Updated: May 29, 2019
Have you ever spent a lot of time looking for something, and it ended up being right in front of you the entire time? That's kind of what has happened with my career path. I've always had a "job", but before I started my own business, that's exactly what it was - a job. It wasn't something I loved, nor was it ever something that allowed me to have the freedom I have now. I never had that "ignited by passion feeling".
I went to work, came home and wiped the slate clean each night. If you're anything like me, wiping the slate clean each night isn't actually a good feeling. I like to problem solve, enhance, and continue my work all throughout the day. When I find a solution to something I've been pondering, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, which in turn, drives me to start figuring something else out. I felt stagnant in my "jobs" for over 6 years before I decided it was time to make a change. Was it really possible to turn the things I loved into work - into a career?
When I first started my business, I was up every morning at 6am (yes, even on weekends), planning, organizing, problem solving, doing outreach and figuring out how to really monetize what I wanted to do. I ate about 1 meal a day and would work until 2 or 3 in the morning most nights. To be clear, when I started working this many hours, it felt like I was still working an "8-hour-day", but I had SO much I wanted to do in such a short amount of time that it really all started to come naturally. I was excited to wake up at 6am and I dreaded falling asleep because my brain was still going 2937 miles per hour with new ideas and ways to be better.
Over time, my marketing company has kind of morphed into what it is now. It has changed with the demand of the market, like a good business should. I was doing social media for clients when influencers started reaching out for free meals or free hotel stays, etc. and I thought to myself,
"wait, these people are making money traveling and are also getting free meals and hotel stays? they're creating content for brands, essentially as independent contractors and they never have to fully commit to any one brand for longer than it takes to complete their deliverables?? I WANT IN!"
I was spending all of my time creating content for brands under their brand's name and publishing this content to their audience (that I'd grown from scratch) and generating business and revenue for THEM, all while my monthly income remained the same. Why wasn't I working on my OWN brand?
I sat down with James and had a long, serious talk about influencer marketing and what he thought about me dipping my toes in (this is a HUGE topic, which I'll be touching on later this month) and we decided it was the right move to start investing our talents into ourselves. Growing up, I was obsessed with paper scrapbooks. Most weekends, I'd beg my mom to take me to Michael's so I could buy paper, stickers, gel pens, etc. and I'd go pick up my film prints from CVS and spend my weekend physically cutting, pasting and writing captions for my photos.
Since my business has morphed into what it is now (creating content for brands on a one-off basis + posting to my own feed and integrating what I was already doing into the world of influencer marketing), I haven't taken on any new clients through Blackfox Creative. I kept a select few that were very important to me and have been able to shift my focus during my "free time" to revolve around my own personal scrapbook.
Everyone seems to have some sort of negative opinion about influencers (again, I'll be touching on this later this month), but I've decided not to care what they think. Doing what I've been doing since last August has given me the ability to work with brands I never would have imagined being possible (like idk, literally my favorite brand @scotch_official). From a photography and content stance, this is exactly what I've been looking for. I just wasn't allowing myself to SEE it because I had blinders on and I didn't want to be clumped in with all the other "influencers".
Doing what I do now, is exactly what I need to be doing. It allows me to work on 15 different projects each month at a very fast pace, while being creative, professional and inspiring confidence to go after MORE.
If nothing else, I hope this can serve as a friendly #MondayMotivation reminder that you should all be going after the things that make you happiest - the things that best serve YOU. xx