Find Your Why, Find Your Path.

January 3, 2020

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The goal with Today’s post is to continue laying that groundwork for you before we start racing towards your goals. Today I want to help you get your mind right. I want you to find a path and find what motivates you, and stick to it. So that all of the energy you put into your business moving forward is aimed in the right direction.

I created a worksheet for you so that you can follow along with this episode and apply the things to yourself and your own business. We are going to be doing some digging into your motivations, your why, and what sets your heart on fire and gets you passionate about doing this work. You can grab your copy here:

If you don’t receive the worksheet right away, be sure to check your spam folder!

This might seem like an unnecessary process, but trust me, it’s going to be worth it to you in the long run. And here’s the reason: finding your motivation, finding what makes you excited and passionate, is going to do two things: it’s going to help you create better films, and it’s also going to help to prevent burnout. At a fundamental level, as humans, our tendencies are to put in a greater effort when we care about what we’re doing. When a task is exciting, when it’s fun, and when we are emotionally invested in the outcome, we do a better job. When we aren’t excited about something, we naturally tend to put in less effort.

Think to a time when you were filming a wedding that really got you excited. Maybe it was because it was in an epic location, or maybe because you were working with clients that got you excited to push yourself to do a better job than ever before.Now let’s go the opposite direction. Think back to a time when you were filming a wedding that just seemed…blah. For whatever reason, it wasn’t a wedding that you were excited about, and you looked at it more so as a way to just pay the bills. You may have done a good job, but it definitely wasn’t your best work. Those are two totally different weddings. And your goal should be to ONLY book that first type of wedding. One that fires you up. One that you’re excited about, because you are going to hit a home run with that one.

Like I mentioned, the second reason you need to find your why is so that you can avoid burnout. It’s a lot harder to feel burnt out when you are following a path that you’re excited about. Sure, it can still happen, but it’s much harder to fall into that burnout phase, and it’s easier to climb out of it too. I want you all to get to the point where you are fired up about every single wedding you book. But, friends, that’s not going to happen on accident. That will only happen by being incredibly intentional with your business.

Last year, I ran into a bit of a roadblock. And I ended up digging deep to find my own why, and it has paid off tenfold. I went to booking weddings under $1,500 that just seemed a little blah to me, to booking weddings in the $4 and $5 thousand dollar range and I’m so pumped about these weddings. But here’s the story of how I got here: When I first started doing wedding videography, I began to follow several of the big names in the industry. I looked up to them and wanted to emulate their businesses, because to me, that’s what I had to do if I wanted to be successful. What all of those other filmmakers had in common was that they did destination weddings and elopements. And they rock it. Their films are so beautiful, so perfect, how could I not think that their path should be mine as well? I spent the first half of the year trying desperately to market myself to the elopement and destination wedding market. I did styled shoots. I Instagrammed my brains out. And you know what? I did get some traction. I did a wedding in Tahoe, and a few other in fun destinations in Northern California. I was so pumped up for these weddings. So beyond excited. But what I realized once I started doing the work, was that it was a lot of work. And a completely different ballgame from what I was used to shooting local weddings. I knew that there would be longer travel times. I knew that I would be staying in hotels. But what I didn’t know, was that it would be way more stressful for me while I packed my gear, knowing I couldn’t have someone bring me a tripod if I forgot it. And I didn’t realize what I’d be missing by being away from home so much. I have 2 daughters, who are 3 and 1. And once I started doing some destination work, I was away a lot more. I missed them. I didn’t get to be there when they woke up in the morning. And honestly, it made me kind of sad.

These are wonderful places to shoot weddings, don’t get me wrong, but once I started actually thinking about my goals, my values, and the way I want to live my life, I started to get less and less excited about doing destination weddings and elopements. You see, we all lead totally different lives from one another. Some of you are single, and some of you are married with several kids. Our lives are all unique. And our goals are unique too. Look at the big picture, and really, really think about whether what you’re chasing fits into that picture. It’s ok to pivot. It’s ok to pursue something different, or to narrow down your focus to a very specific type of work. Once I started thinking about the realities of destination and elopement videography, the more and more I realized that it’s just not for me. Yes, I love to travel. There’s nothing I love more than flying to a fun new destination and exploring…maybe even laying by the pool with a margarita in my hand. But that’s not what it was like to be doing destination weddings and elopements. You see, as beautiful of those films turn out, it’s just not a world I want to live in constantly. I wouldn’t mind doing that once or twice a year, but as a a full-time job? No way. That’s tons of time away from my family. That’s a LOT of extra work, and a lot of extra time. I lost sight of my why. Why I originally started doing wedding videography in the first place.

So I re-evaluated my path and my goals. I decided that I needed to look at the realities of the business, and the realities of the life that goes along with it. So that’s what we are going to be talking about today. It’s determining your path. It’s finding your why,

Sometimes we see other people heading in one direction, and so we blindly follow them, thinking that they have all the answers. But what we don’t see is the dozen other possibilities behind us that we never even stopped to explore or see if they could serve us better. I want to walk you through the process I went through in order to find my path. Maybe yours will end up being destination weddings. And if you land there, then that’s great. Maybe that should be your path. But we are all going to be different, with different answers. Here’s the first question for you: Why did you start this wedding filmmaking journey? What drew you to this career path, and what keeps you motivated to continue?  Is it being your own boss? Or is it having the freedom to determine your own schedule? Is it the money? Maybe you’re an artist at heart and being a wedding filmmaker fuels that artistic side of you. Be honest with yourself and find your motivation.For me, my original why was to have a creative outlet. It was to give myself something to focus on other than motherhood. So that, in the long run, I could actually BE a better mom. My children will always be my top priority, and I got into this career just so that I could feel complete, and in return be a better mom for my kids. As time went on, it slowly became a second income that now contribute to our household and our goals of paying our house off early. So my overall why is to give my brain a break from being a mom 24/7 to ultimately be a BETTER mom, and to earn a second income for a very specific financial goal. So it makes sense why destination weddings weren’t for me. They took me away from my family for longer periods of time, which didn’t serve my goal of being a better mom. Yes, the films ended up great, but they didn’t help me serve my WHY, my biggest motivating factors in this career.

It’s important to identify your motivations for yourself. If it’s to make as much money as possible, you will know that your path is going to be to really climb up in price as quickly as possible. If your motivation is to travel more and get paid while doing it, you know that you should only be taking weddings that allow you to do that. If your goal is to only create insane films that push the limit of the industry, then you know that you should only take weddings that you know for a fact are going to allow you to do that. What are your motivations? Pick your top 2 or 3 and write them down.

If you are truly serving your why, it should excite you. Because your ultimate goal is being served. That is such a great feeling. Once you find your why, and therefor the type of wedding that fits into that picture, you can start to narrow down your specific ideal client, and your specific goals. But we are going to save that for another post. I hope that you were able to do some soul-searching to find your true reasons for being in this career as a wedding filmmaker. I hope that you were able to zero in on your specific wants and desires for your business, so that you can put in the work to get where you want to go.