I remember the day I went through my youngest son’s book bag when he 6 years-old. I found the usual - crayons, books, toys, and crumbs. As I looked through his school project folder I ran across a school assignment. It was a small stapled construction paper booklet in which he drew pictures of his emotions. When I turned to the page that read, “What makes me sad,” there was a drawn picture of him playing and crying while I was at my computer working. Talk about a guilt trip.
That year was 2009 and I was knee deep in the busiest year ever for my photo biz. I had a person that would come over and do some retouching, a person that I contracted to photograph parties, showers, and formal business events. I photographed 55 weddings that year. I had Thursday weddings, Monday weddings, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday weddings. All that along with my steady supply of maternity sessions, seniors, consultations, and family sessions. Till this day that whole year is a big blur for me – all I remember is sitting at a computer or looking into a view finder.
At the time; I thought I had made it. I figured that this is what I had always wanted. I wanted the phone to ring non-stop, I wanted retouchers and photographers working for me, and I wanted to make as much money as possible. At the expense of seeing my wife and kids – I was doing all of those things.
It goes back to a Tony Robbins quote/question, “Are you sacrificing too much of your life to be who you want to be?”
I was. And it took 3 years for me to really, really/fully realize it. 2010 and 2011 came and went. I wasn’t as busy but still did good. Though I had more time to spend with the family; I was also racking my brain to figure out how to get back what I had in 2009. Thennnn 2012 came and I was basically like “What the fuck just happened?!” Though my portraits sessions were wayyyyyy up – my weddings were wayyyyy down.
Best thing that ever happened to me. I was actually able to see almost all of my oldest son’s AAU basketball games, was able to attend a lot my kids school functions, and just had more time to spend helping my wife run the household. I actually got to SEE what I had been missing.
“Are you sacrificing too much of your life to be who you want to be?”
So where am I now? Well, I refined/reevaluated my business plan and purpose. I redid my health goals and family goals. I’m happy where I’m at. I’ve found “balance.” Though my 2013 will be busier than 2012 I am 100 percent certain my youngest daughter (who will be 5 this year) will not be drawing a picture of herself crying because I won’t play with her. I can guarantee you that.