Solo Build It! Case Studies

Photo Hobby An Expression of The Heart

Turn a photo hobby into a successful business by expressing your hearts desire. See how this photo enthusiast started a successful on line business and how you can too. If you have a passion about anything, you have a business at your fingertips.

Hi my name is Sally and I would like to tell you how I turned my photo hobby into a successful online business. For as long as I can remember I wanted to work out of my home. Heck I wanted to work out of my home before work from home became popular.

For example when I was in junior high my class mates asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. I proudly blurted out, "I'm going to be a writer." My secret dream was to be a wife, mother and writer. Well the look I got said it all. Who makes money being a writer, right?

Every Journey Begins With a Dream

Junior High School, that was the time to prepare for high school and lay out a plan for upcoming college years. I'll never forget my chats with our guidance counseler Ms Reed. I really admired her spunk. This was a small town school and the teachers did double sometimes triple duty. Ms Reed was English and Social Studies Teacher as well as Guidance Counselor

She may well have been my favorite teacher because she actually liked my writing. She liked it so well in fact she kept the stories I wrote and read them out loud to the English classes.

But even admiring teachers have a duty to guide their students in a direction that will lead to success in life. At least the kind of success that was expected for that time in history. You may very well be facing the same decisions in your life now. It seems we are always being guided to do "what is best for our future".

Those who urge us to follow "their" path do so from a heartfelt concern for our wellbeing. And so it was with kindness in her heart that Ms Reed suggested I take a few business courses in high shcool. That way I would be prepared in case the dream of being a writer and stay at home mom didn't quite work out.

Ms Reed had no idea she was my idol. She lived a simple life and would talk often in class of her travels in Europe. She was the kind of teacher that strived to keep her students thinking. She invested in stocks and traveled with the profits she made. Each year she had a new story to tell of the different cultures she had visited, pointing out how lucky we are to live where we do.

Love of Art Tugs at The Heart Strings

And so it was easy for me to follow her advice. I took bookkeeping, economics and as many other business subjects as I could during my high school years. So even though my heart was drawn to literature and art, I acquired enough business sense to recognize a good online business when I saw one.

That didn't stop me from finding ways to answer the little tug on my heart strings. You could find me sitting in the library for hours at a time scanning over art books and reading about the artists behind this fascinating world.

It was the artists of abstract art that captured my interest. What made them tick? Where did their inspiration and courage come from? But I must admit, my favorite art pieces were more realistic. The soft pastels from the impressionistic era brought a twinkle to the eye.

I knew at that early age that I wanted to be an artist of some kind. The only flaw in that dream was the inability to put on canvas what was in my heart. I could not even draw a stick figure.

Everybody Deserves at Least One Taste of Fame

My freshman year in high school art class I surprised everyone, including myself.  Our assignment that day was to draw a flower picture done in the Pointillism style in shades of one color. (Pointillism - according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is analogous ... to the process used by computer monitors and television sets to produce colors.) I wonder if my love of this art style is why I found myself naturally drawn to the world of digital art?

The teacher suggested we use our favorite color.  He said it would help us to connect to the art better.  At that time my favorite color was blue.  And I began dotting my art paper.

My Magic Moment

I lost myself in that flower painting. It just seemed to create itself. For the first time in my life I felt like I was an artist. I did not realize at the time that I was glimpsing a form of my  future. The World Wide Web and now popular Digital Art would not enter my life for a very long time to come.

When I finished that project, the art teacher held it up in front of the whole class.  "This is a perfect example of Pointillism." he said.  And they framed my flower picture and placed it in the hall for the whole school to see.

I walked on air every day that I passed that painting in the hall. That was my work of art on the wall. But alas it seemed to be a fluke of nature. I have not painted another masterpiece since. At least not with paint and brush on canvas.

Is A Photo Hobby Really Art?

When I wasn't looking at art books and writing stories, I loved walking in nature. And I never left the house without my camera. This is when my photo hobby became my passion.

My very first camera was a Polaroid. That Polaroid instant camera was the latest thing. Oh how far we have come! I mean can you imagine the fun I had trying to figure out creative ways to carry that big camera and the pictures I took?

The old Polaroid camera graduated to a new 35mm, only to be replaced by digital. Suddenly a whole new realm opened for the photo hobbiest and the art that became an expression of my heart.

But I never thought of a photo hobby as art until the digital age found me. Suddenly all of those pictures of flowers and nature took on a brand new meaning.  And I took to digital art like a duck to water.

Can A Photo Hobby Pay The Bills?

Like many pleasures in life supporting a photo hobby can become expensive.  Do you find yourself slaving at a nine to five job to help support your hobby?  I always wanted my own business.  The only problem was there just didn't seem to be enough time to do both.

I did try though.  I was what some may call a dabbler.  I tried my hand at selling door to door. For a couple of years I was your friendly Avon Lady. That spawned into doll creation around the time of the Cabbage Patch doll craze.

Do you remember how people would line up at the store waiting for the doors to open every Christmas when the latest doll was put up for "adoption"? Well I found my own little niche creating soft sculpture dolls. They became very popular each Christmas but they took time and patience. It certainly wasn't enough to support a family.

Once my children grew up and moved out, I found I had more time on my hands. So it was back to school I went. First I became a Travel Agent wanting to fulfil my dream of travel. That lasted about a year. And again I went back to school to study Interior Design. This lead to sales associate jobs but not much in the interior design field.

I went on to become a secretary for Kelly Services which lead to a temp to permanent assignment at The Boeing Company. While at Boeing I designed charts and honed my computer skills. And went back to school to study Industrial Engineering

Was I Heading Down The Wrong Path?

During my time at Boeing the urgings of my soul began to grow. I felt as if I were being pursued by a demon. What happened to my dream of having my own business? Somehow I had lost sight of the dream. It felt like my life was in a tailspin.

During this dark time in my life the deeper spiritual aspects started to creep slowly in. I found a program called Avatar. Avatar and the idea that we create our own reality. I spent thousands of hard earned dollars to become an Avatar Master.

This was right before the shock that changed the way we see ourselves and our world. I had just become an avatar the year before that memorable day of 9/11. I was sure that I would be one of the lucky ones to get layed off from Boeing since my job title was very new. So I took a leave of absence to complete my training. Mind you this took my life savings to do but I felt it was an investment in my dream business.

So when my boss gave me the good news that he was keeping me on, my heart sank. It wasn't what I wanted to hear. I couldn't ignore the urgings of my soul any longer. I made what others would say was a stupid move on my part. I turned it down. I took the lay-off instead.

Armed with nothing but hope and my unemployment to tide me over I moved to Chicago and a new relationship. I met my partner at a seminar, and you can imagine we had dreams of clients and success in our eyes.

Only a year later my unemployment gone and only two clients under my belt I was sure I had reached the bottom. I discovered that I failed in the most important area of any business. In all my education, I never learned how to market me. When asked "What is Avatar?" I suddenly became a blubbering idiot with no clue what to answer.

A Light At The End of The Tunnel

I did have a computer and found myself with lots of time to surf the internet. I started reading emails about starting an online business. I just knew there had to be a way, I mean all the gurus were telling me I could live my dreams with an online business. They all sounded so rich and successful.

One day I got an email welcoming me to the  5 Pillar Affiliate Club.  I was new to the internet at the time and to be perfectly honest I had no clue what an affiliate program was, let alone this thing called 5 Pillar, whatever.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered reading about some internet web hosting something or other named SBI. But I guess I just wasn't quite ready.

So I saved those emails in a file each time I received one.  And I went on reading all of the hype and marketing about starting a business on the Internet.

Take Time And Compare

I spent a lot of learning time trying to build a business on line. I even put up a web store.  But after a year I only sold two products and one of those was to my sister.  I began to feel like I was spinning my wheels. After a while I realized I was missing some pieces of the puzzle.

In the meantime I learned what the word affiliate meant and I decided to actually take a look at that 5 Pillar Affiliate Club, after all it was free. What did I have to lose, right?  When I got in there all I could think was WOW!

If you are not familiar with the term affiliate, it can be compared to a sales associate in a broad since of the word. You endorse products that you know are quality to people and you earn a commission for the sales generated by your recommendations.

I had it All The Time

The light finally came on!  I realized that the opportunity to have a business was at my fingertips the whole time.  You might say it just had not clicked in:) I joined the 5 Pillar Affiliate Program and began to study the exciting realm of internet publishing.

I realized that a photo hobby actually had the potential to become a successful business. business.

An Expression of the Heart Becomes 

I believe that art is an expression of the soul. Every artist speaks to you in the way they feel the beauty in their heart. It doesnÂ’t matter what form you use to deliver that art to the world. The important thing is that you do express your heart.

Some artists create with their hands in the form of sculptures, jewelry or crafts. Others take pen, brush, or chisel in hand and bring life to a lump of clay, or by writing words that jump right off the paper. And now in this wonderful age of technology a new artist emerges. Digital art is gaining respect around the world.

Dreams Do Come True

I took the plunge and dove into my first web-site, feet first.  My success has been greater than I ever thought possible.  I really do have time to enjoy my photo hobby and create a successful home based business.  And if I can do it anyone can.

Would you like to know the secret I finally discovered for creating a successful online business? I created this page to answer the many questions that I get every day.

Thank you for allowing me to tell my story.  I hope to see you in the forums soon.

Georgia O'Keefe said it best "When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to you."

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