It's the middle of May. Can you believe it? We're almost half way through the year. I've been thinking a lot about this year, how it started, and my goals. 

2017 has been an amazing year for Elah Tree. I started this year with a clear vision and motivation. But prior to this year, one of the major things that I struggled with in business was direction. I wasn't always sure what kind of products and services I wanted to offer. I had ideas, but it took me until now to really find my sweet spot. It used to bother me that it took me, what seemed like longer then others. But I always find grace in knowing that each of our journeys are so unique. 

As we pass the half way mark for this year, I wanted to share a few things that have really helped me this year and hopefully they will be an encouragement to you. Especially if your feeling overwhelmed and maybe struggling to stay focused... 

Let's take a quick stroll back to the beginning of this year.

One of the first things I did was write down my goals for Elah Tree. The products and services I wanted to offer; styled stock photography and education. I knew that I would create and build the Stock Collection first. I knew it was important for you to get to know me as a photographer and get to know the products. While I worked on creating products for the shop I would also try to squeeze in a few hours each week to work on the e-couse, PhotoStyle (which I'm so excited about!) But what I thought was a great idea of splitting my time, turned into overwhelm. So I made some changes to simplify the business and stay focused. 

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I picked one thing to focus on.

Sounds simple, right? In my case, I started saying no to a lot. I cut out a large chunk of affiliate and sponsorship opportunities that weren't solely specific to styled stock photography and business. The one affiliate I work with all the time is Amazon, because I can link to their products across the board. What I couldn't do was work with multiple sponsors... at least not right now. Understanding each of our individual seasons is so important to this process. If you're able to rock tons of sponsors while building your business, then keep rocking it. :) For me, my focus had to be the shop, not sponsors. Cutting out multiple sponsorship responsibilities, cut out the overwhelm.  Am I staying no to sponsorship opportunities forever? No way, but in this season, my focus is quality products and quality customer care. 

I decided to postpone my e-course.

This was tough, but I knew I wanted to produce quality products, in the shop and in the e-course. In order to do this I had to stay focused. I'm over the moon about this course, but I know I will be able to create better content when I can really focus on it. I'm okay with small steady growth, especially if it means I can create stellar products for your guys.

So, what does this all actually look like in a regular business week?

It means everything I do right now is about the Stock Collection. I do photo sessions, I do editing sessions, I create blog posts, I engage on social media, I updated the website for a better shopping experience, I update the shop, I chat with clients via email, I send out rad stuff to our email list. But all those things have one focus; the stock collection and quality business tips. When I decided to narrow my focus and be okay with not doing everything all the time I felt like I could finally breath again. I stopped trying to do everything and I gave myself permission to get things done when I was able. I used to think if I didn't do everything right away, that I would miss out... or miss my opportunity. I was forgetting who is really in charge of my journey, Jesus. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your business journey? How can I be an encouragement to you? Let's chat! xoxo. Samantha