Part one: I can do it by myself

"I don't need anyone." "I can handle this by myself." "I've got this." We have all rambled similar statements to ourselves at one point or another about something. Whether you own a business or not; you can at least relate to there being something in your life that you feel like you own and that it is solely your job to take care of it. For me that is my business. I started this business by myself, I threw myself into the deep end by quitting a stable job that paid the bills, and I set myself on this path. So surely I should be able to handle the day to day tasks of running said business right? WRONG!!! From the get go my pride had the reigns over my thought process and I wanted to do everything by myself even when handing off menial tasks, or asking the simplest questions could have been so beneficial to me. I felt like I made this decision and I was solely responsible for the workload and the outcome.

At the very start of this a friend offered to build me a website and help redo my logos; two things that were wildly helpful, but I didn't ask for this help. I never could have. To me I was doing okay with just a Facebook and Instagram account. With little to no knowledge of websites, google business suite, SEO, or even running invoices and stuff I felt like it was an attack on my ego to throw out a lifeline and just ask a question. However, one day all of this was just flopped down in front of me by the aforementioned friend; Chris Isbill. Chris was a guest at a wedding that I was filming and he sort of came out of the blue and said something along the lines of "man you're legit. I knew you were good, but you're professional... just watching you work I see that, and I want to help you out." And boy did he. Chris overhauled my logos, built me a website, put me on Google, and so much more. But I never asked for it. And that's the problem.

Fast forward almost three years and by now I have at least learned to ask questions or ask for help on a project. However, there is still always this looming prideful feeling that I should be doing this alone and I still struggle asking for help even with things that I could just throw money at and make them go away. For instance; it took me looking at an editing queue of over 20 wedding videos and 10 wedding photo galleries to even consider hiring an editor. I try to justify not asking for help in any way possible too. "It's my film I should be editing it" "these are my photos' I should be putting the touches on them.." or "I did not budget originally to have an editor." All of these things are valid of course; especially the latter, but the fact of the matter is most professional photographers or filmmakers of this scale are paying out edits to other professionals. The whole point of a professional photographer or videographer hiring out a professional editor is that the professional editor is capable and skilled enough to make the edits look exactly like they need to for a brand. But that looming pride does not change this objective fact for me.

In writing this I feel like I am in a way self counseling and throwing my own flaws out there to the world and that editing queue is still almost as long as it was when I had this revelation. I have only bitten the bullet on one or two edits so far so clearly I am still working myself through some of these prideful matters. Instead of letting history repeat itself I want to position myself in a humble way and prepare to ask for that help when I need it.

Business ownership can have a tendency to put you on an island. As cliche as some of these instagram and tik toks about hustling, and self motivation, and grinding by yourself can sound; there are a lot of truths behind some of them. I genuinely feel like most people I grew up with do not recognize me now. Even people I was close to right before starting my business don't seem to be around anymore. It is a fact that most people; especially those that aren't business owners; just don't understand what it takes. The 12-18 hour work days have become a habit for me. Sitting my house for 3-4 days without leaving for so much as a coffee break are becoming more and more regular. My personal phone lives in a constant state of do not disturb now. I know that a lot of this is on me. The isolation to focus on work is definitely my fault, but at the end of the day no matter how long or short; there is still a list of people that I can call for help with something related to my business.

The charge I make to you; no matter how poor your boundaries are between your personal and business life; is to find that group of people that can help you and let them do so. The tik toks about losing friends when focusing on yourself and your business may be 110% true, but that means you need to find new friends or business partners and ask for that help. You are never in a place where you can't count on someone to help you grow and achieve your dreams.

Had I asked for help editing last year I probably would not be feeling the drag of a 65 wedding year still. Had I asked for help with a website or business advice I probably could have been 2-3 more years into this journey. Had I asked for a friend to read this blog before I posted it; it probably could have turned out better. The point is... Don't self isolate, don't try to do it by yourself, don't be prideful, and ask for help whether you think you need it or not.