If you asked me 10 years ago where Steve and I would be in our lives, I never would have imagined it would look like it does today. Ten years ago I remember being excited about the business suits and stilettos and my drive to climb the corporate ladder. Those of you who know me well, and know that I live in sweatpants and tees on the regular, might laugh at this statement. But you have to understand that ten years ago I just got out of serving in the military for six years which meant six years of just one outfit – those oh-so-attractive BDUs (battle dress uniforms) and combat boots. When I first separated from the Air Force, I pursued a passion in fitness, but after not having a secure paycheck I began dreaming of the fashionable business suits, a consistent salary, and being in charge of progressing my own career in a corporate job. So it seems a little surreal for me to be sitting across from my husband today going over our goals to grow my business, wait….OUR business (*sigh*) and chatting about our budget and expenses.
Some of you, who have been following us for a few years or more, might remember when Steve quit his job to pursue the ministry and to help with my business. What actually happened is that soon after quitting his job, he got an internship at our church and started back at school full time, so although he helped on some background stuff, he wasn’t actually working more than a couple hours a week for SHP. Well fast forward a few years later, and Steve had to be let go from the church for financial reasons. It was a reality that at first I didn’t take lightly. The idea that he left his Project Management job that he was really good at and the job that provided for our family, to work full time at the church for just a few years before that door closed, wasn’t something I understood. But, after a couple weeks of praying about it, I realized that “being in the ministry” doesn’t have to mean working at a church. And then when Steve began looking for jobs in his field I would get a little tense because it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right because what we wanted and felt called to do is to pursue the ministry and be entrepreneurs together. I was still scared. I asked him to apply to several jobs. He did. He got some responses and then I asked him not to pursue them. I couldn’t stop thinking of the idea of both of us working together to FINALLY give my business 100%. YOLO, right? Today is a special one because today marks the first day Steve is an official “Stacy Hart Photography, LLC” co-owner. So, I am sure you have questions and I will try to answer a few below that some people have been asking.
- Are you nervous? Ummmm, heck yeah!!! I am totally and completely freaked out…A little. While our books look amazing this year, this business is very different from one year to the next. For some people it’s not as ebb and flow…and that is our goal for our business. I am reminded of a few things when I start to worry about the financial stress of it. The first is that we know God will provide. The first time this happened, Steve wasn’t receiving a paycheck for six months and not only did God provide, he gave us a child!!! Our son August, wasn’t even a sparkle in our eyes when Steve made the decision to quit and now we have three beautiful healthy kids. The second thing is that we are pretty smart with money. We don’t live out of our means and we have already started decreasing our expenses to make this work even better for us. The last thing is that Steve and I are two incredibly driven people. We love our family fiercely and only want the best for them so we are going to work our tails off until forever or if God closes this door. We are perfectly ready for each scenario, but praying everyday that God moves mountains for our business.
- Will Steve be shooting with you? No, Steve will not be shooting with me. Despite my very best efforts a long time ago to have him come on board, it’s not his jam. Creatively he loves writing so you will see his presence on the blog. Also, ever since finding Megan as my second shooter, he got booted as an option. Haha! His jobs will be the Associate Photographers Manager, Emails, Marketing, Tech, Podcast creator, financial manager, guest blogger, SEO person (That’s an official title), and a myriad of other background stuff that I never want to have to worry about again.
- Podcast? I never knew you had a Podcast. Well, don’t worry. It’s new. Steve and I wanted a great ministry platform, so one night we were sitting outside on our front porch talking about some of our passions and the idea of “Date Night Diaries” came out. Our vision is to inspire, motivate, and equip you with faith and confidence in your marriage, parenting, faith, and entrepreneurship. We would love for you to give it a listen. You can go here to check out our first two episodes here.
- What if you fail? But my darling, what if I fly? Okay, I totally jacked a quote by Erin Hanson and then rearranged it a bit, but you get the point. The way I see it is that at the end of the day, I don’t want to have any regrets. We may be tight on money for a while, but I want my family to be together. We may not be able to get our kids the best stuff, but I want my kids to grow up with memories of us and not things. We may have some learning curves working together all day, but I want my kids to learn teamwork, how to overcome challenges, how to be responsible with money, how to give of their talents, and how to follow their dreams. If this whole business venture doesn’t work out, it’s not because it wasn’t supposed to happen. It’s just that it was a temporary calling.
- How can you help? First and foremost we would love specific prayer. We would love prayer for our business that it would thrive and sustain our family for many years to come. We would love prayer for our Podcast, that the things we say glorify God and touch lives spiritually in their roles as a mother, father, husband, wife, and/or entrepreneur. We would also love prayers for our family that we can be good stewards of our time and talents for our community. Lastly, we would love if you would help us by referring our business to any newly engaged couple or family in the mid-atlantic who might be looking for a photographer.
If you made it to the end of this post, thank you for sticking with me! We are so excited for this journey and can’t wait to see where God takes us. Please follow along for all the special announcements coming up next month as we launch a new website and new products. God Bless!
Picture taken by Cassi Claire Photography