Y’all! If you know me, you know I’m not a person who cries easily. Sure, I cry at the end of a sappy movie once in a while, or when I’m really frustrated, but who doesn’t cry in those situations?! Seriously though, I recently received an email from a past bride, and it brought me to tears. Tears! Tears were drying on my cheeks while sitting in my home office. That’s never happened to me, until now.
About six weeks ago I photographed a destination wedding for a beautiful couple from out of state. You probably remember them, Erika and Ryan. They got married at the beautiful Willow Falls Events in Hendersonville. You can read their blog post here again, if you’d like. Throughout the booking and consultation process I learned that Erika moved across the country to be with Ryan and that she had trouble finding a job in her field, so was planning to open her own consulting firm. Right away I was proud of her for jumping into the world of entrepreneurship. It’s scary and challenging beyond words, but is also very rewarding. It takes a brave person to open their own business, so Erika was getting air high five’s from me and didn’t even know it yet.
As the months went on we continued to touch base about her wedding, but didn’t talk too much about her work until the wedding day. That day I remember Erika mentioning to me that she happily moved to be with Ryan, and also began working in her own business. Her words were a little hesitant, but honest and proud. I was proud of her too, but didn’t say it out loud. I of course wished her all the best in her endeavors.
Then, just the other day, almost one month after we saw each other on she and Ryan’s wedding day, I received an email from Erika. It was separate from the public reviews she left me, and was truly the kindest and most moving email I have ever received. Before I share some of it with you (with personal details removed), you may want to sit down. Or, at least I was glad I was sitting. “On a personal note I wanted to mention that you have been an inspiration to me.” Little ol’ me? How? “After 15 years working <in my industry> and loving it, I moved <to> where my husband got offered a job. Unfortunately there were no opportunities open in <my field>. I always loved my job but I had to find another way to stay in <the field>. With the support of my husband Ryan I decided to start my own consulting business <in my field> where I help the community <in important ways>. This new direction going out on my own and promoting myself has been way out of my comfort zone and has been scary!! So it’s been very inspirational to see how much you love your job and the excitement you get from it. It inspires me to see a woman doing it on her own, loving it, being great at it, and making a difference in people’s lives....I believe that I can do it too!! So thank you for not only being a great photographer but also for giving me hope that I can be successful and enjoy what I do on my own."
Y’all! Really! This note got me deep down, and made me feel so grateful. I’m grateful for wonderful clients like Erika. I’m grateful for the amazing and supportive people in my life. I’m grateful for the network of business owners who taught me to keep going and fight for my own business success. I’m grateful for a world in which as a woman, I can own my own business and be successful in it, without being ashamed or shunned. I’m grateful for the skills I have and the gifts I am able to give others by using these skills. I am grateful for so many things, but most of all, I am grateful for this email from Erika. Sometimes a girl needs a little inspiration and support. Even though Erika feels like she is receiving those things from me, I truly just received them even more from her.
Thank you Erika, for sending me this email and reaching out from one fellow entrepreneur to another. It’s hard to send an email like this and put yourself out there. I appreciate you and your words more than you know.
P.S. I know that you will rock this entrepreneur thing and help so many people along the way! (air high five!)