2012 at 2:41 PM  

It was SO nice meeting you...thanks for being so lovely and I can't wait for our paths to cross again soon! :)

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