Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mandy Walz, Owner of Mandy Liz Photography, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm Mandy Liz, and I run a digital marketing and photography business that offers strategic solutions for business owners who are ready to elevate their online presence, confidently stand out and grow their businesses. The business is best known for brand photography for women business owners, but at the heart of everything we do is a desire to help other businesses expand their reach and confidently market what they've so proudly built.
Tell us about yourself
I started my business by accident... but it was the best decision I ever made. I was gifted a camera for Christmas 10 years ago, and my hobby slowly turned into my career. I spent years learning how to use my camera, practiced by taking pictures of anything and everything, and over time I started gaining clients and making money with my photography side hustle. There came a time when I was matching my income from my full-time job and, at that time, decided to go all in on Mandy Liz Photography. That was the best decision I ever made, and I absolutely love waking up every morning to serve my clients and make a difference in the lives of the business owners I work with.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Quitting my job and being able to provide for my family through my small business. It's a gift to get to be your own boss and do work you're passionate about. I don't take it for granted, and there was a time when I was working a 9-5 and then coming home to work during the evening on my side hustle when this was all that I wanted. Aside from that achievement, I'm proud to have had my photography featured on Forbes and Martha Stewart.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Overcoming mindset hurdles and limiting beliefs is what has been the most challenging thing. When you're a business owner, you're interacting with your team, your clients, referral partners, coaches, peers, etc. It can be easy to second guess yourself or to want to play small. Having to constantly remind myself to take up space and to dream big is what has been a challenge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Pursue it before you feel ready. You will never be ready, so just go for it. Start the business, launch the product or offer, and make the sale.
- Slow down on the front end so you can speed up later. Get your systems in place, figure out what can be streamlined and automated, and think larger than just yourself. Think about how you can start creating processes and guides for a future team member or assistant to step in and follow.
- Trust your intuition and guard your intuition. In the business owner world, it is easy to follow loud voices, industry leaders, and gurus. Their story isn't your story, and your goals aren't their goals. Know when it's time to listen to advice and when it's time to trust your own intuition and go against the grain.
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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