I pursued an education in photography first in high school and then in college. Before I started my business I worked part time in photography related businesses. I assisted photographers, was hired as a color printer in a darkroom and later worked in a digital lab. These jobs allowed me to get to know the industry and community when I was starting out, as well as make some money while I started growing my portrait clientele and experience.
How did you fund your business?
I worked part-time until I felt I had enough clientele to support the start of my business on a full-time basis. When my part-time job started to “get in the way” of what I really wanted to do with my photography I started off slowly acquiring the equipment I needed.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?
Since I work for myself, my schedule is fairly flexible. I focus on marketing, networking, editing, meeting clients, photographing, learning, at least 40-50 hours a week. I often work weekends and holidays.
I spend at least half of my work time in my home office.
How would you rate your success?
I’m making money at what I love to do most–this feels successful. Having said that, I’m always striving for growth both in my business and personally.
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
Having recently relocated to Austin from Santa Fe, NM, I am working to find the right clientele for my business. Starting in a new market after being in business for several years takes a lot of determination and patience.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Educate yourself as much as possible in business and marketing and hire consultants and support whenever possible. I regularly invest in consulting services of various types and it is always well worth it. Also, get involved with a cause about which you’re truly passionate; you’ll meet like-minded individuals and business owners.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
My business and personal activities tend to organically overlap. Friends often hire me as their photographer, and many times my clients become friends. Since my office is in my home, I have to consciously disconnect from work mode sometimes!
Connect with Norah Levine…
Website: Norah Levine Photography
Blog: Norah Levine Blog
Facebook Fan Page: Norah.Levine Photography