I truly have so much gratitude for the inspiring clients I have attracted and connected with over the past twelve months. During the holiday period I like to spend my time reflecting on what I have learnt and planning my vision of where I am going. As my clients are usually start-ups or small to medium sized businesses I develop a relationship with the owners and share ideas on how to nourish and help each other grow and succeed on our paths.
So I wanted to share with you what I have learnt from my journey and how it has shaped my path into the future.
1. Set goals and write them down
January last year I wrote down 10 goals, 5 business and 5 personal, the personal ones were tricky as I'm obsessed with what I do. One of them was to be published in Renegade Collective Magazine, literally the next day I was on the phone to a Madeline Dore founder of Extraordinary Routines who offered me the opportunity to photograph Lisa Messenger for her blog. Two weeks later there I was, the next month I was their shooting their office for Fairfax and a month after that shooting one of their events which had my images published on a double page spread. This year I'll aim for a front cover! It shows how having it written down creates a visual image and attracts what you want.
2. Create a morning ritual
This was a hard one to stick to but the first 6 months of 2015 I decided to join the "5am club" - for me this was waking up at 5am and achieving 3 goals before 7am when my daughter wakes up. It was the best feeling in the world knowing I had ticked those boxes and could enjoy quality time with her in the morning before taking her to kinder. This year I've decided to not put so much pressure on myself and wake up before 7am and have a minimum 30 minutes of personal connection time 10 minutes yoga, 10 minutes meditation or shavasana, 10 minutes journaling. This wakes up and stretches my body, re-connects me spiritually sets a good intention for the day. I have created a spotify playlist for this session with three 10-minute songs if you want to join in.
3. Check Emails only twice a day (at least try)
This I learnt from Tim Ferriss' - The 4 hour work week, check your emails at 10am and 4pm and turn off your notifications. I know it is tricky as a business owner as new opportunities are popping in your inbox all day. The benefit is you will be able to stay more focussed and get bigger chunks of dedicated work done without chopping and changing your train of thought.
4. Let go of guilt
When you're pushing against the grain and feel like you're just not getting anywhere allow yourself time out. Last year was one of the most turbulent of my adult life and learnt to release guilt if I was feeling tired or un-inspired and allowing myself to have 30-minute power naps, or go to the gym in the middle of the day to burn off frustration or get re-inspired. The quality of work I achieved after allowing the break was 3 times more constructive than before.
5. Have an accountability Partner
I met another entrepreneur Greg Mikkelssen founder of 3Mandarins at The Entourage. His company connects and markets Australian businesses to a Chinese market through translation and marketing strategies. We come from completely different industries but the benefit of this was having an outsider's perspective. We committed to a 1-hour phone meeting a week where we would discuss three things we planned to do "on" our businesses each week and gave eachother feedback.
We spend so much time working within our own businesses that you can't expect to grow unless the leader is growing with it. Which brings me to the next quote.
6. A business never outgrows it's owner (Jack Delosa)
Jack has taught me a lot in the past 12 months. He has been a kind of an oracle on a business, personal and spiritual level. This is one of my favourite quotes of his as it made me realise the blockages that were holding me back and therefore holding my business back from growing. The other quote is
"stand on the shoulders of those who came before us"
learn from the greats who have been there before and reverse engineer their story.
7. Begin with the end in mind
I've heard this before but it really clicked when reading "7 Habits of highly effective people" by Stephen Covey. I now apply it to everything I do, I have always had a clear vision of the end product when designing photoshoots but now I think of it for everything. Time is precious and you want to utilise this commodity to be on the path to where you want to go. I'm in the process of selling the first business I started 6 years ago, Pretty Little Things, and investing into a new business venture, but the first things I'm putting forward is what is the end game for this and putting a time frame and clear goal for it.
I'm not talking about some crazy juice fast or raw food diet, but a detox of life - the clearing away of material objects, activities and people that no longer serve your purpose or vision. My life got so built up with clutter and emotional baggage that I personally suffered which in turn my business and the people around me suffered. I wasn't myself and began having mental health issues. As I started to work out what was no longer serving me or a part of where I wanted to be I decided to clear it off my plate. This has allowed space in my life for renewed energy, people and incredible opportunities that I had never dreamed of. I now live a minimalist life that allows for clear headspace and abundance.
9. Find your tribe
Early last year my business advisor asked, "who is your ideal client?" and to be honest I had no idea. So I spent a lot of time thinking about this and asked who were the clients I had worked with previously that I enjoyed the most? It then became clear - I love entrepreneurs! It is literally an explosion of ideas and conversation whenever I meet someone living on their path and purpose. We all want to share knowledge stories and successes and love nothing more than to see each other succeed at what we are doing. The photography industry is unnecessarily competitive. Photographers are even too afraid to share how much they charge so there is hardly a benchmark to strengthen the industry. Entrepreneurs on the other hand, want to uplift each other and see each other succeed and grow.
10. Never stop learning
A big step I took last year was to join the Entourage the largest community of entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers. The infinite amount of knowledge and the community I gained from there was priceless.
On a Saturday night where most people would be watching the latest blockbuster movie I would be watching photography tutorials, which is why I love what I do - it challenges me everyday, and I grow and learn so much from overcoming these challenges.
I truly believe that the more you learn, the more you and your business can grow which brings me to my final favourite quote
"The day you stop learning is the day you stop living"
- Albert Einstein.