I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

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5 Thoughts From a Beginner’s Mind | Starting a Business

5 Thoughts From a Beginner's Mind | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.comHello hello, dear friends!

Today’s post has been on my mind quite frequently but I wanted to wait until I felt grounded, reassured, and confident to write it. Buuuuut let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen in a long, long time. And what better time to share content than when I’m actually living it?!

I’m a beginner again. I’m starting from scratch with a brand new business in a brand new field. I know nobody personally that is in the same industry (unless the people I follow on Instagram count) and it all feels quite like walking on a tightrope in the dark, just hoping at some point I reach my destination or the light turns on. There are bouts of terror mixed with sensational giddiness and excitement. There are spells of doubt followed by unwavering confidence and pep talks in the mirror. It’s the roller-coaster that is undoubtedly daunting, but the thrill is completely worth it.

With a new journey comes the unruly constant movement of the brain (at least for me). I can’t for the life of me turn it off. (Learning how to meditate would be excellent right about now.) With a billion thoughts running through my head, there’s a pattern I can see through all the fluff.

1. Oh man…another thing to add to my to-do’s. Cue the drama. Guess what?! The to-do’s will never be done! The list will never get short! That’s the beauty of this all – there’s always something to do, something to improve on, something to work for.

2. Are you sure you can do this? Yes, I doubt myself all the time with this business. When I wake up, when I shower, when I’m watering the garden, when I go to bed. It’s constantly there, like a really long, annoying hiccup. (I’ve tried scaring it away.) When I go down to my office and see the piles of lists and the unchecked items from my to-do’s, the doubt sets in and I find myself wondering if I’m sure I can really do this. Am I prepared enough? Do I have the skills? Believe me, you’re not alone if you find yourself slipping down that slippery, negative, annoying slope.

3. I need this to be perfectUmmm…nope! No you don’t, Nikki (and you if you’re saying the same thing to yourself). Nothing will be perfect. The sooner we accept this the sooner we can enjoy ourselves. Do you know what I’ve been doing the last two months? Trying to perfect my new website. In the end, I feel like I’ve gotten barely anything done because I’ve been so wrapped up in it being perfect. Chances are other people won’t notice the so-called imperfections, and if they do, oh well! We’re human, it happens. Things will always be changing and will always be being updated. When I did wedding photography I wanted to create a Welcome Packet. I was so excited delivering my first one, I thought it was perfect (hate that word). Guess what happened? Two months later, I changed my mind and redid it. Every few months I’d update it, adjusting it to what I wanted at the time. Do you know how many times I’ve updated my blog? Would you believe it used to be green and orange with flower wallpaper? And that music from “Up” would play each time it loaded? (Nothing against “Up” – in fact, guess what will be playing in the next post? :)) Perfect is such a loaded word. Let’s get rid of it.

4. Why can’t my business look like hers? Oooo ouch. Why must we think like this? How cruel we can be to ourselves! What we see of someone’s business is most likely tons of hard work put in through many years. We’re seeing them when they’re near the finish line and we’ve only just begun. We simply can’t compare the two! Plus, the things we see are typically people’s highlight reel. We don’t always see the bad and the ugly of someone’s business. Would you have guessed that at one point of my wedding photography business I had to deal with someone actually stealing my work and publishing it as their own and I had to threaten to take them to court? Would you have thought that I only started making a profit after shooting for three years? No, because no one likes to tell the negatives in their life, especially in their business. We imagine all of these successful people have it all figured out. I always imagined myself wearing cute outfits, exercising, eating healthy, and having an adorable office with delicious coffee. Truth: I don’t wear makeup or do my hair, I wear my pajamas 80% of the time, my exercise is quite minimal, I eat healthy 50% of the time, my office is adorable – I’ll take that one – and I do tend to have delicious coffee or tea. But my point is, there’s more to what we see in photos and in blog posts. Comparing only cripples us, not helps us. Take ideas from others but never compare. You’re you and they’re them. Two different people with two different brains with two different ways of doing things. No way is better, just different.

5. Holy cow, this is AMAZING!! Yep, just as fast as the doubt/insecurity/comparison kicks in, the excited little entrepreneur in me begins to see the possibilities again. Where I once looked at my lists with unease, I now get excited to create even more detailed lists with tinier steps to get the job done. (I love organized, excited Nikki. She’s a good time.) I’m jotting down ideas I learn from other people – I don’t compare, I just inhale their knowledge and see what I can use for myself. I tidy up my work space because it just feels oh-so-amazing to be organized. I’ll even throw on a pair of jeans if I’m really excited. I begin to take charge; this is my dream, my life, and I’m going to choose how it’s played out. There will be days where we feel like we’re drowning – it still happened after photographing weddings for 4 years – and there will be days where we soar.

You’re not alone, friend, no matter what you’re dealing with, taking on, or experiencing. Keep up the good fight, reach for those soaring days when you’ve got a bad case of hiccups, write things down in a diary (I put my life on it that it helps), and remember why you’ve started on your dream in the first place. :) xoxoxo

  1. Mom says:

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