Meet the Tribe - LeeAnn Neumann
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Sometimes my 4 year old makes his way into my bed in the middle of the night. If he happens to be next to me, I’ll watch him sleeping for a minute before I move. The little ones are just so sweet when they sleep, and I know it’s not going to last forever. Otherwise, I scan through the daily local news (thanks CHS Today) and then start getting ready for the day!
My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s one of those books that warrants a re-read every once in a while.
My favorite podcast is “Goal Digger” by Jenna Kutcher or “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” by Cathy Heller. I listened to both of these when I was ‘stuck’ working a corporate job, and they were really instrumental in helping me to understand that I CAN do something that I want to do for my career. You can too.
One Word. What is your life like as an entrepreneur?
Tell us about your business & how it came to be.
I come from a family of artists, my mom, her sister, and my grandmother all paint (fun fact: I do too!). I’ve always been an artist at heart, and fell in love with photography in my high school photography classes. I always thought that I had to get a corporate-type job to be successful. I was under the notion that artists didn’t make any money. So that’s what I did. I worked as a property/casualty insurance agent, got good at it and climbed the ladder until I was Director of Personal Lines working for a successful insurance agency in Minneapolis. I also worked with clients as an account manager for influential accounts including some MLB + NFL players and their families! While I was good at what I did, I didn’t love the circumstances. It required a lot of long hours where I was chained to my desk, neglecting myself and my family. My life was not my own. I craved living life in my own skin and had to let the day job go. It was the scariest and most rewarding decision I’ve ever made.
I actually started my photography business in 2013 while living in Minneapolis and called it LeeAnn Marie Photos. The business itself is still active there so that I can offer sessions when we are in town (hey Mpls friends!). When we moved to Charleston I felt the need to rebrand to a business that would be locally recognizable. My business has always been a ‘side hustle’ until I decided to take it full time in 2018.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
My days are all truly different. I recently spent a lot of time trying to juggle between kids and work. Both of my boys are in school for the first time (at the same place and on the same schedule!), so I’m currently reinventing myself so to speak. Some days I’m photo editing, some I’m out photographing sessions or shooting new stock photography, and others I’m planning event collaborations with local businesses.
Fill in the blank. I'm on a mission to...
Capture YOU at your best. Whether it’s you and your family, or you doing what you love —
Who inspires you to be the best entrepreneur you can be?
The community of entrepreneurs that I have surrounding me (thanks Hatch Tribe!). Honestly, a tribe of women all doing something different but with a similar mindset is truly inspirational. We can all learn from one another and help lift each other up at the same time.
How did you handle fear & doubt when it comes up?
Acknowledge it, feel it, and let it pass. Keep pushing on. Working through fear and doubt is what constitutes growth. You have to get out there and do it even if it is scary. As entrepreneurs, we are constantly going into the unknown. There is no training manual for running your own business or crafting your own career. If you’re not doing something, you’re doing nothing. Let that sink in and make a choice!
What would you say are the top 3 skills or traits needed to be a successful business owner?
Motivation, vision, and resilience.
How do you define success?
Success happens any time you move the needle forward, whether it’s 1% or 1000%.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t worry about the unknown. The in between. It will all work itself out, I promise.