I Just Experienced Burn-Out!


I Just Experienced Burn-Out!

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If you follow me on Social Media or signed up here to receive emails like this one, you just witness my burn-out that occurred around November in 2018  
No more emails, little social media presence, no tutorials, just well just kind of like missing in action. 

So I hit the wall and burned out. 

But how did this happen?

 Well, when you work hard at something that you do not enjoy, you can run straight into that wall.

Now I am not saying that I do not enjoy creating my work, posting to social media or helping others who want to improve their photography, I do but how I was going about it was what I was not enjoying. 

I started taking some "online business" courses to figure out how to build a business online. I need to do that because of my lifestyle of traveling from one continent to the other. A "real" job was not going to work for me.

So I dove in deep to learning the "online business world." They suggested I do email marketing, make lead pages for promotions, use Wordpress, Convetkit, do webinars, purchase a platform for my courses, blog weekly, and do a monthly Newsletter! Yikes!

Ok, I thought, I could do this, after all, people who hold down a full-time job spend 40 hours a week doing their job, I should be able to do all this in 40 hours.

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Wrong!  The difference is, people in a profession usually get trained to do one aspect of the business, but when you are an entrepreneur you have to not only do all of this in the beginning, but you also have to learn it all too.

I spent countless hours learning and creating courses, posting to social media, responding to comments, learning to use all the new platforms. It just went on and on!

I was so busy learning and creating content, that I rarely picked up my camera to go out and photograph.  My creative spirit was all but gone.  I just kept telling myself once I build my course or learn this new platform, things would start to settle down.

Well, they didn't! It only took me further down the rabbit hole of busyness.

After I got one course done, I would need to create another, after posting on social media, I needed to think about doing it again the next day, after learning one platform, I needed to learn another. 

 I "CRASHED & BURNED"

I was missing out on fun, time with grandkids, socializing with friends, and the worst part I was not photographing and creating my artwork anymore.

So I just gave up! I could not write another post, generate another course, or learn another platform. All I wanted was turn off the computer and never turn it on again. 

It has happened to many people, and if you are trying to build a business, I would say it happens to every entrepreneur.

So when December came, I knew something had to change. But what?

I love being a photographer, I love teaching and helping people grow in their photography, and I love connecting with people. What was I suppose to do?

Well, I know from my past that when I get lost in life, I need to stop and meditate. So for the whole month of December, I came up with some quiet time to meditate and unplug. 

It did the trick!

 I started to get excited about photography again, and I started enjoying my family and friends, I also adopted a sweet dog I named Izzy from the shelter. It all felt wonderful. I would spend hours hiking in nature with Izzy, and I was beginning to feel like old self once more. 

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When January came along, it was time for my Winter Wonderland workshop, and I was back to feeling excited once again.

Magic was in the air, and things were unfolding without much help from me.

Karen Hutton, a fabulous photographer, and creator decided to come along for a few days and check out the Vista Verde Ranch to see if doing a workshop together would work. 

She loved it as much as I did so we started making our plans for next years The Artist's Voice Winter Retreat.

When this year's Winter Wonderland Workshop started, I had six fantastic ladies attend, and we had such a wonderful time of photographing and sharing. I was overflowing with gratitude having the opportunity to help and make new friends. This was not like work! This was pure creativity and playing in the snow.

Life had turned a corner. But I knew when the workshop ended I would still need to figure out how to run my business and not have it run me. I was so afraid of going back to that horrible routine of learning and producing like a robot. 

Then I thought, what if I could do my business my way?

Instead of following the blueprint of what "they" say you need to do, what if I could just create my business the way I wanted it to work?

So I thought about everything I loved doing and made a list. 

If I do not enjoy what I am creating or need to spend months learning something, maybe I should hire some else and concentrate on what I do best. Hey, now there is a concept that could work.

I decided that building my Fine Art Portfolio comes first, then helping others along the way with the things they may be struggling to accomplish. 

I will continue setting up creative Workshops and Retreats in beautiful places, so I can meet like-minded people who love photographing, learning, and sharing.

I can write emails when I have something to say that is informative, entertaining, or inspire instead of writing them because it is "Wednesday!"

I can engage with people who are inspired by my photography and just be appreciative that they love my work. Set up a portfolio for print and card purchases and work toward entering some art shows or have my Fine Art pieces in some galleries.

I do some short videos of my morning bike rides, video a Draft Horse plowing,  or any new adventures I find myself that is fun and engaging for the viewer

I can build this business my way! Wow who knew! 

So this year will be more like building friendships than building a business. Stay if you want to stay, go if you do not find any value in what I share.  I understand because all of this should feel right for you as well.

So I will start out on March 1st doing the things I enjoy doing by helping you the best way I can and not how the "internet of things" says I need to do it all.

 Yes, I have to charge for some of the things, because after all, we all need to make a living to keep going. But that doesn't stop me from sharing new ideas, having fun on social media and learning about others and what they are struggling to accomplish.

So pass this along if you want, and I hope you will stay for a year of fun, creativity, and sharing. 

Gigi 

p.s. Just in case you are interested in next years The Artist's Voice: a Winter Wonderland Retreat at the Vista Verde Ranch you can click on the button below to find out more. Love to see you there!