When we settled in the Phoenix area I started paying closer attention to Keith’s photography business. Over the years, I had peripherally helped him organize his business but played no role in its day to day affairs.
To this point we had kept our businesses separate, but now it seemed like a great time to join forces. His photography knowledge and my long history of running small business, that entrepreneurial know how could be helpful as he established himself in Arizona.
That was the beginning of our story of creating a successful photography business and raising two very young daughters simultaneously. Looking back, the time has sped by and been slow at the exact same time – but here we were, dreaming and ready for the challenge.
As I became more involved in the business I started interacting with some of the women photographers my age that were new to photography. At first, I don’t think I understood the transformation that was happening within me. I found incredible inspiration in these women and they were wildly supportive of me, encouraging me to jump in myself. Meanwhile, Keith had been suggesting this for years…but sometimes you need to figure these things out on your own, with an outside influence.
At 45 I went back to school. I enrolled in the photography program at Phoenix College. It all started with the intro to digital photography class and the rest is history. My good friend Claudia and I took some classes together, making it even more fun, and we had each other for support and encouragement.
I failed myself forward. The technical side of photography intimidated me. It downright scared me. But getting thrown right in to challenge myself was the best way to learn. I made lots of mistakes, but I also started seeing progress.
It took awhile for me to gain the confidence to go out on jobs by myself but I eventually did, to the point where I felt (awkwardly) comfortable shooting a black tie event or wedding on my own. That was a really big deal for me. But I did it.
Becoming a photographer is one of my biggest reinventions. (My reinvention #4) I had to contend with a ton of fear, self doubt and lack of confidence in myself. And I felt old to be attempting this. But I continued to put myself out there and grow as a person and as a photographer. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I did.
Our photography business was incredibly successful thanks to hard work and an incredible community in Phoenix that we are eternally grateful for.
But within me there was still something going on. Keith and I were constantly on the run, stressed and excuse me for using this expression again, but life seemed very rinse and repeat. Every year had the same cycle of extremely busy stretches and we reset every July with a month away with our kids.
Time was speeding by. I was cognizant that my time with my girls was fleeting, only 18 summers and they would be theoretically gone. I wasn’t present the way I wanted to be with my family. I think we did a great job of balancing but something kept nagging at me.
Then COVID hit. Out of the blue our business came to a screeching halt. This break gave us a chance to reflect about our lives and what we wanted our future to look like.
SIDE NOTE: We did have a dream board already in place with a few of the goals we had already hit. Having no debt was a big one, one which would allow these other dreams to one day get closer and closer. [Financial independence is a big topic!!!]
It was during this early part of the COVID lockdown that I really started working on me. Trying to discover why I had certain behaviors, what I carried around with me from the past and how that could potentially affect our future. Through a series of reading books, writing my morning pages and listening to podcasts, I discovered how I wanted to take this next step.
I was also coming off the recent death of both my parents. For sure this played a major role in me being more reflective and introspective. The combination led me to this next reinvention: becoming a Life Coach.
This was a big one. Participating in the Life Coach School training to become a Certified Coach blew me right out of my comfort zone. This 6 month program challenged me like I never imagined but in such a positive, eye opening way.
Going through this program demonstrated to me that I have the resolve to do what ever I want. I have within me everything I need to create the life I want.
That self confidence to put myself out there has been a process. A much needed one. It is something that I want to share with the world. There are too many women over 50 that put themselves behind everyone else, they want to reinvent themselves, change their story, live into their life finally! But they don’t know where to start or they lack the self confidence to believe they are capable of achieving what they want.
I want to use this website – my podcast (coming soon!) and social channels to guide women to see what they might not be able to see right now. I’m your cheerleader, I’m going to be cheering you on and providing exercises for you to begin the process of stepping out of your comfort zone and reinventing yourself in the most beautiful way possible.
So here I am now at this new reinvention (#5) and I couldn’t be more optimistic for what the future holds for me and for you!