Business Tips

Cheers to 5 Years (What I’ve Learned Since I Quit My Job To Pursue Entrepreneurship Full Time)

February 12, 2024

5 years ago this month I quit my day job and went full time in my business. If you know me personally, you know how long it takes me to make a decision, and to feel peace with that decision once I do make one. In fact, if you know me personally, you probably agonized with me for several months before making this decision. I didn’t know what would be on the other side of the “yes,” but I desperately wanted to know what it would feel like to take this chance on myself. 

On the other side of “yes” were so many blessings and so. much. growth. My photography style has matured, my processes have become simpler, and I’ve carved out my niche in brand photography. 

I couldn’t have dreamed the amount of entrepreneurs I’ve been able to see bloom in front of my eyes. Or the couples I’ve been lucky enough to walk with through engagements, weddings, and growing their families. OR the incredibly strong women that have shaped my business through mastermind groups, whiteboard sessions, and heart to heart conversations. In the 10 years of doing this work, my business has always been about letting the people in front of my camera shine bright, but today I’m overflowing with gratitude for the way their light has reflected back on me.

When you own your own business, there are a lot of days where things become overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like burnout is lurking around the corner, or the comparison monster is waiting in the wings. This year, I want to slow down and acknowledge all that has changed and what I’ve learned in the last 5 years since quitting my job. 

My business (and my heart) have been on quite the rollercoaster this last decade. I’ve weathered a global pandemic, pivots within my business, launching 2 podcasts and a digital shop, finding and losing close friends and mentors in this journey, and countless changes to social media algorithms. There have been moments where I questioned what I was doing, if I should go back to a “stable 9-5” (brief moments – I could never!) or why my business wasn’t growing as fast as someone else’s. 

I’ve also soared past goals I set for my business, exceeded my revenue expectations, spent more time with my family, built a new house and experienced the true freedom that only entrepreneurship can give you (freedom of time, creativity, and financial freedom)

Alllll the emotions are rising to the surface when I look back on this photo of twenty-something Mandy, scared but ready to take the plunge. There’s so much I wish I could tell her about the future, because I know just how much she loves spoilers! 


What I’ve Learned Since I Quit My Job To Pursue Entrepreneurship Full Time

Pursue it before you feel ready

You will never be ready, so just go for it. Start the business, launch the product or service, and make the sale. You are good enough to chase this dream, so just start! 


Slow down on the front end so you can speed up later

Get your systems in place, figure out what can be streamlined and automated, and think larger than just yourself. Think about how you can start creating processes and guides for a future team member or assistant to step in and follow.


Sales and Marketing aren’t the only skills you need to hone to be a successful business owner

There are many skills you need to develop and hone to run a successful business. My marketing strategies and SEO skills are invaluable. The time and energy I spent nailing my sales calls and finding ways to generate leads were pivotal to my business growth. BUT the most important skills to hone as an entrepreneur are flexibility, confidence and valuing others. 

Flexibility skills help you adapt in any situation. You can’t control the market and factors outside of your business. You can only control the way you respond and react to external factors. 

Confidence will help you value your work, connect with the right people, grow your business through new offers and launches, and help you trust in your decisions as CEO.

Valuing others means being able to listen and see people for who they genuinely are. Being able to intently listen to someone’s pain points and serve them well, will always help you grow. Having the skill of valuing others means you are more interested in building genuine connections, creating value for others, and serving to the best of your ability.


Entrepreneurship will magnify your challenges

Your beliefs, setbacks, and mental challenges are all magnified when you run a business. Scarcity mindsets and imposter syndrome can bubble to the surface so easily if I’m not actively pursuing abundance and confidence. Burnout is a challenge for business owners because the lack of boundaries or a desire to achieve outweigh healthy habits and rest. Taking things personal (rejection from a potential client, being ghosted by a lead, etc.) can affect the way you value yourself. So much of success as an entrepreneur is directly tied to your mental health and being able to regulate your  nervous system through the uncomfortable and unknown. 


Trust your intuition and guard your intuition

In the business owner world, it is easy to follow loud voices, industry leaders, and gurus. Their story isn’t your story, and your goals aren’t their goals. Know when it’s time to listen to advice and when it’s time to trust your own intuition and go against the grain.


You can’t fail

You can’t fail because everything leads to where your business is today. Both your successes and your failures are learning opportunities and stepping stones as you grow. One of my business coaches taught me that you can’t fail in your business. Everything is data that helps determine your next course of action. A “failed” launch is data on what to change next time. A bad investment is data for how to better allocate resources. A hard client experience is data for better communication and streamlined systems. You remove a lot of pressure and invite success when you know that you can’t fail because every action is a step in the right direction.


Your inner circle will change, and that’s OK

If you would have told me this 5 years ago I would have PANICKED. But I’ve learned that there are seasons in your business, and in your life, where your people WILL change. The ones you thought would always be there might not be the ones who are. 


Giving the best client gift doesn’t matter, but giving the best client experience DOES

People won’t remember the adorable stickers or practical notebook they receive from you. But they will remember the time you took with them. The way they felt after your shoot, and the extra care that goes into making their photos look amazing. The flashy packaging won’t be enough if basic expectations aren’t met first.


The daily grind leads to success

Success stories rarely happen overnight. The reason some businesses fail and others succeed is because of the daily grind. Consistency and commitment are the key to growth. The work isn’t always fun and entrepreneurship doesn’t look like a 4 hour work week each time. Being consistent with the admin, marketing, sales, and product development is what will bring growth and success.  


I hope that the next 5 years of my business are just as sweet as these 5 have been, and that I can continue to work with amazing clients that make it so. Whether you’re reading this as a client, a friend, a colleague, or my mom… Thank you for making Mandy Liz Photography what it is today! I truly (TRULY) couldn’t have done it without you. 




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

share this post:

Nashville entrepreneur, personal brand and wedding photographer, and digital marketing consultant. I'm on a mission to empower and encourage women in their current season of life, whether that is business and entrepreneurship, marriage, or motherhood. 

I'm Mandy


Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.
Instagram-color Created with Sketch.



Wedding Tips



search the blog


Business tips