5 Business Lessons From 5 Years in Business

I am celebrating 5 years in business in the fall of 2023! October 2018 was when I finally created Amanda Rai Photography as an official LLC and began the journey into business.

Photography was a hobby of mine for years and years before 2018, but that was the year when the flame was ignited and I became a business woman. An entrepreneur. ME!

It is crazy to think about. A middle school math teacher who became a mom and then all of a sudden had the audacity to leave behind her career and degrees (plural, I might add) to venture into the world of uncertainty and risk.

I felt something burning inside of me that wanted to do something outside of wiping boogers and cleaning spills. I had been a full time stay at home mom since I became pregnant with my second (summer 2017), and I knew it wasn’t sustainable for me. I needed to create a space to redefine myself. Motherhood changes you in every possible way like that.

Being home with a two year old and an infant full time isn’t for the faint of heart. I felt like I was slowly losing myself. I felt like I wasn’t using my gifts. (Humble brag… I’ve been told I’m pretty good at organizing, planning, executing, scheduling, encouraging.) I was really at a cross roads in my life, I wanted to work…but I also wanted to stay home. I wanted the best of both worlds. I wasn’t sure if this was even possible.

It is.

Here I am, 5 years later, and I’M STILL at home and yet also working. I am homeschooling my two children, yet also running a successful photography business.

Come to find out, it is possible and I am living proof. So wherever you are at in your entrepreneurship journey, whatever your definition of success is, I hope that you will find this 5 lessons helpful to you as you go along this journey. I’m cheering you on every step of the way!

Business Lessons for Creative Entrepreneurs

1. Sustainable Growth is Slow

I never had a choice. I had to grow slow. I always felt like it was something unfortunate. I was a stay at home mom. I couldn’t shoot every day.

I couldn’t photograph weddings every weekend. I couldn’t spend money I didn’t have. I couldn’t travel across the country on a whim.

But oh what a blessing this came out to be. My children slowed me down, in the best way possible.

I might have jumped all in a little to zealously or came out of the gate running a little too quickly. But my children kept me grounded.

I heard a quote recently that said “at whatever rate you rise to the top, that is the rate in which you will burn out”.

Or to quote the great T. Swift…”what rises fast won’t last”. Slow and steady is the name of the game.

2. You Must Be Consistent

Consistency is the key to growth in any business. Delivering the same experience to each and every client is paramount. Releasing content in a systemized predictable way is critical.

Showing up for your audience in a consistent and authentic way is how you establish brand awareness and authority. You must make a plan and stick to it.

This takes an extraordinary amount of willpower and self motivation. That is the secret sauce to being a successful entrepreneur. If you can be self determined and disciplined, you will make it. You must be consistent. Always.

One thing that has always helped me stay consistent is my automatic reminders that I have created and set up through my client management software, Honeybook. This system has been extremely helpful to me, allowing me to keep juggling the balls and never letting any drop.

(Click on the link to get 50% off your first year!)

3. Your Journey is Unique to YOU

Keep your head down and get to work. You can’t compare your journey to anybody else’s. I remember seeing photographers who started around the same time I did have their business explode in popularity way before mine.

That felt hard.

But I had little kids at home. How could I possibly compare our businesses?

They were nothing alike.

Until I became really clear one what my own personal definition of success was, it became pretty clear that many of the people that I was comparing myself to didn’t (couldn’t) have that same definition.

It can also be tempting to compare your beginning with someone else’s middle. Meaning, you compare your start up business with someone who’s been in the game for 5-10 years.

We, as business owners, cannot compare our journey with anybody else’s. We can only compare our business to what our business was a year ago.

4. Not Everyone Will See Your Vision

This can be so hard. Especially when you are so excited about something…and your family or friends don’t see it. Some of my best friends have never hired me. Some of my family members do not like my “style” of photography. Don’t take it personally.

Take the time to really work on your growth mindset. (For a whole list of books to help you shift your mindset take a look at this post).

Focus on the abundance and not the scarcity. It takes intentional effort to work on this. I know it can be hard, but the work is worth its weight in gold. Just because someone is not interested in your photography does not mean that they are not interested in you, as a person.

Artists can have a hard time separating themselves and their worth from their creations, but in order to understand other people’s perspective of your craft, you have to.

There is plenty of people out there who will love your work. It is ok if it is not your close circle. Trust me.

5. Never stop learning

The business world is constantly evolving, and it’s essential to keep up with the latest trends and techniques. Entrepreneurs should take the time to learn about new technologies, industry developments, and best practices.

By investing in learning, us entrepreneurs can keep their businesses at the forefront of their industries and ahead of their competition.

As long as you are consistent and you never give up, you will find success. I’m here to be your cheerleader and encourage you to keep going. Remember it is a marathon and not a race.

During my coaching sessions I always encourage my students to give themselves a time limit to give it all they have. For example, if you are feeling discouraged that you aren’t getting bookings, try this. I will give this business everything I have for 2 years.

I will put my head down, do all of the work, learn all of the things, and try my very best. I won’t allow myself to think about quitting until after the two years have gone by. If you do this, trust me, you will see loads of success!

It has been a wild ride, let me tell you. But oh so worth it. Yes the ebs and flows of this business drive this Enneagram 3 planner a bit crazy, but what I get in return is so much greater.


Psst…before you go.

how much should you charge for photography

Read More:

5 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Wedding Photography

Business Coaching for Photographers

P.S. I also offer business coaching! If you are interested in hiring me as your coach (and number one hype girl) click here and scroll all the way down to contact me and see if we are a great fit!

meet amanda


My name is Amanda and I am a Light and Airy NH Wedding Photographer serving couples and families by creating authentic and classic images that they will cherish for a lifetime. Lots of people are anxious about getting their photos taken but I create a no stress fun experience that will leave you feeling confident. 

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