When your business is built around your passion, it’s easy to get lost in the creative process—or constricted by management responsibilities.
Looking at your business as a synthesis of passion and work in order to grow is a skill we can all aim to acquire.
As a young woman, overcoming the difficulties of turning passion into a business is something that often slows our progress.
However, Hope Glassel is a young woman who helped her passion turn into a flourishing business, and she has now worked with huge brands and personalities like Lil Nas X and Adidas Originals. Here is the advice she gained along her journey.
When Hope’s photography business began to quickly grow, she found herself overwhelmed by balancing new responsibilities and the challenges of higher demand.
“Art is something that has been a constant part of my life. When I started doing it for money I made the mistake of thinking it would be non-stop fun and passion.”
Hope learned that turning a passion into a business will change your relationship with that passion, but that is not a bad thing. You just need to be ready to adapt, Hope advises other young women.
Here are Hope Glassel’s 5 steps for advancing your business without falling out of love with it.
1: Quality Is More Important Than Quantity
When you’re trying to build your company, it is easy to think “I need to take on every client I can get.”
This is something Hope experienced when she started her own photography business at age 16. She found that her quality of work lessened as she juggled more projects at once, regardless of how interesting the projects were on their own.
She was forced to choose between quality and quantity, but eventually turned to quality after seeing the cycle of creative burnout and in turn, lower quality services that quantity-based work put her in.
She learned delivering quality service is more effective for long-term business growth and maintaining a love for the work.
“Results come through deliberate long-term care, practice, and intention.”
When you focus on quality as Hope did, you maintain joy in your work and develop lifetime customers. That is how you maintain passion and advance your business.
2: Your Environment Is Crucial
Often, we experience great discomfort when changing our environment. However, this often isn’t a bad thing.
When Hope left her small Wisconsin town for New York, she realized that where you place yourself is key. It is essential to build an inspiring work environment. That includes surrounding yourself with people who share a vision and passion similar to your own.
“In order to remain focused, you must craft your world to echo your dreams.”
Hope excelled in school, but she wasn’t happy or able to focus her attention on where it needed to be. When she moved to New York, she took a position which reflected her goals, passions, and business interests. Here, she found renewed focus and drive in an environment tailored to her goals.
3: Develop Your Work Out of Your Passion, but Don’t Worry if Work Still Feels Like Work
When Hope began her photography journey, she was able to make a living doing what she loved. Her clients were happy, she was making money, and business was fun. But as her businesses grew, her work changed. She felt her love for photography was being sacrificed to make money.
Hope felt she was doing something wrong, but as she continued to refine her process, she understood her relationship to photography was only changing.
“Doing something out of necessity will always feel different than doing it out of free will.”
Hope learned to rely on discipline rather than motivation. As a business owner, motivation comes with passion, but when the motivation started to ebb for Hope, she resolved to focus on what made business sense. She continued to work, and as she refined her process, her motivation returned.
Hope found balance between work and passion. That balance comes by understanding that a business owner’s relationship with their passion must change.
4: Be Vocal in Expressing Your Passion
Advancing a business can’t be done if you are not vocal about it and willing to follow it. When Hope was given the opportunity to take a position at an advertising agency, she talked about it to others.
Hope learned that when you are excited about what you do, other people get excited too. People enjoy hearing about others’ passions, and more often than not, they will support you.
“Don’t underestimate the kindness of those around you, if you’re passionate and well-intentioned, people will see that and they will help you.”
Hope expressed her joy as a photographer, promoting her business through social media, her website, fliers, and business cards. People responded and wanted to see her succeed. And she did.
5: Don’t Let Fear of Messing Up Deter You from Taking Risks
As a Junior in college, she received a job offer to move from Wisconsin to New York as a Media Manager for one of the nation’s top advertising and public relations agencies.
Hope knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but accepting meant leaving school – that was a risk. After years of keeping her dreams on the back burner, she took this as a sign to explore new skills and opportunities.
“Try to never think you’ve mastered something, there’s always room for improvement.”
Hope critiqued all of her work at her new position and came to excel as the only coordinator without a college degree. Hope knew from her photography business that no endeavor can ever be truly perfected. This mindset enables her to take risks. Hope learned that if you want to advance your business and your career, you cannot let the fear of failing deter you.
As a young woman in business, there will always be challenges and hardships. However, by learning from others’ lessons and learning from our own, there will be more growth in our businesses and lives.
Learn from the process and enjoy it, because when we look back, it’s often the most fun.
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