By Kaitie Bryant, as told by Sara Shelton
Part of our “My Blueprint Story” Series
Okay, maybe that isn’t a life-altering truth for most of you. I mean, as creatives, aren’t we all sort of prone to dreaming? I think we all know how to dream big dreams for our lives and our businesses. But actually learning how to make those dreams a sustainable reality? Well, that’s another story!
I’ve been a wedding photographer for almost nine years now, but if I’m being honest, I’d say that I wasn’t fully following my dream until about halfway through this entrepreneurship journey.
Five years ago, I was balancing a growing business and a growing family. I had two small kids at home and was in the middle of the busiest wedding season I’d ever done. And at the end of the day, I just felt like a failure. I was stretched so thin that I felt like I wasn’t giving my best to my clients, my family, or my business. And I didn’t know how to change that.
In other words, I felt stuck. It seemed like I wasn’t running my business; instead, it was running my life! And that certainly wasn’t the dream.
But then I met Shanna, who did one simple thing for me: She gave me permission to dream. And that, my friends, changed the course of my business.
How did she do that? Well, with four simple things :
Essentially, this was a place where I could pull together everything that I dreamed for my life.
How did I picture my life?
What big dreams did I have?
Pulling it all together in one place really gave me permission to dig deep into the dreams I had for myself. I loved photography, but there were so many other things I wanted to do along the way. And this process helped me see that not only can I dream those things for myself, but I can determine the path I want to take to make them happen.
The year I met Shanna, I did 33 weddings that season. And it was way too much! So rather than operate on a cycle that wasn’t sustainable for me, we looked at my pricing and my boundaries in order to define what “enough” looked like for me.
I saw that I could cut my weddings in half, making 15 my “enough” for the year and freeing up time to give to other parts of my life.
Now this one is tricky because as we all know, there are just some parts of operating your own business that you have to deal with, regardless of how you feel about them! But there are certain things about the business that I could eliminate to find more margin to do what I loved. I chose the style of things I liked in terms of photography. I became more selective with the clients or projects I took on. Essentially, I laid out exactly what I would do and what I wouldn’t do in terms of photography, giving myself permission to say, “No,” to what I didn’t love.
Shanna encouraged me to use the newfound freedom in my life to start making some new dreams come true.
I’ve always had a vision to create something that could help people connect to one another more deeply in a culture where relationships feel shallow and quick. And by 2015, I’d given myself some margin to turn that dream into a reality. My husband and I officially launched the Known Project in 2016, creating a series of books that help people ask deeper questions and learn to connect. It’s honestly a dream come true, one I couldn’t have accomplished without giving myself permission to dream and creating the space in my life to follow those dreams.
So if you’re out there right now feeling like you don’t have space in your life to chase your dreams or the margin to even start dreaming them, I want to encourage you that it is possible.
With the right understanding of what you need to do to get there and a good cheerleader (like Shanna!) to support you in the process, you can have permission to dream!
→ finally making money doing what you love!
→ providing real income for your family without having to sacrifice all your time and energy to the non-stop hustle.
→ transforming your business (and life!) just like hundreds of other men and women who’ve implemented this proven business blueprint.
If that sounds like a dream year, then I want to invite you to join us inside The Blueprint Model!