The people who matter: Isabelle and Melvene
The thing about being a photographer is that work usually comes on weekends: Weddings on weekends, events on weekends, more clients on weekends. But we all know that weekends, especially Sundays, in every Filipino's watch, is family time and for Catholics, time to hear mass and pray.
So when I started Portraits by Heidi and workshops by Camera Cart, the assumption was of course that weekends would take center-stage of my work time. Last year, Melvene the husband and I went full blast. Working our asses off on weekdays and weekends. In other words, we were on 24/7. Yes, like the HBO documentary for a pre-Pacquiao fight. But this was our fight. And last 2012, we found ourselves too tired for words. I mean, really dead-tired, not knowing when a week starts has taken a heavy toll on me. I was stressed and tired. So I've been harboring guilt feelings also for not having Isabelle time, time for church, me time, and wife-husband time. I've lost my bearings. I was all work, work, work.
But we took a 2-week vacation at the end of December (because if I wouldn't, I'd end up depleted) and I realized that I've built my business backwards. What I've been doing for the past years is that I made the business take center stage, and the things/people that matter most fit into my schedule. What I should have done was to prioritize the things/people that matter first, then the business will have to revolve around it so that I get to have purpose with every stride. So everything in my life have more meaning.
I'm currently reading Why Entrepreneurs should Eat Bananas by Simon Tupman, a gift from my sister Hazel last Christmas. And he says:
The point of life is to be happy and enjoy life as much as possible. Yet many people seem to miss that point, and so play a pointless game, focusing solely on achieving status, recognition or financial abundance. As David Maister writes in True Professionalism: All other goals (money, fame, responsibility, achievement) are merely ways of making you happy. They are worthless in themselves. While financial targets are important, an exclusive striving towards higher financial goals can almost inevitably be a cause of dissatisfaction among those working in, and running, business of all sorts."
Long quote but definitely worth the read. And I say "Amen" to that!
For those who've started their own businesses and especially those who love what they do, I think you'd agree that it's so hard to stop working. I love working with Camera Cart and doing portrait work. It's who I am. It's so my passion. That I literally sleep and breathe thinking all about my businesses! I am really grateful that I've been given the opportunity to do what I love to do. The problem is when to stop.
So anyway, I'm still working on Saturdays, but I've decided I'll try my hardest to declare Sunday as family day. And for the first Sunday of 2013, I have chosen not to book any meetings, shoot any client. I have chosen to let the yaya take a break and have a Sunday off so I can spend time with my dearest Isabelle and my loving husband. We had lunch, made Isabelle tumble at the Gymboree, and had coffee when we were all exhausted. And it was perfect.