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I STARTED A BUSINESS IN 2020

What it’s like to try to pursue a dream career during a pandemic and what I learned during all of it.



Yes, you read that correctly. I started a business in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. I, like many of the people in the world, told myself at the new year that I was going to start following my dreams and pursue the job that I wanted. So, I decided that I was gonna start my photography business. All bright eyed and bushy tailed, I was ready to work hard and make my passion a reality, and then the whole world shut down and we were faced with the need to survive.

Let me be honest, I kind of felt hopeless, but optimistic that it will all work out. When the nation shut down, I, like many, thought that Coronavirus would be done by summer and I could start. But then, summer was approaching and there was no light at the end of my tunnel. It’s 2021 and we are still in the middle of this pandemic. I felt like my passion was falling into the hands of its own virus and I was struggling to find a cure. My tunnel was getting darker at the end of it.

So I decided to make my own light (in a way). While also being given a tool people wish they could have in the past. I had the amazing gift of time. In a way the world had paused for a second and I took advantage of it.

I got to work on many things at once. I started to reach out to people and asked them to step in front of my camera. I got comfortable with actually calling myself a photographer. That was a big adjustment and reality check all at once. I made goals I wanted to achieve and then made a game plan on how to get there. I looked for Facebook groups to be inspired by many photographers . I applied to styled shoots. I upped my social media game. But, most importantly, I got a support system around me that believed and prayed for my dream as much as I did. I can’t tell you enough, surround yourself with people who are all in, even if they don’t understand. Let me tell you, there were times I wanted to give up, but my support group was the strength I needed and reminded me why I was doing this in the first place. It also helped that they modeled for me a lot during that time.

I'm not going to lie, all of these things were overwhelming at first. So a piece of advice, please manage your time wisely, I had to learn that during this process and I learned it the hard way. I pushed myself and it affected my mental health. I already was having a tough time with my anxiety (a pandemic will do that) but pushing myself made it worse. This is your reminder, you can’t serve others if you don’t serve yourself too. The reason you're doing all of this is so you can enjoy the life you're making. Being busy at work and being effective at work are two completely different things. Taking a break won’t kill your business and I truly believe rest is effective. If anything, when you let your mind rest, the ideas just start flowing (I also recommend having a notebook to write those ideas down). How else do you think I had the idea to start a blog?

I took 2020 as a blessing and re-evaluated my plans. It helped me to see what I wanted out of my business. It also showed me what I wanted in life and what I wanted to give to my clients. Take the time to sit down and see what 2020 taught you. We are so good at setting plans at the beginning of the year. But I want to start writing down what we learned at the end of them.

So this is my way of doing that here. In a way, I want to use this platform as a cheat sheet. I want to give you the answers so you can win too. Let's learn together!



XOXO,

Val


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