Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! Tori Pintar, a talented and successful wedding photographer, came to me 2ish years ago via Boost Your Dream Business knowing she wanted something more/different/authentic. I’m thrilled to see where that questioning, that business goal refinement, that heart-searching work has brought her to now – and I’m smiling so wide thinking of where it will take her! She describes it all in her beautiful and honest reflections below, so I’ll say no more and leave her to it!
Why did you decide to work with me?
I’ve been in business for 8 years. I’ve had my ups and downs but was always headed in one direction. I started to feel transition coming but I felt frozen when it came to taking next steps. So many ideas swirled in my head from going back to school and becoming a doctor (I’m a wedding photographer for reference) to opening a private retreat space in the woods of Montana. I needed help getting out of my head and someone to ask me good questions. A friend had worked with Michelle in the past and she said, Michelle asks really good questions.
What were you doing work-wise when we started working together – and what are you doing now?
I was a full-time wedding photographer. I still am a wedding photographer but through Michelle’s help I decided to take a step back and take a semi-sabbatical. That was just over a year ago and it was one of the best choices I could have made for myself. I’m still chasing my curiosity (great advice from Michelle) and right now it’s taken me to a life with my new puppy living out of our CR-V (#vanlife was too expensive) to explore the US and capture portraits of womxn. You can find out more about this new avenue of work and this project dear to my heart here: https://www.womxnsstoryproject.com/
What was your biggest takeaway from our work together?
I have to be me and I can’t be afraid of being a very big me. That doesn’t mean I have to walk in a room and take up all the breathing room, not that kind of big. But, when I have an idea I believe in, it’s ok to fully completely believe in it regardless of my own imposter syndrome or the worries of how others might misinterpret or judge it. This manifests in every single thing I do. In business, in dating, in starting to post more about political causes on my personal Instagram, in asking for help because I feel I need it even if the world might say I can do it alone. I have to honor me. It’s wonderfully freeing to start really getting this and it is also terrifying because I don’t always feel super comfortable with the actions this requires of me. But anyone who said change was easy was lying!
Think of someone who is currently in the shoes you wore when we first started working together. What advice do you have for her?
Let your timeline be long. We live in this culture of comparison and often only see all that people are succeeding at. It’s easy to feel like you’re behind or that you need to move quickly. The reality is that all of our timelines are unique to us. Putting pressure on yourself to figure everything out now, to get ‘there’ (and is there actually a there) takes away from your process and—I believe—ultimately your longterm success. Not to mention what a joy thief it is. The best things I have done in my life have mostly taken a great deal of time and effort, but they’ve been so worth it—not for where I arrived, but for all that happened along the way. Sounds so cliche, and yet I have this to be truer and truer as I get more days around the sun under my belt.
Is there anything that’s been a game-changer for you when it comes to your business that you can share? We’d love a good resource or a mindset/productivity tip!
Take a step back from the striving every now and then. When we’re always striving it is hard to be present. Not only are you missing out on your life, but striving can also be a distraction from the pain of the present. Sometimes we just have to sit and be uncomfortable or bored, which does not mean you’re failing, or behind, or not good enough, it just means you’re human and fully awake to your life. Striving also perpetuates the illusion that we’re far more in control of our lives than we actually are. I’m not suggesting you sit back and be complacent, I’m suggesting that letting go a little leaves more room for truly living and being better able to handle all the glorious good and messy tough stuff that gets thrown our way. We’re all dying and striving does nothing to stop that. Hopefully, that doesn’t sound morbid, it’s just a truth I’ve been working at better accepting in the last year that is far more linked to my working life that I once realized.
What’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!
So much! I’m still in transition and my transition has been slow, but I think the personal work I’ve been doing the past two years has been critical to freeing up head space to be able to fully dive into what’s next. I am deeply passionate about changing the culture around the relationship women have with their bodies. My new Womxn’s Story Project is founded out of this. I’m traveling the country to be accessible to more womxn who want their stories told and want to use portraits as tool in their body confidence journey. You can participate or nominate someone, I’d be honored. I’m also working on rebranding my wedding photography site to be more ME and include an editorial side aimed at working with small farms and food producers. Food is a passion of mine and doing work that helps local food producers tell their story resonates deeply. Lastly, more and more writing. I keep submitting work to random publications and have almost been accepted twice but them not made the final cut, and while this stings, I’m committed to keep throwing myself out there.
Where can we find you and your work?