GUEST POST: Flash & Flare Photography on her 1st Anniversary
A year ago, my friend Nichole Kelley decided that it was time to stop dreaming her dream and start doing it. If that isn't gutsy, I don't know what is! Through a combination of hardwork, talent, and serious people skills, I'm excited to say that on the first anniversary of starting Flash & Flare Photography, she's a huge success, one of the most popular photographers in her area, and that there's no sign of having hit her small business' growth ceiling.
So I asked Nichole if she would share with us, in honor of one year of huge success, her top five pieces of advice for starting a successful small business.
I love this picture of her daughter!
First things first! My name is Nichole Kelley. I own Flash and Flare Photography based out of Kingsland, Georgia. I'm a wife, mother of 3, business owner, psychologist at times, and a true Jersey girl. I launched my website and Facebook page a year ago and began my journey to becoming my own boss. It's been a wild ride, but here I am a year later doing what I love full time and I like to think that it came from my nonstop grind and strong work ethic. Here is what I came up with for anyone out there wanting to make their dreams a reality.
1. Dream BIG!
REALLY BIG! See yourself at the highest point you could ever be in a successful business and aim for that! 2. Market yourself!
I'll hand out cards in the bathroom or in line at Walmart. I also leave a card every time I pay for a check at a restaurant. It's simple. When people can put a face with a card, there is a connection even if they don't realize it. Don't be afraid to talk to people!
3. "If you're not making money, make friends."
This one is big to me. I've carried it with me since day one. My father has owned a very successful business my whole life and he told me "If you're not making money, make friends." I totally understand what that means at this point. I've given sessions away and had that client come back and buy 3-4 more sessions from me. Yes, I'm in this to make a living, but sometimes you can earn much more by not always focusing on monetary gain.
4. Don't give up!
Believe me when I tell you that there will come a time that you want to quit. To just go get a "regular job" but don't give up on your dream! It takes time to balance things out. You'll figure it out! Hang in there!
5. The last and most important thing is a good support system.
Husband/wife, friends, family, colleagues, ect. They will keep you sane and help you thicken your skin to the challenges that you'll face as you grow and learn how to balance life and career.
I know I'm still in the beginning of my business venture, but I am very proud of how far I've come. I sometimes feel like I'm dreaming, that it can't be real that I do what I truly love every single day and get paid for it. But I'm doing it! I guess at this point you could say "I made it." I'll have to continue to push and work hard to get to the level that I want to be, but I'm willing to put that commitment in so I know without a doubt that I'll get there in time!
Congratulations on your business anniversary, Nichole, and here's to many more!
You can always follow Pickles & Oliver on Pinterest for up-to-date tips for social media, blogging, design, branding, and small business success. I hunt down all the best advice from the pros and curate it for you in one place.