My Entrepreneurial Adventure: Getting Laid Off Was A Good Thing!

I took a solo-trip to Hawaii for my 29th birthday back in 2009. It was a pretty big deal to me because I hadn't ever done anything like that before—my first plane ride didn't happen until 2007! As I aimlessly drove all over the island of Oahu along Highway 1 in my rented jeep, I experienced a sense of freedom that I had never felt before.

Unbeknownst to me, this trip would end up changing my life. During my time on the beautiful island of Hawaii, I discovered that I craved more freedom in my everyday life, not just while I was on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. It was on that trip with my toes in the sand that I made a promise to myself that I would change my life by pursuing what I was most passionate about in this world.

My Entrepreneurial Adventure: Getting Laid Off Was A Good Thing!
Me on top of Diamond Head, one of Honolulu's Most Popular Hikes, back in 2009


Upon my return home, I began making preparations to leave my office job so that I could make my long-held dreams of becoming a full-time photographer a reality. It was difficult for me to think about leaving a job that has supported me for five and a half years, not to mention the comforts of a regular paycheck, but I was determined to do it anyway regardless of the risks involved. In the end, my boss made it easy on me by laying me off without warning just 4 short months after I returned.

At that point, the universe made it glaringly obvious as to what I was supposed to do next.

Five years later, I am still doing what I love, working for myself as a professional wedding photographer! It is the most rewarding job I've ever had the pleasure of doing, and I am truly honored that couples and families continue to choose me to capture their most epic and everyday adventures.

That feeling of freedom I experienced while in Hawaii is something I strive for each and every day, and it is my wish to create an environment where that is also possible for the couples I work with.

It is my mission to help you live more adventurously, too!

My Entrepreneurial Adventure: Getting Laid Off Was A Good Thing!
Me at my first wedding of the season in 2014. Can't wait for wedding season to start this year!


5 Years ago I never would have envisioned my life the way it is today. When I made the decision to create my own job after getting laid off back in 2010 I had no clue what I was doing or how I was going to do it.

The only thing I really had going for me back then was this unwavering passion I've had for photography since I was 10 years old coupled with an unflinching desire to not go back to an office job that I would end up despising. What I've found out over the last five years is that those two things mean more than ANYTHING when it came to making this dream of mine a reality.

My Entrepreneurial Adventure: Getting Laid Off Was A Good Thing!
A shot of me behind-the-scenes by Raejan Dunn.

Everything else I had to learn as I went
  • how to get clients to hire me 
  • pricing my services in a way that allows me to make a living wage 
  • marketing myself authentically and consistently so that I don’t feel sleazy
  • how to stay disciplined while working from home everyday 
  • planning ahead and income projecting
That only scratches the surface of what I've had to conquer as a new entrepreneur, of course, but those particular areas I pointed out brought the most challenging lessons I've had to endure along the way. None of it has been easy, I’ll tell you that.

I made some courageous commitments in 2014 stretching myself in ways that I didn't think were possible, and as a result I was able to achieve some outrageous goals that seemed unattainable at the time. I must say, it was an amazing year that I won’t soon forget because it was one of my best yet!
My Entrepreneurial Adventure: Getting Laid Off Was A Good Thing!
Me at Smithmore Castle during a Wedding Professionals Meeting in 2014. Image by Joy Davis Photography.


One of the biggest hurdles that I've continuously had to overcome throughout all of this wasn't something that I really anticipated, but it’s caused me the most frustration and heartache along the way. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s ME! I have been the greatest obstacle standing between failure and success every step along the way.

People who are on the edge of taking “THE LEAP” and entertaining the idea of going out on their own have often asked me how I found the courage to “FOLLOW MY DREAMS”. It’s a tough question to be presented with, and one I don’t really have an answer for because we are on different paths. If I wasn't laid off, I'm not sure how long it would have taken me to make the plunge.

All I can say is that once you do decide to do it you have to make the decision every. single. day. to continue going after what you want or else it’s NOT going to work. Being your own boss isn't a part-time job or a full-time job for that matter. It’s a lifestyle.

Got a story about your entrepreneurial journey that you'd like to share? I’d personally love to hear them below in the comments!

Boone NC Wedding Photographer | Wayfaring Wanderer | Jessica MacedaHi! My name is Jessica a.k.a. Wayfaring Wanderer and I reside in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains here in Boone, NC. I'm a free-spirited wedding, engagement, and lifestyle photographer who loves working with couples, families, and individuals who are committed to travel, adventure, and laid-back lifestyles. If you think we might be kindreds, I invite you to join the WW tribe by signing up [ HERE ] for weekly updates & get connected to the [ WW Facebook page ] to join the conversation! | Website
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