It was about a nine months ago that I approached Chris, trying not to let him notice that I was holding back tears. “I can’t do weddings anymore, I have to quit”, I told him in the calmest, sincerest voice possible. I had only three weddings on my calendar last year, two of them being in one weekend. Looking forward at the schedule for year ahead, it looked as though 2014 would be a failure as well. My heart broke into pieces as I told Chris that I would start looking into selling my babies – my precious equipment.
He urged me to wait just a little longer, telling me that he knew this would work out and become what I’ve always hoped for. Hesitant, I agreed to wait until the end of the year to make my decision…”knowing” that 2015 would be the year I threw in the towel.
I promised myself that I would push harder than ever to make this happen; spending weeks and months on new marketing materials, information packets, and ideas on how to offer the most memorable photography service out there. There may have been days which I didn’t sleep, at least not very much. The harder I pushed, the more I believe that I could make this happen. That I wouldn’t have to quit…though I admit I was still terrified of having to still leave it all behind.
Just a few shorts months later, I found myself faced with something that I never thought possible: my schedule was so jammed packed, I actually had a waiting list for people wanting to schedule fall sessions. I remember paging through my planner book and telling clients that my next available opening wasn’t until one month later. I didn’t think too much into it…until I noticed that my 2014 wedding calendar was filling up really quickly. Before I knew it, I had booked a wedding for just about every weekend from the end of April through June. We even had to cut our honeymoon short just to make it back in time for a wedding the next day! Looking at my calendar today, I sit in disbelief. Aside from my busy season this year, my spring/early summer is already 3/4 filled for next year. A part of me just keeps saying that this can’t be real…then Chris reminds me how hard I’ve worked for this.
The most amazing feeling? I haven’t even paid for advertising on any wedding websites. 90% of my calendar is filled by referrals from past clients, who want their friends and family to have a photography experience, just like they had. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to put into words how it feels to run a business based on referrals. Every day I think of how lucky I am to have met these amazing clients, who have decided to become my “walking billboards” (as some have referred themselves as lol).
If you’re starting out with your business and feel like failure is inevitable, think about giving up. Then when the idea of letting it all go makes your heart feels more pain than you’ve ever endured before, keep on going and push harder than you ever had before.