HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! You guys for the first time, I’m sad to leave a year behind…how could I top 2014?! I was telling myself all year..it does NOT get better than this! Even when I was going through the rougher times, dealing with stress and trying so hard to keep up with work..it was overall something I look back on and realize it was a beautiful blessing all around!

Today I want to give you permission for some things YOU may not be letting yourself do now– and in 2015, I want that to change! Here goes!

1. You can stop apologizing for being yourself and what you post, now — if you wanna post about the gym, you post that workout! What that does for you and your business is attract like minded people and then has the people who really have a problem with it leave your page or just choose to unfollow you, etc. Some people are so afraid of this!! Don’t be! This is good!! I know for a fact people have come to my website before and thought — wow, too annoyingly happy…and that’s okay! I don’t want people who don’t like positive and happy people to follow me, we wouldn’t be a good fit as friends or as client and business owner! 🙂 Being yourself MAKES YOUR BRAND and maintains an honest social media personality..you should be reflecting exactly who you are and what you love in your posting material!

2. You can try new things that scare you — remember the goal setting I told you about? It’s okay to set goals that seem crazy. Trust me. TRUST me! This is coming from scared little me who uttered “I wanna be in print” at the beginning of the year and ended up with four print features and a cover! WHAT?! ME?! Seriously– if any of you know me in person and how truly grateful I am, you know I bawled and couldn’t believe that happened to me! You NEVER know what you are capable of. Submit that wedding or shoot! Dare to dream!!!

3. You can talk about your accomplishments and promote yourself with them, it’s not called bragging…it’s called MARKETING — I’m not saying throw the same accomplishment up on Facebook every single day– but sister (or brother if you’re a man reading this, lol) — what did you work so hard for if you feel like you’re not even allowed to talk about the awards and honors you receive? Whenever I see someone say something about another person who is talking about a publishing or feature or big award they’ve received, I cringe a little because I know they are either jealous or just can’t be happy for them..and that doesn’t look good on anyone. How proud of Audrey Rose was I when I heard she was going to be featured in PRINT on The Knot!? Oh my gosh! That’s been a goal of mine FOREVER and I mentored that girl! But my joy for her was not only genuine, it was elation! I cried for her!! And I’ve told her like 10 times how happy I am for her..she earned it!!! I wish she would mention it more but she’s seriously the most humble ever!! 🙂

4. It’s okay to say no to things you need to say no to… Very general, right? But we are different people so let me explain what I mean on my end. I have started to become firm in not working weekends (except weddings, obviously!!), and it’s been HARD for me. Clients a lot of the time work during the week so when it comes to sessions, scheduling can be tricky. Thankfully– my clients have been so unbelievably understanding with this that they are changing my family’s LIFE and they don’t even know it. My selfless husband has given so much to our family by making the 1 1/2 hour commute to work (that’s ONE way, mind you!) that we miss each other a lot more now. When my clients let me only shoot their sessions (bridals, engagements, etc) on the weekdays, they give two little girls BOTH their parents on the weekends. You guys are allowing a growing family with little girls that grow right before our eyes TIME TOGETHER, something we can never get back– thank you for being so understanding! If you need to say no to scheduling issues, or to discounting your friends, or to something else that is weighing you down but you feel obligated to do anyway– remember, this is the year to do it. You became your own boss for a reason, right? Was it so you could work harder, or work for less money, or for free? Think about how you can professionally and kindly say no when you need to!

5. It’s okay to leave negativity in Nancyland … and by that ridiculous made up word, I mean this: you have to surround yourself with only the happiest people. It truly affects WHO you are..as a mother, a friend, a business owner, and as a human being. A girl I just adore in the Q+A group recently mentioned she was surrounded by a negative, draining complainer a lot this year and she finally realized…that had AFFECTED her and her moods. This person as much as I know them is like sunshine, she’s beautiful inside and out, she’s got a light about her that no one else can have..and for her to say that really meant something to me! Negative Nancy’s love company but even worse– they love happy company because they wanna drag you down with them. I refuse to be anything less than the BEST version of myself since I’ve been a bunch of other horrible versions in the past during the hard times in my life before I met Mike. Say goodbye to people who constantly talk about other people, I can promise you right now..they’re doing the same thing about you, and someone out there is probably too afraid to get in the middle and tell you. Life is short. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?! I’m not perfect and far from it– but the person I am today and the life I live right now is the absolute best version of myself and I won’t let it go for anything or anyone. I have two girls to make an example for!!! 🙂

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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

<p>Hey there! We’re a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.</p>

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