Things My Peace Lily Taught Me About Business
My little Lily sits on my kitchen windowsill in her lovely pink pot, and whenever I see her she brightens my day. Given to me as a peace offering several months ago by my husband, she has almost died several times, but we always manage somehow to win her over and convince her to stay around a little longer.
This strange little cycle of life and near-death has resulted in a confused looking little plant, and for almost the entire time I have had her just under half of her stems are always brown, dying and decaying. I cut them off and give her extra water, and for a few days she looks like any other ordinary healthy green plant. Yet a few days later the familiar crispy brown edges start to invade and takeover the previously healthy stems. It is as if Lily can not exist without this perpetual flux of life and death, beauty and decay.
As I watered Lily one morning last week I realised something. That this little green/brown plant summed up the ever changing state of a creative business.
Particularly within the first two years of business, we may have odd, wonderful moments where everything is wonderful. Our bank balances are healthy, we are making profit, or reaching our projected forecasts. We have spare time to nurture ourselves and our families, time to relax, recharge, analyse, and sew the seeds ready for the next green stage of growth just like this one.
But more often, parts of our business are out of balance, or under attack from a gently-starting decay. We may not have watered properly our business needs, perhaps failed to plan a proper marketing schedule, blogging calendar, and as a result our turnover is now beginning to dry up. Or we might have neglected ourselves, our families, our business education, our relationships with friends. We might not have invested where we know we should have done and these too are withered leaves, crying out for water, or perhaps issues addressed like the cutting of a leaf in order for a new part to grow.
And this is what I realised, looking at these leaves.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be trying to keep all of our leaves, green and healthy, all of the time. That by putting pressure on each part of our lives to grow and be fruitful all of the time, we in fact are going against the laws of nature which states that partial withering is in fact, normal. As long as the issues are recognised when the decay creeps in early- perhaps a slight drop in enquiries, a few places dropped down in google search, no new creative works or ideas, a larger time span inbetween blog posts- then we should be able to nurture the slight browning and bring it back to life as it happens, rather than let the entire business rot and decay as the result of issues that were never acknowledged or addressed.
My peace lily says, go gentle on yourself. It is natural and normal to not to be able to keep each area of your life and business in perfect health at all times. Fear not, because as long as problems have been caught early, you can revive them and bring them back to life.
Do not stress about things that we cannot change, only the things that we can.
Wise words, Peace Lily.
Happy Motivational Monday.
Charlie x x
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Today is a bright, sunny, blue-sky day, the kind where it feels so good to be alive. It feels like spring is on the way and the horrid cold wet winter may hopefully be somewhere behind us.
I woke up this morning happy and excited, after the launch of our new company yesterday, Flourish & Prosper.
Last night after an entire ton of face to face meetings, whatsapp messages, pinnings, emails, we met together online for our first threeway google hangout. We discussed our plans for our first events and dates, and evaluated our social media launch.
This morning, still buzzing from the excitement of our company’s forthcoming plans, I felt blessed to have had the opportunity to set up this company and to know such lovely people. Jessie, Louise and I are all very strong minded and will fight for our opinions when we need to, but most importantly, we know when to withdraw and let go of an idea that we might have had or an opinion we have held, for the greater good of the company and our collective future. To have that openness and forthrightness is SO important when working in a partnership. So today, as I pottered around my little french-style kitchen with the sun streaming in my window, I really did feel blessed to have them in my life.
I thought about how I lucky I am to be able to set up Flourish & Prosper, how lucky I am to stay at home with my gorgeous girls (Istria is currently sat munching a carrot next to me and Summer is asleep on the sofa) how lucky I am to be able to sit and write this blog and try to help other business owners, how lucky I am to be able to photograph gorgeous weddings throughout Europe this summer.
So would it surprise you to know that I nearly didn’t set up my photography business at all? I didn’t think I would be successful.
That I nearly didn’t enter the competition that led me to meet Louise from b.loved in person when I won it? I didn’t think I stood a chance of winning.
That when Louise asked me to come on board as member of the b.team I said no- several times, because I didn’t think that I could do it?
Thankfully each time, I realised that the only thing holding me back was ME. My own ridiculous worries and fears. We are all called to overcome our fears of our own limitations. Whether you are just thinking about starting your own business, or whether you have been running it for a year or more but know deep down inside that your own fears are holding you back from making a real go of it, you need to tell yourself this;
I Can Do It.
Because you really, really can. I wasn’t born a photographer, or a marketer, or a businesswoman. They aren’t necessarily talents I was ‘given’. CKB Photography didn’t just happen to come into existence; neither did this blog EverydayHappy, or me being a member of the b.team as Marketing Director, or Flourish & Prosper. They all came about because I took a deep breath and the decision to say, YES, I can do this.
What can you choose to say Yes to?
Are you going to make that commitment to start your business, and not just start it but fully believe in yourself that you can do it? And if you are already a business owner, what can you say Yes to today? Yes to devoting a certain amount of hours a day to your business only- turning off your phone, email and all other distractions? Yes to going ahead right now and setting up a collaborative project- a photoshoot maybe to show off your beautiful creations?
Don’t let fears and doubts cloud your vision; you can do this. Just say Yes. Yes to being a success, Yes to every opportunity that might be right for you, Yes to setting up your business, Yes to not caring about the competition, Yes to overcoming ‘I can’ts’ like ‘I can’t do this because I have children/ an illness/ a full time-job’; say YES to embracing your beautiful, glittering future- the one that you choose to live.
You are going to be great.
I wanted to share this today as I felt like some of us really need some encouragement for business success. I hope it has worked for you.
Have a beautiful, blue-sky day.
C x x
I have noticed this week that a few of my friends are setting up, or are thinking of setting up, their own businesses and I would just like to say Congratulations to Ellie & Renata, on taking their first steps. I am SO happy for you girls!
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This post is going to be a very quick introduction on how to set up a photography website. However this information can be used for any creative business owner wanting to set up a website.
When I first started out in business and I needed a website, I was overwhelmed by how many options there were. There were so many template builders and programs, domain hosts, payment plans, and options that I literally did not know where to begin; and more importantly, I did not know which would be the best for my work. I spent nearly an entire summer doing countless hours of research and weighing up options before finding my solution.
As a photographer and creative I wanted to be able to showcase my work, but I didn’t want a purely visual, showcase type of site. It is important that you connect with your clients not only through images but through text too.
I knew that I definitely needed good Search Engine Optimisation – ranking on page 1 for my search terms was a definite must, so that clients could find me quickly.
I also had zero money starting out- and I wasn’t prepared to take out bank loans in order to be able to fund my start-up photography business. So it had to be very low-cost too.
So I wanted
*Good Search Engine Optimisation
*A Pretty Design
*Low-Cost (to begin with)
*Super Easy To Use!!
So I want to give to you the provider that I have finally decided on. This website provider gave me ALL of the above. It had templates available, that with a tiny bit of tweaking, (just drag and drop, no coding or pre-website design knowledge required) I could make entirely my own and very pretty.
I also could buy my domain name here and my hosting program- everything was all ‘under one roof’ which keeps everything simple for you. I have built all of my websites using this program. It does have the odd flaw-
*the system can be a bit ‘sticky’ sometimes
*the blog feature is brand new so it is a little basic (which is why I use wordpress for my blog)
*slideshows need to be created with an app (but you can still create galleries etc).
But these were all flaws I could happily live with in exchange for a site that was easy-to-use, low-cost to set up and run (and more importantly wouldn’t require any help at a later date from a designer or programmer when I wanted to change things) looked good on all different types of screen (from tablets and mobiles to desktops) and had great SEO potential. In short, it ticked all of the boxes needed to set up a great, easy-to-use, photography website.
The program I chose was Moonfruit. My professional websites are still designed and made by Moonfruit, which I think is recommendation enough.
If you want to set up your own lovely moonfruit site, you can click this button here to be taken straight to the site.
I hope this has helped you; I wrote this as when I was setting up my own site, I desperately needed to be able to find an article like this! If you think this might help someone you know who is or wants to have their own photography website, then all I ask is that you please do share this link to help others to be able to find it, using the share buttons below.
I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have on my moonfruit site, setting it up etc; just pop them in the comments box below.
I will be writing more posts on creating a killer website very soon, so stay tuned! Don’t forget I don’t always share my new posts on facebook and twitter, so make sure you sign up here to make sure you don’t miss out.
Charlie x xVIEW PORTFOLIO / VISIT WEBSITE / SEND AN ENQUIRY /