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Teacher to Full-Time Photographer & Traveling the World
Hi! My name is Alicia Marie & I’m a photographer in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I am 27 years old and since a very young age, I loved being behind a camera. Photography is definitely my passion and in particular Boudoir Photography. I believe doing a boudoir session can be one of the most empowering experiences in a woman’s life. I believe in restoring confidence, promotion and embracing self-love, re-igniting the spark in relationships, and reminding women of the beauty they were created to possess.
Tell us about your journey to entrepreneurship
I actually fell into photography as a “job” by accident. I was in university taking Education (I am technically a trained high school teacher) when I started pursuing photography. I have always loved taking photos and in high school, I was always the one with a camera with me. I would do photos (for free) for my close friends or family members and it really wasn’t until my friend encouraged me to pursue it as a job that I really considered it.
However, I always thought of it as a “SIDE JOB”. That teaching was a real job.
That changed in 2016 when I realized that I was WAY more passionate about photography then I was teaching. Not just any photography either- Boudoir photography.
I was still teaching and taught full time for 2 years- in my second year of teaching, I was so busy doing both that and photos (plus I was also in the middle of planning my wedding) that I kind of burnt myself out and something needed to give. My husband at the time was also still in university. I was the sole income in our household. So, I really had to sit down one night and give it a lot of thought- took a look at both jobs financially and with my husband’s support, decided to make teaching my “side job” (and continue to just sub) and photography my real job. It was scary considering it was not a “safe job.”
But honestly, it was the BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!!!! And really the rest is history. I have been doing photos full time for 2 years now & enjoying every moment of it!!
In order to leave your 9-5 and take your business full time, what did you have to change or develop into, in order to be able to do this?
Probably the biggest thing to change was my mindset. I needed to change the way I viewed photography- with it not being my SIDE job and becoming my full-time job- My Business.
I also was honestly embarrassed to tell people I was a “photographer” because when I talked to people, I always got the impression that they thought photographers don’t make good money. So, I had to change my mindset first and foremost.
Next was the way I marketed and promoted my business. It was no longer a side job so I needed to start taking myself and my business seriously.
- Teacher to Full Time Online Health Coach & Double Franchise Owner
- From Teacher to Multiple Business Owner in Her Early 20’s
- She Sold Everything She Owned Including Her House, to Travel the World
- How Samantha Left Her 9-5 Because of Her Successful Etsy Business
How have you invested in yourself or asked for help in order to not burn out and become successful, more quickly?
Workshop, workshops and more workshops. I took mentorship sessions and workshops with some of the best photographers around North America. I would invest part of the money I made and put it back into my business – to learn more- to push myself. To gain more knowledge. I highly recommend taking workshops and learning from others in your field. It was the most valuable money I’ve ever spent.
Click here to download my Realistic Budget template!
When you have those rough days in entrepreneurship, what do you do when you feel like quitting?
My hubby is my lifeline. He is my biggest cheerleader and supporter. I also have surrounded myself with like-minded amazing women, who are business owners. Having a support system is huge. They make those rough days, not so rough. I also remind myself that there are “bumps” in every profession. No one profession is “perfect” you just need to find one that makes those rough days worth it.
What pieces of advice do you have for a woman who is just beginning in her businesses or up against obstacles right now and questioning if she is cut out for this?
If you’re starting out in a new business- my advice, don’t give up at the first bump in the road because there will be bumps…. its life. Write down your goals. Yearly, 5-year goals, 10-year goals. Look at them- reflect on them. Working towards something is motivating. It helps get you through the rough patches.
Also, surround yourself with people you trust and that fully 100% support you. People that will be real with you. Honest. People that will be happy for you when you succeed. Creating a positive community around you is key.
I also recommend, financial planning. Being a business owner this one is huge. Set goals, plan for the future. Make sure you know where your money is going.
You can follow Alicia at:
Click here to download my Realistic Budget template!
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Is having a location independent business something you would love to do so you can travel the world? Leave me a comment in the comments below and I will respond back to you!
I am very active on Instagram, follow me here for more financial tips & tricks: http://instagram.com/mandyythomas (@mandyythomas)