July 12, 2019
That is the question my husband asked me about 6 weeks ago when I told him I wanted to go to Team Beachbody Coach Summit. He understood when I traveled to Illinois in early March to spend three days with my photography business mentor and a mastermind group of photographers since it was focused on my photography business and early March which isn’t exactly a busy time of the year for me. But why would I leave town in the middle of a busy summer portrait season to head up to Indianapolis for a 4 days to spend time at Summit?
So why Summit? Because my photography business may have never existed if I hadn’t attended summit two years ago. My life changed forever sitting in the Superdome in New Orleans two years ago listening to Brendon Burchard speak. I’ve been trying to find the right words to tell this part of my story for a long time. I’ve sat down to type it several times and have ended up with a book chapter and not a blog post. I’m going to do my best to let this just be a blog post. But what’s important right now is that something in Brendon’s “Live. Love. Matter,” speech lit a fire in me, and I finally said yes to chasing a dream I’d had for years.
In addition to the fact that I may never have started my photography business if I had not been at Summit two years ago, there are at least three ways I know for sure that being a coach has bolstered me as a photographer.
I have to be true to me.
When I first started coaching it was so easy to look at all the other coaches and think that if I wasn’t doing everything just like them then I was doing something wrong. The problem with that belief was that I was trying to be them and not me. Over the years I had to let what the other coaches were doing go. If I liked something I saw, I might incorporate it in what I was doing, but if it wasn’t true to me then I no longer felt obligated to do it.
Similarly, there are so many different ways to run a photography business these days, and so many different types of photography to specialize in. When I was deciding what kind of photographer I was going to be I recognized that I have a fairly unique background that includes both film photography and early childhood and elementary education.
My film background means that Photoshop is not really my jam. I’ll use it when absolutely necessary, but I’d much rather nail the shot in camera and then make the magic happen with Lightroom. There are so many photographers out there doing amazing work with fairy overlays and digital backdrops, but that’s not me. 20 years ago I not only shot the film, I developed it too, and then printed the images in the darkroom myself. I still want to have my hands on every step of the process all the way until the artwork is hung on the wall.
I also needed to define what success looked like for me. I’m in several photography groups on social media where the vast majority of members see a full-time wedding photography business as the pinnacle of success, but I have not desire to be a wedding photographer. Success for me looks like a full-time portraits business specializing in children and families. I’ve even started saying that I don’t shoot weddings, but I do shoot marriages.
I can do hard things.
Confidence comes from doing hard things, stepping way outside your comfort zone, and succeeding in ways you never thought possible. Doing something like finishing a fitness program like InsanityMax30 — y’all I cried when I finished the final workout because before I began I didn’t believe that I could really finish a program that intense. When you accomplish what you never dreamed possible in one area of life you realize that just maybe you can accomplish what you never dreamed possible in another.
Before I could say yes to chasing down my great big scary dream of owning my own photography business, I had to believe in myself and what was possible. I had to believe that even if I didn’t know everything about running a photography business that I would be able to figure it out along the way. I’m not perfect. I still have self-doubts and those voices in my head that Brene’ Brown call’s “the gremlins” telling me I’m not good enough or who do I think I am. But the greater my confidence and belief in my ability grows the quieter those gremlins get.
3. Personal and Business Development.
I’m always growing and improving.
Because of Team Beachbody I developed a habit of constantly striving to be better and do more. One of the three vital behaviors for every coach is daily personal development reading. For this reason I have spent the last decade learning and growing, and I even wrote a blog post a few months ago about the personal development books I keep on my bookshelf.
Equally as awesome as this habit I’ve developed has been the opportunity to hear some of the most amazing speakers at the 5 Summits that I have attended. You’ve already read that the Brendon Burchard speech changed my life dramatically, but I’ve also had the awesome opportunity to hear speeches given by some of the other top voices on leadership, marketing, and motivation like John C. Maxwell, Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuck, Darren Hardy, and just this morning Rachel Hollis.
This habit of always wanting to grow and get better has carried over to my photography business. It’s why I found my amazing mentor right out of the gate and traveled to her studio in March, and it’s why I have a group of business besties to grow along side of.
Last night sitting at the Summit Opening Ceremony I posted to Facebook that 15 years, 2 weeks, and now 2 days ago I bought my first Beachbody workout, SlimIn6, off an early morning infomercial before getting in the car and driving to Indianapolis for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I was feeling nostalgic and incredibly grateful as I sat in the Lucas Oil Stadium for this company and that infomercial purchase all those years ago.
Six years, a wedding, 2 kids, and 4 Beachbody fitness programs after that first purchase, I decided to sign-up as a coach in October of 2010 because I believed wholeheartedly in these programs and the mission of the company. Over the course of the last nine years my coaching business has changed and evolved and is no longer my primary focus. This is a blog on my photography website after all. However, what I know for sure is that I never would have started my photography business or have been as successful so quickly if it were not for Team Beachbody.