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Ep. 23: Family Photographer Raquel Frechette Has The Courage To Start

"You look around you and you feel like there are already all these people who are so good, why should I be able to do this? Why do I have what it takes when there's so much good stuff happening already? So that for me is really my proudest moment, just actually doing this and starting it."

Taking the leap is the hardest part, and that's just what Raquel Frechette did when she started her family photography business in Brooklyn. With an MBA and a corporate job, Raquel re-evaluated her career track after becoming a mom. Even though starting her business meant working up from the bottom again, she has created a life for herself that includes balance, success, and even time to learn the ukele!

We discuss her career path from working at American Express to starting her own photography business, finding the courage to make the bold leap, how the right things happened at the right time for her to start her business, finding meaning in her career, having a balanced life that works for her family, deviating from your planned path, creating boundaries in managing her business, getting comfortable saying no, dealing with self-doubt, the value of supportive mentoring relationships, creating a team when you work by yourself, why you should just start, finding her joy in photography and learning to play the ukulele, and more!

"I think we put these artificial obstacles in our way, just because we think that for whatever reason we can't do something. When I was in my 20s I remember people playing a game, saying 'If you could start all over again what would your job be?' And even back then I remember thinking: I'd be a photographer...I could have totally started doing that then if I wanted to, but for whatever reason I had in my head that I didn't go to school for it, I'm not on that path, and it's such a silly idea but I think it really prevents people from doing what's going to make them most happy."

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Raquel is the founder of Raquel Frechette photography.
  • She specializes in family, child and newborn photos.
  • Raquel originally worked in advertising when she left school.
  • She went to business school in the hope of finding her chosen career.
  • Raquel signed up to a photography class on a whim after a recommendation from a colleague.
  • She left work after her first child and used to practice her photography skills on her newborn.
  • Raquel’s proudest moment was being brave enough to get started and also being able to have a balanced life that works for the family.
  • Starting a new business means to have to work up from the bottom again.
  • Winters are quiet in the photography business so rather than become wrapped up in social media, Raquel learned to play the ukulele.
  • Working on something new creates a sense of accomplishment.
  • Raquel has an accountability group of fellow photographers who share their experience.
  • Gender bias is reversed in photography as most family photographers are women.
  • In previous jobs the traits that were most valued and rewarded were the male traits.
  • If you can’t find a female role model in your company then this might be a message that it’s not the right place for you.

"It's hard, but it's the best thing I ever did. It's within you to decide that that's okay. It's okay to start at ground zero again at thirty or forty."

Advice:

  • When you work on your own you need to clarify what you do and don’t do; set parameters for yourself.
  • Learn to feel comfortable saying no.
  • Find small efficiencies in your life by de-cluttering your living space and reducing the number of choices you need to make.
  • Make your business life more streamlined by moving as much as possible online.
  • Stay on top of the small jobs so that they don’t build up.
  • If you’re working on your own, connect with similar freelancers and create an artificial team.
  • It's okay to be vulnerable and it's okay to ask questions. 

Learn more:

  • http://www.raquelfrechette.com/
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