How Miranda O’Leary Photography began.
I sit here today thinking back on how Miranda O’Leary Photography started out for me, and I want to share a bit about my entrepreneurial journey.
I was working full time raising two babies and struggled each day just getting out of the house. I started to wonder what else did I have a passion for. I loved my job but it was not giving me balance with my family that I wanted. I know many mothers can relate to this. Photography was the one thing that kept staying in my head, the thing that always gave me joy. It satisfied my creative mind and in those moments I felt happy.
I was never one to step out of my comfort zone. I had a great paying job, a fabulous boss, the best coworkers a girl could ask for. So, I’m not really sure why I took the leap, but, I might have a little idea of why. I believe I was actually in deep postpartum depression during this time.
I was having a break down I just didn’t know it yet. I felt sad, I was missing out on so many moments with the girls as they growing up. I would wake up each day wondering if I would feel happy again, if this is all there was to my day.
I put more effort into playing around with my photography for about a year, slowly building up a small clientele while working. Trying to figure life out and where it would lead me.
I remember talking with family and feeling discouraged by their responses on me being a business owner. I saw their hesitation on the matter. It was kind of a crazy idea to leave an amazing, secure job that I had spent 12 years really loving. But guess what? I was totally crazy at this time.
Do you ever wonder why things happen to you in your life? Well me having a break down was perfect timing because I took a leap of faith I never would have taken.
The day finally happened… I was driving to work and got another flat tire. It had happened a few times that month. I am really good at changing tires, by the way. Upon my entrance into the office, I got the glare from the boss. He would never have said anything to make me feel bad. He was the best boss ever, but, I hated disappointing him again by being late. It was that day I walked into his office and told him I needed to quit. I had not talked with my husband on this even. I just felt the need to make a change.
Driving home I thought. What have I done? What will I do? What will my family say? How do I move forward?
My mind was racing with fear, ambitions, and relief. I was free to make my life what I needed it to be.
This is the biggest joke ever. What I didn’t realize is all the work that needs to go into being your own boss. The long hours, the pressure, the self-educating, office management, technical aspects, the deadlines, the self discipline, the organization,an not knowing what to do next to make this work. I struggled hard for many years. I still have struggles to this date that I push through and come out the other side stronger for it. Plus looking back on my first images I really sucked at photography and had no idea what I was doing.
I have many things I would have done differently when starting this venture. I would have taken a business course first. I would have worked out my cost of doing business instead of giving my work away for pennies and had nothing to invest back into the growth of my business. I would have started a retirement plan for myself right away. I would not have stressed over comparing my work to others in the field. I would not have taken on a zillion clients that equaled a zillion hours away from my family. I would have changed so many things to get to where I am today much faster.
I rode it out. By year 5 I had survived. It wasn’t without many times of wanting to just give up. I finally felt I was getting the hang of things.
Today I’m still trying to create the life/work balance I have always dreamed of having. Some times I have it then its gone again. I truly believe it’s always going to be a dream we all strive for. At the end of the day we did the best we can and we should be happy with that.
Looking back on the past 13 years in business I have gained so many new friends through my work. People I never would have meet are part of my daily life, that is the best blessing I have gotten out of all my struggles.
This past year has been the most personal growth and business growth I have ever experienced. I finally stopped competing with others in the field and started unifying with them so we all can grow our business in this city. It’s been such an amazing experience. I am very blessed to have these wonderful photographers in my life.
Depression can be a life long battle, but I am truly thankful for the depression. It took me out of myself, in search of something greater. It made me stronger, braver, more creative, and more determined. It showed me what I really needed in my life and put it into perspective. I know so many women dealing with depression. My words to you are embrace it and listen to it. It can lead you to greater things. Do I recommend starting a business in the midst of it? Maybe not, but listen to it. I’m really glad I did.
I hope you enjoyed this blog about my roller coaster of being a business owner.
Miranda O’Leary Photography