entrepreneur

How to build good habits

Do you remember few months ago when 2019 started, we were all super motivated with our new resolutions: I am gonna sleep more, drink less, eat healthier, buy less stuff, spend more time with my friends… How many of them are you still doing today? We all want to improve ourselves and set up goals to make our life better. So why is it so easy to give up?

 
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You can find so many tools on internet which tell you if you follow the steps it is going to work, like a magical recipe. Honestly those rules are not exact science and cannot work on everybody because we are all different. It is really important to find what works the best for you and to do so, you need to experience and educate yourself.

I am not really good at changing habits because I do not have a strong self-discipline but I love challenges. Here are few advice I can share with you, little tricks that have been working for me so far. But first of all grab a pen and a notebook, you have some writing to do!

The importance of writing things down

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Writing down ideas, goals or projects is primordial for their realization. But I am not talking about using a sticky note or paper sheet you are gonna lose, I am talking about a notebook or journal you can have easily access to, to read them whenever you need.

I was like you when my friend told me for the first time to write my goals down, very sceptical: “What does it change? I do not need to put those on a piece of paper, everything is in my brain!”. And you see, that is the tricky part because those are just thoughts, nothing specific. Writing them down will help you to visualize them to make it more real. It will also help you prioritize on what you should focus on, instead of having it all mix up because you have to much going on in your brain and taking the risk to forget half of them.

Motivation

This is the first step and most importante part. You need to have a strong motivation otherwise it is going to be very difficult to achieve. Once you wrote down the bad habits you want to change or new ones you want to add to your life, ask yourself why and write the reason. Let say you want to lose weight, what is the reason? is it because your actual weight makes you get tired real fast and you don't like not being in shape? or is it because someone told you you look too curvy?

Are you doing it for yourself or just because it is what you are “supposed” to do? Changing just to please someone else or to do the same thing as others will not help.

Recently, I decided to change my morning routine which was having breakfast in front of a tv show. There is nothing wrong with that until I realized it made me start my day tired and not really motivated. If I read, listen to music or work while having breakfast, it makes me start my day with way more energy than watching tv on my sofa.

Is it realistic

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The second step is to make sure you can actually achieve them, otherwise let me tell you it is a waste of time and it might break your motivation, when you realize you cannot be successful at it. If they are unrealistic but you really really want to make them happen, then find a solution to the problem (even though it means changing other part of your lifestyle):

One of my goal is to wakeup everyday at 6.30am because I want to watch the sunrise and have more time for myself during the day. Unfortunately I do not sleep well so waking up early when you had only few hours of sleep was too difficult. I had to find first a solution to sleep better: 10 min of meditation before going to bed works like magic. Since meditation is new to me I really have to force myself to practice daily, so I can sleep better and wake up earlier. Do you see what I mean? You might have sometimes to create a habit to be able to work on another one.

Consistency & Self-Discipline

And of course the last step and most difficult one: daily routine! Consistency is the key to set up any new habits, you HAVE to do them everyday so it can become natural. Of course at the beginning you will forget or be too lazy but do not give up. Force yourself even if you are not motivated to do it and stop looking for excuses. You will be tempting to go against those good habits you are setting up, just don't. Temptation is like a bad craving, but it goes away after few minutes… You are stronger than your brain! If not, trick yourself:

When I want to wake up early I put my phone far away from my bed so I have to get out of my bed to turn off the alarm. If I leave my phone close to me so it reachable from my bed, I turn off the alarme and fall back asleep.

Organization and scheduling

I found out planning your day in advance helps a lot to make some of your new habits a success. You do not to be as organized as business man but just scheduling your day when you wake up will have a huge impact on your routine.

So what about you Scandals, any tricks to add?

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Do not let procrastination take over!

Procrastination is a big and scary word, nobody likes to be told or think they are being lazy. But we all know how easy it is to let ourselves go in any aspects of our life: relationship, life goals, business… It does not mean we are actually lazy or we do not care anymore, usually it is something we build with time and without noticing. Slowly but surely we have been developing bad habits and at some point it just hits us, trust me when I say it is an awful feeling!

Starting 2019 with "Panache”

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I wanted to start 2019 in style, so beginning of January I wrote down a lot of new goals in my notebook, I especially wanted to work on being more self-disciplined and I was 100% motivated to achieve it. One of the first one was to travel alone: BAM! Two weeks later I was in Costa Rica by myself, celebrating my birthday and making new friends (I even met a new gorgeous scandal for a boudoir shoot). I came back to Toronto with clearer thoughts, new ideas and ready to conquer the world!

By the way, this feeling happens when you get out of your confort zone and try new experiences. Yes it is scary at first but once it is done, you feel so powerful and confident; you can do everything.

Hit me baby one more time

I kept that fire inside me until about two weeks ago when I started feeling down, unmotivated and not really healthy. Then few days ago it just hit me (and man, it was painful, I felt guilty!): I realized I have been letting myself go for a few months. Yes I was full of ideas and new goals but I wasn't working to make them happen. Business was busy, which was a bit unbelievable for winter time, so I focused on the tasks I had to do, I focused too much on the short term and forgot about long term plans. I have slowly been pushing back projects I was supposed to work on or business skills I wanted to learn. Those bad habits affected not only my business life but my personal one too:

  • I stopped cooking healthy meals (I am a vegetarian so I have to be careful to replace properly the nutrients I don't get from meat anymore), the result: iron deficiency = a week an a half of intense migraines and fatigue.

  • I replaced reading by watching tv shows (Netflix is temptation!).

  • My workout has been the same for the past 2 months instead of learning new fitness and aerial silk tricks.

  • Do you remember my 2019 goals I was talking to you about? Well I haven't opened that notebook since I wrote them in!

To make it short, I STOPPED LEARNING…

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Your brain is a muscle

We always remember to feed our body. If we don't, it doesn't take too much time before having a low energy, headaches, dizziness… But we have the tendency to forget our brain is a muscle we need to take care of. We need to work it out and feed it with knowledge if we do not want to see negative effects on the long term.

When you make your passion a business, unfortunately you can easily lose your creativity, you have to challenge yourself all the time: I am not gonna lie, it can be very tiring… So you take a break, you relax. And it's when you let go too much you start building procrastination. All it takes is to find the perfect balance between work and pleasure. I am not able to remember the last time I watched a documentary, discovered a new photographer, went to an art exhibition or learn something new. I am not a lazy person, I am the opposite: always working hard, curious and motivated. But somewhere and for some reasons on the road, procrastination showed up and stayed warm and cozy.

The first step is to notice

Procrastination's guilt is an awful feeling. So when you catch yourself procrastinating for too long you have to change your activity right away, just stop and do something that feels right! If this step is too difficult for you then ask someone in your loved ones who will let you know if you f**k up. I try to not beat myself up because nobody is perfect but I refuse to use it as an excuse to stay in this vicious circle.

The secret against laziness:

Some of you are probably gonna feel disappointed because I know you are waiting to read an advice which will change your life… Please do not hate me but unfortunately there is no magic trick! You have to force yourself to do stuff! Whatever it is you try to achieve, you have to kick your own butt to be successful. FIND YOUR OWN MOTIVATION.

 
 

Use your brain!

Never stop learning, think, have ideas, keep yourself active, build up your energy and consider your body as a temple because if you are not healthy then it will be difficult to be proactive.

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How people's words can have an impact on your mind and body

Language is a powerful tool which brings people together and help understand each other. But unfortunately it can easily be transformed and used as a weapon. Since humans have the tendency to criticize others (because it is apparently easier than giving a compliment), this weapon put in mischievous hands can be extremely painful. It is really difficult to know the impact our words can have on others but is it so difficult to be more careful and taking the time to be aware of it?

 
 

I can say I am pretty confident with my body but it wasn't always the case, especially in middle school. I am glad I choose to go to photography school as it helped me to become self-confident.

I wish sometimes I could be curvier, taller, have thicker wrists, get more tan, have a beautiful skin… but this is my body and I cannot change it, so I decided to cherish it because it is precious and I now don’t give a freaking damn about people's critics.

 
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When your “supposed-friends” show their true colors

I always been really thin: tiny body, tiny bones, boobies which are still hiding from the world (still looking for them!) and for a long time I was ashamed of that. Of course people liked to remind me of it:

-“You look like a garden gnome hahaha!”

- “I should not talk about that in front of you, you are like what… 14?!” (I am 19 dude but thanks-what an ass!")

- “Are you not ashamed of not having boobs?”

- “Are you sure you don't suffer from anorexia?”

… I could keep going on and on.

Most of those awful sentences came from friends or people I knew and every time they broke me into thousand pieces. Until a classmate told me the worst one “your mom should be sooo ashamed for giving birth to an anorexic girl. What an embarrassment!!”.

That sentence was the last one I let putting me down: F**k that! Never again I will let words break me.

Relax, it was just a joke!

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The famous: “I was joking!”… I am pretty sure we all went through that and maybe we did it too without realizing it can be painful for our interlocutor. Do not get me wrong, as a french person I love sarcasm and bad humour that makes me laugh even though it is directed towards my body or my intelligence. Lets take my family as a an example, I saw partners or parents with their kids, pocking each other and making jokes about the way they look, their personality: "Don't take it badly, it was just a joke!” they say.

Yes it was probably… a joke but for some reason that day, those words sticked to your mind. Maybe it wasn’t the first time you heard those words or maybe you were already having a bad day and was feeling a bit down. When a loved one reminds you several time per week “how flat you are”, “how curvy you are”, “how sometimes you can be stupid", even if they say it with a touch of humour, you ended up believing those words and not in yourself anymore.

Yes jokes are funny but do not forget also to tell your loved ones every day how much you love them, how strong and smart they are and how successful they will be.

“Et mademoiselle, t’es bonne, tu baises?”

Disclaimer: Ladies and gents caution, coarse language coming.

Translation: “Yo miss, you're hot, wanna f**k?” (no kidding, I heard those words in the street).

I never really had any problem since I moved to Canada and I wish I could tell you the same for France but I would be lying. You see, France is like Tinder's nightmares in real life. A lot of men have the bad habit to harass women in the street and we heard them all. From “I am gonna eat that ass!", "B**ch I am talking to you!”, “Nice legs, at what time do they open?!"… to “I am gonna rape you!”, when you are victim of street harassment for years, it gets very easy to stress about the idea of going out by yourself. And they say apparently french women are very difficult to approach… - Cough - Really? I wonder why!

The worst sentence a guy told me in Canada was “You're gonna get in trouble with this body!”, I am not gonna lie it scared the crap out of me (I was walking in a very quiet street with nobody else around) but I played it cool and thanked the guy for his “compliment”. At some point he left after wishing me to have a great day.

Please gentlemen, think twice before hitting on a girl and watch your language!

When people make your day

Fortunately, a lot of people have the ability to cheer your day up with hilarious and unforgettable compliments and honestly those are the ones that counts. So for you and exclusively, here are the best ones people ever told us:

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- “You have very nice collarbones!”

- “Your hair smell like sex!”

- “If I have to compare you as a car, you will be a Porsche”

- “Wohh, where did you get those eyes from?!”

- “If we take my friend's legs, this table as my body and my face, would you love me?”

What about you? What is the best/worst/unforgettable compliment someone ever gave you?

Paris & Lyon: Our first business trip

What a trip! We are back from France where we met 17 new Scandals! Since we could not take all of you in our suitcases to show you our home country, we decided to bring our business trip to you.

Make yourself a nice hot chocolate and enjoy the show:

 
 

Two busy weeks

Let me tell you: we had a blast and were very busy. In 14 days, we traveled for 20 hours, worked in two cities, drank few glasses (or bottles you will never know…) of red and white wine, had a lot of cheese, pastries, well, awesome food in general. We photographed 34 nipples and 17 butts, had to keep working on blog, vlog and social media. I will skip the number of time we packed and unpacked our suitcases but I can tell you we now mastering the art of folding clothes, in a way we can have room for more food (call us for our folding workshops!). And on top of that we were able to spend a bit of time with friends and family. We felt like Wonder Women and sadly time flew a bit too fast.

17 new and different personalities

 What made the experience even better was the fact that those new scandals were all different from each other. They were all creative with their outfits and ideas: they brought masks, small lights, colourful lingerie and were all happy to experience nude photography. They had different styles and personalities but they were all similar in one thing: they were bold enough to put their boundaries down for their first boudoir shoot.

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Thank you to our french ladies and gentleman for trusting us and trying for the first time the boudoir experience. You guys were really amazing, badass and fun to work with!

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Birth Control Pill: A little devil

Disclaimer: In this post I am talking about my own experience and feedback about the birth control pill. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

Ladies and gents (I do have some hope that men can also be interested by that topic!), today's blog post is about my experience with the birth control pill, why I decided to stop it and it's impact on my body 11 years later…

When I Sold My Soul For Beauty Purpose

2007 was a great year: first boyfriend and sexual blooming, beginning of adulthood… This was the reason I started taking the birth control pill, “Jasmin” if I remember correctly. Unfortunately when I was 17, I had a lot of migraines and also a strong acne, “Jasmin” wasn't strong enough for my body. So I decided to follow my gynecologist advice which was to go for one of the strongest hormonal pill, perfect against acne and migraines: Ladies and gentlemen, the famous “Diane 35", let's sadly acclaim it.

Big mistake! But I was young and looking for an easy way to feel prettier. I was really ashamed of my acne, all I wanted was to get rid of it. I just wished my doctors would have told me about the risks and side effects of those pills…

 
Before taking the pill

Before taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

 

The Results Were Beyond Expectations

If there is something I cannot complain about, it is the result and efficacy: my acne was gone few months after I started taking it and the migraines were less intense, it was honestly a relief. On top of that, they helped regulate your menstrual cycle and the main purpose of that pill was also a success, I never got pregnant. You got it, I am not complaining about their efficacy against pregnancy. The birth control pill is a great contraceptive as long as you don’t forget to take it. Unfortunately the side effects and risks on the woman body are pretty scary.

But for 11 years I was never aware of those side effects. This is why the "pill” is sneaky: you usually do not feel how unhealthy it is, at least I never felt it.

So why did I stop?

As you may know, two years ago I became vegetarian and it is now important for me to take care of my body and be careful with what goes in and out. It is my way to feel confident and respectful of it! Stopping the pill was obviously another step towards taking less chemical, since I did not want extra hormones in my body anymore (If you wanna learn more about this topic, I found this very interesting article).

To make it short, the birth control pills is a combinaison of two hormones: estrogen and progestogen, that eliminate ovulation and prevent pregnancy. It changes your natural hormone balance, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.

I also never like having to take a pill every day because I have sometimes forgotten to take them (oh and I guess reading about those women who died from blood clotting in their legs, sudden blockages in their lungs, bleeding in their brains and chest pain before death, did help me with that decision…) Anyway, in January 2018, I took the decision to change contraception and go for a non-hormonal copper IUD. I went to my family doctor to talk with her about that decision, her advice was to stop the pill and wait until my next period to have the IUD inserted. Which I did…

Another big mistake, I should have never ever stoped the pill right away! In one month, I went from 11 years of intense synthetic hormones to natural ones. Of course it was a shock for my body, my doctor should have told me about it. The consequences? I developed a strong acne in a couple of months and my menstrual cycle was all over the place. I feel like a teenager again and I now have a lack of confidence because of that acne. It has been less than a year I changed contraceptive and my body is slowly getting use to it, but it will take few years before the level of acne decrease.

 
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Why I like non-hormonal contraception

First of all, big shout out for the Copper IUD, it is so convenient. I am not gonna lie, the insertion was painful but it lasted only a couple of minutes and I do not have to worry of getting pregnant for the next five years. What if I want a baby in two years? The doctor will just take it out!

My body has changed a lot since I switched birth control method and I have now “real” and natural cycles, which includes unfortunately: cramps and irregular, heavier and longer periods. But it also had 3 positive impacts that are really worth it: I am feeling less emotional, my sex drive increased a lot and I am more lubricated (don't laugh, it was pretty frustrating in the past!).

I have no regrets of that change and do not plan to go back to birth control pills. There are so many contraceptives on the market, you should not have any problem to find the perfect one for you. Talk with your doctor or gynecologist about it and most important: do your own research.

Now go make love and viva la sexualidad!!

 
 

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Kiss your body insecurities goodbye

Isn't it a great feeling to feel the positive evolution in body positivity? Do you guys see it too? From articles I read or friend's conversations, I have the feeling that people and especially women are more self-confident. Man, how powerful is that?! Even though we still have a lot of progress to make, we are slowly getting there.

The importance of confidence

Most of the people I meet know about their qualities and are confident about either their sense of humour, their kindness, their intellect… But I have never met a single person who is in love with 100% of his/her body. We always feel judged, always have the impression people are looking at us. Do you want to know the truth? People don't care… or at least most of them don’t (honestly who cares about judgy people). If you love the way you look and accept what mother nature gave you, it will be easier to conquer the world: being self-confident shows charisma which is a powerful quality to be successful in life.

I never said it will be easy

I am not 100% confident and writing this blog is making me think about the parts of my body I do not like and why I don't like them. Our past traumas are usually the reasons why we are so picky with ourselves.

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There are two things I do not like about my body. The first one is my wrists (oh gosh I know it sounds stupid but it is a fact). I see them so tiny and I never been able to like them. Not that I am ashamed and try to hide those wrists but I never felt confident about them. Why? If you have been following us for a little while, you may have read the blog post in which I was writing about my teenagehood and how photography changed the way I see myself. I was a skinny and insecure teenager and kids in my middle school were mean so I got a lot of insults about anorexia. Their words still resonate in me sometimes.

The second thing I do not like is my recent acne. Last February I decided to stop taking my birth control pills to switch for a non hormonal birth control device because I want to take care of my body, go for something more “natural” and stop ingested those crappy hormones. Well I wanted to go natural: I got acnee… Yay! (unhappy smile). Two months after I stoped those pills, I developed a severe acne and felt awful about myself. I totally lost my confidence and sex appeal. Why? Same as previously written, it reminded me when I was fifteen and brought back all of those bad memories.

How to change your mindset

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The only way to accept those parts of your body you like the less is to look a them, stop hiding them and talk positively about them. When I look at my wrists I stop telling myself they are too skinny, instead I decided think and say loudly they are cute. For my acne, I try to not use make up to cover the pimples. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I look at every pimples and tell myself it is not so bad and they will eventually disappear with time.

You can also learn how to highlight and showcase your imperfections. the good news is that it could be fairly easy: you just have to decide to change a negative mindset to a positive one.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AND GO LOVE EVERY FREAKING INCHES OF YOUR BODY!

Entrepreneur life - The importance of taking a break

Our summer, while pretty amazing, is also a bit overwhelming. Our shoots, a business trip to France to organize, the boudoir and wedding editing a bridal show to get ready for, a lot of new scandals to meet and our upcoming, it is keeping us busy. And you know us, we do not plan to stop there!

With everything on our plates, we have less time to take care of ourselves. It feels like our bodies are taking a hit, our aerial silks level is in a free fall, we are hairier than Chewbacca and our dinners are mostly made of pasta and cheese... It is time to take some me-time!

 
 

Working for yourself: Beauty and the beast

The positif side

We all dream to enjoy our life and have fun while the money magically appears in our bank account. If you want to be able to follow your own schedule, make your ideas come to life and take a vacation whenever you want... Well you wanna be your own boss. In other terms, you want to create something on your own and be free financially. I believe working for yourself gives you more chances to get to that goal rather than working for a company other than yours.

The side effect

But this need of freedom requires A LOT OF WORK. This is why, as an entrepreneur, it is very difficult to take the liberty of having a 9 to 5 schedule. Especially for us, Juliette and I live together and work together from home. Our personal and professional life is all mixed up so it is quite difficult to have a regular schedule (and it is not something we truly want). But in this case you have to be careful this lifestyle does not become more of a curse than a blessing. Without realizing it, you start working everyday from early morning to late night, think about work almost all the time, forget to take days off and eventually you burn out. 

Even though you love what you do, being all the time in a business mode is stressful and ends up by being a poisoned gift.

How to find the perfect balance

 
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Force yourself to chill the hell out.

You and only you can decide to take a break from work. Feeling overwhelmed and being too stressed out will eventually make you weak and sick. Trust us, you will be more productive if your body and spirit are fully rested.

Day off is your ally

If you cannot or don't feel like taking some vacation, then take at least one day off per week. For at least one day, do not think about work, do not open your emails, do not connect on your social media. Instead spend time with your loved ones, go in the nature, cook or bake, watch some movies or tv shows, catch up with friends, paint, read, make love... Those little pleasure are super important if you want to be healthy and happy.

Not everything is urgent

Our biggest problem? Thinking every tasks needs to be done as soon as possible. The truth is, when you actually look at your to-do list, a lot of things can wait an extra 12 hours before getting done. Don't get us wrong, we don't encourage you to procrastinate, just to prioritize what is actually on a strict deadline and give yourself a breather for your other duties.

Ask for help

If it is too difficult for you to disconnect from work, then ask a friend or family to help you with this task. People will be more than happy to spend time with you and be here to remind you today is your day!

One of our solutions? Borrow your friend cottage for three days in Tiny Ontario, buy two bottles of wine, cheese and dessert, get naked and enjoy the weather

Our three days break was very relaxing even though it wasn't 100% work-free. But it is a beginning and we remind ourselves everyday that... a lot of things are actually not that urgent.

How to start your business: putting your fears aside

As you may know Scandals, our first year of business is over and so far it has been running well. But you know what they say: it takes 3 years for a business to be successful, we have done half of it so… yay to us!

It has been a year and a half full of stress – joy – tears – laughs – fears - surprises – projects  – beauty – nudity (sometimes not wanted). You got the idea; our emotion and lives were like a roller coaster: lots of ups and some downs. Having a business is the dream of most of the people we meet and every time Juliette and I hear the same things: “you guys are so brave to go through this process”, “I would love to do it but I do not have the time or/and the money”, “How did you guys do it?

Well Mesdames et Messieurs, here is the secret, you need to think super super strongly about an idea and tada!! It’s happening. Drop the mic, end of this blog…

 
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THE REALITY

I wish it was so simple. Unfortunately there are no magic tricks, you just have to bite the bullet (I know, so disappointing right?). Like anything in life actually, if you want something to be done, you have to make it happen. Were we scared? Oh hell yes. Did we ask ourselves a thousand questions? Totally. Did we think it wasn’t the good time to start Scandaleuse? Absolutely not!

It was our main goal and we were so ready to start this new adventure because we knew it can give us a financial freedom and a happy state of mind. You have to feel confident in your vision, you have to trust your guts and ask yourself the good questions:

Is it the fear of failing?

Lack of experience or knowledge?

Not enough time or money?

Lack of support from your love ones?

Not having a strong project?

Knowing what the problem is will help you to find a solution to move forward. You also have to stop finding excuses, the only barriers are the ones you are creating to stop yourself.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

The first steps are always the most difficult ones and they will make you feel overwhelmed. Educating yourself and being well organized will help you to feel more confident in your project.

 
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Time and Money

Before starting, make sure you will have enough time and money to invest. If you want it to be your full time job, your business will become your baby and has to be a priority. You will spend countless hours of work so be ready to change your schedule and make some sacrifices. If you decide to have a part time job while building it, it is going to take way more time to be ready for its launch. The best is to focus 100% and have a good 3 months of savings on the side.

Baby Steps

  • Develop an idea but make sure it is realistic and practical: If your dream is to sell homemade panties made of wood, you have to be sure clients will buy them because the primary purpose of every business is to maximize profits ($$$) for its owner. Do your own research, find out who your competitors are, analyze the market and start this goddamn business plan.
     
  • Talk about your project: It is very important to share your vision with your surroundings. Talk to your family, friends and even strangers about what you have in mind, they would be very happy to give their opinion and help. You can be surprised how creative, smart and resourceful people can be.
     
  • Find a badass name and a kickass logo: When you create a business, you are building a brand and you want people to be able to remember and scream your name. One more time, ask people to tell you honestly what they think about it, if it describe your project, if it is catchy or too common, if it would make them buy your service or product…
     
  • Build your social media and content: You need to be everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, you name it. Your customers will be mostly online and are craving for interesting and creative contents. You will have to take pictures and make videos about your product/service several times per week if you want people to buy it.
     
  • Make it legal: Just in case you had the idea of screwing with the government… well don’t. Learn what category correspond the best with your business (Corporate, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship…), register your business and potentially for HST, apply for trademark name if needed. You can also get free advice from the City Hall and Canada Revenue Agency has a program who helps new entrepreneurs with taxes. 

Being entrepreneurs is not easy but we would not go back, we love the freedom of working for ourselves and making Scandaleuse Photography an empire.

Put your fears on the side and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

 
 

When your passion is your job: the 'Meh' syndrome

Turning your passion into a full-time job. It's a lot of people's dream. Everyone deserves to wake up energized, ready to conquer their day with a smile and be happy to start working. We are part of the "lucky" ones, we've made it happen by opening Scandaleuse full time a year ago. Yet, being a photographer full-time (or any creative careers for that matter) can also burst your creative bubble.

 
"Submerged: Pisces / Aquarius" by  Deanna Colosimo

"Submerged: Pisces / Aquarius" by Deanna Colosimo

 

Meet your Little Muse

I like to think that we all have a little muse that follows us around. I picture mine as a mini-me who throws ideas out of nowhere. She's the one that's like "hey let's cover that model in pink glitter and put her under the rain okay? It'll be awesome!!". She has taken me on some glorious photoshoots, and sometimes, I have had to ignore her because seriously, this idea was way too insane. But the thing with muses is that if you shut them up too often, they just go somewhere else. See you sucker.

We wrote a blog post a while ago about dealing with creative funk when you are doubting your work and feel like you can't seem to produce anything good. Well this is a different kind of funk: it's the "meh" syndrome. Your drive has been AWOL, like it's on a vacation in Mexico or something. And Fanny and I have contaminated.

The "meh" wall is silently building itself.

Without you noticing. Sneaky SOB.

Truth is, we have been insanely busy with both of our boudoir and wedding divisions, working our first wedding workshop, booking sessions, finding new locations, taxes, admin tasks. There is no one else but us behind Scandaleuse, so naturally we have to take care of the not-so-fun stuff on a regular basis. No surprise here, welcome to Managing your business 101.

Anyway, it felt like something was wrong but I just didn't know what it was. I have been feeling constantly tired, my excitement for our current projects was close to the ground. The energy I had for new projects was slowly being shattered by real life, unnecessary stress and unreliable people (YES I SAID IT!), making the process a lot less enjoyable. Picture your little muse pulling on your sleeve to get attention and you flicking her away because, hey, you don't have time, alright?!.

The "oh sh*t" moment.

I was sitting in my living-room/office, scrolling through Instagram & Pinterest and I realized I was dodging any beautiful and creative posts from other photographers. Why? Because it gave me a weird feeling in my stomach that I had been shutting down for a little while. The ugly truth is that I was feeling envious. Envious of artists showcasing their awesome work when I felt like mine was just "meh". I was not looking at other peoples' work because I didn't want to see better work than mine. After all, we pride ourselves to push our own creativity limits here and this made me realize that we hadn't done it in what felt like an eternity. I mean reeeeally done it.

We had just stopped putting our creativity first. Which is super ironic, considering that our creativity is our bread and butter. It is why people hire us to begin with.

But life got in the way, we are dealing with other things that, yes, need to be done, but have been taking all of our time, leaving no room for brainstorming crazy ideas like we used to. The only moment my drive was back was when we were actually shooting with a client, I guess Little Muse is responsible for that too.

 
Double-exposure-creativity-boudoir-jessie-lam-toronto-yoga-scandaleuse-photography.jpg
 

It is time to grab the bull by its horns.

We have been thinking outside the box our entire lives and there is no way that Scandaleuse becomes "just" a job with standard quality. We swore to make it exceptional for every session (that's actually why we shoot in different locations) and we lost sight of it for a second.

Making your passion your career involves turning it into something quite commercial to appeal to the masses. Because hey, you gotta make some $$$, your work needs to be consistent, and not everyone wants an insane photoshoot concept.

But we need to make a crazy idea come to life once in a while. We need to do shoots for fun and more importantly: we need to make time for it. So I started my own list of super cool ideas for shoots that may not happen immediately, but are here when I will need them. I have put one into place already, and I had forgotten how much fun putting together different photoshoot styles is. It is thrilling and I know I want to live my life that way.

Little Muse is back, baby, and she's ready to rock.

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Dealing with creative funk

This one is for any creative person that feels the need to create content constantly and/or is required to do so professionally. If you feel like you can't do anything right sometimes and you start doubting your work... Three words: we feel you.

 
Dealing with creative block - Scandaleuse Photography
 

The creativity juice

You know the thrill you get when you create something new that people appreciate? Your heart beats faster, you are full of energy, you are smiling from one ear to the other and you keep coming up with better ideas every day. Until one day.... Mic drop, curtain closed, no creativity juice left. Take a deep breath, it doesn't mean you suck.

Find the cause

What triggered this sudden block? Did you get a bad feedback? Are you dealing with personal problems? Do you think everyone is better than you? Did you sleep enough? Are you hungry? Did Tim Horton's stop your kind of Timbits ? (it's a problem in Canada, alright?). Whatever started this, if you identify it, you can start to fight it.

Putting things into perspective

People, we don't need drama, alright? We already have so many reason to stress out nowadays (see Timmie's horror story above). A creative funk is not the end of the world and will happen (again). We are not magical robots that can create ALL THE TIME. It's impossible. You will create things that will suck. But you will have some that will rock.

We asked other artists to give us their opinions about dealing with creative blocks and we have put together a little list of things you should try when you feel like you are stuck.

Take a break.

Have you even been out today or have you been staring at your laptop trying to invoke your muse? A change of scenery is usually the trick for small creative funks. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, talk to people. After you read this blog post please.

Luke, talented musician, says: "Remember you cannot cannot unless your mind, body & spirit are in alignment. Breathe in the fresh air and take a moment to acknowledge how good of a job you are doing. This will clear your negative blocks."

 
Dealing with creative block - Scandaleuse Photography
 

Be okay with failure.

Actually, stop seeing it as a failure, see it as a lesson. You did something, it didn't go right but now you know what to do to improve. Put a Hello Kitty bandaid on your ego and off you go. After all, you wouldn't have any successes without failures. So they are kind of necessary.

Get inspired.

A lot of creative funks come when we lack inspiration. A good way to get it back is to… look for it everywhere you go. Pinterest, books, blogs (eheh), artist in your field (or not) you love, podcasts… We have access to SO many sources. I personally have a weird obsession for Youtube videos of people accomplishing things and showing their routines for success.

Jason says: "You need to explore. Viewing different things will help spark your curiosity and give you that imagination back."

Let me crack my knuckles like a badass before I type this. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.

This is the first cause of creativity death. There is always someone better than you and the sooner you get that, the more at peace you will be. Funny enough, someone is probably comparing him/herself to you, thinking you're better. Endless cycle. Look to others for inspiration, not competition.

As Luke, yes again, it was good alright, said "Thrive off of other people's energy & stories. When I have no fuel to write music I may look at someone else's situation and get inspiration from them and tell their story through my music. "

Challenge yourself.

Some people need to force their imagination. Our dear friend Rai, fashion photographer extraordinaire, says: "Just walk around downtown and look at banner, ads, signs, then ask yourself: have you done something like that? Do you wanna do something similar? Start taking a few reference shots, upload to pinterest and then pin related contents. Just make sure to set a mood and tone first!"

Brainstorm with yourself. (preferably after taking that fresh air.)

Get a piece of paper and a pen (or a tablet for millenials) and write anything that comes to mind. Any rough ideas you want to do, any long term or short term goals. When I start freaking out, I also write the projects that I have coming up to prove to myself that I must be doing something right and that I have things to look forward to.

Mike, drummer and productivity master adds: "Just start writing... Then read that piece of trash and refer to your notebook of ideas... Realize you should've just started there. Seriously though, stock pile your ideas when you're in the zone."

 
Dealing with creative block - Scandaleuse Photography
 

Shake things up

When I start feeling unhappy about my creativity, it's usually because I don't manage my time properly to do everything that puts me in the right mind. It's a sign that I should probably change my routine. My last freakout involved my adding more workout and cooking time to daily routine because I enjoy that and I know it makes me feel content and thus productive. And the more productive you are, the more energy you will have for your next idea. Snowball effect.

Hopefully this has helped you to go all "FATALITY" on your creative funk. Remember, it is perfectly normal and you will get over it at some point. You have what it takes. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some youube videos to catch up on. Someone is cleaning up their entire apartment and it's bringing me joy.

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