What Is So

This week over at the SOAR blog we’ve been challenged by Karen and Fay of the Wisdom Connection to define the good that surrounds us as we embark on our business building adventures. Too often we focus on what needs to be done and less on what is good and solid with our journey.

I know deep down that I have a long road ahead to achieve success.  But this journey almost feels like the insane amounts of snow we’ve had this week here in Virginia (over 30 inches at our house over the past 30 hours!). What starts as just a few flakes, over time collects and accumulates into something much bigger and beautiful.

Right now my own personal snowstorm has just started.  But I think and I hope I have a lot going in my favor to turn this snowstorm into a blizzard.

I have a support network all around me. My family. Friends. Bloggers. Flickerites. SOAR  Sisters.  Every time I am feeling discouraged someone comes around to lift me up and feel like going down this path is right. I love the art of taking photos, but I also love that I can be an inspiration to others. And I’d love to find a way to marry my love of photography with my love of inspiring and teaching others.

I am taking steps to learn and to grow. I’ve attended a few small local workshops. And now I am pumped up to be attending the LAUNCH Workshop for beginner natural light photographers in Tampa in only 2 short weeks. 3 days of learning where I am hoping to gain some knowledge about photography. But even more knowledge about building a successful business.

I also took advantage of a recent sale from one of my new favorite bloggers, Naomi Dunford, of the IttyBiz blog.  I got my hands on an e-book designed to assist small business owners with launching their own e-books. Not sure if an e-book is a direction I’ll go in, but you never know. Maybe an e-book written by me and designed to inspire and teach others how to rock their own photography talents would sell?  Along with the IttyBiz e-book I also scored an hour of business coaching with Naomi. Business coaching scares and excites me all at once. Who do I think I am hiring a business coach?! I don’t have any solid plan yet. But I suppose that’s what she’ll be there to help with. And so I am excited to rock out a plan with her and hopefully put it into action.

Through Karen and Fay’s exercise this week I have discovered What is So in my world. I have drive. I have determination. And I need to turn that into action.  Hopefully my snow will start accumulating soon and the door of opportunity and success will open wide.

What is So in your world right now? Business owner or not what good surrounds you today? I want to hear all about the good things in your life.

SOAR Excercise #1 – The Journey Begins

Those of you who have been reading awhile know that my word this year is SOAR. The word that will carry me through this year and teach me how to spread my wings and fly with my photography.  Photographer MeRa Koh is hard as work over at the SOAR blog with her team developing the exercises to help us on our journey this year. The first exercise “Doing the Deeper Work” was just that. It required some deep thought and reflection into who were are and where we are on this journey.

Our assignment was this:

This is a Self Portrait Photography Exercise. You will take TWO Self Portraits.  One image will have you in the photo.  The second one will be an object that symbolizes you.  Both Self Portraits are meant to document where you are in your journey of life.  When you think about this present season of life–this monumental moment in your journey of being committed to SOAR!, being on your way to become a successful photographer…How do you feel?   Are you excited, afraid, alone?  What colors are you wearing?  If we saw your true insides, what would they look like right now?  What object would symbolize this time in life?  What angle would you shoot it from and why?

Fortunately the idea of a self portrait exercise did not scare me too much. Through my photography work over the past year via project 365 and this blog I have shared myself pretty openly. My photography has been an emotional healing and I’ve been able to share my daily feelings on life with much compassion and encouragement from those of you that visit.

But summing up ME and my life RIGHT NOW was no easy feat.  I am full of Ideas. Dreams. Possibilities. Creativity. Emotion. Devotion. Compassion.  Drive. Desire. But I have not made it yet. I have a long way to go.  I feel like I am taking the right steps.  I am doing my research and connecting with others who share my dreams. Working hard and practicing.  But I still very much feel like an outsider looking into a world of possibility that I am so wishing was mine. THIS is me.

Part 2 of the exercise was my object photo. Finding something to symbolize me on this journey was a little easier that I expected. I am: Impulsive, Imperfect, and Exploding with Ideas. I am sure when just the right amount of heat and energy hit I am going to just pop right into something amazing.

Only time will tell where this all takes me. But I have dug deeper. Done some of the intense reflection. And I am revitalized and encouraged to stay to course and continue along this journey.  I hope you all will come along with me.

Her Day

Today I should be 40 weeks pregnant and we should be welcoming Bella in to the world. Instead we are remember her today and hoping that this day brings some closure to the roller coaster ride that has been the past nine months.  A friend sent this quote to me today and it was oh so fitting for how I feel today.

“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” ~Barbara Bloom

Bella has truly made me and my life more beautiful.

Thank you to those of you who remember with me today. It means the world that our angel has meant so much not just to us but to family, friends and coworkers as well. She may have lost her life in this world but she will never ever be forgotten.

Getting Closer

Life is good.

I haven’t been able to say that with any real conviction in awhile, but really it is.  I have lots to be thankful for right now.

And topping the list of goodness right now is my brand new webpage, just around the corner. We’re weeks, if not days away from launching the new site and I can’t wait for BeYoung Photography to take off, spread its wings, and SOAR!

And as a gift to you, with the launch I’ll also be announcing some exciting photo specials just in time for Valentine’s Day!!

Until then…

Business Building 101 – Planning the Road to Success

You may have noticed my absence lately. And yes I have been absent. But I’ve been busy. This pretty much sums up my week.

I bet can all relate. The day job has been busy. Home life has been busy. Photo editing has been busy. Throw house hunting into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for one hell of a week. Something had to give, and this week it was the blog.  But I have not stood idly by this week. No way!

I am determined. motivated. persistent.

I am an entrepreneur.

And the building has begun.

While the blog was getting neglected this week I was hard at work. reading. attending seminars. listening. And getting some of the best advice I’ve heard in a long while Getting the push I need to launch myself into flight. (because I will SOAR! this year)  I’m sure a lot of you have been in the place where I stand today.

With a dream. Or an idea. Or a passion.

That’s where it starts. But without a road map of where to go you might as well stop dead in your tracks. Because you’re not going to get very far. This week I’ve been soaking in advice from some of my favorite entrepreneurial bloggers.  If you have a dream or a passion or and idea you really should start following Naomi Dunford of IttyBiz, Danielle LaPorte of WhiteHotTruth, and Megan Morris of IdeaSchema. Right now these ladies are my GPS and I am using them to create my road map.

Road Map = Business Plan


That word “Business Plan” scares me to death.  If I write it down, I have to make it happen. If I don’t follow the plan I am a failure, right?

One mistake I admit to making is starting this “thing”, this photography business, without a plan. Without my road map. One day someone asked me to take their family photos and I quickly whipped out some pricing and started shooting. I threw all fear aside and just started because I am passionate about capturing memories. But that passion will only take me so far.  This week I felt it was time for me to get serious and think about creating a plan that will set me up for success in the long run. I’ve know since I started that I would need to buckle down and write a plan eventually. It’s been on the “to do” list. But I think fear of failure and fear of the unknown have held me back.

Then somehow the stars aligned this week and two very good things happened to push this “to do” list into a “will do” list.

1) Our local SBDC (Small Business Development Center) hosted a low cost  2.5 hour “Start Your Business” seminar. Chock full of ideas and resources to help entrepreneurs get set up for lasting success. From how to write your business plan, to the legalities of running a business, to free business counseling services, this place is going to help me get where I want to go.  If you are an entrepreneur and you have not looked into your area’s SBDC I suggest you look into this right away. There are SBDC’s all over the globe and they are there to help you!  The SBDC seminar did push me to say “Yes! I need to write a business plan”. But, I still am struggling with the format. How to get all of my creative energy out of my brain and on paper.  Family photography is only one of the many business ideas I have percolating right now.  There is a lot more creative energy going on inside my head now too.

2) Then, as if Megan Morris could read my mind, she developed and started promoting her Idea Catalyst kit just this week. This ebook meets workbook is going to take my creativity and my dreams out of my brain and actually get them on paper. They are going to be the start of my business plan. And once they are there, on that paper then I may be ready for some of that SBDC business counseling I am so hungry for.

How many of you are currently working on your dreams? What are they? What steps have you taken to make them a reality? Please share any of your inspirations, passions, ideas, or resources here so we can all set ourselves up for lasting success!

While I wait for your responses I will be sitting here listening to my Idea Catalyst ebook, turning on the GPS (working on my ideas), creating my road map (writing the Business Plan), and hopefully setting myself up for a successful journey ahead.

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