“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” – Proverbs 16:3
I have been reflecting on the fact that I’ve made more career changes in my life than I’d care to admit. I was a waitress during college and then my first professional job was working in collections for Ford Motor Credit….to this day the phrase “you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip” has been forever imprinted on my brain. I was making about $70,000 per year in the late ’90’s, bought my first condo and was happy with my choices.
And then I was recruited over to HSBC and enjoyed some additional perks that went along with an increased salary. But it didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted out of the corporate environment and I wanted to be my own boss. I wasn’t sure what type of entrepreneur I would be so I thought becoming a lawyer would be a great way to have my own business. So I went to law school while continuing to work full time for others, and in 2006 I opened my own law practice.
My practice was initially focused on estate planning but the thing about estate planning is that few people valued the work that I was doing (typically someone has to die before the benefits of a carefully crafted living trust come to fruition). I know that I was helping people but I didn’t feel like I was making anyone’s life better.
When my dad had a stroke in 2008, I started commuting from San Diego to Orange County to help him with his business and decided to start doing bankruptcy work since it had a more predictable timeline. It was becoming more and more apparent that I would be moving back to Orange County permanently so I didn’t feel comfortable taking on clients that would need me for the long haul (e.g. estate work).
So I basically started a second law practice, this time in Orange County and this time focused on bankruptcy work. I definitely got more personal satisfaction out of the bankruptcy work because I was making a HUGE difference in my client’s lives and most of them felt so appreciative of the immediate relief that I was getting lots of hugs and lots of tears in my office.
When I had my first child in 2014, it was clear that I was not going to be able to continue to bring on new clients without making a choice to put my son into daycare. My husband and I did not want that for our children so I gave up my practice to stay at home with my kids.
I LOVE being a mom, but I wanted something more too and the next thing you know, I started a new business as a child and family photographer. Yes, you read that right, I went from being a collector to a lawyer to being a photographer and I couldn’t have been happier! I won an international contest and was named “Best New Emerging Child Photographer” by NAPCP in 2017 and that fall I was so busy I could not take on all of the work that came my way.
But through all of my success with the photography business, I struggled with a number of things (1) I lost one of my closest friends – I can only guess because we never truly talked about it, but I think she was jealous of my success and sought to tear me down in a very passive-aggressive manner – in any event, I don’t keep a lot of close friends so losing one hit me really hard and broke my heart; (2) even though I was pricing myself profitably, ultimately, I was still in a business where I was trading my time for money so I could only make money by spending time away from my family; and (3) the time I was spending away from my family was causing friction between me and my husband – particularly because the busiest time of year for a family photographer is the busiest time of year for most families.
Ultimately, in the winter of 2018, my husband asked me to put a hold on my photography business. I didn’t get there immediately, but I took his request to heart in light of my faith and eventually came to the conclusion that being a child and family photographer was not a choice that was honoring my husband at this time. He will hate that I’m sharing this because he thinks it makes him look unsupportive (which I assure you he is not) and some people might read this and think that it’s sexist or antiquated or unfair (which if I’m being honest is what my initial gut reaction was). But I prayed about it a lot and I read scripture and ultimately my heart rested in a place where I felt like putting my photography business to the side was the best way for me to honor God and my marriage.
“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:24
And you know what? Making that difficult decision has inadvertently blessed me is so many unexpected ways. It has strengthened my marriage, the time that I’ve been spending with my kids is irreplaceable and it gave me the space to breathe and dream some pretty giant dreams that would never have been possible if I was tied to a family photographer’s schedule. I’ve been able to focus on my health and getting my weight down, finish my training to become a CASA volunteer, participate in a life group with my husband, and start this blog. And when I was presented with a new business opportunity that was too good to pass up, I was free to jump on it!
So now, I am building a new career, where I am no longer trading my time for dollars, where I am quite literally in the business of changing peoples lives through a single product that has changed mine. If you are interested in learning more about joining my team, you can find details and an application here.
I am proud of my career accomplishments to date and the crazy twists and turns that my life has taken. I am proud to be a Christian woman who is trying to honor God in all that she does and I’m proud to be a multipotentialite.
What I’m Reading: The Miracle Morning
Hebrews with She Reads Truth
What I’m Watching: Determined to find a moment to go see A Star is Born this week in theaters!
What I’m Praying About: Praying for focus, strength, and will-power as I begin my third round of the HCG diet this week.