We all have dreams and high hopes for our businesses. We plan out where we see ourselves in 5 years or 10 years down the road and can imagine the joy and happiness it brings for us to run our own schedules and to help people in the ways we know best. This was me. I dreamed of having a reach with people where I could help others not feel so alone in this business journey. I dreamed of creating a space where women creative business owners could gather and have real conversations on what it means to own a business and learn how to be true to who they are in the process. I dreamed of guiding others into loving their journey and not just the planned out destination that would be the result of all of the hustle.
...there came a time I felt lost in what my business was doing and where it was going.
I started my photography business because that is what fueled my soul in my creative journey. I feel honored when someone asks me to help capture memories because it is freezing not just a picture but a moment, a feeling, a laugh that we long to never forget, or a wrinkle around the eye as we smile our biggest at a joke. It's the small, real moments that lead me into photography, but I would be lying if there weren't other reasons. The appeal of making my own schedule and having the flexibility to travel more with my husband was also very appealing. To be able to make more trips back to Michigan to visit my family was another driving force, as I love to go back to visit with everyone in my first home state. Since I still also work full-time, there came a time I felt lost in what my business was doing and where it was going.
In this sense of feeling lost, I started to participate in education for creative business owners, and that sparked my idea to do a retreat myself. I wanted to help others know that they are not alone in the times they feel like this business game in solo and for them to know that it is normal to feel this way because what we see on social media is not always the truth on the inside. I thought that by creating a retreat I would be able to help others discover new strengths about themselves, and I also thought that it would help me to faster reach my goals. I had this big idea and I could envision how this retreat could grow and help others, but also I dreamed about how it could eventually help to bring me the flexibility in my time that I longed for.
For so long my focus was on "making it" and I lost sight of why I wanted to do the retreat in the first place.
I have learned much about planning retreats, my strengths and weaknesses in the process, and have gained many new skills to be able to do this in the future, but for now, The Natural Wanderer Retreat is cancelled. This was not an easy decision. There were many factors to led into the cancellation of the retreat. One of the biggest being I have done y own soul searching, and during the process of putting together the retreat, I reevaluated why I was putting it together (beyond the desire to help bring a helpful experience to others) and realized that I wasn't doing any of the things that I loved to do. For so long my focus was on "making it" and I lost sight of why I wanted to do it in the first place: spending more quality time with family and being outside more. It was the first time that I have ever taken a step back and not just looked at my business and life through my eyes, but more as a bigger picture, like I was looking below on everything that was going on, and I could see the role that I played in my own happiness. By putting on the retreat, I was in turn taking away from doing things that made me happy and took away from my time that I could be spending with my family and going to Michigan. It was also taking away from me growing my photography business, in fact everything photography halted while I was working on the retreat.
I have big ideas; lots of them, but in looking at my small business and life from an outside point-of-view, I realized that I cannot do them all, and for the first time in my life that did not disappoint me. Cancelling the retreat does not mean that I am a failure. No decision is permanent and when something is not serving us in the ways that make us happy, it's time to look at the changes we can make. This is a change that I feel confident that is the right choice at this point. What does this mean for the Natural Wanderer?
Cancelling the retreat does not mean that I am a failure. No decision is permanent and when something is not serving up in the ways that make us happy, it's time to look at the changes we can make. This has been a very freeing revelation.
The Natural Wanderer is not going away. In fact, in the future, I would like to put on a retreat or workshops of some sort, but right now is not that time. I still feel very passionately about connecting with small business owners in learning to love the journey, and I am finally putting that concept into practice for myself. In the meantime, I will be working on growing Stacy Carosa Photography locally, concentrating on my senior photography and working with people going through life transitions (high school graduation, college graduation, branding for their own small business, etc.) and looking into adjusting my brand slightly to encompass any and all endeavors. Combining everything into one website, one Instagram, and one Facebook, as I just can't do it all. That has been such a freeing revelation. I would love to keep you in this community, and please watch out for announcements as I begin rolling out the slight changes. I would love to continue to cheer you on and to have you as part of the community. I will still speak toward small business owners, as well as my ideal photography clients. Know you are never alone in this journey, and thank you for your continued support and love throughout this process.