Archive for March 4th, 2013
Can’t wait to get home and read the latest edition of The Bridge! Check it out online:
Quitting does not necessarily mean the end of an era. It’s natural for individuals to abandon a hobby or interest for a lengthy span, only to return to it and stumble on a valuable lesson, changing the person’s approach and perspective. That is exactly what happened to Fortune McLemore, an entrepreneurial spirit and full-time Upper Iowa University student in the Independent Study program. Her story was recently featured in a Forbes Magazine column about four entrepreneurs who incorporated important business lessons.
After abandoning her portrait photography business five years ago, McLemore decided it was time to resume her role behind the camera lens. The word “simplify” guided her as she embarked on her second journey in to the world of child photography and portraits.
On her initial dive at the business, she followed the path most travelled by entrepreneurs and gave up all control to the clients. She dedicated plenty of time and energy into bringing the client’s requests to life instead of dictating what her business stood to offer. Eventually, that only created more chaos and less achievement.
Although her top priority is completing her UIU degree in psychology, McLemore managed to rearrange her mindset on how a successful and profitable business should operate. She focused on keeping it simple and sticking to the basics. Photography being a very flexible and artistic source of income enabled her to make money while remaining undistracted from school work. “The courses I’ve taken have helped me understand people better,” she said. “My overall goal is to become a licensed professional counselor, but I plan to continue with photography. I think you can blend two professions if planned well, to help your clients meet their goals.”
Her new attitude revolves around having a simple, creative, clutter-free environment. The first move she made was to create one unique package that would satisfy a complete range of customers. This allowed her to keep control of the managerial side, unlike her previous hectic experience. In terms of marketing, she decided selling one product with her photography would be easier to accomplish than the 10 items she offered. The end-product was a variety of large coffee mugs with her photographs printed on them. This simple product, offered online through www.cafepress.com continues to give her revenue while she focuses on her studies and her future career prospects.
Although the transition was rather challenging and meant declining suggestions or requests from clients, which could have resulted in fewer opportunities, McLemore managed to succeed and to catch the attention of Forbes Magazine. According to Forbes Magazine, “The pay-off has been fantastic. (McLemore) spends more of her work time actually producing revenue and less time implementing things she doesn’t have time for.”