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A VERY rare Saturday post (but I think it’s worth it!)

I woke up this morning in beautiful Flagstaff, AZ. I’m staying at the amazing cabin of one of my dear friends, Kim Stoegbauer, owner of TomKat Studio.

I’m here with Kim and several of our other friends, but this isn’t just a girls’ weekend – this goes deeper. This is our second business mastermind weekend.

So that’s where I am this weekend. Those of us who could make it are back together to spend this weekend growing, supporting and challenging one another to do more, be more… matter more.

Matter more. Just the word ‘matter’ seems to weigh more than the rest of the words that I type. It can feel like a big challenge at first pass, and yet if our values are aligned with our why and our passion – it will inevitably be a natural consequence of our actions.

There are two kinds of extremes that all creatives encounter.  The first (and everyone’s favorite) leaves us euphoric. It’s like falling in love for the first time all over again, and you begin to trust that the world really is on your side. In fact, in those moments, you believe (no –  you know) that you are truly meant to succeed.

But of course, for every action there is a reaction.  It is in those moments, when the clouds roll in as dark and menacing as ever that everything begins to crumble. Our very foundations seem to turn to dust. We doubt our abilities and our purpose. We start to believe the terrible lie…the one that tells us that feelings of satisfaction in our progress, meaning in that which we touch, and our own ability to positively impact our reality…is impossible.

We’ve all experienced both. I don’t know that I believe life is meant to avoid them, especially not a life being lived fully. In fact, let me say this… If you are living a purpose-filled life, you will know it because of these moments… So now, it’s navigating your way between them that is the key.

So now, let me ask you a question…

Why are you here?

And likewise – why am I here?

“Here” is a state of being… It is the feelings that you have toward the place you are in right now in your life.  Are you satisfied?  Are you happy?  Are you making a difference for others?  Does what you spend the majority of your energy and your thoughts on matter – and – make an impact for better?

And if you can say… “Yes! What I am doing is making a difference!  It does matter…” Then to whom does it matter?

And does that answer align with who matters most to you?

The honest, often hard to face truth is that it’s easy to get sucked into a place where the majority of our time, our thoughts, and our energy isn’t satisfying. It’s not bringing happiness and most importantly, it’s not a reflection of what and who matters most to you.

Maybe you’ve fallen into one of these traps:

Trap #1: Lost the Good. You’ve gotten caught in a cycle of seeing the world for its faults. Your thoughts and words are often focused on what isn’t working and who hasn’t shown up for you.

The Result of Trap #1 is that you can’t be in a place to a) recognize the opportunities that have been trying to show themselves to you and b) your own influence and power is weakened when you need to show up for others.

Trap #2: Fear Based Decisions. You’ve found yourself struggling to move goals forward most likely because you’re in a constant state of waiting – waiting for it to be better timing, waiting to feel ready, waiting for someone else to give you permission.

Maybe thoughts are running through your head such as, “What if it doesn’t work for me?  What if I can’t do it?  What if I fail?  What if they see me fail?  What if I lose money?”  These questions have validity. There are times when our brains need to tell us that danger is approaching or that our lives are threatened, and then those warning lights that sound in our minds matter – they matter a lot. BUT in this case, do these constant warning alarms have any power to move you toward progress? They don’t.  Giiving them your energy can only keep you in fear of how action could hurt you. What about your inaction? Does the sounding alarm go off just as often over inaction? I’m guessing it doesn’t, and that’s the clear indication that alarm is really a false alarm. 

The Results of Trap #2: Decisions are being made, but they are being made for you as a consequence of indecision. Goals, projects and the life that you currently only imagine are unable to manifest because you’ve given to much power to the ‘false alarms’ blaring in your mind.
Trap #3: Setting your Measuring Stick to the Wrong Standard. I believe this is one of the most problematic and devastating traps we face right now. Being a byproduct of the technology era, we are surrounded with information and the perceptions that others meticulously curate and craft. It’s almost undetectable at first. You take note of something great that someone else does, and the seed is planted. “Wouldn’t that be cool?”, you tell yourself. Then there is another and another.  Soon, without even realizing it, you begin to measure your goals with theirs, your successes with theirs, and your intents with theirs. Somewhere along the way… Your intentions become lost and are replaced by what you believe would better you and your family by what others have told us success should look like.

The Results of Trap #3: You trade the vision of the life that you had once set up in front of your dream for those that others have said are the right goals. They maybe look more glamorous, more lucrative, more flashy… but those goals may not support your why. They are not rooted in the life you imagine for yourself and the people you love. This trap leaves us climbing a ladder for success that when achieved somehow feels emptier than we think it should. This is because it is at odds with who and what matters most for our own being.

So let me ask you… What is your intention for what you are trying to create?

May I share mine?

I want to create outcomes. Outcomes that transform and are so powerful that people who have felt them will say, “Hey, you need to come see this.”

I want to show women that their dreams are worth their intention. That it’s okay to have their outlet. That this outlet can and should be built on their terms, for their life goals and to work for (and not against) their family life. I want to show you that your dreams are worth fighting for and that your experiences matter.  I want you to know that the people you influence want your dreams to succeed so they will know that it’s possible for them too.

So how am I doing this? Well, I start and end each day within the walls of my home with the influence I have been entrusted with through my children. In between those moments, I’m showing creatives how to manifest results and outcomes that measure on the stick of success that they have set.

And right now, my heart is bursting over the opportunity that I will have to help as many photographers as will allow me the privilege. I am ready to help transform their businesses and as a wonderful bi-product their lives as we get ready to start Week One of my course, ‘The Thriving Photographer.’

Enrollment is still open! You can learn more & join us HERE.
So… Why are you here? May I share why I believe you’re here?

I believe that you are here because you have a difference to make. I believe that you are reading this email right now because you were supposed to, and I believe that the power within you is 10x what you believe it is.

I believe in creating a life worth waking up for. I believe in doing those hard things that stretch us because without the uncomfortable, we can’t grow, and we can’t realize how powerful we truly are. I believe in laughing every day, working for what you believe in, and showing up for those who matter most – every. single. day.

I am here to prove that dreams matter… That they can be a manifestation of what can be your real life… And to show you how it’s possible.

I hope you’ll give me that chance and be part of this class happening right now as we get ready to transform photographers into Thriving Photographers.

CLICK HERE to see what Thrive does for photographers.
Thank you so much for taking time from your weekend and allowing me to share these thoughts with you. I’m going to go pop back downstairs and enjoy the company of these incredible women I’m with. And someday, I hope you and I will have a chance to meet too. In fact, if you join Thrive, you’ll get instant access to me and to hundreds of other Thrivers in our online mastermind community that is just for members of The Thriving Photographer.

I would love to be part of your success story, come find out what’s possible with The Thriving Photographer™.



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