Every Intuit customer has their own unique story. Along each of their journeys, they find passion, share advice, take risks, celebrate success, and form a community of their own.
From the small business owners, the self-employed, and those simply seeking ways to be more financially savvy, we’re here to be a part of each story and champion our customers as they take steps forward on their path to prosperity. Hear how the power of many comes together to support the business of one with #WeTheProsperous.
Meet Torrey Fox. A self-employed photographer, a visual storyteller, and a user of QuickBooks Self-Employed. She’s taken on the high points and challenges of building a business, all while enjoying the freedom to define prosperity for herself.
Intuit: Torrey, what are some of your goals for the upcoming year?
Torrey: 2018 is my transition year. Last year I focused on shooting as much as possible in general. But now, in my fourth year of business, I find myself at a turning point in my career and am looking to avoid hitting a plateau. I want to shift my focus into shooting more high-end work by taking on as much wedding and portrait work as possible, in order to focus on working toward my vision for my business in 2019.
Intuit: Awesome. Know you are going to crush it in 2018 and beyond. When you’re thinking about your work and your goals, who are you inspired by?
Torrey: My biggest people I turn to for inspiration are leaders in my field: wedding photography. Elizabeth Messina, Ryan Ray, Jose Villa, and last but not least: my fiancé who is also a photographer. We spend time going to museums together to find inspiration.
Intuit: What do you wish someone had told you before you started your self-employed journey?
Torrey: I wish someone had told me to jump in faster.
I took too long to make certain decisions and was worried about judgments and perceptions from others. It’s good to see yourself progress, so I wish I wasn’t as hesitant and did things quicker in the beginning.
Intuit: Based on your experience, what advice to you have for other photographers or folks looking to start their own business?
Torrey: As I mentioned, when I started: everyone told me to just jump in and don’t let any reservations hold you back. I think this is true and something I pass on to others.
Jump in feet first. Really go for it. If you don’t, you’ll never know. There’s no better time to put all of your effort and love into it, and let your passion work itself out.
I was just listening to a podcast from another photographer who took a loan out and gave herself 4 or 6 months to pay it off. Do whatever you need to do to set yourself up and feel comfortable with the risk, then go for it.
I went from managing a retail store to returning to my passion for photography, which is the subject I studied in college. I’m so happy with how I’ve grown and excited by my job that I have to remind myself to take a day off now.
Intuit: Love that tip. Passion is one of the biggest trends when thinking through next steps in your career. What’s been the most surprising and challenging part of building your business?
Torrey: The most surprising part has definitely been the business and administrative part that comes with the creative/fun part. I’m surprised by how much I have to balance these two sides.
The most challenging part: It’s really hard to not work. Most of my friends think being self-employed is all about flexibility and having free time to do whatever. It’s actually really hard to turn off your job when you ARE the job. I find myself working all the time because I love it. Deciding when to take off, which is really important for any job, especially in a creative field, has been tough. But now that it’s been four years, I’ve gotten into a routine of taking days off each week and going on vacation like “normal” people.
Intuit: Time off is definitely key! Who do you lean on for support? Who do you go to for questions about your business?
Torrey: My first layer of support comes from my dad. He has a masters in business and I never studied it, so he’s my go to. My fiance is also building his own photography business, so I bounce ideas and questions off of him as well. If my family is biased, I go to a group of friends who can be trusted to give honest opinions.
Intuit: Sounds like you have a great network. And Intuit is proud to be a part of that community of support as well! What initially drew you to QuickBooks?
Torrey: I started using QuickBooks Self-Employed on January 1, 2017. I watched my fiance, boyfriend at the time, start using it a few months before the end of 2016, and it made the end of the year for him so much more organized. When he sat down to do his taxes for 2016, he was done faster and easier than me, so I knew this was going to be a big piece of my business moving forward.
Intuit: Other than QuickBooks, what are some of your prosperity hacks that help you feel successful each day?
Torrey: Honestly, the biggest hack for me was creating template emails that I can tweak with personal touches depending on the scenario. Now I don’t have to stress about emails. I use Google calendar reminders for follow up notes and really lean into the automation on the administrative side when I can.
Intuit: That’s a solid protip! Thanks for sharing all of these stories, hacks, and pieces of advice.
Find out more about Torrey’s path and her definition of prosperity below.