Quitting my day job & hiring a director of cuteness

One of my goals for 2012 was to quit my day job and a few weeks ago I did just that!  I have been a civil engineer for over ten years and have had a very fortunate career.  Fortunate, but not full-filling.

While on maternity leave I purchased EXPOSED by Jasmine Star.  I’ve heard her say this before, but as I read this quote I realized it was time to act:

“I would rather see you fail at something you love then succeed at something you hate.”

I should note that I didn’t hate my job, but I also didn’t love it.  Quitting was complicated though.  My job paid well, had good benefits including 401k and paid time off and…and this was the big one.  I was a part owner in the company.  Quitting would mean that I would have to give all of this up.

I asked myself what was the worst case scenario if I quit my day job, pursued photography and failed.  What if I failed?  What if I never booked a single wedding or turned a single profit?  What did failing look like?  It turned out to be a surprisingly simple answer: I would return to engineering as an employee and not an owner…and I was perfectly okay with that.

Now that I knew what failure looked liked I was able to think about what success looked like.  Success would be spending more time with family (specifically my new son Andrew) and turning a passion into a successful business.  I realized how simple “success” would be.  Success didn’t have to be becoming the best wedding photographer ever and booking 100 weddings a year.  It would simply be spending more time with my family and getting paid to do what I love.

I’m tempted to say that the decision seemed suddenly simple.  Just like an actor that has been working in their craft for 20 years and suddenly becomes an overnight success.  My decision was years in the making, but when all of the pieces fell into the right place it was suddenly clear what I wanted to do.  I wanted to quit…and I did.

I am officially launching Suzanne Melissa Photography and my first employee is this little guy with the title of “Director of Cuteness”.

He was in the process of cutting his first tooth, so it was non-stop drooling.

So unprofessional to cry at work!

I hope you are doing what you LOVE!

Elizabeth Langford Suzanne,
You are a fabulous photographer and a wonderful mother! So excited to see where your new full-time adventure leads. Congratulations!!!!

Michelle I am so happy that you are finally doing something you love! You have an amazing talent and there is no doubt in my mind that you will succeed!! Andrew is so lucky to have you as his mommy and he will be a great “Director of Cuteness” in your buisness!!!

Andrea Brewster Photography You’re awesome Suzanne! So glad to have a new friend!!!

Linda (Suzanne’s mom) I’m so proud of you and so happy for you too!!! Tom and Andrew are two lucky guys!!!!

Lauren Pinson Suzanne, I wish you luck as you finish up at your day job. I’m really quite jealous, I can’t wait to finally quit my day job, but it’s really encouraging seeing you do the same. Btw, Andrew is the cutest little guy!

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