Hello to anyone reading this! This is going to be long, but I truly hope you take the time to read it if you clicked on this post to begin with. Part of this is a re-post from my original Facebook message, but there was so much I wanted to say that I didn't in my original posting. I felt a huge pressure to express my gratitude immediately, but I didn't have the time to process what I really wanted to say.
So, the most amazing thing just happened to me!! You won't even believe it, because I sure didn't. I was chosen out of hundreds of other very deserving and passionate people to be the recipient of an amazing prize that will help my studio grow in unimaginable ways.
I am humbled, and so elated...
I am overwhelmed with emotion, yet calm in the knowledge that I CAN do this...
I am confident in my abilities, and just so thankful for this opportunity.
I look forward to being able to serve others and give without limitations. I have been working towards that day, and now that day will be here so much sooner! Thank you to everyone who has supported me and will support me in the coming months as I reach for the stars. Building dreams is a process, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you!
Thank you to CreativeLive and the wonderful people that had to do the crazy job of deciding who will win. This is not a gift to be taken lightly, and I promise I will not disappoint.
And a most sincere thank you to Julia at Jewel Images for sharing her passion and life with everyone. You have inspired me since the first moment I tuned into Creative Live. You will never know how you've changed my life-- even more so now. You are such an open book, and so very easy to relate to, and you have already pushed me beyond innumerable boundaries.
I would be remiss if I didn't also thank the sponsors of this give away that have given so generously-- seriously, how amazing are these companies??
White House Custom Color will be giving a lab credit of $1500 for me to use for studio products so I can create some amazing work to showcase to my clients.
Julia at Jewel Images, and Time Exposure are gifting me an amazing opportunity to mentor under Julia for a day so I can learn from one of the best in the industry!!
Additionally, Time Exposure will be giving me a lease for an entire year of their amazing software called Proselect Pro which will help me showcase my client's galleries beautifully and intuitively. This is also important as a time management tool, because we ALL need more time. Speaking of time, I can't imagine how much time I am going to save thanks to the fact that Julia will also be giving me access to her studio-in-a-box collection which includes templates, informational resources for me to be able to use to better serve my clients, and guides that I can use to help me streamline my workflow and efficiency.
Asuka Book is the maker of some of the beautiful Albums that Julia offers, and they have agreed to not only give $600 credit to their lab, but an additional $400 cash to use towards the studio! I have always wanted to have and hold one of their beautiful albums, and this is going to be one of the first things I order!
Studio Cloud is a studio management software company that has donated a six month lease of their software, and $500 cash for use towards my business! I have dabbled with the free version in the past, and I can't wait to make use of it's full functionality thanks to their generous donation.
The two things I have truly struggled with since deciding to start my journey are mastering social media, and my personal brand. If I told you to think of a well known soft drink, or athletic shoe company, and I gave you one word or idea as a hint of who I wanted you to think of, you would likely be able to know exactly who I was talking about with no additional information. That means that company has a successful brand. I will be transforming my site and highlighting my purpose gradually over the next several weeks, until I can be confident in how I appear when dealing with the digital world. A solid brand would be nothing if I didn't have the capability of sharing it with everyone, and to this end, I really thank Sarah Daily Media and Jane Johnson Brand Styling & Design for donating their services to this amazing package. Last but not least, CreativeLive ((My favorite website and learning resource EVER)) has kindly decided to gift Julia's classes in their ENTIRETY for me to learn and grow. How amazing is that??
The next chapter of my life is going to be hectic-- I can already tell. It will be uncomfortable, because growth always is. But sometimes when you feel you just can't stretch any more, and you just can't reach any further... you surpass anything you dreamed of.
Speaking of dreams... I had a dream the night before I submitted my video. I had been trying to work on it and put it together, and the perfectionist in my struggled so hard to get my message out. I went to sleep, and in my dreams I was declared the first runner up for the prize. I woke up and I knew that if I never submitted an entry, I could never BE a runner up.
Life is like that. You can never fail if you never try, but you can never succeed either. I want to be purposeful... and to live an intentional life. I can't do much, just sitting behind a computer wishing that things were different for me or for anyone else.
There is one last anecdote I would like to share with you before I call it a night. In high school, I was voted "Most Likely to Take Over the World". As funny as I found it at the time, it also stuck with me, in the back of my mind. I had never really considered how I could touch the world, let alone take it over. Finding another purpose in life has been a scary thing to process... admitting it out loud for thousands of people was terrifying. It's a bit like ripping a band-aid off -- the "pain" is intense! But, I know that I am ready to take one step at a time towards my goal, and gladly welcome the help that has already been so willingly offered.
I plan to keep a journal of my ongoing challenges, struggles, and accomplishments. And even if nobody else will read it, I will have something I can be proud of and remember fondly as I struggle to make my dreams a reality. Thank you for taking the time to read this.