I love finding out what people do for their job when I first meet them. I feel like it’s a portal to learning more about who they really are and how they approach life. I know that what we do for a living isn’t our whole self… but it’s a huge part of what makes us, us. When I’m answering the question of what I do, I sometimes find myself stumbling over the answer a little. I realized that it’s because my passions don’t just lie in one succinct job description. Maybe you know exactly what I mean by that, or maybe you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about. But I decided that maybe I’m just a multi-passionate, entrepreneur/business-person. Don’t look that string of words up in the dictionary, because I kind of made it up.
Back in college, I remember how my definition of “success” was so different from how I see it now. Back then it made way more sense to just pick one job that went perfectly with whatever subject you majored in, excel in that field, and live happily ever after. But you probably know like I do, that it doesn’t work like that. In fact, when I was looking for a job in marketing during the 2007/2008 economic craziness, it didn’t work anything like that. By some miracle, my passion for photography slowly went from a fun hobby to something that I was actually able to make some side money doing on the weekends. Fast forward about five years later, and I was contemplating giving my two weeks notice on that marketing career that I waited and waited for what seemed like forever to land a job in – all because the photography business was going so well. Life is funny like that though. Just when you think you know what you want, you realize that you never knew what you wanted in the first place.
I’m a living example of how your interests and what you feel is your purpose can evolve as your life unfolds. When I was younger, I never in a million years would’ve guessed that I’d be doing what I’m doing now. And I’m kind of learning to understand how cool that is. So, here’s what I do for my job…
I’m a mom. I’m a photography business-owner. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m a wife. I’m an employee of a residential building company that I hope I can work up to leading some day. And I’m a blogger (well, I don’t know if I can technically call myself this, but I will). So you can see why answering the should-be-simple question of “what do you do for work?” isn’t so simple. Not all of these titles are putting money in my bank account, but they are all pretty darn important to me and for sure a part of who I am. So, just so that you can know me better or we can connect with each other here, this is what each of those jobs entails:
mom: It’s my number one purpose, I know it. I became a mom back in 2012 and it changed the trajectory of my life forever from then on. It shook my idea of what I thought I wanted to do (I was kind of all over the place after college, bummed that I wasn’t finding a job and not feeling fulfilled and I even contemplated going back to school again to be a lawyer), and it grounded me and made me realize that success didn’t mean working in a skyscraper in a big city. Today I have two babies – Ensley, our little girl who is eight… and Landry, our little guy who is six.
photography business-owner: For the past 11 years now I’ve been the proud owner of my own photography business called Don’t Blink Photography. Growing this business has been one of the accomplishments that makes me smile every time I think back to where it began. When I first started taking pictures for people, I never thought that this could become something that would allow me the opportunity to schedule work around being a mom, and still help contribute to my family financially. It also showed me how much I thrive on being around other people. I so genuinely like interacting with my clients and sharing in their happy times, and I love that I can continue this business no matter what else I do.
entrepreneur: Call me crazy, but I spend a lot of my time dreaming up new ideas or things that I could do. My husband would probably laugh a little reading this part because I’m sure he’s always kind of wondering what I’ll pitch to him next. I may not have acted on all of these ideas… yet. But someday I might!
wife: Mitch and I started “dating” when we were freshmen in high school and we haven’t looked back since. We’re coming up on our 12th wedding anniversary this year and all I can say is that when I think about some of the best decisions I’ve made along the way, he is at the very top of my list. The fact that we can look back on 12 years and still say that we’re head over heels for each other is not something I take lightly… did I already say the thing I’m most proud of? Because this is one of them too. If you’ve been married for a long time too then you know why.
residential building contractor: When I said goodbye to my marketing job in 2011, filing in time between photoshoots by working in my parents’ long-standing home building business (Sockness Builders, Inc. ) made sense. I could help them out with the marketing knowledge that I’d learned in college and get some business experience, and they could teach me about the industry. Come to find out, I love helping people build or remodel their home. I also love everything about keeping a business running (thank you marketing degree!). You’ll probably never find me out in the field framing up a house (because we have a crew that is the best around for that), but would you ever find me running this business someday when my parents are ready to retire? I hope so.
blogger: Remember when I said that I pretty much always have some new idea running through my head? That’s kind of what Build Happy and this blog were too. Originally, I was struggling to find the way that I could best fit into the building industry. Since I don’t know much about squaring up a foundation, I tried to think of the way that I could bring my strengths to our customers. That’s why I started Build Happy. I do have some insider knowledge about the home building industry, I do love to write and share ideas, and I do love to take pretty pictures – so the blog just made sense as a creative outlet to combine all of those things. Times are weird though (covid-19) and since the idea of the blog – “making home your happy place” fits into a more general mold of just regular life too, I’m kind of liking the idea of this blog encompassing more about life in general with a heavy sprinkle of a “home” focus.
So what’s my goal with this blog? Can I answer that I’m not entirely sure yet? Every marketing/business fiber of me cringes at that answer, because I know it’s bad, but it’s true. I just want Build Happy to be a place where I can share a little bit of life (mom-life, wife-life, work-life, all-life) with you. My dream would be to create a community where we can share ideas for making our homes happier, because the truth is that I love people and think life is way more fun when we do it together. I want you to be able to get to know me so that someday when you’re ready to build a new house, remodel the one you’re living in now, or even get family pictures taken, you know that I’m your girl.
There you have it guys, that’s what I do for work.