Name: Chelsea Bertram
Business Name/Occupation: Initial Focus, LLC
Tell us about your business!: Initial Focus, LLC was built on the belief that anyone can do anything they want, and that every single person has a story worth telling. We believe that life is not about the money you make or job title you have. It is not about how good your resume is or if you have a degree. It is simply about experiences. We believe that every day should be a step towards your highest dreams and passions. It is exactly that in which we want to capture for you. Whether it be graduating from high school or college. Maybe its building a business, falling in love and getting married or moving into a new home. Whatever the occasion is, we care deeply and passionately about making sure you have something to remember. Something to be proud of.
We are not just photographers, filmmakers or designers -- We are storytellers.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship? I personally decided to go down this path because I love to be my own boss. Although it has its challenges, the rewards are unreal. The gratification you feel when you land a new client or when you finish a new design, or even something simple as sending off an invoice. I just means your doing something right! It’s crazy because you’re the person that’s making that happen and it feels really good!
Why do military spouses make great entrepreneurs? We are forced to be independent -- I think we are automatically given the challenge most people aren’t willing to face. We understand time management, budgeting, multitasking, we can handle things getting cancelled at the last minute because problem solving is a daily routine… these are the stepping stones of making a great business. I believe that's why these women are so amazing at what they do.
What is a "blocker" for you in business. What holds you back? I used to be the biggest “people pleaser” and I used to care so much about what everyone thought about everything. Even though I consider myself to have changed since then, I occasionally look back to certain projects and second guess myself if my work is good enough or think am i qualified enough to do this. It still sets me back, but I’m still working through it!
How has being a military spouse changed your for the better? I love to be challenged and the military has certainly done just that. I’m not going to lie I was pretty unhappy the first year I moved here . A lot had changed in a year. I graduated college, left an amazing, dream full time job, moved states away from both sides of our families and just trying to get used to living the military lifestyle in general [but I did get married, yay! :) ]. I was so lost on what to do with my career … but I'm getting better at knowing when to push myself out of the house. I’ve learned when to start new projects and tell myself to learn something new.
What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became an entrepreneur? I always thought I had to fit a certain mold…my brother was the one who taught me I can be who I want to be and create what I want to create. I suppose I didn’t know I had the strength to speak up for what I truly believe. My voice may be quiet but I do speak up.
What would you tell a milspo entrepreneur who is feeling discouraged? Talk to another creative! Doesn’t matter what kind of creative medium that they do, just sit down and talk. The people you meet, the stories you hear, the things that you learn from others, it’s amazing the ideas will start flowing! I think its one of the most powerful tools a creative can take away from.
What are your five favorite things that you can not live without as a milspo entrepreneur?
- sketchbook / camera / any visuals
- phone ( we just do everything on there email, social media, whatever …)
- Adobe Creative Suite (especially photoshop!)
What is the most amazing thing you have experienced in your business thus far? It was the first time we hired a freelancer. After working 13 hours straight, we unloaded everything, slowly walked to the table with our fast food barely able to make it to the chairs. I just remember the looks on all of our faces. The exhaustion didn’t even matter, it was the best feeling I’ve ever felt. The energy from the bond of working with a team like we have is something I’ll never take for granted. I remember that was the day it all really sunk in that it was something my brother and I created ourselves - that was a pretty amazing feeling.
How do you want to be remembered? I would hope I would have made some sort of dent of impact in this world in some type of way. Whether that impact be creatively, entrepreneurial or even creating awareness by helping stop the stigma of mental illness.
One of my favorite quotes by Robert Frost is still something I try to live by on a daily basis..
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”