Less than two years ago, my husband splurged and bought me my first DSLR camera. I had wanted one for years but never made the investment. Now here I am, less than two years later with a full-time career in wedding photography. How crazy is that??
Other small business owners and friends think I have some crazy secret or formula. How did I do it? You must think I have all of the answers, right?
Well after three years of teaching elementary school, years of babysitting, and raising a foster love, I have read quite a few children’s books. I think the wonderful Dr. Seuss stated my secret to success much more eloquently than I ever could:
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” -Dr. Seuss
The truth is, we live in a world where the media is constantly telling us what to look like, what to say, and how we should act to gain popularity. I have always avoided finding self-worth in the number of followers and “likes” I receive. But when marketing for my business, the truth is that I need to work at having a following. But I never want to change who I am in order to do so.
I share a lot that I love coffee. Not because I think it’s trendy, but because I legitimately drink 3-4 cups a day and have an enormous mug collection. One of my students even drew the cutest illustration of me that included a cup of coffee in my hand!
I share that I am a Christian. Not because I think it it’s trendy; in fact, I know it’s quite the opposite. But I want to be open about my faith, and hopefully, that will give me the opportunity to share it with someone who needs to hear the Gospel, even if it causes me to lose a few followers.
I share that I am a foster mom. Not because I think it’s trendy, but because I have seen first hand how important fostering is. I hope that by sharing our journey honestly, others will decide to help those in need.
I am a 25-year-old, coffee-loving, wife to the silliest guy, foster mom to the funniest wild child with stellar dance moves, and a follower of Christ. I love people; my dad used to say if you looked up the word extrovert in the dictionary, you would see my picture beside it.
I love ballet and pretty things. I can organize a business but never have a clean room. I will spend thousands of dollars impulsively on camera gear but haven’t had a haircut in almost a year because I don’t want to spend money on it. Some weeks I cook a homemade dinner each night, others we eat Spaghetti O’s and frozen pizza.
I watch the same shows over and over because I don’t want to have to attach to new characters. I am a hopeless romantic who used to make up bedtime stories about princesses to tell my friends. (in college haha!)
When I have an idea, I go for it before I have time to chicken out; even if that idea means I end up hours away at the beach on a whim in the middle of the night, or I resign from my teaching job weeks before school starts. Do these things make me perfect? Far from it. But they do make me a real person.
While I love being a business owner and wedding photographer, I am never going to change who I am and my values in order to fit a mold that society says I should.
Neither should you.
If you love Taylor Swift, then love Taylor Swift whether you gain a follower or not.
If you’re a photographer who loves animals, then specialize in animal photography, or capture friends with their fur babies.
If you’re passionate about something, pursue that, regardless of what everyone else is doing.
I get so discouraged seeing everyone try to fit into the same mold.
So that, my friends, is what I believe my secret to success is. I am me, with all of my flaws, my passions, and my quirks. There will always only be one Katelyn Workman, and I believe I am able to build genuine connections through being true to myself, and those connections will become clients and friends.
So be you, because no one else is going to do it like you can. THAT is what will cause you to stand out and succeed!