Happy New Year!
Wait? What? What do you mean it’s already February? I guess it’s true what they say about time flying when you’re having fun. I’m having fun, are you? If you’re not, why not? Do something to change that would you.
I thought it might be about time to put out a little update, fill you in on what’s been going on in my world. A lot has changed for me since 2018 and I’m very excited to share it with you. First of all, I quit my job. EEEK! Scary, yes. Necessary, yes. For my mental health and in order to lower my stress levels it was absolutely necessary. It’s also about time for me to actually act on my dreams, act on the things I’ve talked about for the last 40 years or so. It’s never too late, right? This is something I’ve talked about and encouraged others to do as long as I can remember, if you’re not happy with something in your life, change it. You have that power. So what if it is not the societal norm, pffft who cares about being normal anyway? I have watched so many others go through the motions of having a real job, doing what they are expected to do and I get it, I do understand the need for an income, paying bills and all that responsibility stuff, but at what cost? Sometimes, the cost is high, our health, our well-being and our happiness. Is it worth it? I honestly do not believe it is. So, I did something about it. Moved on from a toxic work relationship, all it takes is one person to make a job that is not so bad turn into a job you can’t stand doing. All of that, that negativity, all that goes with that, it affects everything in your life. It is so not worth it. So, I’m breathing now, I am much more calm, relaxed and happy. Did I mention scared? Of course, it’s scary to not have an income or have the income you’re used to having, but in the end all through my life, job, no job and whatever the situation I managed to make it through and managed to make things work. I’m pretty sure I’ll make this work as well.
What am I doing?
That is a loaded question I suppose, I can honestly say that I don’t always know what I’m doing. I’ve always been a bit of a ‘wing it and see what happens’ type of person so there is still some of that going on. What happens if? is a question I’ve asked a billion times in my life. So you try it, see what happens and go from there. First of all about 7 months ago I started writing for myself. Every morning I write three pages about whatever comes out of my head. If you’re not familiar with The Artist’s Way I highly recommend it. The book is actually an action book, prompting you to take action, do the exercises and push yourself to change the way you think about being an artist, get past creative blocks and allow yourself to actually be an artist. Along with that comes these morning pages. I did not think I would keep up with it but I have 174 days worth so far, mostly consistent with some time away from it for a vacation and sometimes I leave it alone for the weekend. What has this done for me? What can it do for you? Writing every morning has helped me move my business forward much quicker than I imagined. It has allowed me to pursue ideas, put ideas into practice, create workshops, write articles, clear out my house, vent, be emotional, cheer myself on, tell myself it will be ok and so much more. It’s amazing how much clearer my head is when I’m done, how much more focused I am when I start my day. That focus is huge for me. (If you know me, you know this is big.)
I also enrolled in a year-long business course. It’s not a ho-hum totally boring type course though, it’s a fun course led by Melissa Cassera and shared with a cool group of other business owners going through the course. It’s a little over the top for my style at times but the contents, lessons, worksheets, workbook and the activity in the facebook group has kept me much more motivated and yes, even focused. So, once a week or so I take some time to listen to lessons, do the work and figure out how to apply to my own business. It’s only been a month, but again, I’ve made huge strides and have created forward movement which feels amazing.
Speaking of my business
Having more time to actually work on my own work, to actually feel like working on my own work instead of being burned out or emotionally drained at the end of the workday, oh my gosh! It is an incredible feeling, let me tell you. I am working (most days) more hours than when I had a ‘real’ job. So much to do, so many projects, so much I feel like I am catching up with. All the things I talked about, dreamed about doing, I’m actually working on those things now. I still freak out every few days about the no salary thing but then this is worth it and I remember that I am bringing in some income still and the harder I work on this the more that will increase. It takes some time. It’s only been a month, a focused month. What are these projects you ask? (You did, I heard you.)
Selling my work is something I’ve been doing on and off for the last several years. Now I have time to spend uploading to the sites I sell from on a much more consistent basis. Along with selling comes promoting because you know, you can’t just throw the stuff out there, you have to market, promote, advertise and get the word out any way you can. If you’re interested in selling your own work online these articles for Photofocus might help you out a bit: A practical guide to selling your photography online & Marketing fine art photography. You’re always welcome to contact me directly as well.
There was a joke amongst some of my photographer friends a few years ago that I was the Accidental Mentor or Reluctant Mentor as I couldn’t/can’t help myself from helping others in their own photography journey. So, now it’s time. I am reluctant no longer. I am now offering online mentoring which you can find here: See! with Lauri Novak. Today actually is the first day I’m putting the new 6-week mentorship out there. There are only 7 spaces available so if you’re interested, you may not want to wait on that one. There will be in-person mentoring, photo walks and workshops coming in the spring, I am working on what those will be and how they’ll work. I have to say, I’m excited, nervous and looking forward to sharing with others my non-technical, unique views of the world around us.
Is there more?
Only a little. I’m excited to be an author for Photofocus.com and actually contribute on a regular basis. The team is heading to Vegas at the end of the month for our retreat and I can’t wait to be motivated and inspired by them all. The end of May I will be heading to Orlando for the 3rd Scavenger Hunt Meetup. I had to miss the 2nd one so am really looking forward to hugging some longtime friends in person and getting out shooting with them. Then I’ll be sticking around for Photoshop World for some more learning and inspiration, and catching up with more friends. Can’t beat that.
I feel like I’m forgetting something but I’ve blathered on long enough here. I’ll leave you with two things: 1) If you have topics you’d like to see written about please comment on this blog post or contact me. 2) Always feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, suggestions or things you might need some help with. Contact me.