1396
8 min 24 sec

Attorney Shutters Day Job In Favor Of Photography

When an antitrust attorney loses interest in her day job, she captures the moment in profitable portrait photography.
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What It's About

A lawyer shifts her focus and achieves perfect exposure to a new career.

Words of Wisdom

Emily shares some words of encouragement: "Be smart, but don't hold back. It's tricky juggling a full-time job and a side hustle. I gave my self a loose goal to "someday quit and do this full time". I was optimistic but cautious. I didn't want to leave my secure income (living in SF is not cheap!), I wanted to make sure it was the right move."

Fun Fact

The first color photograph was taken in 1861 and is of a colored ribbon. Compare that single photograph to today, where an estimated 100 million pictures are uploaded to Instagram everyday.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1396

It was 2017 when Emily Jenks first began to become disillusioned in her day job. On the outside, things seemed great—she was a well-paid antitrust attorney in San Francisco. But on the inside, Emily was losing her spark a little more each day. She’d often wake up and tell herself, “I’d rather die than do this for the rest of my life”... which she now admits was a little dramatic.

But these feelings are real! A lot of people have them.

Instead of quitting, she set herself a big goal. Find out what she loves to do and then figure out a way to make money from it. She then proceeded to try everything from blogging to beach body coaching, none of which panned out. In the end, a chance gift from her husband brought her passion into focus, and it happened in a flash.

He bought Emily a day-long traveling photography course for her birthday … and it turned into the best day she’d had in years. By the end of it she had what she calls a “THIS IS IT!” moment. This is what she wanted to do with her life, this is what might help her escape her day job misery and bring more happiness into her life.

She’d start a photography side hustle with the stretch goal of turning it into a full-time gig. She was so convinced this was the right next step that she immediately bought equipment, confident the money would never be wasted. After all, she already knew she loved photography so if the business side of things didn’t work out she’d still use the gear for personal enjoyment.

Still, the number one goal was to eventually quit her job as an attorney, so she had a lot of income to replace. Emily began looking for her first client and turned to Yelp for help.

Yelp is a huge platform for people to find local services and they offer an advertising product called Yelp Ads. Using those ads, Emily soon had her first client booked for a family photoshoot. The client agreed to pay her two hundred and seventy-five dollars, which seemed way overpriced given her level of experience. To feel better about charging so much, Emily quickly set out to increase her skills.

Emily hasn’t once regretted the decision to leave the workforce behind. Her business has only grown. Now, in addition to family portraits, she does wedding photography and elopements, often bringing in upwards of twenty thousand per month.

Finding the link between your passion and the marketplace may not be a snap, but with the right motivation and continued work everything comes into focus.

 
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Quote of the Day
"Be smart, but don't hold back. It's tricky juggling a full-time job and a side hustle. I was optimistic but cautious. I didn't want to leave my secure income (living in SF is not cheap!), I wanted to make sure it was the right move."
—Emily Jenks #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau