It was 2016 and I was working consistently as a Child & Youth Worker. I loved many aspects of my job. I enjoyed supporting young people with emotional, mental and behavioural challenges. I actually felt that it was my calling at one point and that everything was beginning to fall in line with career opportunities. The more job offers or shifts I received the more I measured how successful I was. There was one thing missing though and it was a BIG “one thing”. I wasn’t feeling spiritually, mentally and emotionally fulfilled. I still had to answer to someone else, my creativity wasn’t being explored and I had a deep passion for travelling. As most of us know, full-time jobs for big organizations usually mean requesting time off and trying not to piss off your coworkers and managers in the meantime. I also didn’t see myself working front line with children with various types of socio-emotional challenges and sometimes aggression when I was 50 or 60 years old. I was already beginning to feel burnt out, unfulfilled and bored & truly couldn’t imagine my level of burn-out in 10 more years, let alone at the age of retirement.

For several years, I was social media friends with my now wedding business partner and lead videographer of Four The Dream Weddings, Jamal Ward from Flash Forward MG. We use to have late night conversations dreaming and fantasizing about our one day entrepeneurial lives, pass on tips to one another and try to encourage the step taking needed to fully leap into this scary world of business. Jamal quit his job first, and within 2 months it was my turn. Although, the leap took some time to adjust to as I was constantly battling my inner doubt (“what if nobody books me?”, “what if I don’t have any money?”, “what if I fail?”), it was ultimately the most liberating feeling I had felt in my adult career life.

After solely relying on my photography income, there were months that I felt I had to continuously run promotions in order to afford my rent & there were others that felt like I was on top of the world and had some room to upgrade a lens or prop. This consistent back and forth of unstable finances as well as the necessary growing pains that all businesses experience when they first start felt like this business of mine might have been one big waste of time. I cannot count how many times I had moments of, “what did I do to myself?”, “why did I choose to pursue this when I don’t have more money saved, more credit to my name or the clients I want and need to make this work”. It was incredibly hard, but it came to the point that I had to start analyzing it for what it was. I was CHOOSING temporarily instability for the long term spiritual, mental and emotional happiness I deserved. I knew that I was meant to create and to run some type of program or business for a long time. Finally, I had brought my pride and joy to a level that I could no longer work full-time hours in a highly demanding career field, while trying to bring Autumn Bri Photography to the level I wanted it to get to. 

It was around this time that a close family friend said to me “you will not be able to fully get to where you want to be with your PLAN A, when you’re still delegating time and focusing so much on your PLAN B“. First I wasn’t sure how to take that. I remember while growing up, that I needed to have a back up plan in case my dream didn’t work out. When I started looking at it with a whole new perspective, I realized that in actuality, if you do not take risks you will spend your whole life wondering “what if”. The worse case scenario in my situation was possibly needing to secure another job if my business didn’t work out how I wanted it to. I repeat, that was the WORSE! I wasn’t going to die, I wasn’t going to lose a limb, I was simply going to have to apply for a job if I didn’t reach my desired goals by whichever unrealistic deadlines I imposed on myself.; The way I really looked at it was, “now I have no reason to not make this work, because if I don’t do xy and z then I will not have the money to survive because there is NO LONGER a backup”. When you are able to fall back on a backup plan, it often holds us back. Why? Because you will not and do not have the same hunger as you would if you have no choice but to make things happen. Your time is delegated differently, the things your prioritize will be different and your hunger to get things done will be different.

This is not to say that it’s unreasonable or unrealistic to work a 9-5 in the midst of working towards your dream or PLAN A, but when that feeling keeps creeping up on you every time you envision life as a full-time entrepreneur, maybe just maybe it’s time. Go with it and see what happens. The very thing you might need to reach higher levels may possibly be losing the very thing you think you need in order to sustain.


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