Spotlight – Mariana Feely from Mariana Feely Photography

Spotlight Mariana

[SPOTLIGHT] Latina Entrepreneur Of The Month

~ Where I get the chance to share with all you ladies the journey of someone who was in your shoes at one point, took the leap and has gone from Full-Time Employee to Entrepreneur.

I have known Mariana for a long time; she’s a very special friend of mine. I absolutely love her work, but most of all, her passion and tenacity when it comes to her Photography business.  Can’t wait for you to read this one!

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Tell me a little about you and your business. How would you describe it?

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I have been a corporate accountant for 6 years, making pretty good money, living a very comfortable life and for the most part, I was okay. But a year and a half ago I made the big step to launch my own business Mariana Feely Photography. I specialize in weddings and family portraiture; I really take the time of getting to know who my client is. That is the most important part of the process. Taking the time to listen to my client’s stories and what they are looking for.

A job to me is just a job you come and you go, you move from one task to the other. Being an entrepreneur on the other hand is my passion and I feel super energized and I always enjoy all the HARD work and how much I have learned about myself and others.

Dreaming is nice and all but I have set myself very realistic financial goals; after all, I have a family to support. Until I get there, I will be working both my 9-5 and running my photography business. I don’t want to leave my job too soon, because I might have to come back again. And I also don’t want to feel pressure to work with client’s that are not a good fit with me just to get the job.

The beauty of the photography business is that most wedding are on weekends (Saturdays) and most families want their session on the weekends, so it is ideal for now.

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Why did you start Mariana Feely Photography? What was the pivoting point?

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It wasn’t till I had my first child that I started resenting my job. I realized that working hard and late hours being proactive and super-efficient was not going to cut it. I saw very talented and hardworking people get fired or just sitting in the same positions for years. And the higher they got the worst their life looked to me. I did not want that life for my family.

For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of having my own business. I think we all have that dream once in a while and you think how awesome it will be to be your own boss and determine your vacation time, have tons of money and live like a rock start. But in reality being an entrepreneur is not nearly as easy as having a job and for the past year and a half I have lived this first hand and loved every minute of it.

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How long have you been in business?

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One and a half years

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What has been your biggest challenge in transitioning from Full Time Employee to Full Time Entrepreneur?

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Lack of time, but thanks to Google Calendars and EverNote, I’ve been able to manage it all.

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What advice do you have for other creative women who are looking to support themselves from their work?

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  1. Invest in education about BUSINESS and MARKETING.
  2. Create a strong business plan. Business plans are one of the most challenging things for us creative people to sit down and do, they are just sooooo boring. However, you HAVE TO go through the process of writing down your mission, vision, goals, marketing plans, and finances it is the most important step in creating a solid business. And remember Business plans can change in the future as you grow.
  3. Invest in consulting a great lawyer and accountant that have work with people in your field.

Did you notice that nothing had to do with photography? I’m not saying don’t perfect your craft, but I have realized that has to come later. In those first months you have to figure out how to be a master in business to be successful.

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If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, tools, books, coaches] you’d recommend to other women starting a business, which would you include and why?

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This changed my life:  www.CreativeLive.com
They provide workshops in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, and software training. CreativeLIVE unlocks previously closed doors by making dynamic education accessible to everyone.

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What are 3 things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?

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  • If you fail you have to stay in your cubicle for the rest of your life. Waaahahahah!
  • You’re doing it for your family
  • Look how far you have come

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What is the wildest thing you have done in order to make this work?

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Put myself out there every day, even in front of the naysayers and even though I had not “made it” yet.

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What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?

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Take bigger risk and tell the voice in my head to shut up and just do it!

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What action would you like the ladies reading this to take?

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If you have an idea of what you want to do JUST take the first step and you are half way there. Most people don’t even know what their dream job is.

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Mariana Feely is a wedding and family photographer in the Greater New York City area. She lives in Monroe, NY with her awesome husband and adorable son.

You can see her work, read her full story and learn some photography tips at “Mariana Feely Photography

Find her on Facebook: Facebook.com/MarianaFeelyPhotography

Also – Mariana just launched her very first promo video, where you get to see her behind the scenes. You can watch it here:

 



Abrazos,

Jennifer

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Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.

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About The Author

Jennifer Kent

Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.