Lessons From 2020
„Fall seven times stand up eight“
I have no idea how many times we fell last year! Who is counting?
There were not so many days when I did not feel: “this does not feel right...“, “this is not happening” and so on.
Month after month I had a feeling I am going down and down and down…
There were so many sad stories, so many broken-hearted friends and people I have never met, but I feel for.
For my family 2019 was full of sadness and pain. My father-in-law got sick and died very quickly.
In 2020 I felt worry, pain, grieve for many people. And, of course, I still do.
(1) There is always something you can control.
As a mother of three kids I am clearly not an angel. I am extremely sleep deprived, my personal space is being invaded for 23 hours and 45 minutes a day and there is NOISE – so loosing my temper or being not in the mood is nothing new.
But of course last year there was a whole new level of despair, frustration and leave-me-alone.
I am sure most people will agree, that the hardest thing of 2020 was, that we almost completely lost control over our lives. And this is extremely damaging for psychological well being.
So I knew quite quickly, that I should find a way to control at least something.
With three kids, always around and still being in the ego-centric-brain phase I had zero chances to take control over how I spend my time. I gave up on attempts to create a boring and stable daily routine pretty soon, because I had no strength to meet the confrontation. And I also had a feeling that resisting everything is how my kids are trying to restore control over their lives…
But I knew, that there should be a way. And I really found one – I stopped eating sugar.
It seems like such a minor thing, but this was really something I could control, because no one (except myself) could get in my way and no one cared about what I eat. So I was sugar free for over 6 months in 2020 and lost a significant amount of my third pregnancy weight, which was a good thing.
(2) In challenging times there are still opportunities to be found
In 2020 I was glad I did not become a singer, because I actually could, but being a photographer felt not so much better. And being a photographer, who has to feed her family – felt quite scary.
For the first time ever I felt that I have a very fragile career. The idea that we will not be allowed to meet other people never really occurred to me before! Probably because this is a quite insane idea, right?
After having a few photo sessions in 2020 and creating a complete marketing plan for 12 months I had to stop everything, just as so many other entrepreneurs.
It felt like the end.
I know several talented and successful photographers, who stopped their photo business and started a completely different carrier in 2020. Because they just had no choice. They could not wait until this is over. Looking at them made me really nervous, because I was questioning myself all the time, whether it is time to quit.
However I knew, that quitting photography is the last thing I want to do.
I decided to stay and to reinvent what I could. I created my first fully online photo course. And then I created a few more!
This was extremely challenging, because I had to do it, while all my family was running around me fighting and screaming – and you can clearly hear those screams during my video lessons.
And, of course, this was so much work...
And at the end it was absolutely amazing! Not only I felt that I had accomplished something I created a really lovely community, which was very supportive.
And I know for sure, that in any other situation I would not dare to take so much time away from my clients' work, to actually do it.
(3) Everyone needs a break
I was forced to put my photo sessions on hold for about 6 months in total and I also did not know how to do marketing, because it was clear that you cannot plan anything. So basically I really had to make a huge break and step away from my business as I knew it from 2015 to 2019. It gave me a chance to dive out and to re-evaluate many things.
I always knew, that photography is one of the most exciting adventures of my life, so I try to be very intentional and thoughtful in all things connected with it. But still, if you do something every day you get into the flow and it is harder to see the whole picture.
This year, because of the break I was able to take, I could clearly see, that there are things that I want to change, there are things, that I found interesting some years ago and that I am still doing, though I do not feel so exited about them any more. And there are things, that I keep pushing to the future, because, they feel a little bit risky, though really tempting.
And I decided to take the action and start changing things in my photography business. Though I decided to make them slowly, because there is enough stress anyway.
Plans For 2021
Staying in touch with people I like no matter what
Last year I was amazed by people, who took part in my online photo challenges and courses. I really do not know, what I would do without them! I also kept in touch with some fellow photographers and with amazing women from the online community Women Rock Switzerland.
We supported each other, started new projects and just had each others back. I really want to stay in touch and hopefully being able to meet in person soon.
Using my time more intentionally
Being a squirrel in a wheel is not fun!
I got pretty good with joggling my kids, household, friends and clients. I really created an effective way to use my time and manage it all (almost!).
BUT definitely since our Charming Viking was born (number 3!), I did not make an effort to think about WHAT and WHY I am doing! I was only thinking HOW I can manage to do all I have to.
And this year I am asking myself: DO I REALLY HAVE TO?
And that's it!
No resolutions, no plans, no whatever!!!
So I am probably getting wiser or just older… who knows? :D
What are your lessons from 2020 and plans for 2021? I really want to know!