December 4, 2019
I am happy and just so blessed for the opportunity that I had yesterday, but so sad that it is over. I met and connected with so many wonderful new faces, and it was just so good for my soul. For those of you who do not know, I have been a part of the Katelyn James Business Journey over the last year. Yesterday was our final module, IN PERSON at Main Street Station in Richmond, VA. I traveled there with my sweet friend Kaitlyn Blake of Kaitlyn Blake Photography. Our trip there and back was an experience in itself and I am so grateful for her company. This course has gone over everything from Blogging, Pricing, Networking, Office Organization and Systems, Technical Branding, Finance, Foundations of Business, Outsourcing, Social Media, Marketing and so much more. Aside from the modules, Katelyn would do live Q & A’s with us. About halfway through this course, we learned that we would be moving to Florida in 2020. Something that we knew was a possibility, but we were naively hopeful that we would be able to remain in North Carolina. While I was so excited for the adventure, I had just got my foot in the door from the Savannah wedding market to the Raleigh wedding market. My mind immediately went on to tell me that I needed to just give up. At the same time, our oldest son was struggling in school and at home, my husband was leaving for weeks at a time without being able to communicate with us and I just felt the weight of the world coming down on me. I made a long and heartfelt post about how I would be no longer taking weddings after the Summer of 2020. I instantly felt relief from what I thought was a really good decision. I stopped watching the modules, I stopped blogging, stopped posting to social media, stopped marketing. I was excited and eager to finish out the rest of my weddings knowing that I could serve them well.
But guess what? The inquiries didn’t stop. I had women contacting me about their engagements and how excited they were to finally be able to have ME shoot their wedding. I could not bring myself to turn them down. This community that I had been working so hard to build that I felt like I was having to let go of, was still there. When you build a business and a community based on intentionality and forming genuine relationships… it is unbreakable. I took a long, hard look at my life and my business and realized that maybe in this next season I could simply slow down, instead of stopping altogether. Finding value in myself, in this business, in the time I was spending with my children, with my family. That was what was missing from my business. God wanted me to simply slow down and be more intentional… not quit. So this is where I am at. Two weeks ago I launched the editing side of my business which was something that I had been holding back on for so long, simply out of fear for failure, and the feedback has been INCREDIBLE!
So much of what Katelyn James spoke about yesterday, opened up a very hurt and scarred part of me from things in my life that have nearly broken me and made me really think hard on what is holding me back from being where I want to be in life, both personally and professionally. It was a hard place to go in my head in a room full of 400 strangers, but I have never felt more freed from my own doubts and fears than I did yesterday.
As a military spouse who has had to up and move my business THREE different times now in the past 5 years, I can relate to the feeling of taking one step forward and two steps back. If we are being honest it feels like 100 steps back. Rooting for my husband and cheering for his success, celebrating his accomplishments and simultaneously having to let go of years’ worth of hard work and dedication from my own success is one of the hardest things. Although, most of his accomplishments are that of a superhero. I have wanted to give up so many times now but because of this course, this community, and Katelyn’s transparency I have been able to dig deep and keep using my passion to pursue something that I never imagined would be real. To push through seasons of doubt that I was for sure the end for my business.
I have invested in education before but never have I felt so much genuine care for other people and their success as I did throughout this course. I had this entire moment of meeting Katelyn planned out in my head and instead, I started sobbing uncontrollably and could barely form the words “Thank You.” I am pretty sure I snotted on her sleeve. My eyes are puffy, but Lord is my heart just so full.