Enjoy this recap video of the entire event!

Engage 12 The Breakers from Cloud Nine Creative on Vimeo.

Part 3 : The Purpose – The heart of it all

My dear friend Lara Casey, one of the speakers at Engage, said it best. “My core goal is to make a life that means something. For my brand to serve my life, not the other way around.  Know your story, and identify your core. Do what fires you up – you will have more energy and focus. Get specific. Execute. Write down your core – why you do what you do. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

Above photos by: Elan Artists | Scott Clark Photo | Chellise Michael Photo

While Engage was an incredible event, pampering me with all kinds of goodies and parties, teaching me volumes about the importance of Presentation, as well as so much Practical advice from leaders in this industry, I think the most meaningful takeaway for me personally was refocusing my Purpose. I believe the Lord has put me in this industry for this time and season. I know I have a voice, and I want to use it to impact others.

So why do I do the things that I do?

Why do I spend time on the little details of my business? Because I don’t want to be average; I want to display excellence in everything I do.
Why do I send gifts to my clients? To allow them to feel like a bride, to feel special, to treasure this season of life.
Why do I crunch numbers for my business? To grow a profitable business that is an example in this industry from the inside out. I want a healthy business that will continue to grow.
Why do I set financial goals? So my husband and I can achieve our life goals, and so we can be in a position to bless others who need help.
Why do I set personal and business goals? To gain perspective, to take a step back from my giant “to do” list, to focus what really matters.

To have a life and a business that is driven by my core… my heart…I want to be the person God has made me to be. To love on others around me.

Simon T. Bailey, a motivational speaker (with the best laugh ever) shared this inspiring thought: “When you let go, you can let come what is meant to be.” What are we holding onto that is holding us back? What do I need to let go of, so I can “let come” the things that matter?

Engage refocused me. How vital it is to step back and analyze your life’s purpose.

And what was the purpose of Engage!12? To engage with others! To learn about others, their hearts, their core. My roommates on this trip were 2 incredible North Carolina Event Designers, and I loved getting to know each of them more. Erin (Erin McLean Events) and Becca (Rebecca Rose Events) had such wisdom to share each evening when we returned to our room. I got a glimpse into their hearts and their businesses, and I so value their work and perspectives. We ended our time at The Breakers with a fun mini-photo shoot on the beach. Cheers to Engage!12!

Below photos by yours truly


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I am super late here but I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am again for all of your encouragement during engage. Thank you for always building my faith in Him!

Nancy … it amazes me how much you continue to inspire me. To do everything from loving my dog to bettering my business. Thank you for all you do, and everything you stand for. Seriously. I can’t tell you how much you inspire me. Thank you again.
Much love from Alabama.

Thank you for sharing your experience! These past few weeks I have been really working on setting things straight in my business and my life! I got so much from your own take aways, it is inspiring to see other people get fired up! Thank you again!! I am excited to see your journey this year!

I’ve loved these recaps and the example you’ve set to keep learning, keep improving, keep striving for excellence! I will say the one thing I will always remember from choosing you as my photographer is the level of excellence of you showed and maintained throughout our whole time together. You really do an awesome job with that! I still have people come up to me over a year and a half later and comment on the quality and excellence of my wedding photos. I can confidently say I would choose you all over again and one of the main reasons is the level of excellence you strive for and maintain. Keep up the good work! Merry Christmas!

I came across your work via SW Mag and just love this blog post about Engage and your purpose. I’ve recently been putting SO much energy into honing in on my purpose and asking myself hard questions, and know that in 2013 I want to strive to be more intentional and purposeful in my life and business. The same questions you asked yourself are what I have been asking myself lately. In an industry that can get lost in all of the hoopla and competition and chase for success and achievement, it’s inspiring to read words from photographers who maintain a perspective on how important what we do really is. Your work and balanced outlook on your business and life is awesome…can’t wait to see where 2013 takes you and it sounds like attending Engage in 2013 will be a new hope of mine :)

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