We had the good fortune of connecting with Alysa Chapman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alysa, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
In anything we attempt, It is easy to quit, but so much harder to keep going. We want overnight success and instant gratification. We scroll social media and see others doing what we would like to be doing. Why can’t I have the same success? We question our process and overthink every step we take. Starting and running any type of business is not easy and if anyone tells you differently, RUN!
So how do you know if it is time to throw in the towel or go another round? If I am being honest, this is a question I have wrestled with over the last couple of years.
But before you do anything, STOP and take a deep breath! There are many questions you can ask yourself, but here are some I consider when I’m tempted to walk away.
WHY are you doing this in the first place? As Simon Sinek says, “What is your why?” I can honestly say since I started my own business it has not been easy. There have been many times I have wanted to quit and just walk away. It is a lot of work on top of having a family and a full-time job. There is only so much time in the day to do everything. Why am I doing this? I love what I am doing. I am good at this and only getting better with time. And ultimately, I want to help people tell their stories visually with pictures or video. Whether it is a small business owner, a home for sale or even an empty lot, there’s a story to be told, and sometimes words cannot tell it completely.
Do you still get excited when you are working on your business? If you are not passionate about your business and have no desire to keep pursuing your venture, then maybe you should throw in the towel. You aren’t going to get any better without passion or desire. I’m not talking about having an “off” day either. We all have those. Maybe you just need a break. However, if your “off” days turn into weeks and then months, maybe you should stop and rethink what you are doing. If you do decide to quit, this doesn’t mean you are a quitter. It just means you are being wise with your time and being open to pursue something even better.
Every time I have considered quitting, and yes I am guilty of doubts, I complete another job that reminds me of my “Why.” Sometimes I simply take my camera or drone out to take pictures and completely lose track of time. I am still passionate about my pursuit. I just need to be patient and realize building a business is a slow process. My frustration comes in the time I have between jobs and the desire to do more. The marketing side (especially the necessary evil of having a social media presence) can also be very taxing. There is so much to keep up with to maintain this presence, but I continue to remember my “Why.” And thanks to my husband, it also helps to have encouragement and reminders.
Is it financially feasible to continue this? Thankfully my family isn’t dependent on my business for our livelihood at this time. Sometime in the near future I do look forward to pursuing this full-time. However, I do think this is something to seriously consider when making this decision. If you are “bleeding” money and you or your family are dependent on this to survive, it may be time to consider another option. Financial stress can cause an abundance of other issues mentally and physically. Your health and your relationships are not worth sacrificing. This is a very tough decision, but please keep it in mind, it does not mean you are a failure. There is no shame whatsoever in cutting your losses and going in a different direction. I do believe there is something even better waiting for you.
No matter what you decide, it is never an easy decision. Just remember to “keep the main things the main things”, not lose sight of your passion for what you’re doing and the meaning behind your effort.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Nothing is easy in life, but I think the first thing you need to do is tell yourself you can instead of you can’t. I am a photographer/videographer, not I am trying to be a photographer/videographer. My art is constantly evolving and growing. Every time I snap a picture or fly my drone, I learn and grow. I have worked over the last couple of years developing my skills along with having a family and a full-time job. It has not been easy carving out time either. I have so many day to day responsibilities, it can become defeating thinking you are never going to get where you want to be with your craft. I think the first thing you need to do is give yourself a break and have some patience. I am really working on focusing on small things I can accomplish each day to reach my goal instead of trying to tackle everything at once. I have come a long way over the last year professionally and am finally seeing the results of my efforts. It is a work in progress, but progress it is!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love to be outdoors as much as possible, so going on a hike or exploring the trails would be my go to activity. As far as eating and drinking, there are too many good ones to choose. The area I am most familiar with is the Chandler/Gilbert area and I love Rock Lobster for sushi, The Black Sheep has great food and and an even better happy hour. For some fine dining, Cuisine and Wine Bistro is very good. I recently tried Sea and Smoke in Chandler and was very impressed. Seafood is my number one choice when choosing a restaurant. If you’d like a good cup of coffee, the recently opened Black Rock Coffee Bar was very good too. I love their slogan on the wall, “fuel your story”.
All photos are credited to myself, except for the personal photo is credited to Paul D’Andrea Photography.