NAME: Cinnamon Wolfe
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES:
Focus(ed) Podcast: http://www.cinnamonwolfe.co/focused-podcast/
Cinnamon Wolfe is a former corporate gal turned photographer, blogger, and educator. She is an Army wife, stepmom, petmom and the friendliest introvert you’ll ever meet. She is obsessed with helping others realize they are capable of so much more than they think they are. She is a self-proclaimed #podcastjunkie and hosts her own show with her husband where they chat with business owners about all things photography, business, and blogging. Her life goals are as big as her Netflix obsession and she can be always bribed with skinny vanilla lattes and deep conversations.
1. How did you get started in your field and why?
I am a small business owner by total accident. I was working in corporate America in Human Resources for years before my husband and I moved to a very small town in California and pretty much everything changed. I wanted to learn how to use a camera and also wanted a way to express my creativity, so I did!! From there it just started rolling. People wanted pictures and I had a business background so it just kind of happened.
2. Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do for so many reasons. I’m able to be in complete control of how I run my business. This comes with some drawbacks at times but overall it is an amazing feeling to be totally in control of what happens in your business. I also love that I’m able to help people in a more direct way, I’m able to release and show my creativity not only through photos but through blogging, my website and my online presence. I also love that your results are almost always a direct reflection of the amount of work, perseverance and time you put into it. It is not easy being a small business owner but it sure is fun!
3. Give us a glimpse of a day-in-the-life of you. (i.e. walk us through your routine)
Coffee is always first in the morning alongside time on the couch with my husband and pup before my hubbs heads off to work. Then I usually dive right in. Mornings are usually the time when I find I’m the freshest and ready to do the heavy lifting. So if I have a difficult project in front of me or some writing to do I usually reserve the morning time to do that. I try to always take a break at some point (although it usually seems to happen around 2) to break, take the dog for a walk and have some food.
Afternoons are usually reserved for any calls I might have or I will do some editing (I also edit for other photographers) or answer emails/social media because it doesn’t require as much focused thought.
I try (TRY) to stop most of my actual work when my husband comes home so we can have the evenings together. We host a podcast together (Focus(ed) Podcast) so sometimes we will record or interview people in the evenings but otherwise we try to cook together and hang out together in the evenings.
Most days look pretty different but its all about keeping the calendar up to date and scheduling out of the house meetings on the same days. That makes a huge difference!!
4. What did you want to be when you grew up? Do you see any connections in what you are doing now?
My earliest memory of aspiring to be something when I grew up was an astronaut. I saw this movie Space Camp and that spurred my interest. From there I don’t think there was really any ONE thing that held my interest…I knew I wanted to do something in business, maybe accounting because my mom was an accountant. I guess the connection I can see now is that I like to mix things up. I love learning new things and stretching myself.
5. Coffee or Tea? What is your go-to drink?
Definitely coffee. I typically drink the same things every day. Coffee, water, water, diet coke, water water water. That’s it!
6. Sweet or Savory?
7. What is your favorite Dish?
Some sort of pasta. with a cream sauce. I make a cajun pasta dish that is probably at the top of the list. A good creamy risotto would probably be up near the top of my list too!
8. What is your favorite Social Media Platform? Why?
Instagram and specifically stories. I love being entertaining on stories and sharing about myself in that way. Feels the most authentic out of all of the social media platforms (at least for now!)
9. Favorite TV Show?
Does Netflix count as a show? haha…Breaking Bad was super fun to watch not only because its a great show but it was filmed where I grew up. The car wash in the show was where I got my car washed for the entire time I grew up living in Albuquerque. Otherwise, I like a variety of different shows depending on my mood. Suits, Gilmore Girls, Friends, House of Cards, MDLNY and Master of None. All over the place.
10. What are you listening to when you are working? (music/tv)
If I’m writing I can’t listen to anything that has words because it distracts me. So Thievery Corporation is good to listen too if I need background music. Otherwise, I will listen to music while I edit or do tasks that don’t include a lot of writing. Coldplay, Maroon 5, John Mayer, T Swift, Death Cab for Cutie are some of my go tos.
11. Favorite book(s)?
Well I hate to be cliche but the Bible is definitely the most important book in my life. I also enjoy switching off between business books and great modern stories and mysteries.
12. Most people don’t realize that I am _______.
13. One thing I want to do in the next 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?
A life goal of mine would be to play golf in all 50 states with my husband. I would also love to travel to at least four or five other countries in the next 10 years. I would also like to grow my business to be consistently profitable and hire a team of people. I would love to teach more and get more into some community activities and volunteer my time as well.
14. Favorite female past or present?
Gosh there honestly are so many amazing and wonderful women in my life that it is really hard to pick just one. I really love seeing women who are equally smart and kind, who aren’t afraid to show emotion but who can also speak truth in a way that edifies rather than divides.
15. In my previous life, I was likely a ______.
A cop or a lawyer maybe? I’m kind a rule follower (sometimes to a fault)
16. What is your spirit animal?
Dog all the way!
17. My biggest passion in life is _____.
To be a light in this world, to help people understand they are valuable, loved and capable of more than they think they are.
18. Favorite Cocktail (virgin or not)?
Jack and Coke! Tastes like candy to me (which is probably not a good thing.)
19. If I could live anywhere in the world for the rest of my life I’d move to _______.
If I could somehow have Albuquerque, NM and Seattle, WA joined into one city that would be my choice. I grew up in Alb and most of my family currently lives there, but Seattle is probably my favorite place in the world.
20. What is one thing you LOVE to see in other boss ladies?
I think I really love to see drive mixed with practicality. I think both are super important and I think so many of us get off track when we let our emotions take over so I love seeing other ladies take practical yet aggressive choices in their businesses.
21. What is one thing you admire about someone you follow? Who is it?
I really admire Kinsey Roberts and her no-nonsense yet ridiculously likeable self, it doesn’t hurt that she is one of the smartest people I have ever met and I admire her so much!
- Blog: I don’t really follow any particular blogs on a regular basis…if you want to get lost for a while though the Wait but Why blog is pretty entertaining!
- Podcast: Reply All
- Youtube Channel: I don’t follow any channels!!
- Facebook Group: Savvy Business and HCBB are two that stand out!
23. How do you maintain a work-life balance?
I honestly don’t know that I do which makes me sad. At this point in my life, my business kind of is my life and I don’t necessarily think that is a BAD thing but at some point I know it will probably change. I hope that I am able to build my business enough during this stage that later when things change, it won’t be a jarring transition. I do really try though to keep some semblance of work hours during the day and also keep weekends as free as possible.
24. What was one of your biggest challenges you had to face in your business to date and how did you overcome it?
Moving! I had to move my business from California to New Jersey and we will be relocating again. I don’t know that it is something that can really be overcome, but I did diversify my income in order to stay afloat (since photography is such a local thing) and honestly having to move has challenged me to do things with my business that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise, so it has been good!
25. What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting out in your industry?
Be hungry about figuring things out. While our industry is shifting and there are more people willing to help than ever, try things out on your own. The BEST way to learn is to try and make mistakes, not to just blindly do what you see others doing or asking without trying first. Keep at it, dig in, google a lot and try to make some industry friends as soon as you possibly can.
26. How do you stay motivated? What makes you get out of bed every morning?
Emails and feedback from clients or followers who share that they had a light bulb moment after hearing or reading something I wrote or helped them with. I really do love helping other people feel valued and capable in my business.
27. What are your current business pain points you still struggle with today?
Long-term strategy, slow growth, feeling like I have nothing of value to really offer others especially when surrounded by so many amazing and successful creative business owners. It can be very difficult to stay focused and on track especially in our social media obsessed world.
28. What was one of your favorite business accomplishments to date? Why?
Quadrupling my income after moving cross country. I was obviously nervous about moving my business and unsure of how I would handle the situation. The fact that I was able to make changes where necessary and grow my business despite such a disruption made me feel very accomplished.
29. What is your favorite way to network? How do you stay connected with other boss ladies?
Absolutely one on one. I love personal more directed conversations with people where I have a chance to really understand who they are as a person. For me, that’s really hard to do in a group setting. I like going to events and clicking with people and then following up with them one on one. It’s my absolute favorite way to make friends and connections.
30. How have you overcome feelings of inadequacy around competition?
I have a few ways I stay on track. I stop following people on social media if I am finding I feel those feeling bubble up when I see their stuff. If I don’t unfollow, I might just take some time off from even looking at any social media at all. It’s so much easier to focus on your own stuff when you aren’t looking at everyone else’s all day long. I also remind myself to refocus on my own goals and aspirations. If it’s not my goal to do what someone else is doing why would I need to feel bad about the fact that they are doing it and I am not. Refocusing my energy on my own goals always helps me to remember why I am doing any of this in the first place.
**BONUS: Finally, give us one inspirational quote from the book of YOU:
Everything ends up ok in the end, if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.