If you follow our business page on FACEBOOK you may have seen a few weeks ago that I (Jeremy) quit my other job. In all honesty, we never thought it would come this soon. There are hundreds if not thousands of rising photographers who need/want to make this shift as well, and so I hope this article inspires you to do the same when the timing is right.
We knew for a while that I wanted to work our photography business full-time, but we did not know when it would become a reality. Mainly, I wanted to be home to be able to spend more time with Kristin and Stella. As many of you know I am still in graduate school working on my second master’s degree and working a part-time job plus photographing weddings on weekends plus spending time with my girls led to crazy busy weeks. A few months back we watched a photography workshop online by Zach and Jody Gray (on CreativeLIVE) and Jody said she knew it was time to quit her job when she felt like she had no life outside of work. That isn’t living.
I felt so consumed between my current job, and helping out around the home with our business, that literally each day was jammed pack with a to-do list, and “personal” time usually only came on Sunday afternoons, which often just resulted in a nap. We decided things needed to change…and quickly. This wasn’t healthy for our marriage, our business, or our family.
Here are a few practical steps we agreed upon for “when” the “right” time would be for me to dive-in full-time.
(1) – We wanted at least 12 weddings booked for this year that we haven’t photographed yet. Ideally 15, but 12 would be okay. We had 12 when I gave my 2-week notice to my boss…and we had 15 by the time I quit. Isn’t God awesome?! We are praying for 24 weddings for 2013.
(2) – We wanted to pay off a small debt. Ok, we are not trying to get into a financial debate here…haha…but occasionally we do those “12 months free financing” deals. We not recommend doing those unless you plan on paying them off within the designated time (according to Dave Ramsey, 88% of free financing plans are not paid off on-time). But we always paid them off on-time and simply wanted to eliminate this small debt that was looming over us.
(3) – We wanted to have X dollars in our savings account. We sacrificed a lot over the last few months to save as much as possible to be our “safety net” when I quit. We know and realize that some months are going to have high revenue and some low…..so we needed this amount in savings to ensure we were okay for a while.
(4) – We wanted to have good photography equipment. Equipment is REALLY expensive. We have probably invested over $10,000 already and we still have a huge “wish list” but there were certain items that we wanted to make sure we have before we are 100% dependent on our photography income.
That’s basically it. We didn’t want to go into this stupidly but rather with a plan. It is REALLY scary to realize we don’t have a “steady” income anymore, but our potential is limitless. If you are thinking about a career change or quitting your job to pursue your dream….I don’t recommend doing it on a whim. Pray over the matter and make sure the timing is right. And then when you do make this decision…charge forward! There is no looking back. Don’t give yourself the option to fail. If failure is not an option then you WILL make it work and you WILL succeed!
We are very excited to be able to work together and provide even better service to our wedding couples!