A Year of No.
Every year I sit down and really try to figure out what's serving me, what isn't serving me, and what I can do to change that. Last year was a HUGE year of change for me (new business name + model) and this year has been absolutely amazing. Perseverance really does pay off in the small business world and all the years I've been pushing, hoping things would take off, have finally paid off. This year though I feel another shift coming. I think if you aren't growing and changing as a business + person at all times, you're going to get burnt out OR your business isn't going to thrive. So, every year I sit down and try to figure it all out. I've quickly learned to always go with my gut, even if I don't want to listen to it. I really didn't want to listen to it this time, but it's hard to ignore and I just have to hope it's the right decision. While I absolutely LOVE my work, I'm also becoming exhausted by it all and I'm afraid I'm losing focus of what I'm really wanting to do. I let summer sessions really dominate me this year, only focusing on families because that's what everyone wanted, but in the end I did feel that burn out and that's not how I want to feel. I do this because I love it, I love being my own employer, and I love the sweet souls I get to meet through out the year. In order to continue feeling that though, I'm going to have to learn to say no. So, 2018 is the year of NO.
If you follow me on social media, you probably have already caught onto how I've been feeling lately. I'm tired and I am ready to slow down. I'm ready to be able to step back from my computer more and I am SO ready to be able to disconnect. I stare at a computer screen or phone screen probably 85% of my time and I've been feeling a serious need to walk away for days at a time. I've been fighting that because what business just disappears for days at a time? I'm not a corporation though, I'm not a robot, I'm a real person sitting behind this screen editing day in and out, answer emails obsessively, letting the anxiety of running this business drive me a bit mad. So, for my own sanity I really have to find a way to coexist with Moss and Myrrh Photography. I feel like it's becoming it's own being and I'm ready to let it go a bit. If this is meant to be, I will continue getting the business I need to thrive. I will continue to get the clients that understand and accept that I need to live a slower paced life in every way.
Taking a Break.
In order to do everything said above, I have to take a break from SOMETHING. I have to set boundaries and I have to stick to them. When sitting down to decide what needs to go, births instantly came to mind. I sat on that for weeks hoping I'd have a change of heart or I'd find a way around it. There isn't a way around it though. I absolutely need a break from births, which is heart breaking. I love my birth work. I love documenting a new little life coming into this world. I'm not afraid to say though, I am NOT in love with being on call. I am NOT in love with obsessively checking for texts and phone calls because I'm so afraid of missing a birth. I want to chuck this phone out the window and forget it for weeks at a time, literally. I can't do that though, not being on call. So, I've made the decision to not take anymore births on after my last May births. I have no clue how long this "break" will last. Maybe it'll be forever, maybe it'll last until the end of the year. I have no clue! It's really going to depend on how I'm feeling physically, mentally, and of course, financially. Births are huge source of income for me (I'm transparent, folks), so to walk away from that is also making me insanely anxious. I'm doing my best to modify my life though so I can still live comfortably and become debt free. If it's meant to be, it'll be. I know people hate hearing it, but everything really does happen for a reason, whether we like it or not. If things go horribly wrong, well I'm not on the right path, am I?
There's Always an Exception to the Rule.
Without a doubt though, there will be exceptions, and I just have to learn how to work with them. If any of my repeat clients or clients that I am head over heels in love with become pregnant around the time frame I'm in break mode, PLEASE STILL CONTACT ME. We're hitting a point where I'm documenting baby #2's and I really don't want to miss that. I feel like I have such a connection with my birth families and it would be devastating to not be there for the second babies. While I can't promise I can 100% take you on, I will do everything I can to try and make it work. So, not all is lost. <3
Fresh 48's + Newborns Take Priority.
I am ready to get back to my babies (as you've probably read 50x now). As said above, families ended up dominating my year, and while I do love them, babies will always be priority to me. I'm going to be only offering family sessions to returning clients. So, if we worked together over this year, you're in luck! I'll see how 2018 goes, but this used to be a hard rule for me a couple of years ago and I loved it. I was able to continue building relationships with the same clients and that's what it's really all about for me.
Some of you may already know, but my husband is leaving for a big chunk of 2018. We've made some huge lifestyle changes in 2017 and that leaves a lot of work around our property and the animals we care for (and continue adding). It's a lot of work as just a couple, so I'm pretty anxious about taking it all on by myself. The spring is the craziest time for us with gardening, meat chickens, and just keeping up with the land in general, so it's going to be a bit crazy. If you're catching my drift, I cannot do as much work as I've been doing (in business). I'm hoping to stick to 5 sessions a month. Yes, just 5! That's cutting my work in less than half and it scares me to death. Once I find a new normal I think I'll have a better idea of what I can handle work wise, so maybe that number will go up, but I'm not 100% sure.
Because of all those decisions above, I need you to know that I am SERIOUS about booking as soon as you possibly can. If you're expecting in 2018 and want a Fresh 48 and/or Newborn Session, please don't wait to book. I am going to say no once I hit 5 due dates per month. In the summer it'll be especially full because I know a few of you are going to want your annual summer family sessions. Do. Not. Wait. Pleeeeeeease. If you'd like to get in touch and see if I have availability for a specific month next year, please use that button below to get in touch!