I dreamt of creating a photography studio while I was still working full-time. I loved my job, but the passion I had for starting my own business grew every day as I spent most of my time thinking about it. It was a rough journey surrounded by doubt and anxiety, but I am blessed to have Stanley who was encouraging and committed to building this future with me.
2017 was the year we finally started building the studio. I changed and improved the space multiple times over the last two years, and I am finally satisfied with it. Although I believe being an entrepreneur means you're never entirely satisfied with things, and always looking to do better.
Here are some lessons I have learnt along the way. It’s based on my experience, but I am hoping it may help anyone reading this.
1. REMEMBER YOUR VISION
What was the inspiration behind starting your business? You need to remember this anytime you feel confused or start wavering. Remind yourself of the vision you had that gave you the courage to do something new.
After getting engaged, Stanley and I struggled to find a Pre-Wedding photographer who suited our style. This was my initial motivation as I was determined to provide for other couples out there. I then expanded to include baby photography because I love children and my sister-in-law was pregnant at the time.
I didn't start my photography journey thinking of money, or to become a famous photographer. My vision was to build a minimalistic indoor studio where I can capture simple timeless baby and couple photos that I can be proud of. Becoming a “working-from-home" mum is also a bonus.
2. BE MENTALLY PREPARED
The entrepreneur pathway is not easy. In most cases, it goes against the norm of working a 9-5 job. People around you will be full of questions, and that uncertainty will manifest into your thoughts.
Your mental health is important. Business ideas blossom better with a confident mind. Surround yourself with people who make the effort to understand you and your mission. This shows they are aligning with you, not fighting against you.
3. START WITH THE BASICS
What do you need to start this business? Use what you already have before going out to buy new things. It’s easy to get carried away so identify your necessities. Invest your time and money into building your knowledge. Pay for online classes that can help you learn faster than figuring it out on your own.
4. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT
As an entrepreneur, it is important to know how your competitors work. You may get inspiration from them and this can kick off your business. However, there is a fine line between influence and imitation. Find what works for you. It will take time, but you’ll know what is organic and what is forced to you.
5. YOU MAKE THE SHOTS
The pressure of starting a new business is massive, and your mind may be constantly working overboard. If it becomes too much, try simplifying your ideas. Or if there’s something you struggle with, out-source it. Spend more time doing what you’re passionate about, and that positive energy will shine through the business.
If you have any questions, I would love to hear your story. Message me through my Instagram @themomentsbymelissa!