A LOT of photography or business blog posts I see that talk about growth are focused on how to grow sales, or how to grow as a photographer and capture better lighting, or how to win your client’s trust and grow in the client experience. All of those are great things to think about and set goals for. But without personal and spiritual growth they DO NOT MATTER!
Nathan & Ashley 2014_1

(*Image Credit: The Carrs Photography)

To begin this post I would like to back up a little and give some background.  2013 was a rough year for me. I was probably at the lowest I had been in a long time, maybe ever. Spiritually, Emotionally, and Physically. I was really struggling and it was all at the expense of my wife, kids and those around me. The sad thing was I didn’t even realize it at the time.  

Sure things might have seemed okay on the outside but inside I was a mess and it started to show both in my marriage and in my physical appearance. I stopped caring for my overall well being and health. I stopped caring for my wife’s needs. I could care less about going to church or even having a relationship with the Lord. I became a workaholic and let the love for money consume me. I was a closet drinker. I let anxiety and the stress of my job consume me to the point that I would drink at least a bottle of wine every night before bed just to try and get to sleep.  I grew to a point where I loathed being around people.  I have been burned by relationships in the past and have a tough time trusting others.  The enemy used this distrust to completely cut me off from getting close to anybody else.

Our business had grown to a point that was unmanageable for just one or two people to handle on their own and I was taking on way too much. This might seem like a good problem to have but with our business having the wrong systems in place, and not being prepared for this growth my Type A personality was a wreck.  I felt unorganized, constantly stressed, working close to 80-90 hour weeks. Sure we were making good money, but at what cost?! My sanity, my health, my relationship with my kids, my relationship with my wife, my relationship with God?!

WHAT CHANGED?!

In April of 2014, while we were at a marriage retreat for photographers and small business owners, I recommitted my life to the Lord, my wife and my business. I told myself that 2014 was the year for restoration, and by the strength of God, close friends, and the support of family I started to put my life back together.  I started watching my physical health a lot closer, I started focusing more on my family, I began to have a real prayer life with God. We started to implement new systems into our business that were successful for us.

Nathan & Ashley 2014_0002Nathan & Ashley 2014_0003

(*Image Credit: The Carrs Photography)

Since that time we have found a church family to call home, our marriage has made a monumental turn for the better (Sure, Ashley and I still have our squabbles but we both are now committed to focusing on a healthy marriage), our business has grown exponentially more than I could have done on my own. And I honestly believe that the restoration isn’t complete. There is so much more growth (spiritual, personal, and business) to come. I am excited to see how God will use my family and I for Him and his glory!

Nathan & Ashley 2014_0004

The picture on the left was from last April 2014. I weighed 210 pounds and the picture on the right was from yesterday. I now weigh 170 pounds. More importantly I am living with a defined purpose. 

I am writing this post to show others  that without the right priorities and without the right systems in place in your life there can be little to no personal growth. Sure, things on the outside might look ok, but on the inside, where it really matters, your life will be a wreck!  Ultimately for me it was getting my number one priority in line which was putting God number one in my life. (This is a continual battle for me) Life is full of so many distractions.  But if this past year has taught me anything it is to drown out the distractions and focus on what really matters!

Nathan & Ashley 2014_0006

(*Image Credit: KLP Photography)
Here’s to an exciting and an adventure filled 2015!
-Nathan

Continued Growth in 2015

January 13, 2015

images Copyright The Siners Photography