Dreaming, Scheming, and Building a Brand

A couple of months ago, I jumped on the trend train and chose my word for 2020:

It means “the state of flowering,” and that’s exactly where my business is heading this year.

It’s also a mindset. All my dreams and ideas for creating beautiful and intimate experiences for my clients and the people they love.

Launching a business is exciting, but it can also be discouraging in comparison to the big dreams I have for the future. The best way to deal? Breaking all those dreams down into tangible values and goals that are aligned with why I love what I do.

Kind of a daunting task.

Cue Anna Claire Beasley, an incredible Texas-based and outdoors-loving photographer. Through her Build Your Brand and Dream + Scheme workbooks, I dug deep into what I love and outlined exactly what sets me apart.

First up, Building a Brand.

Through brainstorming, idea dumps, and a “shitty first draft,” I imagined all the creative details I might include hosting a make-believe art gallery, and wrote down moments and ideas that gave me big feels.

Milky Way views, forehead kisses, river paddlin’, and rainy day snuggles.

Then I dug deep into the heart of what I loved about those things, and transformed them into my business’s core values:

It feels so good to have a tangible set of core values. As I set business goals, make genuine connections, and plan my client’s experiences, these are the values I filter everything through. These are the values that inspire me, make my business and sessions unique, and guide me as I make important decisions along the way.

Speaking of goal setting, let’s talk Dreams + Schemes.

AC's Dream + Scheme concept focuses on big picture business planning and putting wild dreams down on paper.

I braindumped all my business ideas and big picture to-do lists. Then I organized and consolidated them into three big business goals:

1. Regular bookings

At the end of 2019 I was shooting free sessions around town for friends. Now just a couple of months into the new year, I have multiple sessions booked every single month from now through June.

They’re baby steps, but it’s so important to start exactly where you are. And ya know what? Every single baby step means there are people who love my work and the experience I have to offer, and that’s HUGE!

2. Adventure-driven work

The outdoors is my passion. I believe with my whole heart that getting outside and going on adventures with the people we love is one of the most incredible ways to connect with one another.

Whether getting outside for you means a picnic with your family at a local park, or knocking out twelve miles to get to a sweet backcountry campsite, time outside is amazing for mental and physical health, and can bring out some of the most memorable and intimate connections with each other.

3. Reinvestment

I’m talking sustainable growth, knowledge investment, and tangible upgrades to my gear and workflow. I would love to cut myself a paycheck each session, but more than that I want to make sure that the business I’m laying this foundation for is going to thrive.

Now as I work through quarterly planning and break goals down into weekly and daily tasks, I know EXACTLY where to point my compass. Will this task move me closer to achieving those goals?

If I have to make a big decision, I can point back to my core values and big goals. Am I focusing on opportunities that will move the needle in my business?

Now for the fun part – what AC calls a “Wild Ass Goal.” Ya know, the kind you pinch yourself for dreaming about.

I wrote that down in my journal and was like, LET’S GO - you and the people you love snuggled up under the Milky Way against the silhouette of the Chisos Mountains after a day of playin’ around in the Big Bend desert.

This is what I live for, y’all. So many of my own favorite memories and experiences are with my favorite people on the trail, under the stars, and along the river. They’re the kinds of experiences that carve laugh lines into your face and make pulling those hiking boots off one of the best feelings in the world.

And that’s what I want for you. I want for you to feel those big feelings, to capture and save this chapter of your life in a big way, and to have those awesome experiences with the people you love.

So here’s to 2020, intimate connections, dreamy moments, and landscapes that make us feel alive.

#brand #adventure #bigbend