Walking in, I was wearing sweatpants…
I really wasn’t sure if I was breaking a rule like on Mean Girls or not, but I did it anyways.
I wear sweats
a lot everyday without a care. However, on the day of the bridal show I was worried about every little thing I did… even what I wore the set up time.
Why? Well, I was viewing this as a challenge to have to be perceived as one of the best.
It was a race that I didn’t really want to be in anymore, but I thought it would be necessary for this type of thing. Naturally, going into it I was worried. The months leading up to this, I developed such a love for the community aspect of business. I had stopped fighting with myself about feeling like I needed to be a popular photographer and started being a photographer who just loves on her clients.
I wondered to myself if, when leaving the bridal show, I would still feel that way? Or would I feel defeated and like I couldn’t compare all over again?
As we walked in, I noted to my self that one vendor seemed to be building a house inside their booth (it was an AMAZING booth and they rock!). I quickly made my way to our booth and began setting up. As I slowly met different vendors I began to feel at ease. People were warm, welcoming and just plain nice.. I was instantly relieved and was so thankful I felt like I could be myself. For example, I was happy that I could
eat lunch quickly stuff my face (with no judgment) on the floor between set-up time and SHOWTIME haha!
The revolution of how awesome community can truly be hit me again during the show, as I met about 12 brides getting married in October 2017.. I quickly realized that even if I booked one or two each weekend there are still more who need photographers..
This bridal show was packed, but it still wasn’t even the full sample of all the couples getting married this year in our area. On top of that Catawba, Burke, and our surrounding counties all have so many amazing venues/churches that are booked overlapping days! When I switched to the abundance mindset and viewed it from that perspective it made this business seem not so scary, crazy, or draining.
Owning a photography business is hard work, but I learned that it was not something that should continuously leave me defeated.
It’s the same even with high school seniors! Between the private, public, and homeschoolers in our area there are SO many awesome young men and women to work with, and even if I photographed one each day for a year I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the students needing photographs in our area.
Participating in the bridal show really showed me that there can be room at the table for everyone, even locally. When I realized I didn’t have to view it as a place to compare myself to others or compete, and I started viewing it as a place to thrive WITH others, I had so much more fun. Not just with vendors outside my field, but the ones within it too.
There were years where my business was run out of fear– fear of not succeeding, fear of not being the best, etc. Those were hard years to get through, but it was because of myself… I was my own biggest obstacle during that time.
But this year has been a crazy, amazing journey. Just letting go of the negative and letting God handle it, while being happy, has been much better for my soul. The fact that I’m more content with what I achieve means that my business has become much easier to run!
Want my advice for a better business (past just working very hard)?
Do a bridal/craft/vendor show, go to a meet-up with creatives, get and give referrals for those in your field and be your best self. Your business has a much greater chance of thriving that way. It’s when we worry, doubt and compare that we lose business, and that is no one’s fault, but our own. ❤