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self employment random ramblings: month 4 | southwestern, pa photographer | business

By October 13, 2011 9 Comments

I’m officially in month 4 of self employment and it has been SUCH a ride—for SOOO many reasons. I wrote about the Random Realities of Self Employment back when I was only in week TWO of “being my own boss”-it was meant to be lite and funny but I thought I’d chime in again on some things that I’ve learned since know since I’ve been only doing this solo for 4 months (almost 5), it makes me an expert <insert sarcasm>. I only have my former job(s) to compare this to, so I’m not speaking for ALL who are self employed, just me, myself and I, since these are the experiences I have observed. With that said:

Because (at the moment) my business consists of me, myself and I-I have no co-workers or fellow employees. THIS is both AWESOME and it sucks all at the same time. #1 I have no “office drama” , I don’t have to compete with someone for the parking spaces, no one steals my lunch or my stapler..haha! On the other hand, when you are having a bad day and you just need to vent, I can’t just swing my chair around to my co-worker and tell them all about it. I can’t sell my child’s fundraiser JUNK, I can’t ask a co-worker how to do something if I’ve forgotten and haven’t done it in a while, I don’t have a secretary to “file this away” for me so that I can ask you for it later and don’t have to look for it myself! lol

Balance: I’ve mentioned this a time or two in some of my blog posts. Finding the balance between running your business and being a part of your family is HARD. Since my work space is located at my house (not IN my house but ON my property) I find it hard to know when to STOP. Even when I’ve left the office, I’m still checking emails on my phone, answering calls (at least up until a few weeks ago). My daughter is soon to be 7 and it seems IDEAL to be able to work from home, but if I’m being 100% honest…yeah, NOT SO MUCH. For one, like I mentioned above being at home/working from home is hard to balance, but also when she’s off of school or on the weekends (see that balance thing coming up again) they barge right into the studio while your working expecting you to DROP everything to pay attention RIGHT NOW. You loose your train of thought, and then when you finally get back to what you were doing….you’ve forgotten all about it! LOL See…look squirrel!! Ohh and don’t get me started on the “mommy guilt”.

Monday is my “weekend”. While most of you get excited about Friday to get here because it kicks off your weekend…for me, that day is Monday! Those fun things that happen over the weekend-ch’yeah, we’re lucky if we get to go……on a’s.not.raining!!! You’re friends stop inviting you to do things because they know you won’t be available to do them on the weekends anyways….it can be lonely on my “monday weekends” while the rest of my friends are working (hold me)!  lol

The telemarketers probably DREAD calling me. Since I don’t have anyone to talk to during the day, if they call me, I ask them questions in hopes that they can have conversations. “Hi this is So and So from XYZ” “Ohh heyyy (like we’re old friends), how’s the weather over there? It’s crappy here! Have you been doing this long? …etc. etc.”. The funny thing is, I USE TO work for one of those places when I was in high school that would have to call you up to do the surveys (SORRY) and I know they aren’t allowed to TALK to you….but I try anyways! 🙂

My computer screen is so forgiving!! Thank GOD the computer screen can’t judge me…that’s all I have to say. I have come to work looking a HAWT MESS and just like a loyal puppy, Appleena (yes I named my IMAC) is always there for me! 🙂

Again, coming back to the ‘no co-workers’ topic, because I don’t have to share anything with anyone, my office can be organized like WHOAH!. It’s my space and ONLY my space so if I’m not organized and I can’t find something I can’t blame ANYONE—do you KNOW how much that sucks!?!

The “to-do” list doesn’t get shorter if you stare at it, TRUST ME, I’ve tried….many times.  I usually have to start with the least favorite thing to do and just buckle down and get it done then after that (and after I put Facebook away) I can get things done…lots of things. Imagine that, you take away the distractions and you get.stuff.done. 🙂

I’ve learned that I’m NEVER happy. Right when I get to the point that I’m happy where my business is heading, etc. etc., I decide that I hate it and want to change it ALLLLLLLL. This is where a secretary would come in hand….*face palm*

Keeping a wine fridge in the studio space for my boudoir clients is tempting…….tempting.tempting….and even worse….the candy. I can hear myself getting fatter just looking at it, but guess what? I eat it anyways! I’m convinced that I’m hitting at least two food groups. Wine is made from grapes right-FRUIT…..and chocolate, that’s made from a bean right-FIBER! Boo-ya!

I get nervous before EVERY shoot! Do you see why the WINE is so TEMPTING?!! lol But seriously, I’ve been shooting for quite some time now and I still get soo nervous before every shoot and I hate it! I’m comforted to know that most of you also feel the same way..can we form a support group?!

Today, I was out having lunch with my main squeeze, Greg and noticed an employee of the month sign at the restaurant….I looked at Greg as if I had an epiphany and said, “I’m getting an employee of the month sign”. I’ll get to vote every month…..GOD I love my job! LOL

Planning the company Christmas Party…… a bit depressing. LOL

So I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face, I joke about all the “pain in the arse” things that go along with being self employed (specifically as a photographer) but I LOOOOVE it and wouldn’t change it for the world….I mean hellooooooooo, I have the shortest commute!!

This message was brought to you from boredom, I’ll be back in a few months to update you’all again…that time I’ll use *JAZZ HANDS!* 🙂


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  • Kari says: Feeling like this season is never ending; (don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my clients and being busy) I thought of this same thing today! It’s not all peaches and cream being your own boss and running your own business (bookkeeping anyone?)…… but, then again it does have it’s perks as well (an image of a bride that completely took my breath away while editing today)! Yeah, you understand completely! Thanks for taking the time to post stuff like this – absolutely love it!!

  • erin says:

    Blog Stalker here. Love to read your refreshing and “real” commentaries on, well, everything. : )

    Your photos are amazing, clear, crisp, refreshing. I find myself looking at couples I don’t know, kids I will never meet, families who wouldn’t know me if I passed them on the street, and yet I continue to scroll through the images. Each photo makes me want to see the next one. I’m jealous of your talent 🙂

    Kudos to you for having a job you love so much and do so well. It’s something some of us never quite achieve. Here’s to continued success! 🙂

  • kyla says:

    I’m all for a support group. I’m just getting started with photography and I’m a total FREAK until I have at LEAST three king sized candy bars to even me out before a shoot. I’ll bring some cheese to go with that wine and chocolate. 😉

  • Laura says:

    LOL! I could have written this post too! I still get nervous before every shoot and always second guess myself. It is nice balancing it all and I need to get myself on a better schedule. I constantly check e-mails and FB for messages. I need to know when to put up my “closed” sign for the day! Keep it up! 🙂

  • haha! You crack me up! And I totally relate! A friend was talking about going to an employee BBQ this past summer and I felt bummed that I didn’t get to have employee BBQs since I’m a work from home photographer. My friend suggested that I have a BBQ with my husband and just call it a work BBQ. It made me wonder how many of our dinners we could write off as a work expense. haha!

  • celeste lane says:

    I laughed at this! Thanks for the laugh. I was freaking out and about to lose my isht the other day bc I missed my deadline by a day bc I was so busy at my ft job, the kids and my big baby of a husband, the house was trashed, I could not get to my work without being frustrated, so I was stomping around, yelling in my head about how I was going to quit and that I wasn’t going to succeed. It was crazy. The next day, I got out early from work and instead of picking up the boys, I went home, got my work done, cleaned the house, I felt alleviated by the time I got the boys. I think your brave and in a great place to do this gig full time. I hope you all the success you deserve.

  • Rebecca says:

    Oh my how you have me laughing! Have been self employed in the antiques business for over 10 years now…No parties, no way to sell kiddies fundraising goodies, and no secretary….
    However, I love my Mondays, my red Swingline stapler sits right here on my desk next to my computer, I can take a coffee break whenever I want, I can be more creative without worrying about going into overtime pay, and I can say I have been “there” whenever my kids needed me (one is off to college, another is on the way to college, That leaves one here at home)
    Keep up the wonderful work ~ it’s beautiful and Wishing you continued success.
    No employee of the month sign here, just an antique one that reads “NO PARKING FUNERAL”.

  • Teena says:

    I had to laugh and at the same time appreciate your comments. I have been slowly trying to build my photography business while I am alrealy working a home based business which I have been doing for the past 15 years…..everything you said is right on….thank you for putting it in words….lmbo.

  • Heidi says:

    Oh wow, spot on! Haha I get so lonely most days, I’m about 5 months into my own business and I work out of my bedroom. Yay no overhead costs, right? And exercising is a long lost memory, unless its me running downstairs at 2:30 to finally eat lunch. Or having seasons that last longer than two weeks, because the rain kills most fall & spring sessions. Oy vay, lets just know there is a bunch of us out there, wishing The Office was our office :p

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