It's hard to believe that May is already here! I think I say it every year, but this year has been the fastest I can remember. Between weddings, building my food & branding photography, the most intense year of Chip's residency program and day-to-day life, time is sneaking by. But, I'm aiming to cherish every moment of it! And just yesterday I celebrated two years in business! Wow!
2 years ago I launched my little company and went part time at my old job in public relations/social media. We were packing up our Athens house that had become a home to move to Augusta, GA, and our bags were loaded to head to Italy with family for Chip's medical school graduation festivity! It's hard to believe all that's possible in 2 years! Our God is ultimately creative and continues to blow my mind with His plan for each of us. Now, here I am, so grateful for the job I have and the people who encourage me to keep walking the path. The fear and newness still sneaks in just as it did two years ago, but the joy is tenfold. I actually can't even imagine this career without the people who give me endless high fives, serious belly laughs and hold my hand when the "what the heck am I doing?" feelings come along. Not to mention the clients who have become friends and friends who have become clients. There is no greater honor than serving each and every one of you. These two years would not have been possible, and I'm so grateful for all the joy and lessons I've learned along the way.
For those of you just starting out, know it is possible. And you are worthy of making that leap... in fact, sometimes I wish I would have heard that myself 2 years ago, so if you're there, perhaps this letter might help. A note as a reminder to: "Bloom where you are planted," if you will.
3 Things You'll Need to Know in Your First 2 Years of Business - from Lauren, year 2, to Lauren, starting out (and to all the other creatives out there needing a boost)
Welcome to the first week of entrepreneurship! Proud of you for making the leap and being intentional with the process. You don't even know yet how grateful you'll be for these past 5 years in communications once you get moving in creativepreneur life. It's absolutely bittersweet to leave, but be encouraged in knowing He is absolutely calling you to this place.
I know you're feeling equal amounts of excited as you are absolutely petrified, but hang in there. You're going to be grateful for a bit of consistency in working part-time remotely for your old job when you move next week to Augusta. You're right, it's not easy launching a business, building a new life, and supporting your husband in residency, all while keeping some semblance of work/life balance, but be encouraged, you have the heart and the dedication, even if some days you want to throw in the towel. And there will be those days. Oh man there will be those days.
However, there are far greater things to come than those you have left behind. In fact, I've seen the path you'll walk for the next two years, so here are a few things to note as you're on your way.
1. Find your tribe: The people are what makes any community a community and any business a business. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely life if you let it. Those yoga pants and midday Pitch Perfect jamout sessions are only made better by time in community with other creatives who just "get" you, so don't be afraid to reach out and seek a buddy. You'll be amazed at truly how much of an impact those ahead of you and those who come after you will make on your life. You'll glean from each of them more than you can possibly hope to give. But give anyway. Give everything you have. After all, you're only here due to those who have given of themselves and from His grace and guidance. They say: "Your vibe attracts your tribe," so show love and encouragement and you'll get that back in a time when you so desperately need it.
2. Build a business to build a life: You'll meet this amazingly inspiring woman, Natalie Franke, who will clue you into this idea... just take it to heart as soon as you can, ok? Make yourself a list of all the reasons you've created this business. Yea, write them down... to serve, to create, to choose when you're "on" and when you're "off" - remember those. Refer back to the boundaries, the guardrails, when you're struggling to make decisions. You are a forever "yes woman" but remember that you must choose the best yes (also, you still need to check that book off to your "Must Read" list!).
Many days you'll be tempted to build a business and forget about the life. But oh, dear friend, the life is what it's all about! What is business without the life?! Work hard, play hard. When you have the chance to hop on a plane with your husband to Paris in the middle of wedding season, take it. When you're weighing Sunday afternoon cocktails or a walk with Sophie & Chipper over editing, grab that muddler, whip together a mean mojito and lace up those sneakers. The e-mails, the editing, the never-ending to do list - that can all wait. But cherish the people and the experiences. Your family & friends were there long before LCP was even a glimmer in your eye, and they'll be there long after. Plus, your clients & tribe celebrate your personal life as much as your business! What a thing to be praised!
3. You are enough: Oh how you will question this one. I know what you're thinking here. You're fighting me on this one. Don't let perfection sit in the way of what you know is to be good and true: He has created you perfectly already. Perfectly imperfect. "A tasteful crumb," as you'll lovingly call your mantra in food styling, is exactly what we all need in life. People want authentic. They don't care if your kitchen is a disaster if that means you handmade them scones... do you and be proud of it.
Goodness, you will fail so hard your brain will spin. But it's not the end of the world. In all the moments when you are feeling the weight of seemingly not being good enough, creative enough, a go-getter enough, cooking enough, cleaning enough, working out enough... In the wise words of Elsa, let it go. Just say it - call it out on the floor: "ENOUGH!" That burden was never intended for you to bear. Yet you'll let it eat at you in moments of self-doubt and questioning. In all those moments, don't look to social media or to those people who bring out an envy something fierce in you. You don't know their story, but I do know yours, and the most important thing you must know: you are more than enough. Run your race. (Or walk/skip/dance it, because we all know you hate running...)
Hey, thanks for listening. Keep on, keepin' on, friend. Can't wait for the adventure in store!