The majority of my inspiration this week has been advice on how to start and run a successful business. Hardly suprising that it's on my mind since THE workshop last week, but I thought I would share some of the advice that has resonated with me so far.
1. Your business is you.
This is the big one. If you are running a small business, then most likely you work alone. You do everything for that business. You are the editor, the writer, the networker, the photographer (replace with relevant profession if needed), the book keeper, the manager, the accountant, the legal aid. You are everything. But your business is also you. Small businesses are loved because of how much more personal they are. They are loved because you can see the personality of the person running it. It is specialised and distinct. So let your business reflect you!
In order to do this you have to discover a bit more about yourself. Figure out who you are. Are you funny? Honest? Romantic? Open? Colourful? Brave? Soft? Generous? What are you?
For me, I have chosen my business, and therefore my images, to reflect the fun, honesty and softness that is in me. I chose these words by not only thinking about my work and my business but also by thinking about myself. In fact I got Mike to define me in 10 words and these were the only 3 usable ones! Other than that I had tough, driven and hard working, which I didn't really think I could translate into images!!
2. Know your business and your branding.
Once you have this idea in your mind of who you are and who you want your business to be (yes I did just refer to a business as a person), then you can make moves to ensure that every single part of your business reflects that. From the way you write your emails, to how long it takes you to show a client their images. It is all a reflection on you and your business. Show them who you are with your actions. It's not just about the pretty colours and logo you choose.
For me, this means a lot of hard work putting all of this into place! And hopefully over the next 6 months to a year, before I officially become a business, you will start to see these changes. That's right. I just said how long it's gonna be before I am a business.... scary!!!
There is much much more than this, but for now this is what is filling my thoughts and what I will begin by working on! If you have any thoughts or comments on this, and the ways in which you can start a business or brand, please feel free to leave me a comment and we can chat :)
It has been three weeks since this shoot, and time has just flown by and completely taken over me! But I wanted to share a very small sneak peek of behind the scenes of the shoot- with our fabulous hair and make up team!
It's half past ten on Thursday night as I sit here writing this... I arrived home at 8pm- somewhere between 12 and 24 hours after everyone else- and I am tired. I am baffled. And I am overwhelmed!
I am also unsure of how to write this post. I'm not a fantastic writer, and I don't always explain myself very well. (It's something I'm working on) But mainly I don't know how to write it because I don't know if I can match what everyone else has said, or if I can match the gorgeous photos they have shown. In fact, I know I can't. So I guess I will just begin...
Hopefully by now, if you follow my ramblings, you will know of Jasmine Star, and that I had secured a place on her hugely popular London workshop. If not, you had better get reading! ;)
Well, Tuesday morning I caught the train at 11am, arriving 45 minutes late into London Paddington at 6.20. By 7.20 I had made it across London rush hour, checked into my accommodation and caught a taxi to the Sanctum Soho Hotel for introductory drinks with the other members of the workshop and of course Jasmine, her husband JD and Kat from Rock and Roll Bride (who initiated and organised the workshop!)
And from there it was a blur really. Until I left the restaurant last night that is. Just after Jasmine and JD left the restaurant I walked over to the bathroom and watched them leave... it was honestly quite heartbreaking for me and brought the end of the day in quite emotionally. In the end I was very grateful for the evening and long day of further travel to myself. Some alone time. Not to think or process, just to be. After such an amazing day, and quite frankly (for me) an overwhelming day, it was necessary for me to just be. (And edit!)
But I still haven't said much about the actual day... and I'm 3 long paragraphs in! I know, I know. I suck at this! So as my words fail me, here are some images I shot from the day....
I think what I want to say most about the Workshop, and the experience in general, is what I have learnt about myself. You would think that by listening to someone talk about themselves that you would learn more about them than yourself, but strangely it was the opposite for me. Being put into a new situation really helped to show me a bit more about who I am. I struggled during the day. I reaaly struggled. With the shooting and my confidence; I felt so weak and unsure about myself. But I powered through and am very happy with my results! When I sit and look at them full screen, on my nice HD screen they look amazing. Sadly they don't look quite as great through this platform, but none the less I am proud to share them :).
I now know, at the end of a long week, that most of all what I want to do is run a business; a thriving, fun and successful business. Thank you Jasmine for teaching me this about myself and for pushing me further and further! I will be back later on in the week with more about what I learnt, as I still need time to not only write it up, but to digest and recognise it first.
Thank you also to the following people who helped to make the day happen;
Plus of course massive thanks to Kat Williams from Rock and Roll Bride for organising the whole event, Jasmine herself for flying all this way just to pay us a little bit of attention :), and to her wonderful sidekick- JD who is just amazing and is the perfect partner in their team. You guys are amazing together and JD thank you so much for spending time talking to us and helping us through the day.
Lastly, I cannot forget to thank all the other workshop attendee's who I greatly enjoyed meeting, and am so happy to now be your friend and peer and cannot wait to continue learning from you! You are all WONDERFUL!!
My lovely car, Wendy, is dead :(. After 3 years, and many many fun times Wendy is officially a gonner.
At the end of my first year of college my first car died, after only 6 short months of having it. I wanted a ka. I found a ka. I bought a ka. My ka then became Wendy.... and throughout the last 3 years Wendy has been on many a trip- she got me through college; kept me dry when I was sobbing on the phone to Mike when I didn't get a place at Uni, kept us warm when we decided to drunkenly sleep in her, helped me bring all of Emma's stuff back from Uni after her first year in halls at Cardiff and she has also kept Mike safe when he had her for the 4 months I was in Vancouver! She has also hit a volvo, a golf and been bumped by a 4x4 in a tiny lane as well as mounting a concrete bollard! (See photo below!)
Plus last summer I made the small addition of giving her mine and Cara's life mascot- Stanley! Last summer at the cafe I worked in, a kid left a wind up stegosaurus toy that I decided to keep. We named him Stanley, (after my first car!) and he proceeded to go everywhere with us! And then he found a home on Wendy's dashboard, and has since spent the last year roaming around with me :).
My little car has had a life, and character, and continues to amuse me everyday. She squeaks when I turn left. She refuses to send the air con to the right place and I cannot open the drivers door once it's been locked.
So after 3 years of life with Wendy, she has failed her m.o.t for the second year in a row; and this year she is just not worth mending. So last night a man from the scrap yard came to pick her up, and I imagine that by now she has been crushed into a metal square :(.
Now I just have to replace her..... it kinda feels like I've lost an actual person or even a pet. It is strange, and I will mourn you shortly before I replace you Wendy, but sadly you do need to be replaced...... Bye Bye Wendy.... have fun in metal heaven.....