Did you know I launched the Stock Collection in 9 weeks? Is that a long time?... Is that short time?... From deciding I was going to do it, to shooting, to editing, to creating web pages, and pouring my little heart out and praying over it... it took 9 weeks. From this post (February 7), where I announced that I would be launching the Stock Collection to this post (April 6), where I officially launched the Collection.
A few things I want to point out before I dive into the details of my 9 week journey... I have been a photographer for many year. Prior to doing styled stock, I did portraits, and as a lifestyle photographer I worked with a variety of online brands and small businesses, and I already had a website and brand, which I have had for many years as well. Pointing out these details is important because I didn't want you to think that everything, from photography, to my brand, to my website, to my social media and so on, was all created within 9 weeks. Good things grow slow, and while the collection launched in 9 weeks, it's been small steady victories.
I JUST STARTED
It took me a long time to find my sweet spot as a photographer. I spent a lot of years in creative discovering. I think one of the biggest things that hold us back within our creative or business journey is that we simple don't start. We don't stay yes to moving forward, we don't say yet to simply doing something.
When it came to the Stock Collection, I simply said yes. I said, "this is what I'm going to do," and I ran with it. One thing that was a tremendous help was reading Fast Track Photographer. It's ideal in helping you think through your strengths as a photographer and this was a turning point for me. It finally clicked that styled stock was the best fit for me as a photographer and I ran with it.
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I PLAYED TO MY STRENGTHS
Remember how I said I used to be a portrait photographer? Well, I loved shooting portraits, I loved getting together with sweet friends and snapping their portraits, but I wasn't playing to my strengths. While I loved portraits (and still do), they were not always where my strengths where. But, brand and styled stock photography, that is exactly where my strengths where. Everything about styled stock utilized all the things I did well. It was something that just clicked for me. It is something I'm always excited to do, and it's something I always want to be improving. Finding your sweet spot and launching your service, product, or offering around it, is far easier then trying to launch something that is not in your sweet spot.
I SAID NO TO EVERYTHING ELSE
When I said yes to the Stock Collection, I started saying no to everything else. I knew that creating images, editing images, creating new web pages, and everything else that goes with a new launch would take up all my time and any extra time I had. I had to simplify things in my business. Simplifying my business has been so helpful and beneficial in helping me move forward. I no longer struggle with overwhelm (at least not currently, ha!) and I love that I'm able to really care for all my clients and customers.
I WORKED ON SATURDAYS
The life of a small business owner, am I right? Haha! ;) To get the Stock Collection launched when I did I worked on Saturdays. This goes back to needing and taking advantage of all that available time I had. Tyler and I are both project people, so diving into work on a Saturday didn't really bother me. Do I want to work Saturdays for the rest of my life? Of course not. But there is a season for everything and when we're in the thick of growing and building our businesses, we embrace each part of our season.
I LET GO OF PERFECTION
There are so many things we want to do as creatives and small business owners when it comes to launches and sharing our hearts with the world. But it's okay to grow slow and it's okay to share your heart and product exactly as it is. Most of the small businesses we love started out small and modest. I'm sure we would never believe their modest and humble beginnings, but we all have them. As long as we remember those humble beginnings, as long as we hold firm to our roots then we will continue to grow and be our best selves as biz owners?
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Friend, what do you have stirring deep down inside of you? What product or offering are you wanting to share with the world? Say yes to getting started, embrace the pace of your growth, and share it with us! xoxo. Samantha