Brianna Parks – Perfection in entrepreneurship is overrated

January 29, 2021

Brianna Parks Interview on Enterprise League

Entrepreneurs who had the courage to skip the job seeking part after college and start their own business are a rare breed, and one to admire. One of them is Brianna Parks, an elopement photographer who was scared from working 9 to 5 enough to start her own business. 

With as much as $500 on the bank account, most of them a wedding gift, and still in her teens, she took a leap of faith and spent them all on a camera. That camera and her entrepreneurial skills have earned her a living, and more importantly freedom, for the past 3 years. And when the pandemic hit and weddings were called off it didn’t take much time for her to pivot to elopements in California, although she lives in Idaho.

Brianna’s story not only encourages you to elope, but also to face your fears and start working on your dreams today.

Feeling under-appreciated as an employee, a nonexistent work-life balance, financial struggles, getting out of bad relationships – these are the most common triggers that push women to become entrepreneurs. Tell us about your trigger?

The biggest trigger that pushed me over the edge to finally start my own business was the fear of having to work a 9-5 after graduation. While I thrive on schedules, I wanted to be the one to create my own so I could establish my own boundaries and be in charge of my own time.

Briana Parks quote

How did you come up with your business idea?

I’ve always loved photography, but it wasn’t until college hit when I realized I needed a creative outlet. After purchasing a camera, I went all-in and did everything within my power to create a successful business. When COVID hit, my finances took a plunge, but I quickly realized couples were turning to eloping. I pivoted everything within my business to focus on elopements.

Have you had support from someone, even if just encouragement? Who was that and how did it help you?

My husband has been my biggest supporter. He was the one who pushed me to purchase a camera when we only had $500 in our account. He is constantly pushing me to be better. If it wasn’t for him, I would still be dreading my 9-5 life.

Female entrepreneurs are often underestimated and overlooked. Have you ever felt at a disadvantage?

Absolutely. Whenever I tell people I do photography, I often get comments like, “Oh cool. What do you plan on doing after school?”, “You can actually make money doing that?”, “That’s not very sustainable.” 

I think as a business owner, and especially as a female business owner, we’re constantly having to prove ourselves to people that we can run a company or own a business.

Some say it’s hard work, others say it’s talent and resourcefulness that play a crucial role for success in entrepreneurship? Which traits have been detrimental for your success so far? And why?

The trait that has been the most detrimental to my success has been my perfectionism. I’ve missed so many opportunities due to my fear of not creating something “perfect.” It’s something I constantly work on, but it’s always in the back of my head. 

What excites you the most about being an entrepreneur?

I love having creative freedom and fun in my life. Something that specifically excites me is the ability to travel. I’ve always wanted to travel, but being a 21 year old college student, that’s pretty hard. When I switched to elopements, I focused on marketing towards California. I live in Idaho, but absolutely love traveling to California. 

I love the freedom and options I have when it comes to my business. If I want more elopements in New York, I can make it happen. Traveling makes things fun and exciting for me. It’s definitely one of the most exciting things about being an entrepreneur.

Share with us some of the worst business advice you’ve ever received?

The worst business advice I ever received was “don’t work too hard.” As a business owner, you’re the first one in and last one out everyday. If you don’t work hard and expect your business to succeed, you’re doing it wrong.

You’ve got a high stake investment opportunity. Pitch your business in 150 words.

I’m a California elopement photographer who makes it a mission to inspire, encourage, and empower couples to push traditional boundaries and create experiences they’ll remember forever. I don’t just sell a service to my clients, but I serve an experience.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t be a perfectionist. I’ve had multiple times within my business where I was too scared to start or even launch something because it wasn’t “perfect.” At the end of the day, nothing you do within your business will be perfect. It’s better to put things out there, even if they’re not “perfect”, rather than just not starting it at all.

What are your goals for the upcoming year?

My biggest goal for the upcoming year is to book an international elopement. I think that would be absolutely amazing, and it would challenge me in a new way.

Connect and partner up with Brianna Parks Photography on Enterprise League

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