I was at dinner last week with a fellow photographer and personal friend. We were planning our first workshop for new photographers while eating sushi and checking our phones for emergency kid messages. Talking about locations, topics, and schedules is thrilling for me (Picture a 4 year old boy Christmas morning who just ate three donuts and got a new Big Wheels). I always dreamed of getting to a point in my work when I felt qualified to teach someone else how to do this thing. Anyway, at some point in the conversation I boldly proclaimed, "I don't do anything unless I believe it will be successful."
I heard the words fall out of my mouth.
No apology followed.
This seems to be the backbone of my success in this business. This unexplained confidence. Notoriously in my business and life, I took on big projects and made ridiculous decisions FAR before I was ready. Like WAY FAR BEFORE. I have some weird over confidence that is hard often for many women to understand. I was taught to believe in myself only if I did the work or was willing to do the work. I was never naturally over talented in any area. All things required effort.
Currently I am releasing an editing course, launching a live workshop, building a membership site, and continuing to take BIG weddings all over this country - me, the girl who is self taught in all the ways. I've never taken a formal class and I have learned everything I know searching youtube and making mistakes without giving up. I started my business with a hand me down Canon that was worth about $250.
Where did I get this confidence and slight arrogance?
Sports, I guess.
A really tough dad, I guess.
A failed marriage to a mean man, I guess.
Having a baby at 20 and not screwing her up, I guess.
Building a life after being hurt and abused, I guess.
Being broke and in debt up to my eyes at multiple times in my life, I guess.
Graduating from college with only one C and a baby on my hip, I guess.
All the things in my life had proved to me that
1). I can do hard things.
2). I bounce. I do not break.
3). There is literally nothing I can't do if I'm willing to keep going.
Of all the things I want to teach, it's that. All of the above.
I see women all the time doubting themselves and their potential success. I see women making excuses ALL.THE.TIME. and I just want to shake them. For example, a lady messaged me and was like, "I want to take your course but I think I might be too old to learn how to do those things."
Girlfriend, I bet at some point in your life you've changed a diaper one handed. I bet you've unloaded the dishwasher while answering the phone and spanking a kids bottom. I bet at some point in your life you've consoled another human and got them through a tough spot and you're worried about learning to take a good picture???? Sister please.
I know that sometimes people wonder, "Kelli, who do you think you are?" Starting a new branch of a business that will reach the whole world, you are fro Coal City??? Who are you to think people would want to learn from you? Who are you to think you can make money doing what you love???? Why you? Why would you be successful when there are thousands wanting to do the exact same thing?
But in my mind, "Why not me?" Why the heck wouldn't I be successful??? Why not Kelli?
Women reading these words, whatever your dream is, WHY NOT YOU????? If other people can live their dream, WHY NOT YOU? If other people can dream the dream and make it real in their life, WHY * NOT * YOU? If other people can change careers or learn a new skill, WHY NOT YOU???
Stop with the limiting beliefs. You are capable. You are strong. You are smart. Grow some courage and grow some confidence and start realizing that if you don't believe in yourself, literally no one else will.