Tell us your origin story- how did you get into photography, graphic design, marketing, and any of the other plethora of things you ROCK at? What piqued your interest?
Doing something creative has been destined for me since I can remember. When I was little, my parents would get me disposable cameras. I would FILL them up with pictures of my toys, my pets, myself, and a variety of miscellaneous things. I would take them from weird angles, and most would come out blurry, but I saw those pictures from my own little world in my head. As I grew older, I got cheap little digital cameras to take pictures with. Finally when I was 15, I got my first professional camera. From then on, I knew I wanted to take portraits, and fuel that imaginative world I've had in my head since I was a child. I got my degree in college for communication, where I grew my skill set even more. I learned all about journalism, social media, videography, graphic design, and more. Last summer, I decided to take in clients for real and start my business. Now I've been living my best life as Liz Martinez Creations!
What things out of this list have you started to love more, and why? Do you think you would shift your focus, or continue to do everything?
Photography will always be my first love! My heart just soars taking solo/headshots and couples portraits. I truly believe that's what I meant to be doing for as long as I can. But luckily, photography ties into everything I do at Liz Martinez Creations. As a media coach who teaches other business owners how to use social media to gain clients and grow their income, that relies on pictures. And of course social media managing is constantly changing and growing, so I'm always learning to love it more and more as the years go by. I can't really imagine myself shifting my focus yet, but who knows? That's the great thing about the future, I don't know what's to come!
What advice would you give other gals who are a bit of Jack-of-All-Trades like you?
I guess my biggest piece of advice is don't exhaust yourself! Sometimes I push myself so hard and want to do all the things, but when I do that I get burnt out. Learn to limit your time on your creative outlet since it's also your "job." Schedule days off and time with friends and family. I also recommend constantly learning! I'm a student at heart and I was really great in college, so I use that fire to grow my business. I don't ever want to be comfortable or the best at something. I always want to grow and evolve and be challenged. Nothing great comes from being in your comfort zone!
You just graduated college- CONGRATS! That is a tough road that I know all too well. How do you like to stay educated outside of formal education? Would you recommend any specific websites/podcasts/blogs/etc.?
Thank you! It's definitely not for the weak of heart haha. I like to stay educated about new media stuff and photography techniques from youtube videos, podcasts, and free challenges that those educators give! One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is the Boss Babe podcast. It's always for female entrepreneurs and covers everything from sales, to motivation, to inspiration. I highly recommend it to any woman who is or wants to be their own boss.
How valuable do you think your college experience was? Would you recommend college to fellow female entrepreneurs? Why/why not?
Personally, I find my college experience extremely valuable. And I do recommend it to fellow female bosses if they want to. College is not just to get a degree and learn about/get better with your craft. You meet so many different kinds of people, you learn how to handle real life obstacles, and you truly discover yourself there. I HATED high school so I can understand why people decide to opt out of higher education when they want to be their own boss. But college is a different ball game for sure. I'm totally not who I was when I was 18, and college showed me who I actually wanted to be. I would've had a whole different career right now if it wasn't for what I learned. Also - no one can ever take away your education! I'm really proud of my degree and I'm a big supporter of those who want to continue their education. It's SO hard but worth it beyond words.
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur? Why?
Oh man, just one part? I guess my favorite part is that I'm somewhat in control. I could never work retail or at a food place or any place where someone is telling me what to do. I can't survive knowing that I have to live by someone else's rules. Or that I can't grow in a dead-end job. Because I'm my own boss, I get to do what sets my soul on fire, you know? And as I change, so can my business. I never want to be that person who works 9 to 5 just to come home exhausted and sad. I guess I'm not the kind of person who wants the traditional lifestyle. Being an entrepreneur means I get to live out my daydream and be happy.
Tell us 3 big goals you have for the future! This can be ANYTHING, not just business related.
There's so many ideas I have going on. First, I'm growing Vision Sessions! I'll soon be offering Pinterest makeovers as an optional add-on. I grew Chicka and Co's Pinterest from 6,000 monthly viewers to 500,000 monthly viewers in just 6 weeks. This is something I'd love to do for my own clients! Other goals I have is a new yearly income amount by 2020 and elopement weddings! I love small and intimate weddings, so I'd love to start offering that very soon. There's a million ideas in my head and I just can't wait to make them a reality!
Who are your top 5 favorite Boss Girls? How do they inspire you?
I'm always inspired by incredible women who blaze their own trails. All these ladies inspire me by how hard working they are, how authentic they are, and how they make entrepreneurship look AMAZING.
Sharing about mental health has become way more normal over the last couple years, and you and I have shared some of our battles on social media. What advice/piece of encouragement do you have for other boss babes struggling in similar situations? In what ways do you hope to see a shift in society surrounding mental health?
I'm so thankful that more and more people are open to talking about mental health. I know I would've loved to hear it during my middle school and high school years, so I can only hope that the next generation will be lucky enough to hear all about it. For other bosses who battle mental illness, I encourage you to reach out to others like you. It's so hard carrying all of your heartache on your own, so reaching out to someone else who gets it will make you feel a million times better. But I mostly recommend therapy! Therapy is a game changer for me. I'm usually so anxious and depressed that I can't get out of my own head, but having a therapist allows me to do that. She helps me face the truth and gives me the PROFESSIONAL tools to make myself healthier. Remember that you're not alone and that entrepreneurship is extremely demanding. It's totally okay and normal to feel exhausted and like you can't do it. But you can! We all feel that way and we're all here for each other.
You're a huge Disney fan- as am I- when is the next time you're going to a park? TAKE ME WITH YOU. How many have you been? What's your favorite?
YES!!! I just got back from Disney World 3 days ago, so that can give you an idea on how much I love Disney! Next time, fit in my suit case hahah. I've been to Disney a total of 8 times since 2015. I've been to Disneyland in California, Disney World in Florida, and Disneyland Paris. My favorite has to be Disneyland, it's classic and my first love. Disney is my favorite thing to plan for and work for. I could live there forever!