I keep this pretty big hardcover journal for my business. Inside are all the notes I’ve taken over the past two years on various webinars, brainstorming sessions, and meetups with other local entrepreneurs. There’s over 100 pages of notes that I’ve taken! Just last week I decided that my notebook needed an index, like the way I do it in my bullet journal. Since there’s so much information in there I want to be able to look at my index and find what I need right away. My hope is that by doing this, I’ll “refresh” my brain regularly about things I’ve learned.
While making my index, I came across a two page spread that was labeled at the top in massive letters: What Success Looks Like To Me.
This is something I’ve talked about a lot these past few months. Looking at the two page spread, it was obvious that I had gotten down to the heart of what I wanted my life to be like, but then I lost sight of that, and now I’m coming back around to those thoughts and I’m really happy about that! By looking at what I view as success I’ve also started to figure out WHY I have my business.
Why did I roll with this photography business that fell into my lap? Well, I LOVE IT. I adore being able to photograph so many precious moments between couples and families. It’s not only an honor, but I’m incredibly grateful. There’s more to it than that though. I went into business for myself so that I could create a life I truly loved. A life where I get to watch my daughter grow up; where Steven and I get to travel; where I create my own schedule and focus on what I’m passionate about. But it’s also more than that.
I want to create a life that allows me to give back.
So that’s what I’m going to start doing.
I did a lot of thinking this past week about how I wanted to give back, and I’ve decided that 5% of all product sales will be donated to charity. When it came time to decide how I wanted this to work, I talked with a friend and she helped me realize that you can be more effective with your donation if you donate it all to the same place, and then switch charities from one year to the next. I think that’s a great idea! I want to make an impact! You know, five dollar donations to several organizations is totally fine, but I can make an even bigger difference if I made one collective donation to a single organization.
It was between Pencils of Promise, or Read to a Child, because both of these are focused on ensuring children can read. Literacy is SO important, especially in children! I ended up going with Read to a Child, because it’s a national organization, whereas Pencils of Promise was a global one. I wanted to help create change in my own backyard, so to speak.
Here’s what’s kind of neat about this new plan of mine – I get to help people create their legacy through tangible pieces of art for their home, and we get to help kids have the opportunities to read at the same time. It’s such a win-win!