Something you might now know about me: one time I gave up on this business and quit.
The year was 2014...
I had been a photographer for over a year and I had just moved out of my first studio after finding out I was pregnant. I couldn't quite figure out how to balance working full-time (my day job was my dream job, Project Manager at an environmental construction company), keeping up with my college schedule, running a business part-time and all while struggling with severe morning sickness. So after busy season in 2014 I closed up shop, I cancelled and deleted everything and I would photograph my last wedding before giving birth. I was done. In November 2014 I closed A. Anjelich Photography.
After 3 months of not touching my camera I started to feel like I needed to be busy again. I wanted nothing more than to do nothing...but simultaneously I craved the type of hustle that only comes from running a small business, I thrive in that hustle. I spent an entire weekend rebuilding a new business, Alicia Wiley Photography. I launched a website, social media, I did marketing, I joined online communities, I dived into to education to perfect my workflow, editing, techniques and I read more educational content than ever before because photography was what I wanted to do. I spent 2015 growing massively, I photographed 44 weddings and was second shooter at 16 other weddings, I photographed over 200 portrait sessions, I rebranded more times than I can count (I owe my ability to design websites to this process) and I networked so much that I know so many incredible small business owners now!
But I was in 'go' mode for so long it all caught up to me, I was the definition of burnt out. Burn out equalled quitting again but this time it was not photography. I woke up one morning in February 2016 and I quit my dream job because my new dream was photographing weddings full-time.
I love this job. I am happy to wake up every morning and get to work. And it does not come without it's own sacrifices and hardships to do this job but I can't imagine myself doing anything else now. You become a jack of all trades when you work for yourself. You wear every hat. You prepare for every situation. And it comes with phases of learning to balance boundaries with yourself and your clients and figure out efficient workflows. No matter how much you separate your business life and personal life you're always with one foot in two worlds, sometimes feeling like you are failing at one or the other. Don't get me wrong, you can successfully balance both but there are always difficult seasons.
I am not here to tell you to pursue your business full-time on a whim like I did. I'm not here to tell you to follow your dreams. I just wanted to share that sometimes closing one door can open up many more. There's magic in new beginnings.