What I’ve learnt this Year: 2014

  • Being a Mummy is harder than being a business woman.  When it’s work, you can walk away and re-visit it another day.  When your 2 year old is demanding that they want Weetabix instead of Porridge for breakfast (and then you put it on the table and they change their mind and go utterly ballistic!) you have to stand and deal like the parent you really want to be.  No amount of business etiquette is going to cut the mustard here.
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  • Patience.  See above.  I don’t have it nailed (far from it!) but I’m getting better.  Go me!
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  • I’ve learnt a lot about time management and getting organised!  Basically, the rule of thumb has, almost, always been that if I don’t do it immediately, it may never get done. This year I’ve set reminders and flagged emails like I’ve never done before and don’t even get me started on my list writing!  For the most part I’ve taken tremendous steps to be on-top of everything…business related at least!  That said…
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  • …sometimes, for whatever reason, ventures you’d hoped would work out, don’t.  To put it bluntly, those occasions really suck.  It’s in these moments that you find yourself doubting your abilities, questionning your business and wondering whether you’re cut out to do what you’re doing.  But, as the saying goes, when life gives you Lemons? Make Lemonade!  This year I’ve learnt to chalk it up to experience, plan better, widen my horizons and look for opportunities elsewhere.  Onwards and upwards!
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  • There are few things better than a sense of achievement.  Whether it’s because I won the cereal battle with my son at 7am or because this was the year I finally had my promo film made AND had music composed for the business (now I can share gorgeous bespoke slideshows with my clients!) that feeling of accomplishment is second to none!
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  • One of this years biggest revelations has been that when my husband tells me that I’m amazing/beautiful/insane/wonderful, I should just believe him.  I was wasting a lot of time and energy poo-pooing what he said and beating myself up for being a terrible person (see below).  Instead, I’ve decided the best thing to do is just take the compliment and pat myself on the back for marrying a really great guy.  🙂
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  • Sometimes you have to step back and look from a different angle.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind year for the Cole family. I discovered early on that being pregnant whilst home buying, moving house and running a business wasn’t going to be easy…but when I factored in trying to be a half decent wife / mother and friend I thought I might crack. I was constantly beating myself up for not being able to be perfect at everything and it was exhausting!!  So…I took a deep breath and a couple of days off to put everything into perspective.  The reality in front of me was that my family were (and are!) my biggest supporters and knew that I’d need help this year – they never once made me feel inadequate or like a failure but instead bolstered me when I was feeling flaky and hugged me when I felt vulnerable. The friends that valued me didn’t judge me for the times when I’d been ‘too busy’ with work but embraced the times we spent together instead. Realising that my year wasn’t going as originally planned (!) my clients (and many of my fellow industry peers) sent me messages of best wishes, support and kindness and I realised that not only do I have the best clients/peers EVER but my business would still be standing a few days later if I didn’t check my emails 50 times a day/work until 2am/write another list!
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  • In discovering that my business survived without my intervention for a day or so I made quite a revelation…quality time with my son.  Ever since having George, I have felt that even when trying to give him all my attention I would ‘accidentally’ fall into work.  I’d be responding to messages from clients, thinking about ideas for a photo-shoot or asking him to wait a moment whilst I updated my business Facebook page.  It wasn’t good enough, not for me and definitely not for him.  With a new baby on the way, I realised I was soon going to have to split myself even further and I decided it was time to make amends.  Now I do my absolute best to focus all my attention on the feeling of that little hand in mind as we walk to the park, watch in utter adoration at his concentrated face as he does a jigsaw puzzle and say prayers of thanks as he giggles uncontrollably whilst I tickle him.  This is the note to myself that I carry with me as I become a Mummy second time around – every day is precious and whilst my business is my passion, my family are my world…and I don’t want to miss a moment of crafting salt-dough Santas with my children because I was too busy with work to be ‘in the moment’.
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  • 2015 is going to be AWESOME!  Every year at The Cole Portfolio Christmas Party (this is, in fact, just my man and I sharing a glass of something festive in front of the Strictly Come Dancing Finale) I think to myself ‘Wow! What a year! Look at all we achieved’ and wonder how it can be improved upon.  Well, as hard as it is to believe, with all that we have lined up for next year, I know that 2015 is going to be the best year yet!
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Thank you to all my wonderful clients both from this year and previous years, who have supported my business (and me!) shared the news of my work and have put my business on the map.  I’m so excited for all that next year is going to bring and I can’t wait to create more beautiful images with you in the future.
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Now, it’s time for me to sit back, await the arrival of baby Cole No2 and enjoy the festivities so…on that note…Happy Christmas everyone!!
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Wishing you and your families peace and happiness this Yuletide.

Here’s to 2015!

xx


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One thought on “What I’ve learnt this Year: 2014

  1. The family thing never stops by the way. You are stuck with us, through the good and the bad, and we will be there to support you all the way, whether it be work related, a shoulder to cry on, successes to share or babysitting duties!

    Love this blog, it keeps me in the know with how much you are stuffing into your life! Just remember, I am only a phone call away. Just don’t ask me for advice on photographic equipment. ….. I’m a “throw away camera then leave it behind” kinda gal!

    Well done on everything you have achieved. 2015 is gonna be awesome!

    J xxxx