When I work I listen to creative women singers. There's something about listening to women sing while I, a woman, design for other creative women. It's really empowering. But maybe that's the feminist in me talking. So on my "Time To Design" playlist, I've got great singers like Janelle Monae, Kate Earl, Regina Spektor, A Fine Frenzy, and Adele. Most all of the songs have a good rhythm that keeps me feeling upbeat while I work.
When things get slow and I'm feeling tired and getting that "It's only 3:00??" feeling, I sometimes turn on my "Mini Dance Party" list that's full of songs that wake me up and make me want to dance. These are full blast only types of songs. And let's pray I'm not in a public place because they make me want to sing. Loud.
But I have to be honest with you. Right now, all I'm ever listening to is the Great Gatsby soundtrack. It's so wonderful and I just can't get enough!
What music do you listen to?? Anything that helps you stay motivated while you work? Tell me tell me!
Listen While You Work Pt.1
Listen While You Work Pt. 2
I was going to quit school. And no, it wasn't one of those whims I get where I was going to buy a dog or move to Thailand. Yes, both of those decisions I didn't make got planned out to the fullest and then dropped within 48 hours. But this was different. I was legitimately going to drop out of college. Which is interesting because my entire middle school and high school life was about getting to college. Funny that I would so seriously consider throwing away six years like that. Yet I was quite happy with this decision for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I got a great job. I'm learning a ton and getting a lot of practice and I'm getting paid for it. Sounds like a sweet deal to me? Well what about when good ole school comes along and my boss gets annoyed that I'm not putting in enough hours and then he hires someone else to pick up the slack and then I'm no longer an awesome employee. What about when he realizes just how long THREE MORE YEARS is going to be and he's going to be stuck with a part-time employee for that whole time. What about when I'm required to do internships for school that will take additional time away from my job (the job I'm already learning from).
Secondly, I didn't get this job because of my education. I got this job because of my skills. So if potential employers (and current employers) can see the value of my skills, the skills that I taught myself, why do I need to go to school? Why don't I just keep teaching myself and then I can save a buck or two and keep working.
Thirdly, I don't 100% like the program I'm in. I don't think it's the most awesome. It's not focused enough in some areas, yet in other areas it's too focused. They are more about graphic design as an art rather than the functional and purposeful beauty that I see it as. I wouldn't be learning web design or marketing or advertising. Just graphic design. As an art. And that bothers me. Not to mention the class schedules are not at all flexible which is bad for my job.
Fourthly, I'm super behind and don't really want to be in school for the next three years. I took a year off of school right after high school- not by choice. Definitely not by choice. It was by unfortunate circumstances that I still haven't truly gotten over. Then I did a year of school at a college I hated. Really hated. And it really killed my motivation and I lost my sense of direction. So instead of paying to go to a school I didn't like to work towards an undecided degree, I took time off to get it together. Then once I figured out what I wanted to do, I suddenly decided to go to a different school. But I started at the wrong time and couldn't even get started in the graphic design program. I was stuck doing MORE generals. So with two years of generals under my belt, I have three years left of college to go to finish the program. Not. Fun.
Fifthly, I don't like Utah. There I said it. I apologize to any Utahans that might be offended. But it's the truth. And the longer I'm in school, the longer I have to stay in Utah.
Sixthly (is that even a word?), I am a terrible grumpy hate-my-life uberdepressed bucket of stress when I'm super busy with school and work. I don't like not spending time with my husband. I don't like constantly thinking about the many things on my to do list. I don't like not having time for my hobbies, family, or friends. I don't like spending every evening on the couch with my laptop doing homework. It's freakin depressing.
Is that enough reasons to quit school?
I surely thought so. So I prayed about it to make sure it's what I should do, even though in reality my mind was already made up.
Then the other day I got my answer, the answer that I wasn't exactly waiting around for. And it was too obvious to ignore. My Heavenly Father knows I'm proud and stubborn and apparently this decision is important enough that He practically had to slap me in the face to get His message across.
I showed up to work just in time for an optional meeting celebrating the recent college graduates and giving them a chance to talk about their experiences. Though I don't normally go to optional meetings, I went to this one. And even though most of the people were or were nearly finished with college, I almost felt like the point of this meeting was to get people to go to school. And as one of the only people in the whole room that wasn't even close to done with school, I couldn't help but think that this meeting was planned for me.
One by one, the graduates talked about how great their experiences were, the connections they made, the skills they learned, the practice they got, and the memories they'll never forget. Sure, they mentioned the high cost and how difficult it was, but every single one of them was happy they did it.
And sitting in that meeting, I suddenly realized how stupid I was being. How ignorant and how proud. How much of a quitter I was going to be. And how much I needed to finish school. One of my coworkers closed the meeting by reading this quote from Gordon B. Hinckley-"You have the potential to become anything to which you set your mind. You have a mind and a body and a spirit. With these three working together, you can walk the high road that leads to achievement and happiness. But this will require effort and sacrifice and faith.
I'm gonna do it. It might take me a while, I may change programs or schools, I may have to sacrifice a lot of time and money, I may have to work extra hard to pay for it, I may be putting this job at risk. But I'll do it. Let's see how this goes then, shall we?
Does anyone else have major anxiety about school? Please tell me I'm not alone in this...
Ello! I'm Julia and I blog over at Writer's Block Near You. When Bethany asked me to write a post with some "advice" I immediately started panicking. Me?! Giving advice!? Run for your life!! My mind went blank, but with a little help from Miss Grow, I decided on a topic: How to start your own photography business. How do I have any room to give tips on that matter? Well, about three years ago my sister decided to start her own photography business, and I in the trenches with her, helping her out. It’s definitely a grueling adventure, but it’s a fun one too. (Now do keep in mind there's all the boring things like taxes and employee numbers and all that jazz that you need to have figured out in order to start any business, but I'm gonna leave that advice to your accountant. :) )
How to start your own photography business:
1. Set goals. Make a five year plan. Heck, make a ten year plan! ;) It might be difficult imagining yourself going from shooting your third cousin's senior pictures for free to having a paid wedding every weekend, but do it. Dream a little. Is this something you want to do on the side or do you want it to be your career? Decide what kind of photography you want to be. What makes your photo snapping heart happy? Do you want your focus to be on seniors and families? How about newborns? Once you figure that out, it'll make step two a whole lot easier.
2. Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! When my sister and I first started, we did everything we could think of to get our name out there. We made flyers, we went around town putting our cards anywhere that would let us, we made a Google ad, we made a Facebook ad, we hosted giveaways and contests. If we could do it, we did! Did all of those work out for us? Nope. But when it was all said and done, we figured out what worked best in our marketing area.
Each city is different and each one reacts differently. Find out what people respond best to in your area. I know this can seem a little daunting at first, but it's important to get your name out there! Also remember, you can even advertise while you’re doing your normal day to day things. One time while I was at the dentist, my hygienist and I started talking about wedding rings and that led to weddings and I told her about Jade Street. She asked for some business cards because she knew several girls who were shopping around for a photographer. Boom. Advertising. (Don't be afraid of rejection! )
3. Be creative. Find ways to make your little business different than any other. Send out Thank You Packages, make your clients their own calendar, send out anniversary postcards to the couples you’ve shot. Whatever! Just be unique! This is SO important. In today's day and age, everyone is either a photographer or knows someone who is. It's easy to start trying to BE other photographers. Now, I'm not saying that being inspired by other photographers is bad. Not at all. That's part of the awesomeness that is The Photography Community. I'm just saying, if you're not careful, you'll get sucked up in the competition of it all, and before you know it you're shooting modern style photography when you don't even like that style! ;) Don't do it! Don't short change yourself like that. Be confident in what you have to offer! You'll never be happy until you do.
4. Have patience. This is probably the hardest thing, but it's definitely important. Sometimes it takes a couple months to get busy, and sometimes it takes a couple years. Just stick with it! Don't give up on your dream. Amber and I have been taking pictures for three years now, and for what seemed like forever we just took pictures of family members. That’s okay! Keep at it. It takes a lot of work and a lot of patience. So, just remember to hang in there! Never give up, never surrender! :)
5. Lastly, practice!! I can't stress this enough. Photography is an art and a skill. Just like playing an instrument or a sport. Once you stop practicing, you'll get rusty. Trust me, it happens! Where I live, winter lasts waaaay too long, leaving us all stuck inside. It's hard to pick up the camera to take pictures during those dark days, and by the time Spring rolls around I can't remember how to turn my camera on (let alone how to take a decent picture)!
How can you stop from getting in a rut? Challenge yourself! If you're not good at taking pictures of details, make yourself take ONLY detailed shots. If you're not so great at group shots, tell your friends they have to be your guinnie pigs. Don't ever be okay with just being "okay."
I hope this helps encourage you to get out there and start living your dream job! Feel free to hop on over to my blog if you have any questions or want any more tips! Also, don’t hesitate to get in touch with my sister Amber, the real mastermind. You can get in touch with her here.
Yes, I am aware that I suck at blogging. My excuse? There are some huge changes going on for the little Grow family! As in me and Josh. No babies. Promise. Anyways.
1. Josh got promoted! He is now a full time mechanic on the line and all that jazz. That's a pretty big deal for us and he has the opportunity to make lots of money. It's pretty awesome. Man, that guy works so hard. He's pretty amazing.
2. Then the same day that he started working on the line, I got a new job! I am now a graphic designer for a marketing agency and I'm so stoked. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm already loving it. But I can't quit my other job just yet so I'm working a ton, managing both busy jobs. Not to mention designing for my own clients as well. So much to do!
So last week, we felt like old people as we went to bed earlier and napped more than ever. Isn't being an adult fun?
Anyways. I do have lots of content planned, I just need the time to create graphics, format the posts, and schedule them out. In the meantime, I thought I would share some fun facts about me. I don't spend a whole lot of time talking about myself and any of you new readers might not know me very well! So let's get to know each other!
I have a weird anxiety about calling people. It's bad. I think my whole family suffers from it. Therefore I'm not the type of person to have long phone conversations and I will never ever say "I'll call you." I will never ever work at a call center. And my family sucks at communicating with each other. P.S. I suck at texting too.
I write upside down left-handed. Or sideways. Depends on how you look at it. So my attempts at calligraphy failed because it's pretty impossible with the way I write. And if I want my handwriting to look neat on a white board, I have to write up the board, rather than left to right horizontally. I write so funny that I can't even use the special "left-hand" pens. They don't work for me!
I'm mildly obsessed with rabbits. I'm sure my husband would argue that "mildly obsessed" is quite the understatement. I had a bunny when I was a little girl and loved the heck out of it. Until it died (or my sister killed it, we'll never know). Then I wanted a bunny ever since and finally got one last year. But that didn't work out and I don't want to talk about it. So I just look at pictures and buy bunny related stuff like a weirdo.
Josh and I talk like little kids on the regular. If people heard how we talk to each other all the time, they might think we have a mental handicap or something. We say "moneys" and "rittle" (little) and my favorite word is "yisten" (listen). We're little kids at heart. No big deal.
I love analyzing movies. If I read novels I would probably analyze the crap out of those too. But who has time to read anymore?? So Josh and I regularly go to the movies and then afterwards we talk about every aspect and what was well done and what wasn't. In another life I was a movie critic. I'm sure of it. Anyone want to start a movie club with me?
I was the ultimate nerd in high school. Thankfully at my high school, the nerds weren't outcasts. Oddly enough, they were kinda cool. I was on the academic team where we studied our butts off for fun so we could compete in a competition and take eight crazy difficult tests. On top of that, I was the editor of the newspaper. And played golf.
I hate driving. Maybe this kicked in after we got in an accident or maybe it was when I realized that driving in Utah makes me angry (stay out of the fast lane if you aren't driving fast!!) but I don't like driving. I love to walk and I think public transportation is... entertaining? And I will avoid driving at all costs. Thank goodness my husband is willing to drive me places and I get free public transportation. We might just have one car forever. And I would be AOK with that.
I'm lactose intolerant and my favorite foods are ice cream and cheese. How ironic. Pretty sure it's a cruel joke. But no matter. I'll take all the lactose supplemental pills I need so I can eat all the ice cream I want. Stomach pains are so regular I don't even notice anymore. Nothing will stop me.
What are some fun facts about you? Do we have any similarities?? Tell me! And I promise I'll be posting regularly soon.