You may have noticed in previous posts that I've been doing some work with R+F. But my work with R+F has been more then brand photos. Earlier this year I decided to add R+F to my business model. A lot of things contributed to this decision, but let's take it back...way way back. ;)
My business journey started in 2009 with photography and then again in 2013. In 2013 I was living in Southern California. I had just moved there and I was working a full time job... a job that I felt like was killing me slowly. I knew something needed to change so I took my first leap of faith and quit my full time job. I jumped in head first, opened an Etsy shop, started a lifestyle blog, and figured everything out as I went. (Thank you to everyone who has been with me since the beginning of this journey, you're the best!) Over time I learned that crafting handmade goods wasn't working, the work to income ratio had me barely making it. I decided to try something different and went from making handmade goods to creating digital downloads. Not very long after that I found myself in the same place again, barely making it. What I learned most from that process was that physically crafting items for small business didn't work for me.
Three years down the road and I had tried 2 or 3 different products and services, moved across the country, and still hadn't found my groove. My business journey had been one full of mountains and valleys, plenty of highs and plenty of lows. I knew I would continue to offer photography services, I loved photography, but moving as often as we had and the prospect of moving again, meant building and maintaining a client base was sometimes difficult. I spent a lot of time reflecting... I loved small business, but I had to really determine what about small business I loved. For me, it was about people. Being able to encourage, inspire, and bring other people along on an amazing journey. All of my other business models didn't include what I loved most, working one on one with others to help them achieve their dreams.
This past year, I reevaluated some of my goals. Tyler and I were still working toward paying off our student loans... our six figures of student loans, and I decided to head back to work part time. In the end I just knew I needed to find a business model that was going to play to all of my strengths. That's when I was introduced to R+F (again). Everything that I had learned in my previous 3 years, paired with my current passions; photography, blogging, and people were all coming together. I knew I could add R+F to my business model and still offer photography services, it was a win-win situation.
THE DREAM BECOME BIGGER THEN MY OWN
When I first started my business journey one thing I really loved was being able to encourage and help other's achieve their dreams. With all the business models I created myself, I couldn't physically do that for others. I could speak life, walk with them through their journey, but I couldn't physically help them build a business or bring them into my own business team. With R+F I can do that. I finally felt like I had something tangible that I could give and offer others.
I WAS ALREADY HALF WAY THERE
Adding R+F to my current business model was easy because I was already half way there. The R+F business model is built to function online through social media. Because I was already working with online brands, creating brand photography, and promoting brands across social channels, it just made sense to do the same with R+F
I LEARNED MORE THROUGH R+F LEADERS IN 3 MONTHS THEN I DID IN THREE YEARS
Because R+F is a community business model I felt like I learned more about business and leadership in 3 months then I did in 3 years. A lot of the business concepts I was learning and I heard before, but for the first time everything was clicking, everything was making sense. I could hear from leaders every day about how to grow my business, about leadership techniques, and about the importance of people and relationships. It all clicked.
I COULD CREATE MY OWN BUSINESS CULTURE
Have you ever worked in a place where you didn't feel like you were thriving? Or were things just didn't make sense? Or you didn't feel valued or appreciated? With R+F I could create business culture with my team. This was huge...huge for me, because I learned one of the most important things for me within any work environment is business culture. If I don't feel like I'm thriving within a business culture everything feels wrong. I learned that with R+F I could create a thriving, encouraging, enriching business culture. I felt like if I was missing a positive business culture then there might be others missing the same thing. I knew that everything I did within my team could be about people and I loved that.
PHOTOGRAPHY WOULD STILL BE FUNDAMENTAL TO MY BUSINESS MODEL
I knew that even though I was adding R+F to my business model, that I could still offer photography services. I could continue to work with brands and individuals to create brand and portrait photography. I also loved that I would be able to tell a unique brand story with R+F. I also loved the fact that I could create a brand library for my team.
MOVING NO LONGER THREATENED MY CLIENT BASE
Moving has been very common for me since graduating from college. It was in college that I began my photography journey. In 2009 I started building a client base in Missouri, but then I moved Florida. I started building a client base in Florida, but then I moved back to Missouri. I started building a client base in Missouri (again), but then we moved to California. We lived in California for two and a half years and then we moved to New York. For some, they may be able to build a client base very quickly after a move. But I had to be honest with myself and the truth was that it takes me a good solid year or more to settle into a new town. If I have photography clients that I'm working with online, then I'm good to go. But moving made building a client base in person and in a new town very hard. With R+F, because my business is built online I knew that even if we moved my client base wouldn't be threatened.
JESUS TOLD ME I COULND'T QUIT
Before I joined R+F I was presented with the opportunity to join Young Living. Guys, I really love essential oils and I use essentials oils. But I spent a lot of time praying about it and I felt like Jesus told me to go with R+F. About two months into my R+F journey I thought, "maybe I should have gone with Young Living." In the moment I heard Jesus speak very clearly. He told me I couldn't quit R+F. He told me I had to keep going and that HE would see it though.
When I think back on my experience with R+F I feel like I have learned more about business and so much more about myself, then I ever expected. I know that Jesus has used and will continue to use this experience to shape me, I simply have to hang on and enjoy the ride. Want to learn a little bit about more about joining R+F, hop over here. xoxo. Samantha