Reflections of 2020 | A Photography Business Success Story


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Yes, you read that title right. I am calling 2020 a success.

Call me crazy, but the fact that I am ending this year still in business, in my book, means that it was a success.

I mean, if my business survived a pandemic with 2 months of significantly decreased income, a decrease in booked sessions, and the complete loss of both hospital and travel sessions, then I feel confident in popping the champagne on New Year’s Eve to celebrate.

As a matter of both transparency and inspiration, I want to do some reflecting on what 2020 looked like for my business.

Here is 2020 in numbers for SGP:

94 sessions (18 less than 2019)

30 education students (22 more than 2019)

January & February 2020 made double the income of January & February 2019

March & April 2020 had half the income of March & April 2019

So, what does all this mean?

First, it is important to know that at the start of 2020, my #1 goal was to grow the education part of my business while also maintaining my client work. I had big plans for speaking at conferences, hosting my first in-person workshop, and growing education in an in-person way.

When the pandemic forced everyone into quarantine in March, I stopped to re-evaluate and did a pivot.

To be honest, like many others, I initially went into panic mode. I mean, our dual-entrepreneur household just lost most of our income. It was very scary. And things were tense for a bit. After processing what was happening and letting myself be scared, I picked myself back up and began my pivot.

At this point, I was asking myself: How could my business survive this and how could I still grow the education side of my business?

This is when the Making Lifestyle Work Mastermind was born.

Because the world was in a pandemic, I wanted to start the course completely free. I knew that people couldn’t afford education AND I knew that they would be taking a chance on me because I had so little experience in the photography education space. So, I started taking applications and creating content.

The entire mastermind process was easily the biggest gift of 2020.

And it never would have even been born if the world hadn’t shut down. I talk a lot about finding joy and seeing gifts that are all around us and this is a perfect example of that. Good can come out of bad. I challenge you to look around and see what gifts you received this year.

Anyways, choosing to teach a group of 10 photographers, completely for free, for 6 weeks was a game-changer for me.

No, I didn’t set out to do it because I thought it would bring me money later. I did it both as a gift to others and also to confirm that I liked to teach on an online platform.

The Mastermind is the #1 reason that I was able to survive this crazy year. It gave me joy, confidence, purpose and as the students decided to continue learning from me, a little added income to keep things afloat.

The Mastermind is also the root behind my biggest goal for 2021. The core foundational principles of the mastermind are being turned into an online course that launches in January and I literally cannot wait until it is out in the world.

What else will 2021 bring? Well of course I have big goals both professionally and personally. (I am an enneagram three after all. )

  1. I am hoping to majorly grow the education side of SGP.

  2. I want to continue to serve my clients well.

  3. I hope to finally host an in-person workshop.

If I am being totally truthful, I also hope to recover a bit from 2020.

No, I do not think that the world will magically “go back to normal” on January 1, 2021. But, I know that I have adjusted to the new normal. And so much of 2020 was done in fight or flight mode- I am tired. I am ready to step back into intention instead of constantly figuring out how to survive. I am ready to stop and breathe for a bit. Without fear that my business is going under.

If you are hoping to make some significant changes in your business in 2021, I would highly encourage you to sign up for my free, 3-day mini-course. In this course, I will walk you through 3 big mindset shifts photographers must make before they can grow their businesses successfully and with intention.

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