What Makes You Successful? | Salt + Sunshine Series

It’s been a hot minute since I visited this blog series! With the welcoming of wedding season and the welcoming of this new pregnancy…add on some sessions and mentoring and appointments in between, I’ve felt so EXCITED but slightly overwhelmed! May is by far our craziest month but we are at the tail end about to conquer it and SO grateful we pushed through, together, as a family!

In my last Boss Ladies + Babies Newsletter..I opened the floor to a topic that makes all the difference in attitude and quality of life. What is your definition of success? In the Pinterest and Instagram world we’re in today..we get a mix of “perfect life” and “keep it real”…and this effects how we’re defining what is success and who is successful. They have 5 kids and can still make it to the gym and finish their work in a timely manner, and they’re dressed amazingly…are they more successful than me? They were just published in Martha Stewart Magazine and Style Me Pretty..are they more successful!? They shoot 40 weddings a year..are they more successful than me? They have the best clothes and accessories and shop all the time…are they more successful than me?

Let’s start from scratch. Be strong, be smart, be determined and driven in this…start from scratch. Take everything out of the equation including everyone you know and their trophies and accomplishments. What makes YOU PROUD. At the end of the day, what makes you say, I did a GREAT job, and I feel fulfilled, I feel content and I feel like a winner?

Here’s mine. Family. My little girls and my husband and the time I spend with them, especially those big beautiful full days off together…gosh, it’s like being on the cover of Martha! For me, two years ago I had a dream of seeing my work printed. I was so desperate for it, I thought I would feel differently once it happened. And it happened..and I DID feel amazing!!! I was so excited! But it was temporary and even though I’m still grateful, that accomplishment is still there and wonderful to don on my awards page on my website..that feeling isn’t better than the family time. In fact, I found personally that once I accomplished one thing, I was driven more to climb higher to the next putting a lot of pressure on myself. I started to want to out-do myself instead of absorbing that big accomplishment in my business. We do this, creatives. We want to keep climbing and climbing in hopes we will keep feeling better and better and more reassured each time we reach another step in the success ladder. And I LOVE REACHING THEM… I DO!!!! Seriously, you should see me when I get a feature, screaming and freaking out at the computer! But..at the end of my life, and this day..do I want to be MORE remembered for work? Or for the legacy I left as a mother and wife?

They say that at funerals, it’s the character that they share about and remember together. Not the awards, the prizes, the trophies. Everyone knows about those, but it’s not what people sit and talk about then…it’s “that time they did this together” or “that together” or who that person was to their core, their soul. That’s what’s remembered. I shared about having to say no to going to Australia for an amazing work opportunity recently because it fell on the day my littlest girl turns 2 years old…and you know what…I could Skype. I could celebrate her birthday a different day. But my soul knows that I need to wake up on THAT day and say, Happy Birthday baby girl. Mama is SO glad to be here for you today. That to me is success. Being able to say no to business changing opportunities sometimes to be a mama. Memorial Day weekend I turned down three weddings because you know what? My little girl has a dance recital. It’s HER FIRST ONE and we are so excited it’s like bigger than our wedding day was for us, haha! The whole weekend is dedicated to family time and gosh, that makes me feel more than successful, it makes me feel fulfilled.

And I love that I can love my clients and my job to the fullest while having my family stay priority, too. That to me is an added bonus to success..because I’m living my DREAM photographing wedding days and documenting love while having a family..something I was told in the beginning just can’t go together if I want to be successful. Ironically, making the decision to do both is exactly what fueled me to work harder and became the core of who I am as a blogger and social media presence, being the one who said I am NOT scared to do both, I want both…I’ll have both! Trial and error taught me that I wasn’t balancing well in the beginning, family took the backseat. But I adjusted my sails in the wind of booming business and family demands and had them both evening riding together in the boat with me the past few years and gosh, I feel so proud for that!

Your children will love the expensive toys, the expensive trips and vacations. They will, of course! Disney World? OH GOSH we would go EVERY single month if we could hahaha! But I promise you in my heart that just being there for them is enough. Loving them. Getting on the floor and playing with them. Loving them. Listening to them. Creating with them. It doesn’t take a ton of money. It only takes your time and attention, and that’s success for me. It looks different for everyone..but once YOU decide what it means for you and define that out loud to yourselves– you can start confidently living your life in a way that never makes you doubt if YOU are a SUCCESSFUL PERSON. Bring that salt and sunshine into your life by being yourself to the truest! XOXOXO



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Absolutely love this post Amanda!

  2. This is perfect Amanda. Seriously…THIS. IS. PERFECT. I LOVE YOU!!

  3. Callie says:

    I’m am at this very point in my life right now. I have been at a crossroads trying to figure out if the career path I’ve chosen is what I really want in my life. After reading this, I can tell you it’s not. The job that I do doesn’t allow me to be the wife or mother that I’ve always wanted to be. Thank you, Amanda, for sharing is and letting me see that I’m not the only woman who wants to put her family before anything else in this world! And for letting me see that it’s ok to feel this way and make my life what I want it to be. ❤️

Leave a Reply