Everything I Know About Chasing a Dream

y eyes fluttered open and I found myself off-kilter. Which is basically the fancy way of saying I woke up grumpy. The house was silent, my boys were sleeping, and the curtain waved from the breeze at the window, but my brows furrowed. This was strange because I'm normally a happy riser (I've been called annoying due to the way I bounce out of bed), yet I found myself in a place of frustration.

I wish I could just move past this point, I muttered under my breath.

Then I clamped my hand over my mouth. I couldn't believe I said it. Again. I uttered the same words a few years ago when I started my business, a time in life I wanted to quickly pass to ease the discomfort. It's like I wanted to tell Life, CAN WE SKIP THE VEGGIES AND GO STRAIGHT TO DESSERT?! I later realized those years taught me invaluable lessons...they taught me everything I know about chasing a dream.

I swore to never say I wanted to move past a point in life because I'm destined to learn something important.

So, what did I learn my first year in business?
It's about working three jobs.
It's waking up at 5am.
It's asking for help.
It's not going out to eat to afford the lens you're saving for.
It's asking people to support your dream, even if you hardly believe it'll become a reality yourself.
It's standing in line to complete paperwork at City Hall, only to realize you did it wrong...and wait in line all over again.
It's admitting you're wrong.
It's checking your blog and realizing there isn't a single comment.
It's writing on your blog again the day after.
It's losing a client, but finding your voice in the process.
It's failing.
It's about doing the work.
It's criticism from anonymous readers.
It's failing. Again.
It's about the small successes that feel like the greatest victories.

The lessons of yesteryear and the lessons I'll learn tomorrow are the most valuable part of the process...I'm slowly learning to take it for all it's worth.
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Orchid Kruse - This is exactly what i needed. I'm coming up to my first year in business on 1st July and although it has been hard (more so emotionally), I have had those small successes that make me realise I am making progress. Looking at your successes and confidence make me realise that it is hard, but you have to shake the negativity off and move forward, because that's what winners do! :-)   06.07.13 - 5:32pm
Hannes Uys - I agree with these!  05.29.13 - 10:49am
Faye - I appreciate the honesty. Everyone struggles with this. Everyone can use a reminder to keep going and working towards those dreams.  04.30.13 - 2:00pm
Kendra - I love you! Of course I do...I mean, you can read my mind. That's a pretty special gift. :)   04.18.13 - 4:07pm
Sarah - Thank you for your support from those of us who will be stronger because you thought to share these moments. It helps VERY much x  04.17.13 - 12:28pm
Thiago - Wow. I can only say that Cincinnati wedding photography has a lot of catching up to do. You've done some amazing, fantastic work here, can't wait to see more!  04.17.13 - 10:18am
Chloe Austin - Great post. I agree with all the lessons learned and would probably add fail, again! :)   04.17.13 - 10:05am
moi - Just what I needed to read today, thanks J*  04.17.13 - 7:32am
Falcon - This post really resonated with me, thank you Jasmine :)   04.16.13 - 9:57pm
Monika Greenaway - Fantastic! Oh so hard, but oh so true.  04.16.13 - 10:14am
Andrea Rhodes - Jasmine, thank you so much for everything you do. I am a beginning photographer (in my 2nd year of business) and I tend to get discouraged a lot. Watching your videos and reading your blog has been SUCH an encouragement to me. Not just encouragement, but education. You have been been my teacher and mentor for close to a year now. I read your posts all the time but have never commented. I just thought I should tell you what you're willingness to share has done for me. THANK YOU!  04.16.13 - 7:11am
ashley goodwin - Hello. My name is Ashley and I woke up real grumpy this morning. And wanted to reorganize the pantry. And wondered why Real Housewives wasn't on yet. I wanted to curl up and cry because I woke up feeling like I was in a rut. But, I'm not, and I know with faith I will keep going. And maybe someday I'll get to where I want to be...wherever that is. xo  04.15.13 - 1:38pm
Valerie - PREACH Jasmine!!!! You said exactly what I've been feeling!  04.15.13 - 11:57am
Monica Justesen Photography - You never cease to give great and honest advice. And you definitely have a knack for good timing, as well ;] Thanks!  04.14.13 - 5:11am
Sky Simone - Wow Jasmine. Another great encouraging post from you! You know I'm in my 6th year but all of this is an invaluable reminder of what's important :)  04.13.13 - 6:38pm
Michelle S Hanks - Keeping' it real. Thanks!  04.13.13 - 12:46am
Whitney Lane - This feels like my life every morning  04.12.13 - 1:33pm
Nicole - Yes!  04.12.13 - 9:54am
Ashley Rogers - Thanks Jasmine; I needed this encouragement this morning... and I'm not a morning person. ;) It's nice to know that I'm not on this photographic journey alone.  04.12.13 - 9:17am
Summer - This is amazing and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for your honesty, you're an inspiration!  04.12.13 - 8:30am
Cole - I LOVE this post Jasmine. Thanks for sharing :)  04.12.13 - 8:30am
Otto Rascon - Awesome!  04.12.13 - 8:05am
Mercedes - I wish that part about 5am weren't true. But I am grateful for coffee :) Thanks for this...the difficult things should also be savored for the lessons they you don't have to learn it all over again! Hah!  04.12.13 - 7:47am
Yemi - Can I just say, thank you very much for this post. I can say this is definitely something that I needed to hear/read right now. Cheers  04.12.13 - 4:54am
April Maura - Thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts from your journey. It gives me hope.   04.11.13 - 10:33pm
Jeff - Thanks Jasmine. This is a very beautiful reminder not just for photographers but for everybody else. SALAMAT <3  04.11.13 - 7:55pm
sharon elizabeth - i love this!!!!!! it's definitely all of those things!!!! and even years into business.. it's mostly those things!!! =)  04.11.13 - 6:59pm
Jennifer Hudspeth - I just want you to know, I have followed you from the time I stumbled upon your blog, somewhere in the 2008 timeframe. I was student teaching, working at Chili's, living in a new place, planning a wedding, and buying a house. (All while my husband was deployed.) From that time period, until now, I honestly can say - YOU are the reason I never let go of what I really wanted to do. I wanted to be a photographer. Way down deep somewhere in me was a little voice screaming, but I would never listen to it. I had been going to college ALL this time. SPENT all this MONEY. I couldn't give it up. (Free time equaled second shooting and making models of all my girlfriends.) Two years later, I put it all aside to do what I wanted to do and now I could not be happier!! I did it, or should say, DOING the dang thang. (Insert southern voice here.) There is still the voice telling me I will fail, but I keep pushing on. Each day, or now since I have a little one, every few days, I catch up by reading and rereading your posts. You are truly a motivation. I owe lots of my happiness to YOU and your BLOG - full of likes and comments. Just wanted to leave LOTS of love today.   04.11.13 - 5:04pm
Savanna - Jasmine, thank you SO much for this. I feel a bit like that myself sometimes, just wanting to GET OUT of this point in life. Thank you for the reminder to always always learn right where I am, & instead of being ungrateful, be thankful to God because He has placed me here, right now, for a specific reason. Thank you!  04.11.13 - 4:52pm
Brianna K - Yes! Thank you for your inspiration always!!  04.11.13 - 3:28pm
Jennifer - This quote has always helped me when I need a swift kick in the right direction. " Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." - Gail Devers Thanks Jasmine for always helping and posting topics! Your my inspiration and my role model! :)   04.11.13 - 3:23pm
Ela- Studio Finch - Great post. What wedding are the images from? I love her dress.  04.11.13 - 1:57pm
Jessica Carney - Love it! Life is about enduring and overcoming challenges. Life is hard but SO rewarding. I think it's the presence of opposition that provides us with the opportunity to become as God is; Greater than our imagination. Here is to many more moments of embracing our weaknesses and challenges and growing in wild and surprising ways. Thank-you Jasmine for your experience, your stories, your smile and your love of life! Good Luck:)  04.11.13 - 1:06pm
Tanya De Leeuw - Thanks for this great reminder! I'm going through those "hit a wall" phases. I've just got to remember to keep climbing, to be present in the moment, it WILL pass, and I'll come out the other side all the better for the experience ...   04.11.13 - 1:06pm
tracey - thank you for this post, it is exactly what i needed to read right now.   04.11.13 - 1:04pm
kassondra - Thank you for being so open with your struggles. I have been doing photography on my own for a couple of years but really last year decided it was going to be a full time career.last year was amazing and this year has been gong in the right direction but I seem to be stuck in this funk that I feel like I have no idea what I am doing and I am not good enough. your words help in a way that I know even the photographers I admire have had those same fears and second guessing and struggles I do.   04.11.13 - 12:26pm
Paul Howard - Well I, for one, am happy to comment. You are a constant source of inspiration and insight, and your wonderful sense of humour makes reading your blogs a true delight. To be as wonderful a photographer as you are on top of that, well, what more could be asked? Just fantastic Jasmine!  04.11.13 - 12:23pm
Kim - Ah. The learning. Seems the more we learn the less we know. There's always something more we could learn. Now, let's get out of bed and go learn it!  04.11.13 - 12:20pm
Bobbie Brown - My goodness I love this post more than words can say. You Rock J*! Oh, and those two images? They are amazing.   04.11.13 - 12:04pm
Simon Pearson - Hello Jasmine, Thanks for these words, I am right where you are talking about, I'm just starting up my wedding photography buisness here in France and hearing how someone as succefull as you has been through all I'm going through at the moment helps me to give myself the mental kick up the butt I sometimes need !  04.11.13 - 12:03pm
Tess - so needed to hear this today...dealing with an unhappy client and feeling like a failure...thank you  04.11.13 - 11:55am
Nathan Colley - Thanks Jasmine. Not necessarily encouraging, but need to hear as I dive into a stage that could have many similar lines.   04.11.13 - 11:48am
Leann - I Liv  04.11.13 - 11:36am
Diana - Wow. I need this post. Thank you for sharing this. I find myself uttering those words so very many times.   04.11.13 - 11:23am
Kat Harris - this speaks to my soul. thank you.  04.11.13 - 11:19am
Casey - I definitely needed this post today, thank you :)  04.11.13 - 11:05am
mhsands - I've been following your blog for some time now, but I must say this touched me in a way I can't really describe. I am a hobbist photographer (I sure you might hate that terminology, but I don't know how else to describe it). I guess I have a greater love of it than actual talent. I am a media specialist by trade, photo-hobbyist by heart and an addictionaholic to the core! But, I'm a teacher first and foremost. All the things you "learned" are also the things we learn early in our careers. Thank you for such an inspiring post!   04.11.13 - 11:02am
Tatiana Mello - Dear Jasmine, I found myself in a time and place that your post describes exactly the fase I'm going through. Thank you for you kind words and a hope that better times will come!You're such an inspiration!! with love from brazil ;) Tati  04.11.13 - 10:57am
Alexis - I think that's wonderful that you overcame those obstacles and grew as a professional to the amazing point where you are today! :) But I have one question, How did you pay your bills during that time? I know you said you worked 3 jobs..what type of work was it? Did you find it difficult to make ends meet? How did you overcome the financial burdens of carving out a unique place for yourself in this world and starting such a successful and positive business as you've done?  04.11.13 - 10:56am
Shanna Duffy - Beautifully written, and SO true!!!   04.11.13 - 10:56am
Stacia Wilson - Thank you for reminding us that are perusing our dream, that its hard work but it's worth it! Thank you for inspiring us!  04.11.13 - 10:52am
Julia - Jasmine, you are great, thank you for all you write and show! Best regards, Julia from Latvia, Riga =)  04.11.13 - 10:46am
ashlyn - Thank you Jasmine... this was so good. Your Restart was so challenging, and helped me to see how to accomplish what I dreamed for. I don't have much and I've got a lot of work yet to do... but you've definitely inspired me!!   04.11.13 - 10:45am
Brandi - LOVE THIS! :)  04.11.13 - 10:45am
Kaylie - So true and inspiring! Good to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  04.11.13 - 10:42am
Sarah - And this needs to be printed and hung on the bulletin board beside my desk. I'm in year three still struggling with year one stuff. Need to bust thru my own limitations!  04.11.13 - 10:26am
Nicole - Sometimes I do things, thinking, if this helps just one person, it was worth the risk. I wanted to let you know, this blog post was worth the risk. It was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thanks J*, for everything!  04.11.13 - 10:26am
Realizestate - Thank you for reminding us that no matter what industry your in, achieving success is universally attained by endurance and hard work. Happy for your success, Jasmine!  04.11.13 - 10:15am
Mark Potter - It's no easy climb, that's for sure. Thanks for always KIR and inspiring - aside from your amazing photography, one of your gifts is definitely inspiring others j*.   04.11.13 - 10:08am
Kristilee - I am currently working 3 jobs. Two of them our two different photography business... I feel like all of these fit me right now. Running around like a mad woman working 100 hour weeks, why? Because I want to succeed. Thank you Jasmine for this. I respect you for being honest and true all the time. I'm glad I'm not alone.  04.11.13 - 10:08am
Barb - The discouraging sounds encouraging.Thank you!  04.11.13 - 10:01am
Mehreen - As a gal starting out in the field of photography and design, I love these beautiful and honest words of encouragement!   04.11.13 - 9:56am
Deborah - I have been following your work for a very long time. AS a fellow photographer I have been struggling over the past 3 years trying to find my voice, make decisions like "Is this the right price?", "Am I charging to much?", "Is my dream worth following?" and may more. It wasn't till I got pregnant last year and realized I have time to just sort things while on Maternity leave, to decide once and for all am I in or out, cause in my opinion you have to be all in to make it work. You have to be willing to take the failures and disappointments, the good with the bad. Thank you for sharing this. Anytime I feel I need a reminder I will have to look this post up.   04.11.13 - 9:51am
Christine Ashburn - I LOVE this! Thanks for sharing Jasmine! It’s nice to know that other successful entrepreneurs have felt the same way too! Inspiration to keep on working hard, learning, growing, and chasing the dream and ultimately success!  04.11.13 - 9:45am
Rachel - Excellent Post!!  04.11.13 - 9:31am
Anja - TRUTH. Brutal, honest but most of all encouraging ?  04.11.13 - 9:31am
Christine - Love this post! Simple and straight to the point, but good to know your process to becoming who you are today :)  04.11.13 - 9:31am
Tanya - I needed to read this today! Thank you for always inspiring!!  04.11.13 - 9:28am
Kate Callahan - I love this post. Running a business is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. I never realized how hard it would be. But then again, I never realized all the good that would come, too. Thanks for the inspiring words!  04.11.13 - 9:26am
Shelbie - Today I will post on ur blog and say... Thank you! You push me every day ...and make me laugh!! Thanks  04.11.13 - 9:24am
Stephanie - Thank you for being such an inspiration for others, like myself, that are chasing our dream. Your blog is true motivation every morning for me to keep going :)  04.11.13 - 9:23am
Megan Chase - So perfect! I am in my first year now and couldn't relate more! Thank you for the extra push!  04.11.13 - 9:21am
Kristin Cooley - Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot thank you enough. Being in the first few years of my business and trying just to keep my head above water (while working full time, being a new mom, trying to work out and lose weight, and also tend to our marriage) I really needed this post. Sometimes we just need to know that we're not the only ones, that someone has been there too or is there. People don't say it or admit it enough, thank you for always being open, honest, vulnerable, and genuine.   04.11.13 - 9:19am
Lisa - What a perfect post for me today! Although my "business" is different, (I'm a watercolor painter trying to grow a business doing custom watercolor pet portraits), many of the lessons are the same. Today I'm stepping waaaaaay out of my comfort zone and meeting with a winery owner about hanging my paintings in her tasting room. I'm very nervous but I'm doing it anyway! Just wanted to let you know that what you write inspires and motivates me.Thanks for sharing what you've learned along the way.  04.11.13 - 9:00am
Lisa - I can't imagine you having any of these difficulties!!! I'm just starting off and I can relate to all of this, esp the no comment bit! That's why I've left you a comment!   04.11.13 - 8:57am
Amanda - Jasmine - I have followed your work for a long long time and if I could attach a picture of my desk with this post I would. Scattered everywhere are quotes from ReStart, your blog, your facebook, anywhere you have said beautiful and inspirational things. For someone who lives on the opposite side of the country from me and who I am quite certain I will never met, you have, and continue to, give me the courage and strength to pursue this crazy thing that is my dream. And that aren't words to thank you for that.   04.11.13 - 8:56am
Nicole - Awesome!   04.11.13 - 8:53am
Gen - I know this all to well. It's about learning how to do your own book keeping, and finding out how many things went wrong. It's about struggle and success all in one, it's about keeping those dreams alive enough though you feel so lost inside of it! Keep up the hard work, one day we will be there!  04.11.13 - 8:53am
Rand Huneidi - Jasmine *, You are such an inspiration to me. I'm just starting out in the photography business and I turn to your blog or youtube videos for help or inspiration to keep pushing on and never give up. Thank you for being you, Rand  04.11.13 - 8:48am
Brooke Delatte - Love's so refreshing to hear the "REAL" side to photographers you look up to an look to for inspiration.  04.11.13 - 8:48am
Martin - Now you can delete #8 ;) great post, but I still want to start my own business :)  04.11.13 - 8:44am
Melina Ruiz - Just what I needed to read today. Thank you. I believe that when coming across moments like these we must always stop and reflect on them . Then we can digest them and move on to the dessert . The veggies are good for us ! ??  04.11.13 - 8:42am
Nicole - Lovely post!! All those are what I'm learning right now too. Must mean I'm going in the right direction!! :)  04.11.13 - 8:38am
Gena D - Amen Jasmine!!!  04.11.13 - 8:35am
Steph - You inspire me with every blog post you write! Thank you for sharing :)  04.11.13 - 8:35am
Joy Moore - Thank you for posting this.  04.11.13 - 8:32am
Casey - I'm trying SO HARD to embrace my failures, to understand that they're not The End. It's good to hear that someone successful, someone I admire, had to walk the same path. Thank you.  04.11.13 - 8:30am
Karimah Gheddai - Hey Jasmin, Thanks so much for this!!! I am currently in the process of starting my own business and your words could not be truer! You truly are an inspiration, and I love that you are not afraid to share advice with your fans!   04.11.13 - 8:29am
Sage - This is exactly where I am. Holding back the tears from knowing that this is normal, it's part of the process. Thanks for showing us that.  04.11.13 - 8:28am
Kate - Thanks so much, I really needed to see something like this today!  04.11.13 - 8:27am
Kayla - Thank You.   04.11.13 - 8:27am
Emma Donovan - Thanks so much Jasmine, I just sat down with a coffee 10 mins ago feeling unloved overworked but reading that has made me realise im loving every mixed up/ crazy second ! x  04.11.13 - 8:26am
Elisheva Glani - Thanks Jasmine, I needed this!  04.11.13 - 8:26am
Rachel Kolb - Being in these early years myself, I'm going through all of this right now. The failure, the working three jobs, the pinching of every penny to save for new gear, the lack of comments and feedback on my blog . . . but I am pushing forward. Thanks for the reminder that everyone starts somewhere. . . and that my goals really are possible. Needed this encouragement today.  04.11.13 - 8:26am
Sandra Fazzino Photography - WELL said. I'm in the midst of these growing pains. And I love how you can come to our City Hall & make it look so different than all the other photos we've seen. Well done.   04.11.13 - 8:25am
Joni Schrantz - Love it. So right on about it. It's about tenacity. Thank you for your inspiring posts.   04.11.13 - 8:25am
Cambria - Jasmine, thank you for this post. I just went full time this year and have felt all of those things (mostly always in the same day!). You have been inspiring and so wonderfully helpful to me. Thank you for everything!   04.11.13 - 8:25am
Ro - I am so glad you shared this because I still feel this way in my 3rd year now. I never have enough time to learn everything I want to learn NOW! You know I also think of it like strengthening us. We must go through these lessons to build our confidence that we can overcome greater obstacles in the future. But it still isn't fun, ha! Thank you Jasmine for being so humble and is always refreshing!  04.11.13 - 8:25am
Allie - Yes yes yes! This was much needed today. I'm rounding out my first year self-employed and loved reading this.  04.11.13 - 8:25am
Nina Carmina - Thanks for sharing this post Jasmine. What you have learned on chasing your dreams are what actually the thoughts in my mind right now, when I decided to quit my job to chase my dream. I felt so low and even cried, thinking all those until I saw your post, I feel like I'm alive and motivated. You are an inspiration and thanks for keeping us all inspired.   04.11.13 - 8:24am
Cinthia Vallejos - I liked reading this post.. I really admire the way you have become so "popular" saying it somehow, in this whole world of Photography.. Knowing about the process you had to experience, makes me feel that is only about the vision and the "I really want to do this" in the heart... You inspire me to don´t give up Please keep posting about your process on those early days of JasmineStar! All the best!  04.11.13 - 8:23am
Cinthia Vallejos - I liked reading this post.. I really admire the way you have become so "popular" saying it somehow, in this whole world of Photography.. Knowing about the process you had to experience, makes me feel that is only about the vision and the "I really want to do this" in the heart... You inspire me to don´t give up Please keep posting about your process on those early days of JasmineStar! All the best!  04.11.13 - 8:23am
Georgina Stokes - I love all your open, helpful posts - they inspire so many of us, and help me to focus my goals. For that I'm so appreciative - thank you. :]   04.11.13 - 8:23am
Sherry Sutton - Just what I needed today. Thank you!!  04.11.13 - 8:22am
Linda Williams - This is where I am starting my business. I feel like I don't have a clue. When I go one way it is the wrong way. Here I am no job I keep telling myself it is going to work you just have to keep pursuing.   04.11.13 - 8:21am
Shebli - I needed this today! Thank you!  04.11.13 - 8:21am
Anna Paula - The one thing that keeps me following/read your blog is that you always keep it real. Thank you  04.11.13 - 8:19am
Tiffany Bolk - I'm totally ready for the dessert! But I also totally agree that in order for my mind and body to be properly nourished I have to eat my veggies. I just feel like I've been eating a lot of them lately. But I'm learning so much about myself in the process and keeping my eyes open for my next step!  04.11.13 - 8:18am
Anna Paula - the one thing that keeps me following and reading your blog is that you always keep it real. Thank you  04.11.13 - 8:18am
Rachel McCloud - Absolutely needed to hear this today. I was just telling a friend how tired of ready I am to leave my day job and be able to do photography full-time. Thank you so much for the encouragement and sharing your heart. Here's to the vegetables.:)  04.11.13 - 8:16am
Yasmin Sarai - Great post Jasmine... speaks straight to my life right now :)  04.11.13 - 8:11am
Lindsey Laughlin - Jasmine, I woke up saying the very same thing this morning. Discouraged and tired and wondering if I'm just kidding myself about making this dream a reality. Your blog today was God's way of adjusting my attitude. Thank you for always being so transparent. Chasing a dream is one thing - catching it, is quite another.  04.11.13 - 7:34am
Angelica - Thank you for this post today. I've been waking up that same way since last year regarding photography. I want it so bad yet feel so lost 90% of the time. Once I think I have a plan I get pushed back to where I started. I read your blog hoping to get an idea of how to find my way. Thank you for putting yourself out there. You are an inspiration!  04.11.13 - 7:29am
cara - I'm not a photographer (I'm an attorney :D), and it's posts like these that make me take a deep breath and smile :) Everything you share is translatable to so many different aspects and walks of life --and duh, your photography is gorgeous :) Chomp through those veggies!!  04.11.13 - 7:13am
Shalese - This is so encouraging, Jasmine. Thanks for the reminder that everyone starts with zero blog comments, losing clients, and filling out paperwork wrong. You help me keep writing the next day anyway.  04.11.13 - 7:07am
Carmaleta Ann - Thank you for this!  04.11.13 - 6:56am
Gino - just needed to say " thank you"...that's all, just thank you for that reminder..  04.11.13 - 6:55am
Ray - Ahhhh, well said. The best things sure don't come easy, do they?!  04.11.13 - 6:20am
JB - I really (really) needed this, especially this rainy morning. Thanks for all the constant inspiration, J*.   04.11.13 - 5:44am
Mike - Excellent!  04.11.13 - 4:58am