“You gotta go where your heart is.” – Lisa Shaw
Lisa Shaw has been a sole proprietor for over a decade, and a photographer since she can remember. Through her photography business, The Bigger Picture, Lisa has artfully captured hundreds of weddings, families – and now, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Refocusing her business on photography for entrepreneurs and online influencers, Lisa is poised to pivot and ready to take her business aspirations to the next level.
A Creative at Heart
Lisa took up photography in high school and immediately clicked with the artistic medium. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art and Photography from Eastern Michigan University and worked as a photojournalist for years before opening The Bigger Picture over 10 years ago.
Originally focusing on weddings and family photography, Lisa has now discovered a true passion for digital marketing, helping influencers and small businesses enhance their websites and social channels with a collection of authentic images taken with their context and personality in mind.
“It’s hard to start your own business and time consuming to consistently mine for images that speak to your brand,” said Lisa. “I love empowering men and women to move forward with their marketing goals with a set of everyday images that speaks to who they are professionally and personally. When I work with them, I feel part of something bigger, and it brings a sense of purpose and meaning to my work.”
The GROW Connection
Lisa heard about GROW from a local radio station. At that time in her life, she knew she wanted to start her own business, but needed guidance to do it right. In 2009, she took the Intro to GROW class and enrolled in the 10-week intensive business preparation course, (which is now broken out into our Small Business GPS 3-class clusters). “Through GROW, I learned more about starting a business than I could’ve imaged,” said Lisa. “They brought in professionals who took me through the beginning stages of a business planning, all the legal requirements, website development, marketing, etc. Because of GROW, I felt prepared and ready to move forward with my dream.”
Self-Discovery as a Sole Proprietor
For Lisa, being an entrepreneur is both exhilarating and a little frightening, too. The freedom and work-life balance her photography studio has provided to her are second to none, but that self-disciplined balance can be tricky at times.
Lisa finds herself constantly learning as the world of digital photography, social media, and marketing is in a constant state of flux and evolution. She gains a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when she sees the difference her images make in the professional lives of her clients.
“The biggest surprise to me is discovering just how capable I am,” said Lisa. “Through this journey, I’ve learned that I’m very driven, dependable and brave. I didn’t know that about myself before I took a risk. I have more courage than I thought, and have learned that you have to channel your fear into action for your business, don’t let it take control.”
She notes that building a strong network of support to surround yourself can help quell those feelings of doubt, anxiety, and fear. “I was involved with GROW at the very beginning of my business, and going through that process with other participants and with business coaches made a huge difference to me.”
What Advice Does Lisa Offer Fellow Entrepreneurs?
When asked if there was one piece of advice she could give to budding entrepreneurs, Lisa said, “I wish I would’ve started on my own sooner, rather than spending years working for other photographers. Sometimes, you’ve just got to take that leap – and staring with GROW is a wonderful first step. In fact, GROW is there from before the first step and every step of the way. ”
Get started with GROW by attending our Intro to GROW class. There, you’ll learn about all our course and program offerings, and find the right fit for your business development goals.