Give up what you don't love

Hey all

I usually don't like to talk about the negative things in life, but I'm coming to realization that I can't just share the good sides of life, because that's not always honest. Truth is is that life is tough sometimes. I'm definitely going through a season of struggle and I'm hoping that it doesn't last too much longer.

Since going full time a few months ago, it's been hard. Way harder than I thought it would be.

When I jumped from full time to going with my business full time, I was so scared. But I wanted to test out what being an entrepreneur was like FT.

January was super crazy, not just for my business but for me personally. I'm not ready to talk about what's been happening to my online community, but a few of my friends know (nothing bad, just something that's affected me emotionally).

Can I be honest for a second? I'm not sure if I can sustain this business without getting secondary income. That's just the facts. I've been trying so many different routes to try to bring in income that I really need to step back and look at what I really want and what I need to focus on. It's like I've been throwing darts at different routes and seeing if any of them stick. But what I have realized is that I need to focus on what has worked & more important, focus on what I love, which I will put my passion into 100% and make things happen.

When I first started my business in 2015, I was only focused on flatlay & Stock photography. I was so passionate about it, worked on it weeknights & weekends, sometimes during off hours, spent lots of time & money buying props and learning. It was going very well. Then last fall I decided I wanted to add video editing to the mix. I initially wanted to have 3 options, coaching, courses & outsourcing. While the first two didn't seem to take off (the second I have yet to create), the last one did. I started doing editing for clients & gained a lot of interest in late december-early january. This was the momentum I had when I decided to leap.

However, since then, things have changed. Some of those leads have dried up & I've learned a lot of lessons the hard way. Things went wrong, communication was not good. I was struggling trying to figure out what my clients needed-if I could explain it, it's like we were speaking 2 different languages in different states, because that's pretty much exactly it. Lingo was not right, I was trying to understand what they were trying to explain to me, but it was like I needed to give them a translator. I found my fit with a few clients but others didn't fit as well. It was so much trial and error that I felt like I focused on the error.

Fast forward to the past few months. I've been struggling to make as much money as I did before I quit my job. And mostly, I think this is because I've been chasing the wrong leads & focused on finding new video clients. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I honestly don't LOVE editing videos for others. I have always loved the part of video editing that gives me creativity. Where I get to spend hours finding new and exciting ways to edit my videos. When you are working with some clients, that creativity goes away and you basically become a mouse clicking and deleting. It loses that fun that I always had when putting together a project.

So what does this mean?

While I'll still take on video editing clients & continue with my current clients, I'm not going to focus on that as much anymore. Trying to find new customers was driving me crazy, since I had no where to look & it was hard to find people that needed it & that fit with my style of editing. I was spending so much time searching when I could have been creating. 

What mistakes have I made?

I've also tried things without thinking. I decided to launch another company Lakeside Creative Studios for local clients and wanted to focus on local video marketing. But I realized I honestly didn't want to do that. So then I changed the concept behind it and now want to help others setup different online software. But now I'm wondering if that's what my focus should be. I still love the name and concept behind lakeside, but I need to figure out what I can do locally with that and I think I pulled the trigger before having a solid plan.

Things I realized I LOVED and need to focus on.

1. Podcasting
While I've always been a fan of YouTube, podcasting is a recent love that I am now obsessed with doing. I run a local podcast and it's such a joy for me. So I've decided to take that into JRD and create a photo & video podcast.

2. Flatlay Video

One thing I recently stumbled upon is flatlay video. Not many are doing it, and it perfectly puts together my love of creativity, video editing & flatlay photography. I'm hoping to get some products in videos soon over the next few months.

So what's next?

So now I'm focusing on 4 things-creating stock photos, product flatlay videos as well as launching an online course (something I've wanted to do for SO LONG) & a podcast for JRD. All things I love doing and that will further my business forward.

I'm of course still working on the Twin Cities Collective and have no plans to change anything there. I'm also working on a monthlong Whole30 challenge and it's already kicking my butt!

While I'm hoping all of this works out, if in a few months I'm still not making what I need to survive and pay rent (oh yeah I'm moving in a month-ahh!), I may have to take on a job. Although that may feel like a failure on my end, sometimes you gotta hustle until you make it. 

I have a renewed passion for my business and am determined to make it work. It will take time but I'm fighting for it! 

Thanks for reading

Jenna