Once Upon A Time There Was A Woman or The Arrogance of Entrepreneurship
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08/05/2015
By Christie Stockstill
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Today’s challenge is to write a story—THE story, to be more specific, of how I came to have my own business. 

 

The short answer… no one told me I shouldn’t. No one. Not my husband, who was not even working at the time because he was staying home with our two-year-old. Not my mom, who is one of the most practical people I know, nor my dad who is one of the most logical. 

 

Everyone was all, “Yeah!”  “Go for it.” “You have a great eye, a natural talent.” “You take such awesome photos!”

 

I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have clients. I didn’t know how to use Photoshop (seriously.) I had no idea about how to run a photography business, or any business. In other words, I had no business starting my own business.

 

At that time I was in my fifth year as a high school English teacher. Though my practical mother encouraged me to go ahead and get my certification while I was in college, I refused.  I was going to write—articles, books, poetry, screenplays. I was perhaps going to become a university professor one day.

 

Teaching is not for the weak. It is a full day of thinking about others, making decisions for them, trying to help them. It’s making lesson plans, going to meetings, making phone calls, cleaning, prepping, learning, writing, thinking, stressing, worrying about classroom observations, about trying to be your best, about serving parking lot or cafeteria duties, about stopping kids from making out in the halls, writing reports when they are tardy or absent too frequently, and attempting to remain calm when some of them (most of them) think they have it all figured out already, when they are disrespectful or flat-out rude… It is mentally and physically taxing. It is what I began to view as the reason I suffered two consecutive miscarriages.

 

I found myself, in the Spring of that fifth year, with no second baby and just the right mix of  desperation, courage and ignorance to make me think I could start a photography business.

 

In hindsight, the circumstances were right for me to do something daring and spontaneous and urgent. I had the desire, a bit of talent, lots of encouragement, and most importantly, I was convinced that I would not get all the way through a pregnancy while I was still teaching. The last day of school was in June. By November I was pregnant, and in July we welcomed our second boy.

 

I am beginning my eighth year working full-time as a photographer. It has been frustrating at times; I’ve had a steep learning curve and made many mistakes. Along the way I’ve scratched and clawed and yelled and cried. Somedays I want to give up, go get a job at a coffee shop or go back to teaching, but something, confidence, maybe arrogance, hasn’t let me. {Something, plus the fact that I discovered I’m too old to join the FBI.}

 

Maybe it does take a little arrogance to be a business owner. Many days you’ll be your only champion. If you are an artist, some days your champion will be insane. It’s just good to know that going in.

 

 

 

 

 

It helps if you are a warrior.

 

 

 

*This is Day Two of the Feel Good Blogging Challenge from Alex Beadon – to sign up, click here

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3 Comments
Christie Stockstill - Yes! Desiree, you are so right. It is a journey, and learning to accept what comes with the journey is often difficult. We just want things to work, and, when they don't, and you're the only one who can do anything about it, it can be frustrating, even maddening. Thankfully, we are not truly alone!
Desiree - Your story is very inspirational. I have had days were I want to quit as well, I started my journey in 2009 and I have been through a lot, I do realize now that all of those failures and experiences had to happen in order for me to push harder and continue this path.
Crackle - Love this truth serum we are taking Christie!!! And finding out more of the story behind the woman you are today.