This past couple of years I have seen the word hustle everywhere. Some days I love the idea of hustling and other days it seems like that’s all I do & I am so dang tired of it. I seriously have so many days where I wake up and already have a list in my head of all the things I have to do that day. It is a never-ending list when you own your own business. It was one of those types of days when I came up with the phrase hustle with a purpose.
To those who think business owners get to sleep in, have never-ending time off and make your hours I seriously laugh a little bit. Yes, I try to be as organized as possible, take time off for myself and make my own hours but the reality is if you’re website crashes when you are on your vacation you are going to have to deal with that. If a client writes you with an urgent matter on a day off I am going to assist them as soon as I can. Yes, there are times that it can wait and I do my best to not answer clients who write me after my hours (for example, anytime between 7 pm and midnight) but if things are urgent I always try to put my clients first.
To make a long story short hustling is a part of your job if you are a business owner. The key is to hustle with a purpose and to still maintain balance in your life. So here is to hustling so that we can follow our dreams!
1.Hustle after what you are most passionate about in this life. If you are hustling for something you do not love your business will not make it. Hustling means late hours, resolving client issues, invoicing, accounting, marketing, social media and so much more. If you are not passionate about photography or whatever industry you are in it will most likely wear on you and statistics show you are more likely to quit. To those of you that do not love what you are pursuing, stop pursuing it. It might sound so simple yet so hard to do but seriously go after what you really love to do. Life is way to short to pursue something you do not love.
For those of you that love what you are doing so much so that you started your own business, I applaud you. It is a huge risk to start your own business and boy is it ever hard to run one, but it is such a beautiful thing to be able to do what you love. To you, I say hustle a ton the first couple years of your business so that you can have a solid foundation to build your business on.
2. Live and Breath your business. Yes, you will need to have some balance in your life, but for the first two years of your business, you will be hustling the most so that you can lay down the foundation of your business. I hustled more the first two years of my business so that later on I could hustle less. To make it a bit more clear I spent the first two years working on a website with a designer, curating welcome packets, location guides, preparing many blog posts, working on branding, working on packaging for clients and the list goes on and on. I did all those things so that I could have more time with my family and friends in the years to come.
Now that I have been in business three years I have the bulk of the work done and I only spend about 3 weeks during the winter updating my website, portfolio, and packets for clients instead of about four months. For the first two years, I wrote a to-do list of all that I wanted to accomplish each winter (slower season for photographers) and I spent those four months doing something on my list each and every day. Just because you might not be booking sessions in winter, know there is plenty to do, so use it to update everything. Also, take on creative shoots to try new things, but most importantly keep on blogging for SEO purposes and for potential clients to see you your work even in the winter.
3. Write down every idea you have!! One of my favorite things that I do is to keep a journal with all my ideas for my business in it. Write down every idea that you have. You will be surprised how often that your ideas can be used to market yourself to your ideal clients.
Some of my recent ideas: Team up with wedding vendors to write blog posts aimed towards my ideal bridal clients, Team up with my dad (an amazing accountant) to write a blog post for photographers, plan a styled travel wedding shoot (to promote more destination weddings) and do a weekend giveaway aimed towards my couples who follow me on Instagram (to appeal to my ideal clients who love to travel). The key is to think outside of the box and then go for it! No idea is a bad idea. If you try it once and it fails just move on to your next idea.
4. Worker harder than you ever have before and be okay with failing. You will have to work really hard if you want your business to be successful. You will need to ask questions, try new things, fail a lot and work long hours. I say this not to scare you, but to put into reality what it means to run your own business, especially in the beginning years. All this being said know it is more than okay to fail because it means you are one step closer to finding what works for you.
I have failed a ton of times and every time that I fail I throw myself a little pity party for a couple hours & then I tell myself to get out of that funk and try something new. Eventually, as your business continues, you will make fewer and fewer mistakes as you learn from your past ones. So keep your head up and keep on pursuing what you love! Also, maybe have some chocolate on hand for those days where you need some extra encouragement!
Just to be real with you all here are some of my failures from my first two years of business:
5. Hustle with a purpose! Hustle with the purpose to provide for your family. Hustle with the purpose to remind couples how much they love each other. Hustle with a purpose to give others joy with every photograph you give them. Hustle now so that later you can hire an assistant and spend more time with your family and friends.
If you got this far you deserve some french fries or chocolate (my two favorite treats)! Keep on hustling for a purpose and keep on following after your dreams!