March 12, 2020
Devin Robinson recently said something along the lines on his podcast that “the fastest way to learn is to fail quickly.”
That really stuck with me. Failing isn’t fun, but you learn from what you did wrong, make adjustments, and do it again.
There’s the word. Learn.
My biggest years of success in my business were followed by years that I invested in my education.
2015 – Purchased the Academy of International Wedding Photographers, Attended Creative at Heart, did one-on-one mentoring with Katelyn James, attended Showit UNITED, purchased the Katelyn James Consistency Course.
2016 – Quit my teaching job and went full time
2016 – Purchased the Posing Course from Katelyn James, Attended Creative at Heart, purchased numerous online courses, completed the International Academy of Wedding Photographers courses, attended Showit UNITED
2017 – Had my most profitable year in business booking 25 weddings with an average price point of 3200
2017 – Became pregnant with my daughter and took it rather easily. After all, shooting 25 weddings was exhausting while pregnant. I limited the bridal education on my blog. I attended Creative at Heart for the third time, purchased the Katelyn James Lighting and Locations course, and Davey and Krista’s SEO Course
2018 – Photographed only 13 weddings and two small elopements, had a 40k drop in gross income from the previous year. 2018 was a transition year trying to figure out the roles of motherhood and how a business would fall into that world.
2019 – Invested over 8k in education between a business coach, online courses, and attending Showit United for the third time. I put to work all the education that I had invested in the last three years and got to work getting my business back off the ground after a season of transition.
2019 – Saw a 25k increase in profits from the previous year.
2020 – At the time of writing this article, I have already invested 6k in my education between a business coach and a course from Devin Robinson. Projections have me hitting the six-figure mark for the first time ever in my business. I have booked two weddings that are three times the price I charged when I went full time in 2016! #mindblown!
Please understand, I don’t share the financial side of my business for bragging rights. I share it because when looking at what I invested (or didn’t!) in education, the following year ends up being a year of substantial growth (or doesn’t – ie: 2018 – my slowest season since going full time in 2016). There is a direct correlation between the amount of money that I spend ON my business and the growth that occurs.
If you’re in a season of slump with your business and you’re simply trying to find your way out, education will always be the first thing I recommend you do differently. When you surround yourself with people who are growing and people that are pushing you to be a better version of yourself, you will see a difference! Not just a small difference, but the return on your investment should be tenfold!
And I simply will not accept any excuses for investing in your education. There are plenty of FREE resources out there right now for you to dive into! Podcasts are some of my favorite free ways to gain new knowledge. Facebook groups are another fantastic way to learn. Attend your local Tuesday Together meeting (Local to Canton, Ohio?! Join our group here!)! Each month has a brand new topic, and each meeting will have at least one person in attendance that, if you are listening, will say something you will learn from.
Some of my favorite podcasts:
Some of my favorite Facebook groups:
If you only have a small budget for education, start by purchasing books! Here is a list on Amazon of some of my favorite business books for every kind of business owner! If you don’t have $20 every month for a new book, go to your local library!! I mean when I say I won’t expect a single excuse for why you can’t invest in your education!
There are monthly subscriptions to online courses that produce new content each month. If you’re a business creative, I highly suggest you check out Kat’s 24/7 Community.
If you are a wedding photographer, Katelyn James has her All Access community that is phenomenal! Even if you’re not a wedding photographer, but you photograph couples or families, you will find value in these videos!
You can also find online courses for under $300! Business Made Simple University from Donald Miller and team is a 100% recommended course by yours truly. The man is a genius in running a business! You can snag the course for $275 a year!
One of my favorite ways to learn is by attending conferences. The first-ever conference I attended was Creative at Heart (round 2) in March 2015. That conference was life-changing for me. It was after coming home from C@H that I first started thinking that going full-time in my business was even a possibility.
Showit every November puts on UNITED in Tempe, Arizona. For a girl living in Ohio, this conference is my last chance of SUNSHINE and warmth before the long, cold, dark days of winter arrive. There is something so motivational about being in a room with 300+ other people who all seek the same things! I find such value in that wonderful community every trip to Arizona for UNITED. And then I come home with an incredible todo list to better my business!
In 2017, I had a conversation with Katelyn James about my education and how I was struggling to see the growth from regular education that I had the years prior. She told me exactly what I already knew – I needed a business coach or a mastermind. Something that would dig deeper than just surface-level techniques. Something that would make me answer the hard questions. Hard questions that didn’t have easy answers to!
August 2019 I signed up with Chad DiBalsio for one on one coaching. Chad was the one asking me deep questions. Questions that I didn’t have easy answers for. Chad was pushing me in ways that I had never been pushed before. I was given the confidence to serve my clients in bigger and better ways. I was reminded daily that my talent is important and makes an impact.
The largest business investment I ever made in my business for education was hiring a business coach. But it has had the biggest reward for my business. For the first time in my business, I’m projected to hit that infamous six-figure mark. I’ve introduced in-person sales and serving my couples in a way that I have never been able to serve before!
People with great success do not find themselves there overnight. And they didn’t get there alone. Successful people have invested thousands of dollars into their education and have worked hard to get there. They’ve been in the trenches, they’ve asked hard questions, they’ve been pushed. Successful people have their own list of failures. But the difference between them and someone else that isn’t successful is great.
So tell me this, what are you investing in this year to see growth? Not only in your business, but also in your personal life?
It’s only March. There are wonderful conferences out there happening every month! You have access to all the podcasts. And you can easily hop on Amazon right now and purchase a book. So I ask you again, how are you growing your business this year? How are you going to be a better human tomorrow? How are you going to learn? Who are you going to learn from?
Hop over to The Graceful Gathering and purchase your early bird ticket before Thursday, March 19th! After midnight, the price nearly doubles! There are over a dozen speakers ready to pour into people and help attendees grow in their business! Who knows, maybe you’ll be like me in 2015. Attend your first conference and have the confidence to take your business full time!
Pin the photo below to your Pinterest Business Board to revisit again!