Anything is possible if you have the burning desire to make a change!
My story below is here to show you that you can change jobs, start your own business, do one career path well and then go on to excel at another.
I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit inside me. I started working from the age of 14 when I was growing up in South Africa. I wanted to make my own money in order to do the things I desired. During my teen years it was paying for a horse to ride (some things don’t change!).
Fast forward to living in London and working in the Graphic Design world doing artworking and layouts. I knew I wanted to go freelance and become a high-end beauty and fashion retoucher. Not just any retoucher. I wanted to retouch images for Vogue Magazine.
I collected tear sheets from magazines of amazing, realistic, beauty retouching. I studied it. I got onto retouching forums and found people willing to teach. I learned from the best and eventually retouched for some of the world’s top photographers including Mario Testino and Corrine Day.
I will never forget the day that I saw one of the images I had spent weeks working on appear on a billboard in Venice during one of our European holidays!
And yes, I retouched editorial and advertising campaigns that graced the pages of Vogue Magazine (USA, UK, Italy and Japan)
“I love what I do so much that I would do it for free.
People love what I do so much that they pay me for what I do!”
– this was stuck up on my late father’s office wall
I didn’t know at the time, but what I did back then were some of the key elements to making things happen or: Manifestation.
• Create a vision board of what you desire (mine was a flip file of tear sheets)
• Have a burning passion for what you want to do
• Take massive action to learn what it is you need to in order to reach your goal
• Find mentors, online and in person
Then, things changed.
I wanted to get behind a camera and start shooting! The truth was that when I was in high-school I actually wished I could be a photographer but those doors didn’t open to me when I finished high-school and so I fell into Graphic Design as a back up.
I attended conferences, I found mentors, I read photography books and magazines cover to cover. I dove deep and learned so much! I networked, I took workshops, built a following and got published many times. In the last few months of running my photography business, which totalled 7 years, I was being commissioned by some of the glossy, national wedding publications in the UK to shoot the back page bridal fashion stories!
I was told that a “wedding photographer” would never get paid to shoot bridal fashion. But I made it happen with grit. When people said an artworker could never become a high-end retoucher I didn’t listen and powered on through.
Don’t let negativity from others drag you down. Ever.
You can read my post on Why I Waved Goodbye To Photography Forms
How To Avoid Burn-Out was the article I wrote when Rock n Roll Bride asked me to guest blog and much of that still rings true now, a few of years down the line.
Another big change happened for us when we were made an offer we couldn’t refuse and moved across the Atlantic to The Turks & Caicos Islands in The Caribbean. We joined Brilliant Studios and Craig was thrown in the deep end, no longer second shooting for me and conducting his own weddings and portrait shoots.
I brought my love for styled shoots and bridal fashion editorial to the island, collaborated with local talent and produced three top notch shoots which we had published on blogs and in a magazine.
Then I had a BABY!
I wrote all about Having a Baby and a Business recently.
In November 2014 I lost yet another family member, there have been a sad few. I knew that I was meant to be back in South Africa with my family for a few years and the time was going to have to happen soon – while our family is still around! Having a little one has the pull to return back home and I have seen it happen with many South Africans living abroad. Once that bundle of joy makes an appearance, people migrate back to Africa to be closer to loved ones.
I started remote business coaching and worked on my true desires, which were:
• I waned to run my own business
• I wanted to live in South Africa and be closer to my Mom
• I wanted to start horse riding again, something I had done as a child
• I wanted to work from 8am to 2pm daily
• I wanted to spend my afternoons with my daughter
• I set clear money goals and got over my money story
According to extensive studies only 13% of people actually know what they want.
When last did you sit down and allow yourself the time to really work out what it is you truly want out of your life?
The realisation that I no longer wanted to work evenings and weekends equated to the fact that I could no longer be a wedding photographer. Due to the very nature of weddings it meant leaving my baby with a nanny for hours on end and, although I had had many fantastic years of shooting, it was time for a change of direction for me.
In January 2015 I did a soft launch of Segerius Bruce Services and by February I already had 5 monthly clients! It was not an easy decision by any stretch of the imagination. We left a paradise island, two good jobs and a lovely studio, people that we had forged strong friendships with over those 2.5 years and the logistics of moving our family abroad again was daunting.
Having my own business again and the time freedom that goes with it is worth so much to me. Some of my main core values are time freedom, family and friends – so the entrepreneurial lifestyle suits me down to the ground!
Using my experience of PR and Social Media to grow my successful photography business in London has lead me to a place where I now offer Social Media Marketing & Blogging for Luxury Businesses.
I couldn’t be happier!