How I decided to change my career and what's next
We were getting takeout at a new Indian restaurant. Isaac ran inside and Daniel flipped through one of his books in the backseat while I stared out the window... just thinking.
Really, I had been thinking about it for a long time, but I knew saying the words would make it all feel too real.
Isaac got back in the car and handed me the brown bag full of chicken korma, chicken tiki masala and warm naan. So I just blurted it out: "I've been thinking that we shouldn't shoot weddings anymore."
I don't remember if that's all I could say or if I rambled on and on for the next five minutes. All I remember is that I couldn't believe that the words were actually coming out of my mouth. And I remember one other thing: Isaac's unending support.
Whatever I'm dreaming up, whatever crazy idea I have, he is on board.
I knew I had to make a decision
I was at a point earlier this year where the Light & Airy Preset Suite was picking up so much speed that it really needed more of my attention in order for me to help creatives really use it well. And I knew that was just the first product I wanted to create.
I could see my wedding career beginning to really take off - getting my dream inquiries from dream clients, dream planners... all of it. I don't say this to brag, but to share why I felt so torn.
It came down to this...
I didn't want to give up time with my littles.
I didn't want to work more hours and give up time with Daniel and our baby girl on the way. So that meant sticking to 10-15 hours of work each week.
Looking down the tunnel of time, I could see that there would quickly come a point where I needed to choose: photography or education.
Or maybe the thing that needed to change was my client. Maybe I could still be a photographer and an educator if I just chose one customer: creative entrepreneurs.
Answers to your questions
I've shared this with some family, friends, and creative peers and they've asked so many good questions (does anyone else feel so loved by a good question?), so I wanted to write them down here!
+ wait, so you're not going to take photos anymore?
I'll always, always, always be taking photos! But I just won't take on shoots in the same way anymore. I'll only take on shoots and create shoots that will help me to teach and educate creative entrepreneurs online. That means that we're turning down every wedding inquiry that pops up in the inbox (including family photos, senior photos, etc).
As far as taking paid shoots for other creatives (stock photos, brand photos, etc), I'm not totally sure right now! That's something I'll pray about and make a decision on when I come back from maternity leave. Because of the limited number of work hours, I want to be really intentional about any work I take on.
+ Do you still want to speak?
Yes! Oh my heart, this is one of my biggest passions and it fills me up like nothing else. But right now I'm not taking on any speaking engagements because of those work hours and the time it would take to travel and attend the event. It's one of those decisions that feels a little weird to say out loud because speaking is such a passion of mine, but I have a peace about not doing anything like this during this season. I'll just wait and see what the Lord has because I'm pretty sure there will be a day when this passion is given full reigns!
For right now, I'll commit to leading a college small group and use my speaking passion there. :)
+ Can we still work together on an inspiration shoot?
I love inspiration shoots and I've only taken on a handful each year! I will continue to be really selective, but if it's a good fit for both of us, then I'm all ears! My business goals behind every inspiration shoot will look different, but the way that I serve the rest of the vendor team will still be the same. I picture a handful of smaller shoots and only 1 big inspiration shoot in 2018.
How going against the status-quo paid off
A year ago, I had a plan to launch around 10 different game-changing products and just felt the Lord put pause on everything but the presets. So I focused in on the one product that I knew I was supposed to launch this year: The Light & Airy Preset Suite.
Then, in May, just a day before I found out I was pregnant, I was sitting in a coffee shop (my workplace of choice - creatives, unite!) and I was brainstorming new products and I heard the Lord tell me to focus on the presets yet again. So I dove into the math again and prayed while I created the L&A Preset Suite 2.0.
No, really! I'm being serious about praying. I'd get frustrated that Lightroom didn't allow me to code something and I'd just ask God for wisdom. I'd be driving around somewhere, or just thinking and out of nowhere I'd have the solution - the hack that I needed to make it work in Lightroom.
It doesn't come when we make ourselves big enough and strong enough and chase #alltheideas. It doesn't come when our hustle is at its max.
Breakthrough comes when we sit still long enough to realize that we have access to wisdom that can change the way we think about everything.
In September, through prayer, I had a breakthrough and figured out a way to actually make digital look like film... in 10 seconds or less... for anyone. I knew I needed more education for my preset customers and just general how-to-take-light-and-airy-photos , so I narrowed the focus of the blog: Lightroom Tips, Photo Tips, Blogging Tips and Motherhood.
How to have breakthrough in your creative business
Want to have breakthrough in your creative biz? I'll tell you my secret: ask God for wisdom. He gives it to us without finding fault and His wisdom is unlike anything else.
Want to stop copying others and finally stand out in your business? Ask God for creative wisdom.
He has an abundance of creativity that He wants to give to us, but I see so many creatives shortchange their marketing strategies, blog content and creativity simply because they're afraid. Afraid that if they were left to their own creative devices that they wouldn't have any creativity. This is a huge lie. Here's the truth: no matter where you are in your relationship with the Lord, if you ask Him for wisdom, He will give it to you.
Friend, it's been an insane few months! I finalized the Preset Suite 2.0, developed a membership area for our L&A fam so that I could keep all of their tutorials in one place, and launched the presets for the second time! I don't have any plans to do a big launch with the presets again because everything is automated on the backend now.
One of the coolest things that happened? After I launched the presets, it's like the floodgates opened up and I couldn't stop thinking through products I could create. So now it's just praying through and deciding on the next game-changing, transformational product(s). And that's the key: transformational. There are so many things I could create and sell and we get requests for a lot of different things, but I'm only going to sell you something that's actually going to change your business, not just make me another dollar.
I know it's totally against the grain to do business that way, but I'll never forget what someone said to me this year: "Jordan, I didn't even totally understand what the preset suite was, but I bought it because I knew you'd only sell something if I should buy it."
Those words right there.
Side note: I went in and tidied up the copy I had written for the sales page right after that so that no one else had to wonder what exactly they were getting. Haha!
So what's next? I'm getting ready for maternity leave! With baby girl possibly on her way a bit early, it's go-time for writing as many blog posts as I can before she arrives. I have every confidence that she will stay put until 36 weeks (I say that while contractions are still coming regularly) which is 9 days away. But we are praying that she stays put until 39 weeks.
Either way, the story that the Lord will reveal in time is going to be full of me choosing to walk in faith instead of living in fear. I'm going to lean on the wisdom that He has a Father's heart for me - not one that is for my destruction (or humiliation). Praise the Lord for this sweet baby girl. I will tell of how the Lord showed up in my infertility all the days of my life. And I'll never stop telling my children that the Lord started their life by doing the impossible, setting a theme for the course of their life if they'll lean on Him.
Welcome to my corner of the internet, friend. I want you to know that you belong, that your life is significant, and that dessert coffee and gifts should be an everyday thing. Click right here and jump over to our Get Started page so you can get your hands on our newest freebie and our make-a-blogger-cry-happy-tears free preset!