If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I have a serious addiction to travel. I feel like I’ve been on the go for most of this year, particularly the entire summer when there wasn’t a full month I spent at home. But for as much as I love jet setting, I have to admit that it was a relief to not go anywhere at all for the entire month of October. As a result, this past month was all about resettling back into familiar routines (namely regular exercise!) focusing in on new projects, and scaling up my quality life as it begins to sink in that the final year of my twenties is really almost over.
Below are some numeric summaries of the month with comparisons to September.
Photo shoots completed
*13 more than September
Business miles driven
Hours worked for the month
*36.39 more than September
*23.21 more than September
*35.6 more than September
What Went Well
Increasing confidence in photography
September marked the three year anniversary of my self employment, but I can’t hide the fact that there are still some photo shoots that make me feel incredibly intimidated. It doesn’t have to do with lack of preparedness, but rather uncertainty if I have the skills to pull off the kinds of shots my clients expect of me. Despite this occasional uncertainty that has always plagued me, October felt like the first month where I felt incredibly confident while executing every single photo assignment that came my way. From real estate and food and restaurant to corporate events and head shots, there wasn’t a single photo shoot this month that fazed me. In fact, one of my last photo shoots of the month was with REI. I arrived expecting to take general documentary style photos of REI’s official announcement of their #OptOutside Black Friday event, but was then presented with opportunities to take corporate head shots and staged interior photos of their flagship store. Despite not having all of my gear with me to pull the shots off, I improvised with what I had and surprised myself with how well everything turned out. That definitely wouldn’t have been the case even a year ago!
Photo Shoot Highlights
Rapidly accelerating new business
My website design business continues to boom, and I’m pleased to say that I currently have 8 active design clients on my roster. So somewhere between shooting 18 photo assignments in October, I was in some state of consulting with clients and working on their websites. This came with its own set of challenges, including feeling the exact opposite sentiments than those I stated above: extreme lacks of confidence that I had enough skills to pull off certain aspects of a project. But I faced each challenge head on, finding often times that the best solution was simply to walk away and literally sleep on the problem or go for a run outdoors, only to return to it later with a clear head and come up with a solution almost immediately.
Facing the facts and growing up
I’ve never been even remotely close to the average female in the sense that I’ve never been fashion-conscious or a homemaker in the slightest. I’ll always prefer wearing t-shirts and sneakers, and will often find every excuse to justify ordering take out or Starbucks rather than making food at home. But for some reason, all of this went out the window in October and I found myself spending way too much time and money at Nordstrom and J. Crew, and even making my own coffee and meals at home to save money. Part of this is likely attributed to the fact that I am coming to terms with the fact that my twenties are nearly over, and also the realization that working with bigger clients means wearing Converse and Nike sneakers to meetings and photo shoots might be sending the wrong message. For better or for worse, my home and bank accounts are looking more like that of a real adult now.
Rebranding my businesses
Speaking of growing up, that also applied to my online presences. After careful evaluation and research, I did the first rebranding of my main photography website since my business first launched in 2012. This was a tough decision, because I truly loved the brand I first established, but in many ways, it needed to mature, both visually and in terms of the platform I had been using to support that old website. So my photography website received a facelift, as did my relatively new web design site. I wrote more details about that rebranding process in a recent blog post.
What Could Be Improved
See that little stat above about “business miles driven” and my very unhelpful answer? That’s the answer I have to ANY personal accounting questions for the past six months. I had amazingly been very consistent at doing my monthly accounting for the first half of the year, but the moment I started traveling regularly over the summer, all of those accounting habits completely disappeared. That’s right, my expensed receipts have ended up back inside of the same shoebox they once occupied before I had any accounting practices in place, and I’m dreading having to reconcile them sometime before the year ends.
Routines in general…YIKES
Despite the fact that I haven’t left town for a month now, my business routines are still completely out of whack, namely my blogging habits. I haven’t been great at keeping my commitment to updating this blog every Thursday, and my other weekly blogging commitments keep piling up, unaddressed. On the plus side, I’ve been relieved to finally get back into a three times a week outdoor running habit (even in spite of chillier temperatures and losing an hour to daylight savings time), and have been working on getting my other routines back on track.
Over to You
How did your month of October go? Let me know in the comments below, or shoot me message!