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How to overcome difficult times and still build a sustainable business

Navigating entrepreneurship in difficult seasons of life with Angie McPherson

💡Self-development translates into business development. Continue to work on yourself and grow internally.

How do you show up for your business in difficult seasons of life? Angie McPherson knows first hand just how big of a struggle it can be. After a cancer diagnosis in 2021, Angie went searching for support from both her community and others who had gone through her season of life. Listen in as she walks us through her entrepreneurial journey and shares how she was able to stay grounded and build a sustainable business in the hardest season of her life. 

Angie is a brand photographer, marketing strategist, and educator, and she reminds us that choosing yourself and finding joy can help you through the wild seasons of entrepreneurship and keep you focused on building the business and life of your dreams.

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Transcript

From wedding photographer to educator

Angie started her business as a wedding photographer and was quickly able to quit her job and go full-time. After getting married and having a baby, she pivoted into branding photography so she could have her weekends back. 

Other wedding photographers asked her how she was able to make the pivot into branding, so she started offering education resources. At first, she wasn’t sure how to pivot into education, but Jasmine Star offered her amazing advice to “buy where the land is cheap and build a highrise.”

From there, Angie created free resources, courses, and coaching services for branding photographers. Now hundreds of students have gone through her programs and built amazing businesses

Finding purpose in pain: Angie’s cancer diagnosis

At the beginning of 2021, Angie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She spent that year going through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. She continued to run her business during the day, but at night she faced immense loneliness and grief. Angie started searching for cancer terms on social media to connect with others who had cancer at her age. She built an amazing online support system, and now she helps others who have recently been diagnosed. The way that Angie vulnerably shared about her journey has been a lighthouse to others who are at the beginning of their own cancer journey.

Three years later, there is no cancer evident in Angie’s body, but she still has to take pills and get regular injections to prevent the cancer from coming back. She acknowledges that it sucks, but she still chooses to be joyful and have gratitude for her life. She’s learned to let things roll off her back because life is too short to care about what others think or say about you. Every day she chooses to find purpose in her pain.

Finding your identity outside of your business

Before her cancer diagnosis, Angie identified herself as a workaholic. She often stayed up until 2 am working and would wake up with her kids at 6 am. Her identity was wrapped up in being a business owner, and she began to lose control when she was diagnosed with cancer. 

Her experience shifted her priorities and taught her the importance of seeking help and delegating. She now has a team of people who help run her business while she prioritizes her identity outside of her business. 

Angie has learned to choose herself over her business. Now, she drops her kids off at school and takes a long walk before she sits down at her laptop to work in the mornings. She also has “no meeting Monday” and “casual Friday” policies to safeguard her time.

Advice for entrepreneurs going through a difficult season

Self-development translates into business development. Continue to work on yourself and grow internally. That could look like rewriting limiting beliefs, going to therapy, going to church, etc. 

Angie recommends doing Morning Pages, which is three pages of stream-of-consciousness journaling in the mornings, to improve your mindset. 

Building a business never happens in a straight line, so it’s important to choose yourself and find purpose in each season. 

The biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

Angie believes that the biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail is that the ones that succeed keep trying and don’t stop until they hit their goals.

Important sections of the conversation

  • [3:37] From wedding photographer to educator
  • [6:56] Finding purpose in pain: Angie’s cancer diagnosis
  • [22:06] Finding your identity outside of your business
  • [38:41] Advice for entrepreneurs going through a difficult season
  • [44:07] The biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

Resources mentioned

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