Full disclosure before we get the party started with this post: it is going to get real personal real fast. Have you ever had one of those rough weeks where you are hard on yourself... about literally anything and everything? Where you feel intimidated and unworthy and just all around icky about life? I've been in that place recently, and oh my goodness am I feeling refreshed after last night. I am so, so thankful.
Just last night, I had the opportunity to attend The Gathering 2.0 with Hope Taylor and Caroline Logan and goodness, it was a treat. If you know me and you have ever heard me talk about my business, you probably know that I am a little education obsessed. I am continuously taking online courses, I've recently started getting more into workshops & you can bet that I'm stalking my favorite photographer's blogs and education series! Earlier this year I was lucky enough to attend Hope's workshop and later this year, I'm heading to Richmond for Katelyn James' final in person workshop (I am already SO beyond excited!!), and last night I attended The Gathering! SO, as you can see, learning and continuing is a huge part of my business, and it is one of my absolute FAVORITE parts of my business! It is such a joy to continuously learn how to better serve my clients. For those of you wondering if education is a worthwhile investment for your business, I just want to encourage you that YES! Education and continuing to learn is such an amazing thing, regardless of what season you are in.
Last night, I was lucky to attend The Gathering--a workshop experience for young business owners. I signed up a few months ago and had no idea how much I would need it in this season. I'm not going to lie... busy season has been kicking my butt.... in the best possible way, but it has still been a lot! I needed a good refresh, and last night was just that! I left The Gathering with a good 13 full pages of scribbled notes, with lots of hugs, new friends and such a full heart. It is always so inspiring to sit in a room of 100+ young women that are walking through a similar season of life. I can't tell you how many days, when I'm sitting in my 5th floor apartment, at my little desk shoved in corner, next to my (kind of broken) window AC unit, on my 6th straight hour of editing, that I feel like I am going at this hustle alone. Last night really reminded me that I am not alone. I am so thankful to have a brand new community to keep me inspired and accountable.
One of my sweet friends asked me to blog about my takeaways from my experience at The Gathering, and I absolutely LOVED the idea! While everything is fresh in my head, I decided to share 4 of my biggest takeaways from last night. Let's dive in!
Do 50% of Your To-Do List before Opening Your Inbox
This rocked my world! How many days have you had a to-do list a mile long and start your day with your inbox? Suddenly, you're diving into emails and timelines, and your actual to-do list is still left sitting on your desk untouched. Then, you look down and it's almost 2PM and you haven't actually made a dent in anything that you NEEDED to get done that day! Please tell me that I'm not alone here! By tackling some of the practical things you have on your to-do list BEFORE tending to the inbox, you are ensuring that productivity actually happens before getting distracted.
Don't be afraid to talk about your business AND don't call it little!!
This sounds crazy, but admitting that you are a full time or part time business owner, are a wedding photographer, are a boss lady, are chasing your dreams... you get the point... is SCARY. I have found myself time and time again shying away from saying YES this is something that I do and that I love and that I am really proud of. Even last night, after hearing these two talk about speaking about your business in a powerful way, I found myself struggling to admit when Jen Olmstead asked our group of attendees that: YES I am a full time business owner and that I am running a thriving and exciting wedding photography business! I am so glad that I was able to recognize this and that I am now able to prioritize speaking about my business in a way that serves it and my clients well. I also tend to call my business little (What can I say?! I have BIG dreams for the future!!), and I am going to try my hardest to cut that out of my vocabulary!
"When you focus on what you aren't, you forget to be grateful for what you are."
Now... I'm not sure if this is exactly what Caroline said because it is pulled and paraphrased from my notes, but WOW it sure hit home with me. I have been struggling with living inside my head, with comparing myself with others and with feeling icky about who I am NOT right now.... when instead, I should be grateful and focusing on who I AM right now. I literally want to print and frame this quote to look at each day when I wake up because WOW I found it to be so powerful. It sounds a little dramatic, but this simple quote literally shifted my entire perspective on the season that I am in right now, and I am so incredibly grateful for that.
Networking doesn't have to be scary!
Walking into a room of girls all by yourself can be SCARY! I'm newer to networking events and workshops, and as someone who tends to fall on the introverted side of the spectrum, this is super intimidating! I learned last night that networking is actually a lot of fun and that it is SO amazing to hug the people behind the squares that you see on Instagram each day! What a joy it is to have an entire community to support, to be supported by, and to dream and DO alongside.
Bonus: Chipotle Catering is literally the BEST
I knew dinner was going to be good when I saw that Chipotle was on the menu, but WOW if you've never made your own burrito bowl, you're missing out! I can't tell you how exciting it was to control the amount of guac that went on my bowl. Hint: I LOADED up. Chipotle Catering for the WIN.
A special thank you to this amazing crew for pouring so much time and love into this amazing event:
Erika Lynn Photography, Joshua Bryan Cinema, Tonic Site Shop, The Calligraphy Bar, ShowIt, Kiss Books, Honeybook, The Light and Airy Photog, CG Pro Prints, Creative at Heart Conference, BlogStomp, Twila & Co., Fred Monkees, Courtney Inghram, Sugar and Spruce
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