Gaining A Month Of Freedom By Losing One Assignment
I will follow up on yesterday’s podcast about the advantages and disadvantages of killing our business. We keep learning and you never stop learning but what we learned in this process, what we keep learning is that there’s always growth ahead of you that you don’t even see. So, the wedding side of our photography business ended like this and it is a pretty interesting story.
We booked one final wedding for the last year of the business. We weren’t planning on doing any but it was a referral from a past client. They seem like a great couple so I figured why not just take one last one and then we’ll end it after that. We’ll give it all we got and we’ll be done and will move on. Our other business are taking off. It was already taking over so we wouldn’t even need to grow this business anymore but okay we’ll do the job well and then we’ll move on. After we booked it, I looked at the calendar and it was two days after one of our sons’ birthdays and were going to go on a trip. But normal work life, that’s just the way life is, right? You just need to do the work, not thinking how much control we actually do have over our lives by the choices that we make and by the jobs that we take.
So’s wedding was booked and being it was two days after our son’s birthday, it was obvious that we are nowhere going on a trip. we can do it may be before after. we thought about doing a month-long summer trip and that was off the table on that booking so we just accept and we go on.
Here’s how the business ended. We’re traveling to Colorado, were leaving the hotel and we’re going cross-country as a family. As we checked out of the hotel, I checked my phone as Elizabeth and the boys were coming downstairs and I get an email from the bride from that wedding. She emailed and she said “I understand that we paid a deposit for this and that deposit can’t be refunded because they’ve held the date for almost a year, but should I regret to tell you that the wedding has been called off. So, there won’t be a wedding and we won’t need your services for that day.” The immediate response in your head, naturally is “oh my goodness!” You know you are thinking about this couple. you are thinking about what problems could happen? What the reason is? Maybe it’s just postponed. Maybe they broke up. You just don’t know and I am not going to ask the details and they’re not sharing it. It is the first thing you feels when you are thinking about the couple. The second thing you think is “Oh, we’re not going to be shooting that wedding now so that date is now open.” That’s the way that we would normally think me. The date might be open for another couple now. And the third thing you think is the certain amount of money that was supposed to come and that’s not coming in. The fourth thing that really hit me and that made me realize even though we had gained so much freedom by going from a job to a business, where we had freed up so many more days in our life for making that one shift, not even realizing how this one cancellation change my mindset on time freedom and location freedom. And here’s what happened.
That one booking that we accepted in the middle of the month, once it was gone, freed up the entire month for us to do whatever we wanted to do location freedom wise. Literally that one job was going to keep us in Pennsylvania for a month and we can do a shorter trip before that or possibly a shorter trip after it. But when that date went away and I saw the calendar open up, I didn’t realize how many of those other jobs that we took, to physically have to be there, were preventing so many other opportunities for us. How many times I couldn’t go to a conference for the business that I was growing because I had assignments that I need to be here for. How many times could I not do some type of a project, how many times could we not go on a trip that we wanted to go to or go to an anniversary or birthday party at a state from somebody else or go to a conference that would’ve really leveled up the business that were growing, out of town out of state for multiple days. I couldn’t do any of those things because we already committed to all these jobs where we live that I couldn’t do any of that stuff. That’s the normal world, right? I don’t expect that situation to feel bad that we couldn’t do that type of thing but it really opened my mind to the idea of we have complete control over our time if we wanted depending on what we want to build in terms of our career.
So, at that very moment, as we are leaving Durango Colorado and heading along the southern part of Colorado, headed back home, I really got the vision of what the next level of our business looks like. And building a business that included location freedom was a huge part of it. Now I never could’ve done that before because I never could’ve even envisioned it. It was in a world that we lived in. But once you start tasting what that’s like, now you can build what it is that you actually want from the very beginning. So, as we drove back in all those hours of driving back from Colorado at that point, I was able to craft what that looked like. I was able to craft with the work I would do it look like. I was able to plan what I did not want to do and I was able to plan what I really did want to do and that was the big seed in terms of building the next level of a location independent business.
Now we had time freedom, we have the financial freedom but what that business did not give us was the possibility for location freedom. Location freedom is not just about going on vacation. It is not the main point of it. So many people get caught up with that “I don’t want to work and I will live in the beach.” That’s not what I want. I love working. I love helping. I love creating ideas and thoughts and challenging people to be better at what they’re doing and where they are right now but that didn’t require me to be in one place to work. We had built a business because we were good at it around being required to be in a place to work. I did not realize until that moment how much that held us back from doing so many other things that were more in line with the life that we want to live.
But it takes things like canceled weddings. It takes things like taking chances and stopping doing the work that is good so you can build the work that is going to be great. And that requires some courage to be able to do that because it’s so easy to just be like, “it’s good enough.” It’s good enough, I can’t complain, I’m happy. It’s easy to say but that’s a hard thing to take and make something really better from it because if we didn’t saw that, we would have continued booking dates the same way we were and we were still be in better shape than we ever been in the past but what we didn’t see with the possibilities beyond that. And once that wedding got canceled, which is a terrible thing all around right? It’s a terrible thing for their relationship. It wasn’t good for our business to lose it but it was actually the best thing that happened to our business because not only did it open up a month but it really allowed us to sit down and over a week, while driving, map out how you build the business that is location independent. That’s we love. We would not have been able to do that fully without that understanding. so, there were obvious growing pains when we decided to end our business, a lot more hasty than other people would’ve done it. But the growth and the learning that came from that and then a year out when it all finally ended and we were able to put our full time and effort into the next stage of the business was really such an incredible leap from one level to the next.