Jill Hamilton is the talented and gracious female entrepreneur behind Simply Viewed Creative, and its sister brand SV Portraits. From beginning her career as a Social Media and Marketing Manager to branching out into the freelance world, Jill has always been driven by innate creativity and passion. Read below to discover her advice about weathering doubt during slower business seasons, following motivation when it strikes, and navigating her career as a new mom!
photo credit: Simply Viewed Creative
What is Simply Viewed Creative?
It’s an all-in-one resource for visual content creation, including professional photography and graphic design. My audience varies, but I work mostly with other entrepreneurs.
What was your first job growing up, and what did you learn from it?
My first job was at a hair salon, where I worked as a receptionist. Answering phones, scheduling appointments, assisting customers, and purchases all provided me with basic business knowledge and positive customer interaction.
Tell us about your career path before starting your own company, and how it got you to where you are today?
My roots in photography and graphic design began in college where I balanced multiple jobs at a time, all relating to visual content creation. After graduation, I became a social media manager full time. I then became a marketing manager for another company, but still carried the duties of my previous role as a freelancer. I worked at multiple companies a few years at a time, always leaving on great terms and agreeing to continue certain duties since I was well-versed in each area. Deciding to become a full-time freelancer came when I had enough work to fill each day. To this day, I continue to work for a company that hired me shortly after graduating in 2010.
What is a typical day like for you?
Since having Garet (five months ago), my routine is anything but typical. Some days I’m able to sip my coffee and grind away, while others entail more baby duties (and snuggles!) before I’m able to sit down and dig deep into work. That being said, answering emails and getting inspired — whether that be through literature or digital means — are always the first step in my process. I work best with music and coffee, and I cannot promise that I always get dressed at a decent time on days where I’m not shooting or meeting with clients.
My motto is: when strong motivation hits, you go with it. Don’t disrupt these times, because it means you’re in your groove, and you’re bound to produce some of your best work yet.
Tell us about a hard time in your life, career or personal. What did you learn from it or how did it make you stronger?
The hardest times in my career have come seasonally when things slow down for my business. It is in these wintery times that I have lost my normally strong confidence, but experience has been teaching me to be more patient. Somehow it works out. And sometimes, when your doubt appears, it is the same time that an out-of-the-blue and exciting inquiry appears.
If you were to start your business over today, what would you do differently?
If I were to re-start my business, I would have greater focus from the get-go. I began with doing literally everything and didn’t believe in saying “no.” Although this helped me determine what type of projects to aim for, it scattered my interests and strengths. I don’t regret it, but if I were given a chance to “re-start” I would definitely keep this in mind.
What do you believe is your single strongest skill that’s helped you succeed?
Although this one is hard to pinpoint, I will say that I take pride in my passion. My passion stems from having compassion for my clients. I truly care for each project that I am involved in and contributing to others’ success drives me from the core. My passion also stems from the artistic ability that is in my blood. As cliche as it may sound, I’ve been a visual person for as long as I can recall.
Tell us about your life outside of your business? What do you like to do?
Aside from being a photographer, I am a huge family gal, nature lover, and wannabe-interior designer. When I’m not working on my business, I’m snuggling my baby boy, hiking/biking with my hubs, hanging with friends and family, playing chef, or redecorating the house.
How do you balance your career and family/ personal life?
Balancing my career and family life is something that I work on each day. I am a new mom, so new challenges have recently appeared, and I have a lot to learn in this area, but I’m optimistic that I will find a right balance in time.
Quick fun facts…
What’s your favorite charity? Habitat for Humanity. Having relatives who have built homes for this charity makes it hold a special place in my heart.
What age do you want to retire at? 55 would be ideal! I don’t envision myself quitting work altogether but will let it become more leisurely after retirement.
One travel location on your bucket list? Australia, for sure.
Are you an introvert or extrovert? I lean towards being extroverted!
What book would you suggest to our readers? The Female Brain by Luann Brizendine – if the science behind female emotion intrigues you!
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