Learning that it's okay to say no

August 6, 2012

I've always been the type of person who puts the wants of others before the wants of myself.  Add that to my perfectionist personality and you have a classic combination for burnout. 

I've recently received a flood of calls/emails from people looking to schedule a photography session.  And although, I've had messages on both my photography website and blog for a while now that let visitors know I'm currently not accepting clients, a part of me feels terrible for telling these potential clients "no, I'm sorry - I don't have the availability to take on sessions right now". 

I love photography, or at least I use too, before I turned my passion for photography into a "job".  I'm glad I stepped out, took a chance and opened up Messmer Photography back in the fall of 2008.  I've learned so much and gained so much confidence by doing that, in addition to meeting some awesome people and documenting important milestones in their lives.  But somewhere along the way, the fun of photography turned into the business of photography.  And when you match that up with a demanding full-time career (with an income that my part-time photography business can't come close to replacing) and a family - I reached a point of being burnt out. 

And then the timing appeared to be just right to fulfill a long time goal of mine and return to school to get my Master's degree - so I jumped at that chance and began grad school in January.  And if I thought my schedule was crazy busy for before - adding two courses a semester into the mix sends things into a new level of crazy. 

So, as challenging as it is for me to say no - I have gotten a little better at it.  I have one major photography event coming up in a couple of weeks and then there is nothing else on the schedule.  After that, I'm going to decide if it is time to retire the Messmer Photography website.  Although, my life has begun to move in a different direction, closing down the website and business officially will be challenging for me to do...to let it go.... 

However, when school is finished and I have my weekends back on a regular basis...I don't think I want to give them up anymore for photography related work.  I feel the need to be extra guarded with my precious weekend time - I want that time to be focused on family, on personal (just for me) hobbies that fill my heart with joy (scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, reading, and blogging) 

And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.
Steve Jobs


  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP