Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin Schmidt, Founder of Erin Schmidt Photography, located in Detroit, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a wedding and brand photographer in Detroit. I get to work with couples on their best day ever and cheer on female-owned small businesses for a living.
Tell us about yourself
I got started because I was miserable at my 9-5 job, but I never thought I would be able to pull off doing this full-time. Fast forward 12 years, and I've been running my business full-time for nine years, traveling all over the world doing what I love. Photography is my passion and a way for me to be creative and express myself every day. I think finding your passion is really key to longevity and success in small businesses.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Still loving what I do over a decade later. Every wedding or project is still new and exciting to me, and even though I've won so many awards, received so many recognitions, and traveled, being able to maintain my passion through it all is really my biggest accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Having boundaries in your business is the hardest part of being a small business owner. Even when you think you have good boundaries with your business, you probably don't (as I've found over the last few years). It's a practice for sure, especially being a people pleaser.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You have gotta want it: being a small business owner is a lot of work. You have to love it, and you have to be driven.
- Treat your business like a business: there are going to be times when customers may ask for discounts, ask for more of something you're providing, or even ask for a refund. You need to keep a level head and remember that, ultimately, you are a running business, and you need to treat it like one.
- Focus on your passion: when offering a product or service, really hone in on what you're passionate about. For example, in photography, you don't need to offer every genre of photography. Hone on what makes you tick, and your business will be successful.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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