Destination Wedding Photography

Heirlooms and Lace


January 17, 2020

2019 A Year of Reflection

Whew 2019… the best definition… hustled TOO hard. This is a personal post I am simply labeling 2019, A Year of Reflection.

2019 brought one of the most successful years for my business. Something I will look upon with so much gratitude. More gratitude than words to paper will ever express. Each year more people pick up the passion of photography, so I know the true honor it is to be chosen to capture wedding days and families. I know how important your time, your investment and your memories are to you. 

What it also brought was turmoil in my family, turmoil in my friendships and mental exhaustion for me personally. I said yes to WAY too many thing, while also saying no to my entire family and friends. So how did I end up here? I found a mentor at the time who motivated me… honestly they sorta scared me. It motivated me, re-energized my passion for growing my business and forced me to take more chances instead of being scared all the time. Hustle though, we’ll it isn’t always so great.

In the photography industry, in the last couple years, there has been a heavy push towards this idea that we all need to make six figures. I’m not entirely sure where the notion came from, how it evolved or how it still exists after. Especially after the struggle to survive a pandemic, when all I prayed for was another year of staying open. Yet there is still, a push to meet the mark. So much so that there are coaches in our industry that won’t work with you if you haven’t made six figures. There are groups you can’t be a part of if you don’t make six figures.

It has taken three years to not beat myself up, to not feel like a failure or define my success. My own individual success and business success is not defined by a six digit number. I’m not saying making six figures in your business is a bad thing! It can be a great thing for many people. However the notion that in order to be successful you have to make six figures is bologna. It’s total crap.

What people fail to remember, especially when running a small business, is that we all individually have our own goals. The things we have on our dreams/goals list, that we have always set as the bar for what we wanna reach, where we wanna go, and who we want to be. Is this Bar for some people a number? Sure! Absolutely! There’s nothing wrong with setting a goal that is financially driven. The question you have to ask yourself is it feasible and attainable?

For me it was looking at where do I want to be in a couple years this is the question that I constantly ask myself now when looking towards the future for my business not who I want to be right now, but who do I want to be in two years, in five years, in 10 years. Beyond that I am also asking myself where do I want my business to be in two years, five years and in 10 years? Then the next question I ask myself is how can I make it happen?

Beyond all that, I also look at the state of my business. I look at past reports for bookings, past reports for where are leads coming from, how often am I getting leads, what is working what isn’t. Beyond that though I’m also evaluating what my profit margins are what my loss statements look like and where all of my spending is going throughout a year. For me it’s a combination of all of these things and what I want for my business in the future where I want to be, what clients I wanna be working with, what types of venues I want to be shooting at, but also what do I want for myself. And based on the answers to these questions that I ask myself is where I had to find what my goals are.

The biggest goal I had for the year, was to get published in a national magazine & I got word this is coming to fruition! I can’t share the news yet, but it will happen in 2020! It was the only goal that I had that really truly for me was something that I always had wanted to reach! Beyond what I had my regular goals!

Those included:

Launching a new website
Rebranding my business
Book 20 weddings
Book 75 family sessions
Have successful mini session dates
Win best of weddings with the knot
Start building an email marketing strategy 

Those were my goals and this is where I ended up at the end of 2019:

Hired a website designer 
Hired a branding expert
Book 25 weddings
Book + photographed 100 sessions
Sold out mini sessions
Won best of the knot and became a Knot Hall of Fame
Started using Flodesk + designed my first newsletter for clients
I joined a mastermind that starts at the beginning of the year
Started evaluating what courses I want to design and build
Attended a workshop
Attended a conference
Apply to speak at a conference

The Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame badge that Heirlooms and Lace Studios Earned in 2019!

So here I am at the end of 2019, really if I’m being honest it’s January 17, 2020. I’m mapping out the year going back to the drawing board and reevaluating what I want for my business. While reminding myself that my success in business is defined by many facets! As well as opportunities that will arise throughout the year if I allow myself the time to say yes to the things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. 

It’s been fun to look back at 2019 A Year of reflection & be excited, maybe even nervous, to see where 2020 leads me!

It will be so exciting to see where I’m at when this year comes to a close. What adventures I’ll get to go on!


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