As the end of 2018 approaches it is a great time to reflect on the year and make plans for the next.
I made 2018 a year about me. I chose to invest in myself and at times I have had to make selfish decisions and let people down but always with the bigger picture in mind. Sorry if I have not attended social functions and gatherings or have been difficult to get hold of. I know my close friends and family will understand and forgive me for that.
This year, I have worked extremely hard to build our business to the point it is at today. It has not been easy and at many times during the year I have just wanted to give up, feeling it was just too hard to juggle everything. On top of this we have had the added stressed of 2 full time jobs, Lee's health worries, fertility woes and me qualifying to become a Forest School Leader.
There are so many people who have helped me along the way this year and below I have thanked them, although no doubt will have forgotten some because so many people have played an important part in my journey.
At the low times I have been filled with self doubt, worrying that my images/service aren't good enough, or that someone will at any moment call me out as an impostor. I have done things that terrify me - phone calls (I hate talking on the phone and have sometimes taken up to 30 minutes to pluck up the courage to ring people!), networking, 1:1 meetings with other businesses, the fear of asking people to pay for my service and images and I have been heartbroken to have be challenged on the value of what I do. I have been rejected or 'ghosted' by countless businesses that I have tried to make contact with and being a perfectionist I have beaten myself up at many points during the year when I felt that I had failed at something. Why do we do this to ourselves?
At the high moments, I have gained over 30, 5 star reviews from happy clients, I've had tears in my eyes at seeing my photographs enlarged onto large canvases that will be in my clients homes forever (it is emotional seeing your work large and printed!). I can see my progress and feel proud of the work I am producing for my clients and other local photographers are starting to notice my work and complement it which is a great feeling.
So, what is in store for 2019?
It's an exciting one for sure. We are aiming to have our Newborn studio running full time from April. Lee will be taking over during the week and that will free our weekends so that we can actually enjoy time together without working. This year I got the business to a point where one of us can work full time in it and I am so proud of what I have achieved and being a little selfish has paid off. But like I said, there is a massive list of people to thank for their contribution towards these successes so here goes:
Lee Rushby - for being my rock when I have wobbles
Mollie Tomlin - for always stepping in to assist and for all the blankets you wash for me!
Robert Tomlin for just being you and seeing the humour in everything
Zoe and Marcus Davitt - For designing my logo and building my website
Tobias Robins - for showing me the way in business
Diana McCormack - for allowing me to witness your baby whispering magic in studio
Sim Imaging, Nphoto, GraphiStudio For producing amazing products for my clients
Solopress For printing my marketing materials
Emma Ellis - Marketing guru, thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone and helping me realize my brand
Hamish at Lightblue - for training me in client management software
Lorri at Socially Mindful - our journey is new but looking forward to working with you
Becca Poutney - for sharing your wisdom about social media and networking
MyBump2Baby - For publishing my blog
Kathy Shawyer - for the support in our business collaboration and for introducing me to so many other businesses
Ultrasound Diagnostics, Babyprints (Rebecca Wheatley), BusyLizzy, Perfect Balance Clinic, Emily Flax (antenatal classes), The Core Pilates, Laura Hazell (Osteopath), Mum2Mum Markets (Emily Polmeroy) and The Daisy Foundation For your referrals
Mylene McCullough - for signing for all my artwork products when they arrive at 'work'
Russ Jackson - For inspiring me and helping me to take my images to the next level.
The Newborn Prop Shop - For awesome backdrops, perfect in fact!
The Fur Guy @ Mimosa House - We love your flokati rugs and jersey wraps!
Zee at Certax Accounting - for dealing with all things money/tax related (I hate that part)
My family, friends and colleagues - Thank you for telling other people about us and what we do.
My clients - you are the reason I do what I do and thank you to so many of you that have recommended me to people that you know.
So if you are on a journey to start a business or just invest in yourself a little more - I hear you. If it was easy to start a business, everyone would be doing it. And for those that do, the ones that survive are run by the ones that don't give up and that keep getting up again after every fall.
"Make yourself a priority. At the end of the day, you're your longest commitment."