Last week myself & Christina hosted our first Ignite To Unite event at my house! We had been talking about different things & ideas a few weeks beforehand & she was like you should do a Q&A session! The more we talked about it then I was like WE should host a Q&A together. So Ignite To Unite was born! I’m used to teaching & speaking in front of groups since I’ve been doing it for 6 years now & do photography mentoring too but Christina hasn’t. So it was the perfect opportunity for her share her knowledge of what she has learned along the way! We have 2 very different businesses, styles & routes that we took! Our experiences were separate, then merged, then separate again! Meaning she wanted to start on her own, also helped me out at weddings for a few years as my 2nd shooter & now has her own full time business! She does AMAZING wedding work so y’all be sure to check her out! I’m so stoked for all the things & weddings she has planned this year & all the places she’s going! Literally, she’s traveling everywhere this year!!!
So our brainstorming began! We knew we wanted it to be FREE first of all. I know how very very hard it was in my beginning to find anyone who would help answer any questions. I built my business solely on my own with a workshop here & there. Workshops & mentoring were out there 10 years ago but nothing like they are now…at all!
Our next most important things for this event were to EDUCATE, INSPIRE, & MOTIVATE. We had a very specific purpose, drive & focus for doing this. It wasn’t just to have a get together. We wanted anyone who attended, even if it ended up being one person, to leave ready to go out & do great things & blaze their own trail. To NOT pay attention to what anyone else is doing, to NOT listen to any of the naysayers & doubters, to NOT listen to that voice in their head that questions whether or not they can do this! YOU CAN! I grew up with constantly hearing from my dad “there is no such word as can’t” whenever I complained I “can’t” do something. So that’s always been ingrained in me from when I was very little. And I know that’s why I have the confidence & the attitude towards things I have today. If you THINK you CAN’T, you WON’T! So start right now thinking you CAN & you WILL!
Everyone was asked to come with their list of questions. This event was to be led by those in attendance, not myself & Christina. Brii came with some really good & hard questions that made me think when she left. I can answer most any business stuff on the fly, hands down. But when asked to dig in & really think of something personal…I have to sit & really think about it. Not because I can’t answer, but because I don’t want to give a fake, stereotypical answer. My brain wants to sit & really dig deep & come up with the honest answer! So when everyone left I WAS INSPIRED to sit & do some thinking myself!
That’s the beauty of this event. It wasn’t just for myself & Christina to educate, inspire & motivate others. It was for EVERYONE to educate, inspire, & motivate EACH OTHER! I NEVER think I know it all, I NEVER think I’m better than anyone, I NEVER stop learning. Everyone has something to offer! You just have to be willing to acknowledge & accept it!
We had 4 fabulous ladies join us & were bummed when the other 3 who were coming had things come up & couldn’t make it at last minute! I loved when everyone walked through the door all felt like friends! There was no first time awkwardness that there sometimes is when meeting new people! Our goal was a very relaxed, home-y, welcoming, no judgment kinda vibe! Just a night of sitting around & chatting! We scheduled to start at 6p & end at 8p but everyone was having such a great time we went well over 2 hours past our end time! Oops! 😀
The best part was waking up the next day & seeing how the ladies had that fire lit under them & were already hard at work!
You can read Brii’s post about it here! Kayla did her first comeback blog post that you can read here! This girl is a trip y’all! She cracks jokes the entire time! I had the pleasure of mentoring her awhile back! Sarah is killing it with her senior girls & Instagrammed about her night! And Beverly woke up inspired to post some of her work! LOVED IT LADIES!
And we didn’t take any photos that night! I don’t believe that just because we’re photographers we have to photograph every.single.thing.we.do. Some things are better left to EXPERIENCE & BE IN THE MOMENT! I know that if I had a camera in my hand to document that my thoughts would be pulled into 2 different directions & I didn’t want that!
In closing, a quote from one my absolute FAVORITE people, Zig Ziglar! This man can fire me up like no other! Oh the wisdom he would still be giving if he was here! When you see me walking around the gym with a focused look & my headphones on…it’s because I’m listening to this man right here!
If you were inspired by today’s post feel free to share with others! <3
Happy Monday friends!