I’m “settled” in my personal life for the first time in… ever? There was that time in 2009 where I thought I was settled (ha ha ha… oh, Amber. You had no idea.) and I can sense chaos on the horizon because there’s ALWAYS FUCKING SOMETHING that rocks the boat, but now? Right now? I have a good solid home life, and it feels like we’ve been married way longer than we have, in the good way. It just works. And my career is… oooo. Ok. So, after being a wedding photographer for five years, I figured out that it’s ok to press in and harder than “Oh, we’ll see what happens.”
Do other people work this way? When you realise how hard to have to actually work? Or did everyone else already know? And not that I haven’t been trying hard in business, but I haven’t been trying that hard to GET business.
Why? Because my entire life was so tumultuous that I would just take what comes. Because I never knew when a barrier would fly up from my overbearing parents, and I learned to just not have cognitive problem solving processes, because it didn’t matter anyway. Someone was always there to tell me what to do, what to think, and trying to make sense of the world myself was wasted effort.
When I started having business success I tried not to question it, or keep too close of a grip on it. I mean, I’m still there sometimes to my detriment. Doing my taxes last week, I said to my accountant, “Ok, let’s see how much money I made this year!” and she blinked at me and was like, “You mean you haven’t been keeping track?” And I hemmed and hawed, and admitted that I was only gauging it based on how I felt like I was doing, not looking at the hard numbers, and she shook her head, and I was like, “Yes. I know.” We’re going to start doing quarterly taxes now. (BTW, it was almost exactly double of what I made in 2014, and I certainly didn’t feel that, so yeah. Using your gut as an accounting method is bullshit. I know you knew this. I didn’t.)
I’m friends with a lot of wedding professionals. A lot of them are also taking the more relaxed approach, letting their businesses float as they will, and I thought that was fine… but this week it all kind of clicked for me: it’s not. I want a business that will totally support my family. Of course Marley has an income, but my dream is to have the option to have him be a stay-at-home dad if he wants to be… and if not, I want an income that makes sense as a full-time business, not part-time supplemental family income.
I have to press a lot harder, and be better. Raise my prices to a level that demanded I deliver an enormous amount of customer service and talent, in a sea of wonderfully talented vendors who also deliver excellent customer service. I’m black, a woman, living in New York City and I don’t come from shit. I have to be “Twice as Good“.
This is all very exhausting.