Meredith Mondays Pt. 1

So, I’m taking a deep breath and sitting at my new desk, about to write about something super personal. I feel like I should have prepared more but I don’t know what else I would have done. Put on make up? Put on some calming music? A bra? Nope, I sat down and decided this was the moment to get real with my client-friends. That’s what I call you guys, because it makes me feel a bit better about being a young entrepreneur. The topic of the day is feeling like a fraud. This is in no way fishing for compliments, although I have been known to do that after a few beers with friends. It’s truly meant to be a glimpse into my life that isn’t sugar coated. If you were to cleave me in half (I watch too many horror movies) there would be a tiny Meredith in there clutching her camera, and probably sweating too much, that would tell you what I am about to type. I feel like a fraud. Job security has been the name of the game in my family for as long as I can remember. The ONLY person that ever owned their own business was my paternal grandfather and he spent his life farming on our family farm in Northern Missouri. I give him lots of credit because I can’t keep succulents alive and he managed to keep hundreds of acres full of crops and income for his family. Everyone else in my family chose safe careers and excelled in them. My grandparents worked for large companies for DECADES and retired from those very same places, my mom has been a lawyer all her life and my father is a teacher turned public servant. While everyone in my family is brave and amazing and all the other proud adjectives I could think of, no one owned their own business in this day and age. So I have grown up thinking that success is measured by security. So I feel incredibly embarrassed to announce to family members that I am a photographer and I am SO quick to qualify it with how much success I am having or how I am supplementing my income with a Masters in Public administration which will lead to a very demanding and secure future. I hate that, that I can’t announce something I am passionate about without feeling the need to make it more acceptable by conventional standards. To my family’s credit EVERYONE supports me, they really do. They network for me and tell me how proud they are of me, but it doesn’t change the environment that I have become accustom to, the environment that would only crumble if aliens literally came down and assumed control of our world. So a lot of these feelings are imposed on me, by me, and if you think this blog post is going to end with a revelation about how I can change that feeling and be brave, you’re wrong. I told you this wasn’t going to be fluffy. The good news I suppose is that I am so incredibly happy to do what I love. I am so incredibly happy to work with my clients. I am so incredibly happy that I have the opportunity to try this and still have a hard, but not life ending, place to land surrounded by friends in family. So that’s it. There’s no revelation and there isn’t a clear conclusion, there’s just me with a camera I spent my life savings on and a hand made camera strap there to ask you and your loved ones semi invasive questions and create awkward social situations. While I feel uneasy about the waters I am currently sailing, I have had some major successes. Those successes are not really measured in a traditional fashion. I haven’t made 100k in one year or been featured in any magazine or social media account. I did, however, book one shoot a week for the next two months. I got my LLC. I had my first customer find me on Google and call me to actually book a session. While my seas are not secure or predictable I have a firm grasp on my steering wheel (unlike my grasp on this nautical analogy) and I think I am going in the right direction. Until next time,