There was a time in my business when I felt completely lost. I wasn't sure if I should continue with my photography business and what I was doing didn't feel authentic to me and my values. I was one of those fairly new photographers who keep taking classes (which education is good and is a value of mine), but then I found myself trying to mimic what others were doing because of the success I saw that it brought them. I wasn't owning who I was as a person, but instead trying to make myself into someone I wasn't for a dream that wasn't mine. Then the internet, in the way that it does, seemed to lead me toward Allyn Lewis and her Facebook group Gem Nation.
In that time in my own life, when I was surrounding myself with thoughts of self-doubt, meeting her then couldn't have been more fitting. She was running a class called From Struggle to Shine, which was all about incorporating your story into your business. It sounded like just what I needed to explore more of my story, which I knew was a huge reason of why I went into business in the first place, and a way to see if this business thing was for me.
This course, and the people in it, helped to guide me into learning how to authentically show up and how to care for myself through this business process. Allyn guided us in taking our all-important stories and transform them into personal relevant story sequences to help relate to your audience. I think that part o f her lessons that really hit home and got me to start thinking about my own mindset was that we were to always find the good that came out of ANY situation. The more I practiced this, the more it made complete sense.
The idea of showcasing our imperfections in a tactful and planned way through story sequences revived something in me for both myself and my business. It helped me to come out from behind the mask I thought I had to wear.
In Allyn's class, I loved learning about how to be vulnerable with a positive purpose for others. It helped me to realize that ALL OF US as creative business owners have many of the same fears, emotions, and personal barriers in our business. However, we are usually afraid to show these emotions because we "see" in social media that we "need" to strive for perfect. This is not the case. Nobody's online stories are perfect and it's ok to be exactly who you are. The idea of showcasing our imperfections in a tactful and planned way through story sequences revived something in me for both myself and my business. It helped me to come out from behind the mask I thought I had to wear.
For the Natural Wanderer Retreat, I have been carefully selecting speakers who I think fit well with the mission and have something valuable to talk about with attendees. These ladies are about to give you real and honest conversations about owning your creative business and helping you to feel confident in proclaiming your soul's work. So, why Allyn Lewis? Besides the fact that she is kind, compassionate, truthful, and welcoming, I chose Allyn Lewis to speak at the retreat because I know that whoever she comes in contact with she is loving them unconditionally and without judgement. Allyn has the gift of stories. She has a way of talking about the real things in life, celebrating those who use their story to show who they are, and is always advocating for the mental health of all people, but in particular those who are running a business. I also asked Allyn to be a speaker because of her caring way of teaching. She will be using her strength of storytelling to teach attendees about how to confidently talk about what it is that you do.
Allyn will use her strength of storytelling to teach attendees about how to confidently talk about what it is that you do for your business.
When I started my business, I would barely tell people that I was photographer. It was my side gig, the one I wished and hoped would take me out of my full-time job and place me into a more flexible and purposeful creative business full-time job. None of that was going to happen if I didn't even believe that could happen for myself. Que the From Struggle to Shine class; I went from nervous to telling virtually anyone about my business (including family and friends) to letting others know that I "capture beauty in courage through purposeful photography," and that phrase has helped me to feel more confident and more easily make connections because it's different and it's me. That's what Allyn Lewis can do. She can teach you to come out from behind that creative business mask and feel confident in declaring your business purpose, one that reflects who you are in an authentic way. Doesn't that sound nice? Because it is. It is pretty freeing to give yourself permission to be just who you are.
Allyn Lewis is currently providing people with encouragement and life lessons through her vlog, which can be found here. At her YouTube channel, you will hear about her adventures to new places with her boyfriend in a series called "He Said, She Said," as well as hear from Allyn herself on tips to start caring for yourself while running you own business. In addition to literally listening to her in person, you can follow her stories and partnerships with brands through her website at The Gem and find her on Instagram.