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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!

MAISON      CALEB

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Entrepreneurship Burnout & Anxiety | The Importance of Chasing Your Own Dream.

April 2, 2018

There are so many incredible things about being an entrepreneur and I try my very best to not take the blessings for granted.

But today I wanted to talk about a part of entrepreneurship that, for me, can be really challenging. It is something that isn’t often talked about and so while this post could be viewed as an unpopular opinion, I have to think that there are others out there like me. For those people, I have written this post and my goal is to let you know you’re not alone. 

I do not want to scale my business.

I don’t want to grow in numbers and I don’t have intentions to add employees or outsource more tasks than we already do. I would be lying to say I don’t care at ALL about the number of followers we have on Facebook or Instagram because of course I can get caught up in that, but at my core, I don’t care about the number of followers we have on Facebook or Instagram.

I really love my life — I love my work life-balance, I feel content, and I am so thankful for our clients and our business.

But I was not always this way. At all. I felt so overwhelmed, so stressed, and really did experience a season of burnout.

Why?

I was chasing someone else’s dream.

There is NOTHING, absolutely nothing, (I repeat nothing!!!), wrong with wanting to grow and scale your business. So please do not take away that message. These things are good and beautiful and the desires of so many people’s hearts.

What I had to ask myself was this: do I want these things?

I was chasing the following and the growth and the scalability and the profits. All of it. *And I do feel like I need to say, you do have to work really hard in the beginning and probably put in more hours than you will have to later on. No one really talks about this but there is required “hustle” — in my opinion — that happens in those beginning years.

But do you always have to hustle? Do you have to always be thinking about growth and what’s next?

It’s okay if your answer is no.

I was so tired of just trying to do what everyone else told me I needed to do. There are a LOT of voices. “Have all the social media accounts.” “Post so many times a day.” “Start and grow an email list.” “Outsource tasks.” “Hire employees.” “Go, go, go.” This mentality and this way of running a business IS for a lot of people. They love to dream and build and launch and create the next thing. And that’s amazing! We need those people!

I’m just here to say that it’s okay if you don’t fit that mentality.

Because I don’t.

And until I realized that — and accepted it — I was running myself ragged, feeling empty and burned out, chasing someone else’s dream and not my own.

So what is my dream?

My dream is to run a photography business that shoots 25 weddings a year with my husband; a handful of other portrait sessions throughout the year too. To blog weekly, share my heart and be authentic online, say “yes” to things that bring me life and align with my vision and “no” to the things that don’t. To have a lot of time with and for my family and friends. To be consistent in work and in my personal life. To maintain what we have built, to continue learning and growing in my knowledge of our craft, and to have a lot of time at home with my husband, friends, and someday *hopefully* kids. Those things are MY goals and are what success looks like for ME.

Chasing anything else left me feeling like a slave to work, but the moment I defined and accepted who I was created to be and let go of other’s expectations for me as entrepreneur, I felt freedom like I never have before. I found JOY again.

Do you have to do the things you are doing? Or are you doing them because you want to?

Listen to your heart. Where it is leading you is where you will truly find freedom.

—M

Business

  1. Deb Plunkett

    April 3rd, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Thank you Maison! Exactly what I needed to hear this morning.
    It is such a blessing watching you grow and be a reflection of our Savior.
    Keep it up! If you are ever back in town and have a break, I would love to get coffee and catch up!
    Love you!

  2. Maison Engel

    April 3rd, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Hi Deb!! SO good to hear from you and so glad that God used this post to speak to you this morning 🙂 This makes my heart so, so happy! Would LOVE to connect with you sometime soon — I will let you know when we’re in Waupaca and please, same if you’re ever in Madison! XO! Have a wonderful rest of your week!!! <3

  3. Christy Tyler

    April 3rd, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Hi, how are you doing, clone of us?! Haha. Love your hearts! Keep doing you!!! Xoxoxo

  4. Maison Engel

    April 3rd, 2018 at 9:06 am

    LOVE YOU!!!!

  5. Trish

    April 3rd, 2018 at 11:20 am

    This is so right on Maison! I have experienced all of this and have to say I am right there with you! My business has evolved so much from where we started, I’m doing other things that I didn’t even know I loved (like photography 😳) and trying to build something I don’t always know what to call! Then I just look at how God has been doing not only everything in his timing but what’s perfect for me as well and showing me talents I didn’t even know I had right at the time I needed it. So yes I’m growing, but I’m not taking that too seriously and letting God show me the way. Thank You!

  6. Maison Engel

    April 3rd, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    You have no idea how much this means to me coming from you!! Seriously! SO beautiful to see first hand how God works and molds us throughout our entire lives and our course could change at ANY time as we are following Him! Thanks for sharing, Trish! So much love to you!

  7. Alyce

    April 23rd, 2018 at 7:30 am

    This post is everything! Thank you for speaking your truth. It’s so easy to compare to everyone else when sometimes we are perfectly comfortable and thankful for the business we have not the business others may desire for us.

  8. Maison Engel

    April 23rd, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Alyce! YES! I love how you worded this! Thank you for encouraging ME! I hope you have an amazing week 🙂

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