Aligning passion and work is something many people aspire to do. Crystal, this month’s client hero, actually does it! She is living her dream as a professional photographer! Crystal grew up in Regina, and now resides in Broadview, Saskatchewan, where she has taken a liking to the small community.
Financially, Crystal admits that she doesn’t mind the smaller mortgage payments in a small town, and let’s be real, who wouldn’t? As a mother, Crystal is driven to provide her daughter with ample opportunities to enrich her life. Aside from being a totally awesome mom and successful small business owner, Crystal also taught herself to speak Japanese! I bet you didn’t see that coming did you?
What is your favourite part of owning a small business?
My favourite part of owning a small business is that it’s very multifaceted. For me, I can’t just throw a camera around my neck and have a functioning business. I need to switch from being the photographer, to being a marketing guru, then later put my CEO hat on and make decisions that are best for my business and for me. I love that I get all the perks that come from being the boss, but then can turn around and be incredibly creative, and do something that I love.
What has been the most challenging part of starting your business?
The hardest part about transitioning from a hobby photographer to a professional photographer, without question has been learning how to use the equipment properly. You can have a vision of the image you want to create, but without a thorough understanding of your gear, you’ll only get the result you’re looking for by fluke.
You grew up in Regina, but now live in a smaller community; has that been a big adjustment for you?
From a financial standpoint I love living in a smaller community, housing is significantly less expensive and you get bigger lots. I got used to the smaller mortgage payments very fast, ha ha.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I’m a bit of an over achiever. When I worked at the Banff Springs Hotel I learned my job in Japanese just so the large number of Japanese tourists could have the same dining experience as our English-speaking guests.
What is your favourite quote?
The more I learn, the less I know.
My proudest money moment:
When I was 21 I was able to buy a house in the neighbourhood I wanted without any financial help.
What is your top money frustration?
I hate having to spend money on things that aren’t tangible… like insurance. It’s so important, but you pay into them, hoping to never have to use them. I like to see what I spend my money on.
Financial security to me means . . .
Giving my daughter opportunities and enriching her life without wondering where that money is going to come from.
What is your favourite splurge?
I dropped a lot of money on a leather jacket like 6 years ago. There was a lot of guilt that came with that at the time, but I still love it and wear it all the time. So it was worth it.
If you could ask a financial planner any question what would it be?
What reading material would you suggest for someone who knows absolutely nothing about investing in stocks, but wants to start with a solid foundation of understanding?
TCM: There is a lot of information and advice out there to sort through. We will provide our favourite sources and some reading material in our next post.