As a Portland web designer and photographer for small business, and a small business owner myself, I’ve learned that change is something you have to be ready for. It’s not something I’ve always felt comfortable with, but part of the challenge of running your own business is accepting that it’s a journey, and that it’s going to take unexpected turns.
I recently went to The Mother of Reinvention, an event hosted by Marlynn at Urban Bliss Media, and the theme of the discussion was, well, Reinvention. She brought together a panel of several driven businesswomen–including Jen Barth, whom I worked with in her former life at Big Small Brands–and they shared stories about where they began their careers, and how they’ve reinvented themselves to get where they are today.
Since going into business for the first time, I’ve been through some major transitions, myself–gaining and losing business partners, leaving behind the security of a day job–and I felt a certain amount of embarrassment about that. Whenever a friend or a client asked me how things were going or sent me a referral, I was almost ashamed to explain that I had a day job, or that I was now focusing on weddings and portraits, or that I’d shifted my focus entirely away from weddings–I thought it’d seem like I didn’t have my act together, or like I wasn’t serious about my work, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
With that in mind, it was incredibly comforting to hear the Mother of Reinvention panelists talk about the changes they went through–relocation, divorce, quitting their day jobs, having children. Changes in their personal lives made ripples in their professional lives, and they needed their work lives to change so they could be happy. Their transitions weren’t taken lightly, and none of these women would have predicted they’d end up where they did. But, they were each happy to be where they are, and they weren’t shy about the twists and turns it took to get there. The same was true for me, too–the changes I went through in my work life were adjustments I had to make to fit the person I’d become, and the life I wanted to build.
After listening to the tales of others at The Mother of Reinvention, and sharing a few snippets of my own story, one thought kept floating to the front of my mind: The person you’re talking with now isn’t who they were a year ago. Your life and business will change. It’s okay to accept and be open about it. As much as you may plan and plot for the future, you can’t always predict where your work and your life will take you. It’s okay to want something different, and to adjust your goals to fit the person you are now. Embracing the journey and the changes that come with it are a huge step towards finding your happy place.
What transitions have you been through in your work? Have they helped you find your true calling? Leave a comment and tell me about it.