We’ve ALL been in valleys at one time or another. They stink and no one likes them. This post has been on my heart even the last couple years, because it is in those times I’ve learned the most important lessons on life and my business! I wanted to share a few with you!!
- Life isn’t as glamorous as it looks on social media. We hide behind our screens and our perfectly laid out Instagram feeds! I know that because I do it too! It’s easy to make our life look perfect on social media, yet we don’t cease to compare ourselves to what others are posting. This leads to discouragement and frustration when we’re in a valley! Studies show we only show 10% of our actual life through social media, and that 10% is most likely the pinnacle of how great our lives are, and the other 90% hidden behind it!
- Reminding yourself of your purpose with your business is vital! I remember sitting and questioning what I was doing. If I measured my business growth strictly by my income, would that really be fulfilling? To be honest, I knew it wouldn’t! But instead, creating a purpose of truly investing in couples about to make the biggest commitment of their lives, and giving them life long memories and an experience while being a light for Christ did give me the feeling of success! But to really understand my purpose, it took a valley!
- Understand what you can take. I have the hardest time saying no. And during that low season, I was absolutely drained. In fact, over-booking can often lead to a low season! It’s humbling saying no, but also putting your clients first and scheduling them at a time when you know you will physically and mentally be able to give them the best experience possible (even if that means they find a different photographer who can meet their schedule better) is ok. I promise! I’ve had unhappy clients, and it was mostly due to me over-booking myself and not being able to serve them the best I could! It was hard and yes I did cry (shocking right?? ;)) but a good lesson learned!
- In a season of change, heartache, or lows, still put others first. If you’ve been hired for a job, the stress of your day shouldn’t alter your client’s experience working with you! They should receive the same treatment and energy as your clients do when you’re having the best day ever! But this also helps me shift my focus away from myself and to others. It’s so encouraging. Yes, there was a season a few years ago I’d go to a session crying on the way, dry my tears, and break down again when I got back in my car on the way home. Yes, I shot a wedding right after a dating relationship ended the night before. It was hard, and I was hurting. But my clients trusted me and hired me for their photos, and I needed to give them the best I could! I’ve found that focusing on and encouraging others (whether clients, friends, or random strangers you run into) brings back the same encouragement!
If you’re in a valley now, I’m so sorry! It hurts! But valleys don’t go on forever, even if yours feels like a canyon. Keep pushing, keep encouraging, stop comparing, and keep learning. I’m cheering you on!! I was hurting and felt like I couldn’t do it, and now I look back at those times with thanks for the invaluable lessons I’ve learned in the lows!
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.