self-employed

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 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!

 
 

Work for me but for free - Part 1

We all love to get things for free, right? Such a great feeling! And with Juliette, we hope (in a close future) we will have enough income to be able to accept no-budget projects, but in the meantime we do need to make a living out of photography.

Photography services can look pricey, especially when you are not aware of the amount of work and expenses involved in taking a simple picture. While we love when our clients don’t try to lower our rates, we can also understand when they do. Let us explain:

 
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Photography gear is our biggest investment.

Camera, lenses and studio lights all together can cost the same price as a car:

Cameras = $3000 to $5000
Lense= $600 to $2000
External flash= $600 to $1000
Studio lights= $2000

This is just an average, you can find even more expensive material such as Hasselblad cameras who can be around $15000 (oh the ultimate goal!). You can also add more money for all of the other little accessories such as hard drives, memory cards, filters, tripods, extra batteries…

On top of this, you need to include the repair cost. I fixed my camera and two lenses 6 months ago and the total cost was over $1500.

Don't forget the computer stuff.

Computers are a very important investment for photographers. Except the photoshoot itself, everything happens digitally nowadays: editing, pictures delivery, payment and even customer service. Unfortunately you cannot be a professional photographer without a computer anymore. In order to provide a wonderful and artistic work, we have to invest in great equipment. Since Juliette and I travel a lot (Hello from Rome & Paris!), we needed to invest in a light laptop and each of us paid around $1300.

Let’s not forget about internet. It's a must in our industry and it needs to be fast, so boom, more $$$!

We have to get around.

As photographers, we love to shoot in different places so we need an easy way to travel. When we do not have to carry a lot of equipment and we are not going far, we use public transportation, otherwise we drive. It is more expenses to add on our side: cost of the car, gas, repairs, insurance + the time we spend on the road.

Where we shoot also needs $$$.

As you may already know, a part of our boudoir experience is to shoot in beautiful lofts in Toronto and GTA and we do not rend those places for free. The cost for those type of location can be expensive for us: $100/200 per hour. The price to pay to offer the variety and the quality we do.

Let's not forget...

There is a very simple fact that applies to any person who work for her/himself: if you don’t work you are not paid! Which means, we can’t afford to be sick or take a day off for example. We both work every single day because every little actions we make leads to find new customers and develop our businesses (did you know we do weddings too?), especially since we opened less than a year ago. This hard work also has a cost we need to cover in our pricing.

We are sparing you the taxes and insurance involved in this whole bill too, but yep, there are here too.

 
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This is only the material side of our investment, see you in January for the creative one. Yes our awesomeness has a price too (big smiley face).

With Love.

 
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What changed since we opened Scandaleuse?

Five months ago, Fanny and I took the decision of changing our lives and get on the entrepreneurship boat towards new adventures. We have had a great start so far. Thank you for following us on our instagram and our facebook page, we are building a nice new community of butt cheeks we are very proud of.

 
 

While we’ve always wanted to create our own company, we never actually took the plunge. My life was more about reading books and testimonials from people who actually did it and then tell myself the ”I will do it too someday”. Then I turned 25. Then Fanny got her working visa, which allowed us to legally get into a partnership. And it clicked. I quit my job and 4 days after, our shaky fingers finally showed Scandaleuse to the rest of the world from the Toronto Reference Library.

Quitting your full-time job to follow what you really believe in and give yourself a chance wasn’t easy. But oh boy is it worth the risk.

Being photographers, we were already quite far from the 9-5 office job, we were used to long, odd hours and last minute requests. Maybe it helped with the full time business women transition. We have always been organized, hustlers and not scared of hard work. More importantly, we have each other. It's a no-brainer that jumping into something like with someone is easier.

Here are our 5 best perks of running Scandaleuse and many many other projects. Don’t worry, we are not giving you the usual  I-work-from-home-so-that’s-awesome that you can find online. Here we go:

 
 

1)    We are not paid less because we are women.

This had to be my first point. I am blown away that in 2017, women are still earning less than a man for the same exact job. A lot of companies take advantage of it. So yes, one of the biggest perks of running your own business is that you price yourself the way you want to. So, no less dollars because we have vaginas. BOOM.

2)    We don’t have to deal with creative frustration.

You want to work on a brand new project? Well then do it. No approvals to get, no time wasted. Of course, all the work is on you, but since we are kind of organization ninjas, it’s definitely not an issue. Now, on top of shooting, we are about to start giving workshops and being keynotes speakers at events and that’s pretty sweet. (The amount of terrible jokes people will hear is unreal. Sorry.)

3)    We are very good company.

I was a little scared of getting lonely and getting bored working from home. Hell no. Fanny and I work together face to face multiple times a week and from our places the rest of the time. I am seeing my apartment a little more (only a little, because seriously, we are always out somewhere) and I am loving it.

4)    The constant learning position

We are the kind of people that need to learn constantly. We are naturally curious. After working at the same job for a couple of years, I started being unhappy because I felt like I wasn’t learning anything anymore. This was when I realized I needed to go. Building your own thing teaches you something new all the time.

"Once you stop learning, you start dying.", right?

5)    The Brownie Points

Everyday is a new little victory. It could be from booking a shoot, working on a new idea, fixing the website or finalizing a project. That sweet feeling of "Damn, we did it” is so good!

This could sound like we live in a world full of unicorns and glitter, and trust me, we don’t. Consider us just well-prepared and determined to make things work. We have our tough days, a crap ton of stress and disappointments. Would I go back to working full-time for someone else? Not anytime soon.

For the road

  • If you expect to start business without knowing a minimum what you are doing, think twice. Read, go to seminars, get as much information as possible
  • While having a business bestie is awesome, pick the good one. Fanny and I have known each other for 8 years and have worked together on multiple occasions before officially doing it on paper. Trust your gut.
  • Have savings. Business don’t pick up right away. We are lucky to have projects on the side and savings to save us from sleepless nights. Don’t start your business being broke.

Now, go YOU!