My First Days Being Self-Employed

being-self-employed-hilton-head-photographer

Well folks, I am dusting the cobwebs off this little space of mine (again) and am officially throwing myself back into the ringer that is blogging. Blogging was one of the things that I wanted to focus on in 2015 and it was sadly the very thing that got put on the shelf time and time again with a handful of other things that I never got around to while working a full time job this past year.  

With 2016 being a new year and with a lot of new changes, I thought that I would take today’s post to bring everybody up to speed, including this space, so that we are starting February off on the best note possible!

So let’s play catch up for those that don't happen to follow me on Instagram for just a second. Back in December, I was literally at my whits end. Fall/Winter can generally be a very busy time for photographers and that turned out to be very true for me. You see in the mist of moving and trying to find another full-time job, I was being presented with a lot of opportunities to second shoot, had a handful of exciting portrait sessions lined up, and still had a couple of weddings to finish up on my end. I was saying yes to anything and everything that came my way because I wasn't working another job at the moment and I had the time. 

A couple of weeks ended up passing by and I was given the opportunity to work another full time 9-5 job here on the island. I took it without hesitating and why wouldn't I? I needed the extra income to pay the bills and giving that up wasn't an option so I just thought that I would go back to doing/working both like I had done all year up until our move. 

The problem was that this time around, it was harder. I was now working a job that had me on a stricter time table and somewhere that I couldn't double dip and do my second job of photography during my down times while at the office. This meant that anything photography related was now being done between the hours of 6pm-12am leaving just enough time for some shut eye before I had to be out the door at 7:30am the next day to work another 8.5 hours. 

Now let’s add in all the traveling that had to be done to get to all these photography jobs that I had signed myself up for on the weekends right after the move and you now have a girl that is basically working 80 hours a week. So yah, once the end of December got here (which was about 3 months into working 2 full time jobs),I was tired. 

*Side note: to those that work more than 1 full time job, are moms on top of being business owners, and all the walks of life in between hustling to make it happen, I applaud you in the biggest way! I know that my schedule may not seem all that bad, but to me, it was a lot to take on**

Not to mention that by the end of December, I was already more than half way booked for the 2016 season (which is a huge blessing) but I knew that with a work load that size and all the traveling that would come along with it, I knew something had to give. So right after Christmas, I put in a 3 week notice on a whim and January 22nd was my last day working for somebody else. 

I have officially been self-employed for one week and it is everything from feeling empowering to exciting to freakin’ scary. That self doubt everybody talks about? Yah its real and I have already had talks with myself about not booking enough, not making enough, blah blah blah. But I have also been able to respond to emails during the day, have had time to blog, improve my SEO in spots, design a bridal magazine for my new brides along with a welcome pricing guide that is beyond intricate to up my brand, met with an accountant, spent time with my family, had lunch with a friend, and setup client meetings. ALL IN 7 DAYS! This would have probably taken me weeks upon weeks to do if I was still juggling a 9-5 and it truly amazes me what I have been able to accomplish. 

So as I enter into week 2 of this so called self-employment life, I have high hopes to make it another good one and to start on some projects that I want to accomplish in the coming months. If you are self-employed or are thinking of making the switch yourself, I would love to chat and hear about all your advice, tips/tricks, etc. on how to make this transition as smooth as possible!