This is an open letter to my fellow small business owners. Whether you're a photographer, event planner, clothing designer, artist, etc., all while holding down a full time or part time job. This one's for you.
Here's to the creatives. The wild free spirits bound by the constraints of a 9-5. The people chomping at the bit to take their dreams full time but know that responsibilities won't allow that certain freedom. Patience and hope is the balloon but reality is the arrow keeping it from flying away. This one's for you.
The ones that come home from a career or 'day' job and scroll through your newsfeeds with the slightest scent of envy to see those full time creatives. No intention of malice but every intention of one day being on the opposite side of that social media highlight reel.
Here's the thing, you are doing enough. By getting your business up and running and not waving your white flag at the mountains ahead of you, that is enough. Your clients don't resent you because you have to wait a few hours to answer that call or be extra cautious when you schedule that week day appointment. They don't think twice when supporting your business because they don't think you are capable of juggling it with your job.
You know that feeling you get when you think other 'Full Timers' are judging you? Thinking less of you because you are still stuck working so you get that feeling that you aren't good enough? That feeling doesn't exist because no one is thinking that. You are the only person standing in the way of completely owning your life and taking control, or succumbing to the pressures of having to do it 'one way or the other'.
You don't have to pick a lane and drive in it. If you want to work full time and run a small business, or hell, a large business. Do it. Other than driving your sanity into the ground, there's no reason you can't do both. It's empowering. I actually prefer to keep a full time job and do photography because it gives me a creative freedom that I otherwise wouldn't have if I was relying on it as my sole income. It works for me and it has been for years. I made the choice and so can you.
There's an overwhelming sense that in order to be the best at something, it has to be your only something. However that couldn't be further from the truth. Keep pushing, keep dreaming, and keep working because no matter where your dreams take you, they aren't going to get there by staring at your laptop screen.