Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maddie Peschong, founder of Maddie Peschong Photography, located in Sioux Falls, SD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a brand photographer and educator who is obsessed with teaching creative women entrepreneurs how to build a profitable business that fits into their life and fills them with joy. Through coaching, digital products, and personal branding photos, I help women discover their magic so they can stand out in a saturated market, confidently scale their income without trading more time for money, and do work they love.
Tell us about yourself
I got started with photography after a college photography class kicked my butt and made me just curious enough to pick up a camera of my own over Christmas break. I was overwhelmed with all the settings, but there was a spark. I spent the next few months diving into blogs and YouTube videos learning how to use my new Nikon. My first couple of shots were in literal back alleys, trading my very little talent for $50 and taking photos for friends and family. If I got any photos that were decent, it was pure luck, and it was just enough to keep me going and want to get better!
I tried every type of photography before I landed in the world of branding. At the time, it seemed like it was taking forever to find my niche. Looking back, I got something I needed from everything I experimented with. When I realized I could take my marketing background (I had a full-time job in digital marketing until 2018) and combine it with my love of photography, it was magic.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Opening my studio, White Space, in February of 2020. So much of photography, especially in the digital age, is intangible. It felt so grown up to have a space to call my own. Plus, we opened a month before the pandemic shut everything down, and we kept going! Now the space is not only a place where I shoot, but also a place for other creatives in my community to rent out and build their own businesses and dreams. It's one of the most fun, rewarding things I've ever done.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
New level, new devil. I used to think that someday I wouldn't worry as much about what other people thought of me, or raising my prices, or setting boundaries. Ha! All those things are still incredibly difficult, and I struggle with them every day. But I remind myself that the point isn't to figure it all out. The point is that I have more tools in my toolbox now to get through the hard stuff.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- When you're in the messy middle, it can feel like complete chaos. Know that you are getting what you need out of every season of life and business. Don't feel like you have it all figured out? Cool! Join the club! Be open to learning every step of the way. It will eventually make sense.
- Have patience. This takes time! Time to clarify your message, time to figure out the best ways you can serve, time to get to consistent income, time to leave your day job, time to pivot and try something new, time, time, time. But that's also what makes it incredibly worth it.
- There are a lot of business coaches who can tell you how you should do things. I'm one of them! But there is simply no one right way to do this. Look for mentors and coaches, yes, absolutely. But learn to listen to yourself above all. Does it feel good? Does it get you excited? Does it give you the good butterflies? That means more than any list of should or should-not. Listen to that.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you're feeling like there's something you are meant to start or say, there's a reason for that. No idea is too small or insignificant. If you can't stop thinking about it, it's worth pursuing, even if just for a little while.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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