Going Full Time Month 22

In November of 2018, I left my full time job to pursue photography full time. Every month since then I’ve blogged what I learned from the previous month. This is month 22.

Maybe I got spoiled.

We hopped on the mask bandwagon in early April and rode that wave all through quarantine. Etsy had listed Click Bloom towards the top of the first page of mask search results, and Raffi and I were barely keeping up with the demand… until August. That’s when everything stopped. We had called it in June and we knew it was coming; the day everyone had all the masks they needed and every store was stocked with options for $1.99. We knew it was coming, but it still felt like a hit.

Going Full Time Photography

Those four months were work. We worked constantly. But it was good work. It was work for sales that were coming in effortlessly. Early August, I sat in front of my work station, ironing board unplugged for the first time in months, and had that thought that I hadn’t missed: “How can I bring in more sales?”

Time is filled in the busy months. I found myself living that entrepreneur life; telling my friends, “I have to head to the post office today, then I need to finish my bookkeeping for July, then I should order more envelopes, and touch base with my fabric supplier about the new patterns.” It’s the busy that everyone wants. In the slower months, I find myself with an empty to-do list; not sure where to pick up, where to start, or what to write on my notebook. So time wastes and nothing happens.

I knew it was time to reframe my question, I just didn’t know what question to ask. Last year I saw a YouTube video where the speaker explained that asking what 5+5 was will always yield the same answer. But asking what two numbers add up to ten will bring in a whole new combination of possibilities. So in late August, my reframed question hit me in the middle of another sleepless night:

“If you had an assistant, what would you ask them do? Hire yourself as your own assistant.”

Going Full Time Photography

Suddenly, my notebook was flooded with tasks, idea after idea running from page to page, and my problem of wasted time was solved.

I can’t say August was my favorite month. Along with the drop in business, it also came with the shock of Autumn. That disbelief that echoed through my social media, “I can’t believe it’s almost September.” But like all months in this thread, it was a month of growth and lessons learned. So let me end by extending this invitation: If you have a question in your business that needs reframing, hit me up and I’ll see if I can offer any help. Happy Fall friends, and cheers to month 22!

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris