Starting a Photography Business: Part 41 – Heart and Soul

This last week I have been spending time on getting another business that is very close to my heart closer to launch. The inspiration came from something that happened to me and how I overcame it; and that story can now help others.

A few years ago I lost my voice; the previous day I’d had the most severe sore throat I’ve ever had and the next morning when I woke up I simply couldn’t speak. It wasn’t a normal cold and sore throat, I was in severe pain and I stayed this way for many months. In that time I was only able to communicate by writing what I wanted to say on paper or type it on my phone, and of course I could only comfortably go out when I was with someone; so they could speak for me.

The doctors were baffled and perhaps not surprisingly, with only my thoughts going around in my head and no quick way to express them, depression and anxiety set in. As with many people I had no idea I was depressed, I was too busy focusing on the pain in my throat which I felt on waking and all the way through the day; I was really wrapped up in my own pain and how it restricted me, and giving the throat pain an awful lot of power.

I started to do a little research, and with the help of a friend took a turn down a more alternative approach to healing; meditation, living in the moment more to keep me grounded in the here and now rather than past or future events. Hence my twitter name became @iaminthemoment to help to remind me that is where I need to be, which is challenging enough on its own!

There was a bit more to my recovery than meditation and living in the moment there were other therapies, yet the one thing that helped me to move out of the gloom of depression, and take my attention away from me, was returning to my landscape photography.

My stepfather is a keen amateur photographer and I would see him come home from a day out and notice how much pleasure he had gotten from taking lots of photos and from looking back at them, and it motivated me to pick up my camera again, I’d done it professionally a few years previous but hadn’t touched a camera with deliberateness since living in Italy.

I doubt I even need to try to find the words to express to you how calming and wonderful it is to be surrounded by nature. To watch a sunrise or sunset and be struck dumb – well quite literally in my case! – by the intense beauty of our planet. The time I spent outside with nature helped me start to break though the depression and have something positive in my life again, something that spoke to my heart and soul.

As you know, through returning to my photography and drawing I had the idea to start my photography business. My voice did eventually come back though the pain persisted for many months following and still does have its moments of indicating that something I’m doing isn’t right for me. Yet this chapter of my life helped me to change a little bit of who I am. I found tools along with my photography to help me find a way through it. And it’s here that I’m turning my attention with my business;

I have created a photography course based on my experiences to help others who suffer in silence with depression, anxiety or physical or mental pain. People will be able to buy it via video over the internet or more locally, I will run courses that I can deliver to small groups in person. Thankfully the website and company name came to me easily; one morning I woke at 4am and I suddenly heard a voice give me the name and I saw a vision of how it could be. This was the start of the business; it had never occurred to me that I had experienced something worthwhile that I could share with others and help them.

This website will be a whole different ball game to my photography site; it will become a membership site set up purely to support and help people who suffer from depression, pain and anxiety problems and as extra support for those who take my courses.

The site will include people with great expertise in the area of using creative arts as an aid to helping healing, and also life coaches to help people to start to have the confidence to rebuild their lives. So this is a new one for me, firstly to learn about the mechanisms of memberships sites and then for it to carry audio interviews and video courses. I have been studying and following leading figures in the spiritual community for a long time now, making mental notes of who would be a good fit. Now I simply have to go and get them!

So, I will be splitting my time and these articles between the two businesses so we can hopefully learn together what works. I will also share with you names and tips from great business coaches that I use every now and again that will help you to create a good knowledge base for whatever you are doing with you company.

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