It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. My name is Courtney Malone. I graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Finance in 2010, and have been working really hard to do pretty much anything but that ever since :)
Q. What is your work?
A. I am a family and newborn portrait photographer, and I also work with other photographers and creatives as a graphic and web designer.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I’m working on growing my business to include birth photography, and I am so very excited. My journey of starting my own family with all of its ups and downs has deepened my love and passion for documenting family stories, and photographing something as sacred and beautiful as birth fills my soul with so much joy.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I just recently quit my day job as an insurance consultant for a large financial institution. Since pretty much day one in corporate America I’ve been kicking and screaming to get out. In fact, I almost went to culinary school instead of taking my first job, because the thought of sitting at a desk filled me with so much dread and anxiety. The ironic part? I don’t even like cooking. It took me about 7 years, but I finally honed in on what it was that I was called to be doing, and I finally took the leap. As a new mom, which brings with it the new responsibility of caring and providing for a teeny tiny human, this leap was terrifying. But when I think about taking the leap and showing my daughter that you can do anything you set your mind to - it makes it so worth the fear and risk.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I am on the path to be doing what I most want to do! Because I’ve always grown my business as a side job while working 40+ hours a week, I don’t feel like I’ve really had the time to go as deep as I’d like into the people side of my business. I really want to start taking it a step further and making my business more than just about pretty photos and smart design. I want it to be about people, their stories and what drives them to be who they are. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Trust the path. When I was in college and majoring in Finance, the thought of a “big girl job” felt so wrong to me. I have always been a creative person, but math and numbers came easy to me so I took the path of least resistance and pursued a degree in Finance. Looking back, I realize I was led down that path for a specific purpose. Had I not taken my first job out of college that this degree qualified me for and moved 3 states away from home, I wouldn’t have eventually moved to Charlotte, and I wouldn’t have met my now husband, and I wouldn’t have my sweet baby girl James. I can’t imagine life without those things, so I’m grateful my path was what it was, even if at the time I didn’t understand why.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. One day at a time. I literally say this to myself daily. There is SO much that can be done in any given day that if you list it all out it can become overwhelming. Setting small goals and taking it one day at a time really helps me to keep perspective and feel like I’m moving forward in life, rather than stuck and overwhelmed.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. I am a constant learner - when I feel stuck or in a rut, I try to learn something new I can do with my camera whether it’s a new technique, new posing, new location, etc. Learning something new brings a new wave of creative energy that can’t be beat.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Lately - child’s pose. Rest is a beautiful and important thing, and this new mom and business owner life has taught me that it’s important to slow down and rest.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. I try to always focus on the reason that I pursued the path I did - to give me the freedom to be present for my daughter and family. My life feels the richest when I focus on the beauty of the simple things - sitting outside in the warm sun with her, taking a walk around the neighborhood, a quick drive through the mountains with my little family. These are the things that leave me knowing how full my life is!