At the end of 2018 I made a pretty bold statement;
I matched my day-jobs income, within 1 year of going full time,
and I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it.
BTW I give you my REAL numbers below, so keep reading.
10 Years ago I started my journey in the fashion industry as a stylist for one of the most prestigious salons in the nation. I started out strong, immediately being acknowledged with “top earner” awards within two year of launching my career.
Things were going pretty awesome and I was on my way to a 6-figure annual income.
Then BOOM: I got pregnant.
My priorities shifted and so did the plans I had for my life. I ended up going part time at the salon and decided to take on more roles at home.
The stay at home Mom thing wasn’t quite as fulfilling as I wished. I still had this drive and ambition with no outlet to relieve myself in.
Fortunately for me (and thanks to all the baby photos I was posting) people started inquiring about photography.
Long story short I decided this was something I thought I could really excel in while allowing me to still be home with my babes for the majority of the week.
Finding my ultimate passion while living a life that allowed me to go to Waffle House at 11am on Tuesday or to California for a 2 week camping adventure has been the ultimate driving force for me.
What would you do if you had no one but yourself to answer to?
I knew I had to keep living this life and in order to do so I needed to make it profitable.
Below I’ll tell you just how I’m doing that and best part, how YOU can too!
First things first.
You need to get into the frame of mind that THIS is what you want for your life.
I’m not going to bullshit you either, it’s a TON of hard work.
This isn’t “oh I’m going to post a few photos on Instagram and become the next Josa Villa.”
To do this right it’s going to be something you Eat. Sleep. Breathe.
Get yourself in the right frame of mind.
- Know why you want this for yourself.
- Know what you are willing to sacrifice in the mean-time.
- Know your ultimate end-game!
For me, I knew I wanted to have a career with infinite earning potential that also allowed me freedom.
I was willing to sacrifice days off (literally every day off) for the first year in order to earn this life for myself.
I know my end goal is to run a business that sparks so much emotion that my couples “have to have me” ultimately allowing me to make a living doing exactly what I love.
Keep yourself inspired.
The hardest part about running your own business is that you are the only one holding yourself accountable.
I found that I was able to keep myself on the straight and narrow by keeping myself fully invested in that end goal.
I did this a number of ways but here are a few things you can start implementing TODAY that will drive inspiration for the long run.
- Make yourself a vision board.
I know it sounds cheesy but this shit is actually super helpful.
Fill it with all sorts of things that drive you;
my personal board includes a picture of my family, a decked out camper van that I plan to spend summers touring the country in, far out amazing inspiring travel locations, and a cute little house on a ton of land.
- Fill your feeds with straight inspiration-porn.
(No I don’t mean the naked kind.. unless that’s your thing.)
If you hopped on my FB of IG apps right now you would see dozens of incredible images taken by incredible artist, in between those gaps you would find amazing articles written by profound leaders, and in between those gaps you would find hilariously useless meme’s because well we’ve all got to laugh.
It’s super easy to fall victim to the comparison game, “I’ll never be that good” or “I wish I was living that life.”
Don’t allow yourself to speak this narrative.
You are your biggest sales person.
You have sold yourself on literally every single decision you’ve ever made in your entire life.
Make this NO different.
When you see someone doing something that you want to do don’t tell yourself you are not good enough,
ask yourself how can I achieve this?
When you are constantly consuming nothing but the best of the best you will become the best.
Invest in yourself.
The biggest thing I did for myself was investing in my education.
I knew right off the bat that I didn’t want to start charging couples for anything before I was consistently proud of the images I was putting out.
Keyword here: Consistently
I knew I had a reputation to keep up and I didn’t want to half ass anything.
At first I would spend hours looking up tutorials on You-Tube, Google, & Pinterest.
I invested my time before I ever invested a dollar.
When I was ready to up-level my game I invested my money in online education and hands-on workshops.
SET SOME #GOALS.
Now that I’ve prefaced all this with what I did first let’s hop into the nitty gritty to making yourself some more mula.
Here’s where I lay out the exact techniques (and my REAL numbers) for matching my day jobs income in 1 year!
Know your numbers!
I can’t urge this enough. In order to reach a goal, you have to know YOUR goal.
Every household has a standard of living.
To keep up our lifestyle we knew that I would still have to work part-time at the salon while I was building my photography business.
I make roughly $25,000 on my paycheck and bringing in an additional $16,000 in tips every year for a grand total of $41,000 a year. For my first year I wanted to focus on matching my w-2 paycheck income.
Full disclaimer: I still work my part-time job. (More on this later)
I took that $25,000 and divided it by an ambitious but realistic goal of 12 weddings. Which helped me know how I should price my packages. On average I needed to make $2000 per a wedding.
*Remember: I spent time investing in my craft before I ever felt confident enough to charge $2000 for a wedding.
With these numbers I knew I wanted to book at least 1 wedding a month.
Since I knew my numbers I was able to exceed my goals!
At the end of the year I ended up bringing in just under 30k in my photography business alone, while maintaining my day jobs income as well.
This helped me grow my business 100% DEBT FREE! Which will be huge in the coming years.
REPLACE HUSTLE WITH STRATEGY!
I knew that in order to book 12 weddings I needed to come up with a plan to stay top of mind when it came to wedding photography. So I got out some pen and paper and started to come up with a plan.
Here are a few things I did to help:
- I started posting on different social platforms and utilizing my own personal facebook page as a billboard for my business.
- I set up unpaid shoots so that I was pushing out content (images) weekly to my followers.
- I got involved with local Facebook groups with like minded people.
!!!STAY AWAY FROM GARAGE SALE PAGES!!!
- When I did shoot a wedding I would follow up with Vendors and create genuine relationships with them.
- I focused on delivering incredible services so that I could build word of mouth referrals.
- I was constantly networking. When I meet someone at a party I add them on Instagram and send a “Hey it was so nice to meet you” DM the next day.
- I offered a $100 referral incentive to all of my friends and fellow wedding vendors.
These are all techniques I used to get my foot in the door.
Now that I’ve arrived at the party I’ve seriously stepped up my strategy game for 2019, but I have bigger goals this year so it only made sense to do so.
You don’t have to start out mastering all avenues of success, if you did you’d likely fail.
To sum it up:
Be genuine with yourself and make sure this is what you really want in life.
Are you willing to sacrifice now, so you can have greatness later?
Why TF do you want to do this in the first place? WHAT IS YOUR WHY?
GET INSPIRED. Follow people and content that only fills you up with enthusiasm.
Invest in yourself – lay out the framework for yourself with education being the foundation of your business.
Set some goals! Realistic yet ambitious goals are best and know your numbers!
Put pen to paper and outline a strategy for yourself.
As cliche as it sounds we all start somewhere, you won’t be Gary Vee or Jenna Kutcher tomorrow but if you consistently put in the hard work and show up for your business you will likely find success somewhere along the path.
Drop a comment below to let me know if this was helpful to you guys!
- What do you plan on making happen this year?
- What is a realistic yet ambitious goal you are setting?
I plan on putting out weekly business related content every Thursday so come back next week for a more in-depth look into my strategies.
In the meantime if you don’t already, follow me at www.instagram.com/christinawastaken for a inside look on my business and day to day life.