1. Business

Why I Love Being a Small Business Owner

Intro by Skip Cohen

There’s a lot of incredible content on Sarah Petty’s “Joy of Marketing” site, and if you get a chance to attend any of her workshops on or offline, you’re going to find the program business-changing and maybe even life-changing.

I pulled this post from her archives because it’s the perfect time of year for all of us to remember why we’re in this business. The third quarter is quickly coming to an end and very shortly you’ll hopefully be buried in the seasonality of the fourth quarter. It’s an exciting time to be a photographer and small business owner, but it can also be frustrating.

Time is our most valuable commodity and there’s never enough of it. For me, I found Sarah’s post a helpful reminder of so many points I love about being in business. She got me thinking about how much I love this industry and how different my life is owning my decisions and destiny versus working for another company.

By Sarah Petty

Creative freedom and giving back to my community are just a couple of reasons I love being a small business owner. I have loved the journey of turning my passion for photography and sharing that love into a full-time business. As each of us knows, owning our own businesses is not without its challenges. But I think we all believe that the incredible joys outweigh the late nights and whatever other hurdles may pop up.

So why am I so thankful to be a small business owner?

  1. I can follow my passion.
    Because I’m passionate about my business, the hours I invest often don’t even feel like work. As I do my best to grow my business, I’m actually having fun and doing what I love!

It’s my business and I photograph what I want. You can, too!

  1. I have creative freedom.
    I specialize in kids and families, and I don’t do weddings because that’s not what I love to do. It’s my business and I photograph what I want. You can, too!
  2. I control my destiny.
    As a business owner, I have the opportunity to design my future. I direct the culture of my company. I decide how to operate day-to-day. I mold my brand into what I want. Having that kind of power over my career is exciting!
  3. My schedule is flexible.
    Though I may work around the clock during certain times, I do have options. I don’t offer sessions on the weekends or on Mondays. And on days when my daughters have an early game out of town, I can be there because I finish up my work at night after they go to bed. In short, I don’t need to ask for permission from anyone but myself.
  4. I choose the people I work with.
    When I worked for someone else, I didn’t get a say over who I worked with. Now I surround myself with positive people who give me the confidence and optimism I need to keep moving forward.
  5. I don’t have to wear pantyhose… EVER!
    When I worked in outside sales, I had to dress appropriately for whatever business I was visiting that day. Now I wear whatever I’m comfortable photographing in!

I’m able to spend more time with my clients and give them extra love.

  1. I can connect with my clients.
    I get to be friends with my clients. I’m able to Spend more time with them and give them extra love. Because I know my clients so well, I can create products they’ll adore instead of offering them something off the shelf.
  2. I can give back to my community. 
    Last year during the holidays, a devastating tornado ripped through a town an hour away. Since I choose where my donations go,  I was able to go Christmas shopping for the kids who lost everything. Rather than having to jump on board with whatever charity your corporate employer wants you to support, when you own your own business you can give to what matters most to you.

Have I left any reasons off the list? I’d love to see the reasons why you’re thankful to be a small business owner!