Hello again, it’s good to see you.
One year ago today I officially started my business, Scott Booth Photography.
This has been an incredible year for me to say the least. Some other adjectives that come to mind are: terrifying, exciting, depressing, thrilling, isolating and freeing.
In many ways it feels like it’s been the longest year of my life.
I live my life week to week right now. Sometimes it’s just day to day. Someday I suppose it will fall into a more predictable pattern but I’ve almost gotten used to this level of uncertainty in my life. Almost.
There have been some difficult stretches. February was the worst. My business didn’t exactly start with a bang. More like a tiny pop. Then winter rolled in and business slowed to almost nothing at all. I could actually feel the money slowly dripping out of our savings while digging ourselves out of one snowstorm after another. We had many discussions about “what happens if business doesn’t actually pick up? How long can we realistically live off of our savings?”
Things did get better… Otherwise I probably wouldn’t be writing this post altogether. When I closed the books on March and I had broken even for the first time I was so excited that I wanted to throw a party. But that would have put us back in the red… so I just breathed a celebratory sigh of relief instead.
In many ways things have become more regular since then. Some months I think that everything is going great and I’m really getting a handle on how to successfully run a business. Then something completely unforeseen comes up and I feel like it’s all going to fall apart. Things like:
- My hard drive crashing and needing to reinstall windows, all of my editing software and editing photos from 3 house-shoots before noon the following day.
- Dropping my camera and damaging the autofocus during a shoot, then relying on my backup for 4 weeks
- Sending my Quarterly Tax Estimates to the wrong destination and taking 5 1/2 hours on the phone with the IRS trying to sort it all out
I guess my point here is that it’s been a scary, sometimes fun, but mostly scary ride this past year. I am very proud that I’ve managed to make it work. I had a ton of doubts when I started this thing and I still have doubts about where it’s going. I couldn’t say with any certainty that I’ll be in business for another year.
But that’s okay. I gave up on certainty last year.
I chose to walk away from a comfortable job where I knew my role. I did my job and I got paid very well for it. I also had great healthcare and a decent amount of vacation time. I knew what next week looked like back then. But I also knew that I was just coasting along. I wanted to break off and be my own boss for a long, long time while working for someone else. It’s so much harder and more exhausting than I could have every imagined.
It’s not at all what I thought it was going to be. It’s not as fun. It’s not freeing. It’s not even rewarding, at least not in the way I expected it to feel.
But it is mine. And the lights are still on and my doors are still open.
Happy Birthday SBP