Alicja Colon // Where Are They Now series

LIVE on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm BST / 8:30am in Hawaii
We are continuing with the Where are They Now series, this week with Alicja Colon.

Alicja redefined her view of success for herself and her business. Maybe this comes with experience but Alicja is going to bring some wisdom from life/business experience as a serial entrepreneur.

Alicja has to be one of the bravest people I know. She regularly takes on a variety of challenges with gusto, changing direction as she feels led. She is not afraid to dive into the deep end on a new audience, new medium, or new facet of the creative industry. Alicja is a creative trail blazer. She is an explorer and doesn’t seem to be afraid to change course.

From photographer to project manager, to designer and paper craft illustrator, back to photography but with a new focus. Now she celebrates the beauty of women at all ages and women who are going through challenges.

I love Alicja’s willingness to redefine herself and how she views success. Oh and another year in the books for the Creatives Ignite show! We are 11 this week.

I hope you will join us for this conversation. You can be part of the conversation live with us. Simply join the Creatives Ignite Family by giving me your email and get a reminder email 30 min before the show: You can also add it to your calendar so you don’t miss it. (Those links are in the emails). See you there, then you can type in the chat and ask questions live.

Alicja shares what she has learned since we last talked in 2018. I hope you will join us.

See you on Wed. June 7, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm BST / 8:30am in Hawaii

Listen here


  1. Alicja, can you tell everybody a little background about you, who you are, where you are, and what you do? 
  2. You were first on the show back in 2018. How has life and business changed since last time we talked?
  3. What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve faced in regards to your career / business? 
  4. What is the biggest challenge you have overcome? 
  5. Do you struggle with time management? Marketing yourself? 
  6. How do you get your name out there? Agent? Groups? Conferences?
  7. How do you go about learning new skills? When is it important to sharpen skills you have already and what have you done to do that?
  8. Do you have any systems or processes that has helped you develop new skills? What types of business skills and creative skills have you had to learn? 
  9. Looking back, have you found or realized a new superpower you weren’t aware of before? 
  10. Do you ever deal with being overwhelmed? If so how have you dealt with that?
  11. How do you come up with new ideas? 
  12. Do you have any creative outlets or non creative outlets that you do regularly to keep you balanced?
  13. Have you avoided burning out?
  14. Do you collaborate with others? What elements make up a perfect collaborative project for you?
  15. What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself in the last year, that has been most impactful to your life or freelance business? 
  16. What’s one piece of advice you would tell your past self? 
  17. What is next?

Past episode


Follow Alicja

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[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode the 11th. This is the anniversary episode. This is the 11th. I was about to say 11th episode. Oh, nope. It’s 441. It’s 11 years today. I’m excited to have my friend Alicja Colon on, and um, she’s been on before. This is part of the, where are they Now, series. I’m getting lots of comments from people loving the where are they now?

[00:00:29] I [00:00:30] also love the where are they now, because it just goes to show us how our, our industry is very large. You can do lots of things in our industry, but. So it’s good for people who get bored easy. Yes. Or have d h adhd. Um, but it’s also just so nice to see where people have struggled and where they have thrived and what they have learned along the journey.

[00:00:54] And I was telling you this before and I thought, oh, this sort of sounds passive aggressive. When I [00:01:00] reread my, um, questions, I was like, oh, uh, that might not be, why did you, or like, so I, and maybe it was in my, what I wrote up for Alicja, I said, I admire her being able to change directions and just really get do, she has done a lot of things from design, photography, photography, paper crafts, entrepreneur.

[00:01:23] I think you’re a serial entrepreneur, which always makes me feel like a serial killer a little bit, you know? Yeah. Um, hey [00:01:30] Maura, I’m glad you’re here from Raleigh also. Um, and. You’ve been able, you just, uh, project manager, you’ve been lead creative, you’ve done so many things. And now kind of going back to photography and to me, I know your faith plays a role in this as well.

[00:01:51] And so I think that for, for you, we’re gonna get into some of these, but this journey has, I [00:02:00] mean, there are ups and downs, you know? Absolutely. Mm-hmm. But like, you take it with gusto, and I just think that it is, um, you’re just very, I think of you as very driven, very ballsy, and Oh, thank you. But your, your, your faith is strong and I see you just going strongly.

[00:02:20] With your faith in these new directions When I am like, I dunno, should I, 

[00:02:25] Alicja Colon: should I, I dunno. I feel like this little weakling on 

[00:02:29] diane: a tiny [00:02:30] little, um, a little diving board and I can’t even jump off into the puddle. And you’re like, when it’s off like a hundred feet high dive or something. Oh. 

[00:02:40] Alicja Colon: So it’s a real perception, 

[00:02:44] diane: but that it makes me feel like, Hey, if I just had a tiny bit of her faith, that is just, just in going in these new directions that I would.

[00:02:55] I would be better cuz I really do feel like I’m floundering at times and I’m sure [00:03:00] other people connect, uh, to what I’m saying and feel that way. But I’m sure a lot of people also are in the same boat as you. So, yeah. You wanna start us off and tell us, I, I might have missed one of your jobs, uh, in this, you’ve worked in house, you’ve worked for yourself, you’ve done, I mean you’ve paper crafts the sculpture.

[00:03:18] Yeah. Have been amazing. Kind of tell everybody what you’re doing now and then maybe where you were, I think we talked last in 2018. 

[00:03:28] Alicja Colon: Yeah. Gosh, that’s been a long time [00:03:30] ago. So first off, a big kudos to you. 11 years doing a podcast. You know, like I, I think in the 11 years that you have been doing this podcast, I think I’ve started four and none of them have gotten over 10 episodes.

[00:03:45] I, I, I, I 

[00:03:46] diane: was, I didn’t think that, but I’ve thought I know you have, because I wrote, one of the hashtags was like, women in podcasting, you know, because I was like, she has, um, because you have, I didn’t remember how many, [00:04:00] but you do have a new one, which we will. I do. Yeah. We will share later. But it is hard.

[00:04:05] It’s hard to do a podcast. It’s hard to do it alone. It’s, um, I just, uh, I had great, I have great support, so, 

[00:04:15] Alicja Colon: yes. Yeah. And that, that comes with longevity and consistency showing up. You show up and so others show up for you. So anyway, you are, to me, when we’re, when we’re talking about glowing. Uh, attributes.

[00:04:29] [00:04:30] Yours is dependability, devotion, and steadfastness. That’s who like, when I think of like you, that that’s what I come across. That’s, that’s what gets in my heart. 

[00:04:42] diane: That’s awesome. Thank 

[00:04:43] Alicja Colon: you. I appreciate that. Yeah, you’re welcome. Okay, so to your original question, um, so I started out as a graphic, specifically print design.

[00:04:52] So brands and all of that stuff. And then from there, uh, went into photography, so that was like families and then [00:05:00] weddings, and then went to project management and then went to commercial photography. So that stint was with a focus lab, 

[00:05:08] diane: um, which is an agency in, uh, Savannah, Georgia. Savannah. 

[00:05:11] Alicja Colon: Yep. And so worked for them for six years.

[00:05:14] And then after that, I, uh, started doing paper illustration, which is pretty much paper sculpture with like, um, for editorial purposes or for tech companies, you know, like headers and heroes. Uh, so I did that for about three years, [00:05:30] started a paper craft kit company, essentially Covid, kind of really hit like hurt that joined Unfold, was a web designer for a little bit.

[00:05:40] Ended up moving into leadership where I was helping to lead the agency. Uh, and then got laid off before. Of course, you know, that’s in like a lot of people know what happened there, but I don’t, I’m gloss over that. Uh, and then once I got laid off, I was kind of sitting there going like, all right, God, what do you want me to do?

[00:05:57] What’s, what’s the next thing? Because I kind of [00:06:00] look at the litany, right? Yeah. And I’m like, okay, I could go back into project management. I could go into creative service operations, which is what I was doing. Like I could go, um, back into photography. And here’s the thing that I learned to unfold, is that unfold on paper was everything that I, I thought I ever wanted.

[00:06:19] It was, uh, I, I was on the top of the agency where I got to lead and influence and encourage I, and teach like I, it was cool because some of the [00:06:30] things that I have learned from even helping with brand strategy back in Focus Lab, I was able to help with unfold and, and how to present brands or how to project manage things, like things that I have, like, and even, even photography styles, things that I had used in my previous experience, I was able to now give new designers, you know, like, or designers that are fresh.

[00:06:51] Like this is their first agency experience. And I’m like, all right guys, uh, I think Meg like this, this, and this could really help with presentation. So [00:07:00] I was, I was there and on top of that I was getting paid really well. So everything on paper. But the problem is, is that towards the, towards the end of my tenure there, I started really getting depressed.

[00:07:13] Mm. Like to the point where I was almost crying every single day. It was, um, there was a lot of things that played into that, but a lot of it, if you, if you had to like singularly put like shift, shift them all in one kind of race to the top, it’s the lack of [00:07:30] creativity. Mm-hmm. I, I was used to creating something almost at least every week, at least one thing that I could share, that I could look at, even if I didn’t share it, I could, like, I did that or it pushed me creatively, or I got to explore and experiment in some way.

[00:07:48] And that was, that was gone. So essentially what I decided was, um, I can either try to get a job being doing operations or photography [00:08:00] or, you know, something creative and so, But me being me, I was like, I need the money. So I apply to, I would say, over 20 operations jobs. And, but this 

[00:08:14] diane: is where, just so you know, like this is me too.

[00:08:16] I’m like, but I need the money. Like I need the money. The same thing. Okay, keep going. Then I’m just saying, okay, yeah, keep going. Yeah. And that 

[00:08:24] Alicja Colon: like, drive that. It’s so funny cuz that drives the, the impetus [00:08:30] and I wasn’t getting hired, I wasn’t getting interviews. I, and I’m like, what in the world? Like I’ve had, I, like I have a lot of experience with an operations, either like, 

[00:08:39] diane: and you’re nice, you’re easy to work with, you’re strong, like you, you can communicate well, 

[00:08:45] Alicja Colon: right?

[00:08:46] Um, except when I get excited then it’s typos anyway. Um, so then I’m like, well what am I going to do in the meantime? Cuz what I thought was I was gonna start a side hustle, right? And like, and have this thing kind of [00:09:00] going and. I kind of blundered my way back into photography and I have, it has just absolutely blossomed and I abs I know that I don’t wanna go too far into it because I know you’re gonna ask questions.

[00:09:14] Um, but that is essentially where I’m at right now. And no, not nearly making the amount of money, but I would say the amount of impact that I’m making is exponentially more. 

[00:09:29] diane: Okay. So [00:09:30] one of the things that you and I had talked about, and I just added it in, how did you used to define success? And then how do you define it now?

[00:09:38] Because you talked a little bit about it. There could be, it was the money. I’m getting paid what I want, but there yeah. Um, there’s some about just creating, making something that you’re proud of. Um, yeah. Can you talk a little bit about how that definition of success has changed for 

[00:09:55] Alicja Colon: you? Yes. So when I first started working at Focus [00:10:00] Lab, a I didn’t know that Focus Lab was such a big deal.

[00:10:03] I didn’t know quite literally. Um, all I knew was it was the guy. So I was a graphic designer at a church, and the guy who was the developer at the church started a design agency with a friend of his. Um, and then I went away to Miami and I came back and the agency was there and I was like, okay, that’s cool.

[00:10:24] Do you need a project manager? And he was like, yeah. And then I started working for them. It was quite, literally very much [00:10:30] like that. Um, but then once I got there, I realized, holy crap, there’s this, there’s this thing called Dribble. There’s this thing called Design Community. There’s these conferences, uh, like these people are well known, look at all of the brands we’re working with.

[00:10:45] And then at that point I was exposed to, holy crap, I could get my name on top of this heap. Mm. Right. Like I could start maybe teaching at workshops. I could start talking, I could, you know, essentially maybe become [00:11:00] one of these like, creative icons that, you know, like, fuck leader and, and work on these crazy big names and these big brands and then therefore like, feel like I made it.

[00:11:13] Mm-hmm. Um, and I remember I, I sacrificed so much time and so much family at that idol, um, at that altar. Cuz like, I, um, I remember I would, I would work at Focus Lab and then I would come home and I would work [00:11:30] more, not necessarily to get clients, but more to like try to push my name out there and try to like, Get known and whatever.

[00:11:39] Um, and that was my success. My success was what’s the brand I’m working for? Who, whose conference am I talking at? Um, how many podcast interviews do I have? You know, all of that stuff. And, and I remember, it’s so funny cuz I remember [00:12:00] when I was, my paper illustration business was kind of floundering because of Covid because essentially what happened is that I get leads from the conferences that I attend.

[00:12:10] And since I didn’t attend any conferences, quite literally the next year, that’s when everything like fell apart. Um, and I really had the like crisis of like, do I let go what I’m known for? Or do I like get a job? To help support my [00:12:30] family, you know what I mean? And like, no matter what it is, and I, I’m so embarrassed that like, that was a question.

[00:12:38] Mm. Right. It’s like, like I, you know what I mean? Like, it’s, it’s, it’s insane. Um, 

[00:12:44] diane: but it’s, it, it is a real struggle because you think, well, if I am known, then I will get better clients. I will. It’s, it’s not that you’re, 

[00:12:54] Alicja Colon: it was an ego thing for me. It’s, I love how you’re trying to like paint it, but it was a hundred percent pride for [00:13:00] me.

[00:13:00] Okay. Like, it was, it was as, as dirty and as gross as you could think about it. Cuz it was like, I just, I, I look at that former version of myself and the scripture that kept coming to mind. I think even one that season is like, you know, why gain the world and lose your soul? Mm. And it’s like over and over again.

[00:13:21] I’m like, yeah, but I really want it. Mm. You know? Yeah. And now, now I’m on, and, and so now I’m at the complete [00:13:30] opposite spectrum. I’m not really reaching out nationally anymore. I’m not, um, I’m like focused on individual people. I’m, I’m focused on, you know what I mean? Like, before it was like, I wouldn’t even shoot locally photography wise because like nothing here locally is worth my name.

[00:13:51] It’s so bad. Um, so anyway, I 

[00:13:56] diane: appreciate you being so honest and being able to accept that [00:14:00] thing. Um, I feel like ego wise, if none, if none of y’all showed up, like now my mom’s gone, she’s for sure not gonna show up. It would like crush me. But the ego part, I guess if I really cared, I would check how many downloads I have a, a week or a, I mean, Everybody’s always higher than me.

[00:14:21] You know, like I remember when Dave Clayton was like, we hit so and so many, and I’m like, dude, that’s awesome. I wonder how many I have. And [00:14:30] I was like, way far below. And I’d been doing it, but I also thi this is where I feel like that we aren’t reaching. Um, I’m good with, you know, 3 30, 5, 10, you know, however many people God puts in this room every week.

[00:14:48] I’m good. Um, it, I honestly don’t know if I would continue, if no one showed up. It would, it is really difficult. This is where I may be doing it alone, but, you know, I know when Amy [00:15:00] Lyons goes outta town, she’s like, I’m gonna miss the podcast this week. Diane. She just texted me and tells me so she knows that I’m not.

[00:15:07] Um, and, and I just appreciate. Yeah, maybe. But, but I do think that there’s something so rewarding about just the individual knowing these people Right. And getting it, and it is maybe something that you didn’t get on these bigger brands. And I know I’ve had conversations with, [00:15:30] with people here, I know I’ve had this conversation with Doc before where it’s like, it’s like, oh, I just want these big brands.

[00:15:38] Big. And I mean, when I was in school, I wanted to work for Coca-Cola, but I was like, well, I can go to Atlanta, or I can move to Denver. I wanna move to Denver. So I moved to Denver and Coca-Cola, not that Coca-Cola’s not there, but they’re definitely not hiring me from Denver, you know? Yeah. And so it’s like, well, I, I really feel [00:16:00] like God gifted me with the ability to get on board with some of these really small companies and have really long.

[00:16:07] Relationships with these companies. And I think it has been such a blessing. I have been blessed financially, maybe not like I would if I had, you know, Coca-Cola as a client, but I also feel like Coca-Cola is going to use me once, and then they’re sending me to the curb and they’re going to find their next hot thing, right?

[00:16:26] Yeah. It’s not like they’re like, we’ve worked with dying for [00:16:30] 20 years. You know, like Coca-Cola would be like, nah, we’re not doing that. You know, so there’s this, there’s, I feel like there’s two camps. It’s like, no, we gotta get the big brands so then other people come. But I also feel like when you’ve worked with so many big brands, sometimes it can be intimidating for the little brands.

[00:16:46] Like, I don’t even know if I can afford you. You know, like mm-hmm. There is, there is some of that on that end. 

[00:16:53] Alicja Colon: There’s, um, I, I am learning now instead of a wide impact. I want a deep impact. Hmm. That [00:17:00] is what I want. Right? And so, so right now what I do is I do empowerment photography for ladies, right? And oftentimes it looks like boudoir stuff, um, which is intimate images that is, you know, bedroom focused essentially.

[00:17:15] And the women that I’m photographing are moms. They’re older ladies. They’re, you know, turning 50 or they’re turning 60. And this is kind of like their time where they just, they wanna still feel beautiful, you know? [00:17:30] Um, I had this one lady come in and she came in on Saturday. Quite literally. This just happened.

[00:17:37] And her daughter died the month before. And she was, I could tell like, she came in and she was sad. And I didn’t know that her daughter passed. I knew that she had a sick daughter. And, uh, I’m like, are you okay? And she’s like, yeah. And she told me, And she’s like, so I’m, I’m doing this for myself. And to be that person that they trust [00:18:00] to kind of just have a moment where they can be themselves and kind of get out of it.

[00:18:05] And I had her laughing and in her gallery, I, I, I normally wouldn’t post a picture. Uh, cuz it’s a very, it’s, it’s funny cuz it’s like, you know, when you’re really laughing, you’re like, you got the double chin going and, you know what I mean? Like, it’s not a very beautiful picture, but like, she needed to see herself happy.

[00:18:27] So I made it sure that I add that [00:18:30] in that gallery for her and I made sure that I snapped it for her. Um, yeah. And so at that point, and then I just had one this other day at like, uh, this one was Tuesday, yesterday. 

[00:18:44] diane: Yeah, yesterday, today, Wednesday, yes. Today 

[00:18:47] Alicja Colon: she text me and she said, thank you so much for helping me see myself like beautifully.

[00:18:53] You know? And, and it’s like, so you couple that with what I’m doing with the [00:19:00] podcast, which I’m sure we’ll talk to me, I see that this photography is actually way more of a ministry than it is a job. And, and as such, I mean, I don’t necessarily get paid that much for it, though. It is pretty much, it is, you know, a pricey thing to endeavor and, but goodness, the impact that I’m making is so more significant than any impact that I made at any agency.

[00:19:28] Creating any marketing [00:19:30] campaign for any huge and a Fortune 500 company that I’ve ever like, like all, all of that stuff that I made for those people is a, is. A forgotten image and an Instagram post years ago, right? 

[00:19:46] diane: Yeah. Wow. 

[00:19:47] Alicja Colon: So, Joe, go ahead. So Joe’s here. I just wanna say Joe. Hi Joe. 

[00:19:53] diane: I know. Hey Joe. Okay, so.

[00:19:55] In in that. There is, uh, and I know I’ve talked to Paul [00:20:00] about this as well. So Paul’s here, he does book covers and stuff, and we’ve talked in Oh, cool. In that regard of, okay, well then I work for a big publishing company. I’m their designer. Right? Or you decide to work for these people who have this story and they have to buy a thousand copies and keep it in their garage or 10,000 copies or whatever they’re doing direct to print or whatever it is.

[00:20:23] Right. And, um, we’ve had really good conversations on this and I think sometimes it is trying, you have [00:20:30] absolutely been successful with big brands. The, it is something you have on your resume. You have big brands that you have worked for, you have spoken at conferences, you have big conferences. You have, you’ve done a lot of really big things.

[00:20:47] What, what I love is that when you’ve come down to the, the nitty gritty, You were applying for big jobs that kept you, but you were, when you were in that, what you said perfect job. You, [00:21:00] it was unfulfilling and now what you didn’t think was going to be, you never chased this, this goat. Right? This was never, you were like, I’m not working in Savannah.

[00:21:11] I’m, you know, I’m gonna be absolutely re regional, national, international. I want people not to be associated, but now you are. Tying yourself, binding yourself closer to the Savannah. And you actually, whoop my mic almost fell off. 

[00:21:27] Alicja Colon: Sorry, but you’re so excited 

[00:21:29] diane: you’re hitting me. I [00:21:30] know. I can’t see me cuz I have the chat and the stuff over my face.

[00:21:33] So, but we are talking about this and you said, and this I think will help everybody who’s, there are lots of people looking for work right now, right? Mm-hmm. Or changing. They’re pivoting, right? Yeah. And you’ve kind of pivoted back. You’ve, and I said, well, you had a lot of equipment. And you’re like, Hmm, my equipment’s about 10 years old, Diane.

[00:21:48] You know, it’s not, it is that, that wasn’t the best, um, thing. I’m making it work. But one thing you said was, I have a lot of connections. Even though you weren’t working [00:22:00] in Savannah, that wasn’t your focus. People knew you as a creative in Savannah and that was, this has been a game changer for you right now.

[00:22:10] Absolutely. In business. Can you tell ’em just a little bit about what that looked like in all those past years? So if somebody’s thinking, well, you know, I don’t really, yeah. Yeah, 

[00:22:21] Alicja Colon: so in my previous, so essentially the dichotomy of how I get leads now was completely different. So before, whenever I was [00:22:30] like a commercial photographer for like tech companies and, uh, you know, d other design agencies and whatever, I met all of those people.

[00:22:38] Either they heard me through podcasts or they heard me, uh, on stage or they took a workshop, uh, or somebody in their vicinity. One did one of those three things and then suggested me. So essentially that’s how I get leads beforehand. But now, um, I was like, okay, well none of those things work now because a, again, I really did not focus on Savannah [00:23:00] whatsoever.

[00:23:00] I had my friend groups, I had my gym, I had my church, I had my sports. Like those are the little circles that I ran in. Um, and so, but at the same time, I’ve been in the same spot for over 10, 15 years. Right. So at this point I’m, I know, I know a lot of people cuz I’ve been in the same, you know, vicinity for a really long time.

[00:23:21] And so at that point it quite literally was like, okay, I need to build up my portfolio. I know I can shoot, I know I can do this, but people aren’t [00:23:30] gonna hire what you think you know how to do. People are gonna hire what they see. And so in order for me to then attract people to do, you know, to shoot with me, I had to essentially, um, Involve or get all, you know, models for like that portfolio.

[00:23:46] So the first thing that I did was, uh, I did a model call for a boudoir shoot, and I didn’t even think about how str strategic this was, but she is the personal trainer at the gym that I go [00:24:00] to, and it’s a group workout place, you know, so it’s kind of like all they do is group classes and on top of that, they really foster community and this personal trainer is a hundred percent okay with her images being shared wherever.

[00:24:12] Um, so from that shoot, I was able then to ex like, introduce my artwork to about a thousand people through a person that they all loved because it was their personal trainer too, right? And essentially from [00:24:30] there, I I, oh my gosh, I think I got like 10 or 12 leads from just that one post. Um, and.

[00:24:38] Essentially just started happening slowly and slowly after that. You know, finding people who are of influence, who are in the vicinity or community that I know that, um, that they would have reached or if I shared their images, that it would kind of explode, would be the best like way to market here. Not [00:25:00] necessarily through ads or anything like that.

[00:25:01] It’s all warm market. It’s all, Hey girl, so-and-so did this and it’s awesome. You should see her images or whatever. 

[00:25:10] diane: Okay. So then how did you get to boudoir? So from, so you’re, because tell, you told me this story a little bit because, well, here’s the thing. So this is the, where are they now? Alicja’s had multiple other jobs and positions and whatever, and Alicja wrote back to Ashley.

[00:25:29] [00:25:30] I’m doing boudoir photography now. I’m not sure if she wants me on. And I was like, what does that have to do with anything? Like, um, I just, I was, I thought that was, um, a really super sweet reaction that you had because there is maybe a, a stigma that goes with this, but mm-hmm. I love how you’re seeing this, these women who are been through chil childbirth or having kids and they don’t feel great about their body and now they do, [00:26:00] or they just need to feel beautiful again, or they need to do something for themselves.

[00:26:05] Yeah. So, but you, this was the honest answer that you gave to me. You said, I don’t know, does she really want me on? Yeah. And I was like, oh, yes, I don’t care, but this is a different, so tell them how you got to, cuz it was like, was this this itch that you were like, oh, I really want this. 

[00:26:25] Alicja Colon: Yeah. So no, uh, no. I never thought I would actually, uh, do this [00:26:30] photography.

[00:26:30] Uh, it, so it’s really kind of funny that I’m in it now. Um, so essentially what ended up happening was I got laid off the day after Thanksgiving, and so I had all of December and I’m just trying to figure out how I’m gonna bring in money essentially. And I have a friend of mine who’s also a boudoir photographer, and she said, you know what, if you started doing, you know, do like a model call or whatever, like you probably could get some ladies in here for Valentine’s.

[00:26:58] Like, so you would be able to [00:27:00] like make bank in January in order to, you know, to start help paying your, your bills. Um, and quite literally that was, that was the spark. That it took for me to even think about doing photography locally again because I, I mean, I, it was completely at like, I’m not gonna do that.

[00:27:19] And largely the reason why is because when we lived in Miami, I was a wedding photographer and I was, it was going really well and I was being very successful. [00:27:30] Um, and. It was amazing. I really loved it. What 

[00:27:35] diane: was, what was success there? Like? Was it just you were booked every weekend, you were making money, you were, um, 

[00:27:40] Alicja Colon: I was, yeah.

[00:27:41] Being flown to destination places in order to capture weddings and then I was being published. That’s, that’s to me, being paid really well. That was success. Right. And so for, so then what ended up happening was, um, my kids were really young at this point. Uh, gosh. I think one was like three [00:28:00] and one was one.

[00:28:01] And you have three kids now? I have three kids, yeah. I have three kids. And so my husband came to me and he said, sweetheart, I don’t look forward to coming home on weekends anymore because you have to, um, like I work all week and then I come home and I don’t see you. And now, you know what I mean? Like, you’re gone on the weekends.

[00:28:23] Like, I don’t see you. And then I also feel like God was calling me to go like, no, no. I need to, I need to get out of that. [00:28:30] Um, So anyway, so after two years I finally obeyed that and I did get out. Um, so I thought that was closing the door cuz I remember grieving for that. Like, it was so weird. I didn’t think I was gonna grieve for that, but I did.

[00:28:44] I, I grieved for that and I was just, I was, I was crying and I remember, um, I was like, that’s it. I guess I’m not gonna do this ever again. And so anyway, so once a friend came back and was like, Hey, why don’t, why don’t [00:29:00] you do this? I’m like, and so I went to my husband and I was like, do you think I could start this again?

[00:29:06] Like, are my kids are now 15, 15, 13, and 11? And I’m like, I think you can, like, I think you can do this now. So anyway, so that’s how I got into it. But as soon as I got into it, and this is probably where other people who are on the outside looking in, interpret it. Uh, they see gusto and they see bravery, and they see courage.

[00:29:29] What [00:29:30] I’m seeing on the inside is possibility and potential. Mm-hmm. Because as soon as I started doing this, I realized how much these ladies trust me in order to capture what I’m doing. Right. And I, um, and then realize if I mess this up, if I mess this up, I could be really damaging somebody’s self perspective and their ego, you know what I mean?

[00:29:58] Like, like, uh, like, [00:30:00] like it could be really bad for their mental health. Like, I have to be okay to this, for this. 

[00:30:07] diane: Right. Well, and you, you understand your role and the potential of, um, ha the impact, again, deeper impact than it makes for that woman’s life going forward. And, and Doc had a question, so we’ll just jump into this one.

[00:30:22] So recently you’ve been shooting, you got, you are part of a grant and you are shooting, um, breast cancer [00:30:30] fighters. 

[00:30:31] Alicja Colon: Mm-hmm. Right? Fighters and 

[00:30:32] diane: survivors. Fighters. And survivors. And so Doc asked, did you recently do a shoot for someone who had reconstructive surgery? That one hit home feeling beautiful after a mastectomy is tough.

[00:30:43] Absolutely. So do you wanna talk about how you came up or how you got involved with this grant and then what you’re doing for it and what kind of impact you’re being able to do with this? 

[00:30:53] Alicja Colon: Yeah, so the, there’s a local nonprofit here called Keepers of the Flame, and they are the only organization in [00:31:00] Savannah that works with patients who are currently undergoing, uh, chemotherapy for breast cancer.

[00:31:06] Um, a lot of, you know, organizations either help like awareness or afterwards, but not necessarily during. Um, and so the, the founder of it actually did a photo shoot while she was going through it, and it has always been a very transformative experience for her. And so I got connected with her saying, Hey, [00:31:30] this would be, um, like how can we make this available to these people right?

[00:31:37] To, to like a more group. And then the Savannah Cultural Arts, uh, was looking to give money away. They wanted to do a grant, essentially, um, for a traveling exhibit in Savannah. And so we, so me and Keepers came together and we’re like, why don’t we create this exhibit where we capture these 10 women, either.

[00:31:59] Um, [00:32:00] some of them are currently going through it, some of them are survivors and they pick a word and when they pick a word, uh, we build a theme in and around it. So my first one, uh, she’s currently going through, uh, chemotherapy. Her word was fighter. So we were able to get her some pink boxing gloves and, you know, make her look really fierce.

[00:32:22] Um, the second lady, she’s completely done with her reconstructive surgery. She is a survivor. Uh, and her word [00:32:30] was bloom cuz she felt like through the whole thing, she, she really grew, her relationships grew. Uh, and then we have two more that we’re doing. So we’re doing one on Monday and then one coming up in July.

[00:32:42] One is about fire. This is a survivor, she said. Um, her motto is fear. Fear of the girl that has gone through the fire and still smiles. So we’re doing this beautiful, like she’s gonna be beautiful and like just, you know, a batty with like fire all around her. Uh, and then this other [00:33:00] girl, she’s currently actually going through it.

[00:33:02] So she has lost all of her hair. She’s halfway through her chemo. Uh, and we’re, she is, hers is gonna be called floating. Um, cuz her theme is more like she’s depressed, but at the same time she still has hope. And so we’re gonna get her in a beautiful flower flowy gown in a pond, uh, and light it in evening.

[00:33:23] So there’s gonna be some beautiful, like light things happening as well. Um, 

[00:33:28] diane: are you, this is where [00:33:30] your branding comes in, right? Your history in branding and helping now you’re did, was that your. Idea to have them choose a theme and a word or a word, and then you are wrapping that. Mm-hmm. Oh, that’s brilliant.

[00:33:43] Alicja Colon: Absolutely. And so then when we go into the exhibit, right, then we have something that it’s like we, I just don’t want, you go into and you just see these smiling faces of people and nice poses. Like what does that tell you? What does that, what narrative, what [00:34:00] conceptual thing is that trying to communicate about somebody’s journey through breast cancer?

[00:34:05] Um, so I want this gallery to be a very emotive experience for anybody that goes through it for the people who are partaking in it and people who are viewing in it and viewing. And the cool thing is that we have a, we have the permanent residence. So as soon as the exhibit gets done, gout, like, um, traveling.

[00:34:29] [00:34:30] Um, and so the, all the images are done, the permanent residence is gonna be in an imaging center. Like a breast cancer imaging center. So I think that’s also gonna be really cool too. So they’ll, it, it will live on for a really long time. And that’s what I’m talking about this, like you would never, ever get this kind of impact creating images for a big box brand.

[00:34:54] Yeah. You’re not, you’re, you know what I mean? Like this right here, like these ladies’ [00:35:00] lives, this family. I mean, these images are gonna be passed down to generations. All countless women are gonna be going through that imaging center and like seeing these. Yeah. And they’re gonna be able to connect and re resonate.

[00:35:10] So that’s the deeper significance is what’s important to me right now. 

[00:35:15] diane: Well, Rhonda says this definitely should be become a book. I have you, I don’t know if you, you’ve thought about that, but that definitely seems like such a powerful um, it is hope. It’s hope for those people that are going through it [00:35:30] currently.

[00:35:30] You know that Yeah. They can see, hey, these people have. Gone through it as well. They’ve gone through the same thing as me, and they’ve made it through. Some of them are still in it, so I have somebody who can relate. It does seem like a huge impact, and this was really fast. A lot of times grants are really slow.

[00:35:47] You have an idea, and then, but this is one that really was like kicked off and you guys are moving. When is the exhibition? It’s crazy. So how if somebody, if somebody new, so say Paul in Minnesota has this [00:36:00] idea, he’s like, oh my goodness, I think my, uh, local, uh, museum would love to have this, or a hospital or whatever.

[00:36:07] How would somebody get to be a part of this local or the, um, the traveling exhibit? 

[00:36:14] Alicja Colon: You just need to contact me and I would probably put you in contact with Joyce, which is the keepers, and we would make sure that that happens because the, the, the beauty of the grant is that essentially for the month of October, which is, you know, Cancer Awareness Month, right?

[00:36:29] [00:36:30] Um, it has to be traveling within Savannah specifically within that month, right? Mm-hmm. And then after that, we are released to be able to release those images anywhere else. Um, so, and it’s one of those things we’re gonna get them printed on metal prints, but I could also get the images released too, so if they wanted to print it locally, you know?

[00:36:49] Mm-hmm. And hang ’em, they could do that as well, I’m sure. Cuz we’re, we’re also figuring out a way to have like URA QR codes with each one to have like a story so you can read a little bit more into the [00:37:00] concept of each one. Um, so there is going to be a digital element attached to this as well. It’d be really cool if I could figure out a, an ar uh, an augmented reality where you scan your, you know, your thing and it like shows up around it somehow.

[00:37:13] Um, Yeah, the concept, that’d be really cool. But I’m not there yet. I, I gotta create thes first. 

[00:37:21] diane: I know. Well, I’m, I, I think I will get, uh, back with you on it traveling cause I think that could be really cool. I mean, we have a cancer [00:37:30] research center here, so I think that would be a cool place to, and have a exhibit anyway.

[00:37:36] Um, love it. Thank you Rhonda. Yeah. Rhonda says, on a poster you can see art, art I v i e and then, or you can say and then, or use AR on the posters or you can add a video to it with the QR code for sure. Um, anyway, I definitely think a book is okay. So going back to the questions number two. No, [00:38:00] I’m just kidding.

[00:38:00] Um, I know we are really far, um, we know how life and business has changed, but in this whole, uh, ch going c i d everything, what has been the biggest challenge? Um, That, that you’ve walked through either personally or your business has walked through? 

[00:38:23] Alicja Colon: My biggest challenge is my fear that once I get laid off, and then once I started this business, while I see [00:38:30] the potential, I didn’t see the money.

[00:38:33] And my biggest thing was, am I gonna be provided for, are we gonna be able to pay our bills? Because thankfully my husband is able to cover most of our bills, but I, there is still a part where I have to pitch in. Um, and in order to combat that, what I ended up doing is I got a notebook and I wrote down as far as I could remember all the times where God showed up [00:39:00] and I remember.

[00:39:02] I got all the way to the end and I was, I, I cry a lot guys, apparently, but I remember I like looked up at Desmond and like I had tears coming from my eyes and he looked at me and Desmond’s my husband and he’s like, what? And he’s like, we were never late on our bills. We never, we never missed a mortgage payment.

[00:39:26] I think we’re gonna be okay. Like God has us, right? Uh, [00:39:30] and it’s funny because during that whole entire time, I also learned of this phrase called if it’s, if it’s not provision, it’s protection. And then I started seeing where it’s like, okay, I applied to 20 something operations jobs. If it’s not provision, then it’s protection.

[00:39:49] So that means mm-hmm. That all of the God was protecting me from all of those jobs. Right. And so, and I just continually kind of see how that keeps coming [00:40:00] back into fruition over and over again. Like for instance, um, even with these shoots, with the, the cancer patient suits, not Suits, shoots. Anyway, I, but still a clean podcast.

[00:40:14] Um, yeah. Just I’m, I’m having a hard time finding a scene or Yeah. Finding like places to shoot this and then all of a sudden quite literally everything kind of starts falling, like right when I’m kind of [00:40:30] getting to the point where it’s like, okay, it’s either going to not happen, you know, or like, like a breaking point.

[00:40:39] I’m getting to a breaking point. Um, And then at that point I end up up meeting a person who has like a field in a pond and all these other places where I can end up shooting where I need to shoot. Mm-hmm. And it’s free and it’s secluded and it fits all of the subject, you know what I mean? All the themes that we’re trying to like imbue right now.

[00:40:57] Um, 

[00:40:58] diane: and that is so, so [00:41:00] powerful. That’s like, wow. You, I was just holding on and me and you talked about the other day we talked, I, I go back to David a lot. He’s one of my favorites in the Bible. And um, he was anointed. You said, I want you to tell the anoint disappoint a point. Um, right. So. Right, right. Do you wanna take it from 

[00:41:19] Alicja Colon: here or, yeah.

[00:41:19] Okay. I’ll go in there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, so one of, one of the big problems that I ended up having too with this, going into this job, Going [00:41:30] into this, it was thinking I’ve tried before to be an entrepreneur. I’ve tried before trying to have a business, and I I’ve failed. Right? In like, what was failure to you?

[00:41:40] So, uh, I didn’t have enough money to keep going. Essentially, that’s what failure was to me. You know, I didn’t have enough failure in order to pay my bills, um, to, I ended up having to lay people off. Right? Like, why, why try this again? And my brother’s always been my spiritual leader and uh, or mentor. And he came to me and I was talking to [00:42:00] him about it and he said, you know what?

[00:42:02] He’s like, I’ve noticed a pattern where God always, um, anoints, disappoints and then up point. And I’m like, well, what do you mean? He said, well, look at David. David was anointed to be king when he was, when he was young. Right. But then he was disappointed because then he was being chased around. Well, 

[00:42:21] diane: and he had to be a shepherd for a long time too.

[00:42:23] Yeah. Before he was even a warrior or doing things, things. So Exactly. 

[00:42:27] Alicja Colon: Like, he might even have like the glimmer of hope of [00:42:30] going like, oh look, it’s about to happen. I just killed Goliath. And all of these people are singing, um, you know, like Saul has killed their thousands and David’s killed their tens of thousands.

[00:42:40] Right. They’re singing my praise, like maybe it’s even gonna happen soon. Right. But then he ends up having to run for his life, um, you know, for years. So, but then he was appointed, right? Um, and so what my brother was telling me is that it’s like God kind of tells us like, Hey, this is what’s coming up. But then at the same time, uses the [00:43:00] season of being disappointed in order to forge whatever it is within us that we needed to be for reforged, right?

[00:43:07] Mm-hmm. Um, and I can tell you that I am definitely bringing in all of those past seasons of learned lessons from those failures, like into the current season that I’m in. Um, and so, and then there is anointing, right? And so I’m, I’m praying that’s the season that I’m getting into. [00:43:30] Um, but I, I mean, if anything, I’m definitely seeing, I’m seeing impact, which to me right now, my metrics of success now is am I making an impact and am I paying my bills?

[00:43:42] Now? I don’t need to be paying my bills. Over and beyond, like as much as I would love or how much I used to get paid or anything like that. Like that’s, that’s not success. Success is can I keep doing what I’m doing, making a pact and pay my bills? Mm-hmm. And if I can, [00:44:00] and I mean, I would like to pay to go up, but one day.

[00:44:06] diane: Right. But that’s not the focus. It’s more about no, uh, serving the people, having these opportunities. It’s less about getting your name out there and more about telling these people’s stories or letting them go home with feeling like they are making a difference and that they’re this struggle mattered and that they are beautiful.

[00:44:26] Alicja Colon: Right, right, right. One of, um, [00:44:30] one lady, I’m talking to her and she was raped for years and years and years and years by her father, and she wants to come and she wants to do the session to take back herself. You know, and so at that point it’s like this is, um, it’s therapy and the amount of vulnerability and trust that they have.

[00:44:52] And so that’s the thing. It’s like, I don’t think I would’ve ever known of the impact of this [00:45:00] art before I got into it. But now that I’m in it, and now that I’m seeing it, I’m like, how could I ever do anything else right now? You know? Yeah. 

[00:45:12] diane: Yeah. Maya says, what a wonderful and important job you’re doing with these women.

[00:45:17] I’m so impressed and have tears in my eyes. And it’s late there. It’s you. Uh, 10 o’clock, I think, or I think pm. Anyway, I love that Maya joins us all the way from Norway. Thank you. Aw. Okay, so I wanna get to [00:45:30] the podcast. So fourth, fourth podcast. Think 

[00:45:34] Alicja Colon: so. Is that right? I had so many, honestly. I don’t know if it’s four or five, but We’ll, we’ll stick with four.

[00:45:39] So one thing 

[00:45:40] diane: I love is that. It’s in, uh, all of your businesses are in the creative field. Um, and then podcasting has continually come up. And I think that I, why I connect this, not that I’m a podcaster or whatever, although I am, but to me it’s that I have [00:46:00] illustration that has always kind of been this, like, I wanna do this, I wanna do this.

[00:46:05] You know? And maybe I haven’t had success. I’m no doc read, I’m no, you know, like whipping things out super fast or maybe it doesn’t look as cool or what, but it’s just me. And so I’m having, I have a hard time kind of like letting it go because whenever I, if, you know, somebody said, well, you know, if you don’t really feel like you’re supposed to be doing your illustrations, then can you let that go?

[00:46:29] [00:46:30] Is that not part of what God has you to be doing? And I’m like, oh no, I, I’m still supposed to be drawing. I’m still, this is part of what I feel like is my thing. I don’t know how it’s going to. Um, see itself, but I don’t feel like I can let this go. Is that how podcasting is, or what is it about podcasting that keeps calling you?

[00:46:52] Alicja Colon: So, for podcasts, specifically for me, um, and I would say specifically for this particular podcast is what [00:47:00] I’ve realized is that, um, it’s the fire. So photography, uh, is, is the light, and the podcast is the warmth. And the thing is that like, I want to impact these ladies, uh, more than just one shoot. Mm. I want them in my inner circle so I can share whatever wisdom I have and whatever wisdom that the community at large has in order to speak into their lives so that they can [00:47:30] then grow and how, however that looks like for them.

[00:47:33] And I, I’m, I’m bringing ladies from all different angles that come in here. Um, so. The, uh, oh my gosh. It’s like, so the podcast for me right now is just kind of a, a broader impactment tool. And if it ends up bringing somebody in from marketing, that’s really cool. But again, it’s, it’s one of those where it’s like, it, I hopefully [00:48:00] it deepens the impact even more.

[00:48:02] So the podcast, um, um, so I have one that has to go out, I haven’t been able to edit yet. Um, she was in an abusive relationship. She’s never been around abuse. She didn’t know what it looked like. So whenever her fiance started doing it to her, she didn’t, she didn’t recognize it and she kind of wrote it off as X, Y, and Z and she shares the story of how she ends up going from, um, like not [00:48:30] knowing what it was to like, holy crap, this is what it is and I need to get out.

[00:48:33] Uh, so. Again, I don’t have that, I don’t have experience in that scenario, but I wanna bring her in so she can share that to our, to our ladies. Right. Um, I have another one that, um, her, this lady, she’s in her like sixties and she grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father. And she noticed that as she got older, she kept finding herself in [00:49:00] unsafe situations and she didn’t know how to, she, she kept seeing this pattern of behavior and she, we talk about how she turned to journaling and it was through journaling consistently for a year.

[00:49:18] She, at this point, she’s been journaling for 30 years of how it has helped her untangle, you know, like realize like this, this is where this, you know, You, [00:49:30] I’m, you know, fruits and root, you know, the fruit of our actions is normally from a root of something, right? A, a, a pain that we did to ourselves, a pain that somebody did to us, a trespass.

[00:49:41] And so then at that point, in order to deal with the, the fruit, you have to deal with the root. And that’s what the journaling is so strong for. That’s what journaling is like, so powerful because it allows you to slow down and it also allows you not to think circular, because what ends up happening when you get in your head is that you start having the same ideas or [00:50:00] saying thoughts over and over again.

[00:50:01] They might look different colors, different shapes, different patterns, but it’s, it, it’s pretty much similar. But when you start writing down, your thoughts become linear because you slow ’em down and you’re able to get a little bit more analytical. Um, and especially if you do it over and over and over again, then it’s like onions.

[00:50:16] So anyway. And you, I, I don’t know, I could talk about this for hours, but this is, honestly, it’s so funny because I feel like the podcast is actually the true. Part of the business, but it’s not the thing that pays [00:50:30] the bills. Right. And so people come in, they see the photography, and I’m like, oh, hey, okay, come listen to this.

[00:50:37] Yeah. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m not doing it well. I wanna get better at it for sure. But like, that is, that is the goal and that is the heart. Because essentially the way that I see this is that this is, this is a very different way to do therapy. Mm-hmm. 

[00:50:59] diane: Yeah. You’re really [00:51:00] serving, um, the whole person.

[00:51:03] Yeah. And, and a lot of different ways. So the people who may be listening, maybe I didn’t realize that was, uh, I didn’t realize that was abuse, or, oh wow, they got out, I, this thing, this tool, this journaling helped them or this, whatever it is that they’re doing, you’re sharing these. Um, outlets and these patches of healing and these, um, yeah.

[00:51:29] Other ways. [00:51:30] And it is definitely a community because you’re bringing people together. 

[00:51:35] Alicja Colon: Mm-hmm. Exactly. Because what one of the things that I realized is that if, if people aren’t seeking it out, they don’t just happen, they just don’t happen across emotional health. They don’t, you know what I mean? Like, it just, it doesn’t happen.

[00:51:54] You either have to seek it out or someone has to hit you outside the head and go like, girl, you need some [00:52:00] help. Uh, go check out my therapist. Cuz normally the people who say that are the ones who have gone to therapy. Um, and so this is kind of like my opportunity of like, Hey, you’re within my sphere.

[00:52:13] This is, these are the things that could really help you. You know, and I mean everything from, uh, hey, exercise for mental health instead of weight loss. Like re like focus on like why you exercise and or, uh, even like loving your postpartum [00:52:30] body. Like how can you do that? Uh, so like we keep it light, but at the same time, like we go really deep.

[00:52:37] diane: Yeah. I love that. So, and last time you were on, you were talking about overcoming debilitating self-talk. Yes. Is your self-talk that, that to me, as in my world, Diane’s world is a continuous battle. There are, it is waves that there are times where it’s, uh, harder and then times where it’s like, I’ve got, I’m doing okay.

[00:52:59] So, [00:53:00] um, catch us up just a little bit on that. Is that something that you’re continually having to deal with and even in the podcast is, is a good reason to just keep having those positive self talks? Anyway. 

[00:53:14] Alicja Colon: Absolutely. No, absolutely. It definitely, I don’t think it’s a thing that like people ever a hundred percent get out of it.

[00:53:20] Mm. Um, I don’t think people ever a hundred percent like, I’m like, okay, I’m healed from negative stuff, talk. And, um, no, I, no, but [00:53:30] what I’ve done or what I’ve learned is that I know now how to fight it quickly. Right? And so, for instance, it’s like, I think I was really struggling. What I realized is that like if leads aren’t coming in or whatever, I’ll like freak out in a panic and I’ll make a rash decision to do something.

[00:53:47] And it ends up kind of always coming back and not being a good idea. And so what I’ve done is I found a couple of scriptures that I can essentially say to myself in sequence that kind of helps me, like [00:54:00] reframe my, my brain, right? So before though, it was a very. Long process when I would go through this, like I had a piece of paper and it was front and back and it literally was like, you know, um, I, I am relentless.

[00:54:16] I do not give up. I will figure it out. I’ve done hard things before I can be successful. Like, quite literally it was like those kind of affirmations and I would say all of them every single morning. And I would fold it up and I would put it in the [00:54:30] back of my pants and like, if I was at work, cuz this was the season of focus lab that I like learned about it.

[00:54:35] And I really decided to be very diligent about the war in my mind. Um, if I was having trouble at work, I would take it out and I would read it to myself silently. Um, and I still wanna frame it. I found it the other day cause I thought I lost it, but, so, but I wanna frame it because that, that was the turning point I think of my emotional health.

[00:54:55] Like tremendously. Yeah. 

[00:54:58] diane: Have you ever read that book, [00:55:00] John Acuff soundtracks? 

[00:55:03] Alicja Colon: No, I haven’t. It 

[00:55:04] diane: sounds like what you’re talking about anyway. It might, um, it, it, it, uh, you should write a book on that, 

[00:55:12] Alicja Colon: uh, or 

[00:55:14] diane: verbalize it and then have Siri type it out for you or 

[00:55:17] Alicja Colon: something. But, or chat. G p t. 

[00:55:19] diane: Yeah, something. Um, okay.

[00:55:23] So I just wanna, uh, we have four minutes. I wanna make sure everybody has the links. So we’ve been talking about the podcast, [00:55:30] very is the best way for them to, uh, get there. And then I will be sharing your Twitter and your Instagram for both Alicja Cologne and for Very Ivan, which is the, the, this project photography.

[00:55:45] Mm-hmm. Yep. Right. So, thank you. In this, how, in this space or in this new direction, how have you, um, avoided burning out because you’ve kind of picked it up, uh, [00:56:00] all of it running. Yes. Since January at least, right? 

[00:56:05] Alicja Colon: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Um, I don’t think I’m doing a very good job avoiding it honestly. Um, the other day, like I’m, I’m not to be, to be honest, I, I was when I was slower, but right now I’m in a very, very busy season.

[00:56:21] Um, and I mean, it got to the point where it was like, okay, I literally have to not work for like two hours. Yeah. And so, you [00:56:30] know what I mean? And I’m like, just a puddle and I’m not spending time with the kids. And it’s during the summer, so no. Right now, I am not an, I’m not an example as 

[00:56:39] diane: to like, here’s more what not to do instead of what to do.

[00:56:43] Right. Like this, I tell you, this one’s not working. So, but, 

[00:56:47] Alicja Colon: but the thing is for me is that if the kids. Asked to go to the pool. I really try if and if I can, if I can work from the pool, I will take my laptop and I’ll take them to the pool instead of, you know. So I am trying to [00:57:00] find ways to say yes and still be there.

[00:57:03] I might not necessarily be present, but at least I’m saying yes cuz I think that’s better than saying no. Um, so, 

[00:57:11] diane: well that’s, that’s what I’m doing right now. That’s something that’s a new thing then maybe than it was last year. Possibly. Yeah. Yeah. Um, do you have any, I, I have a feeling, but, uh, do you have any creative outlets or non-creative outlets that you do regularly to help keep you 

[00:57:29] Alicja Colon: [00:57:30] balanced?

[00:57:30] Right now it’s soccer, so I used to do juujitsu a lot, but then I hurt my back and so I couldn’t do that anymore. Um, and so now it’s soccer, so, and that’s a lot. That also helps me connect with at least one of my kids because he’s a soccer fiend. Um, and it helps me, kind of forces me to get off the computer and to.

[00:57:48] Drive him wherever I need to go. And then on the side I’m juggling my ball. Oh, that’s 

[00:57:53] diane: good. Okay, so then what’s next for you? Or I’m sorry, one, one other one is, what have you learned? [00:58:00] Two other, I’ll lie. No, we don’t have time. So one, what is one piece of advice you would’ve told your past self? Maybe your focus lab, Alicja, your first focus lab, cuz you ended up working for 

[00:58:12] Alicja Colon: Focus Lab twice, right?

[00:58:13] Well, it, yeah, six years, but just two different jobs back to back. Um, it might not be it, it might not be failing. It might just need iteration. Hmm. I think a lot of times when I saw things failing, I thought that that was like finality [00:58:30] of, of an of, of a thing. Mm-hmm. I’m like, okay, this definitely isn’t gonna work.

[00:58:34] Whatever. Um, instead of going, oh, maybe I just need to iterate on the process or the product, or the price point, or the display, or, you know what I mean? Like, there’s so many things, but for some odd reason, uh, I would just, I’d just like, Nope, it’s not, it’s not gonna work, and therefore I would give up too soon.

[00:58:55] Mm. Um, and so this time going into the business, I [00:59:00] am, I am more focused on an iteration aspect and trying to change like one thing at a time to see like, okay, how does this impact the business? Um, so iteration over accepting failure is the biggest thing that I can share. 

[00:59:17] diane: Okay. That’s awesome. Okay. What’s next?

[00:59:19] Besides when in October the, um, art exhibit. Happens in Savannah. Yep, yep, yep, yep. 

[00:59:27] Alicja Colon: Do you know, know, so that’s a big thing. Yeah. I don’t know [00:59:30] where. Yeah, there’s still the, um, like one venue again, the imaging center. Um, there’s another place that’s like out in Wilmington Island that’s gonna host it. So I’m not in the, thankfully I’m not in the detail.

[00:59:45] You don’t have to do that part. I’m trying to figure, yeah. I don’t have to figure out where it’s gonna be. Um, I don’t have, I’m not even dealing with the grant people. I’m just taking their money, which is awesome. Um, I just have to create the art, um, which is the fun part. So 

[00:59:58] diane: after, after [01:00:00] this project, do you have an idea or is are you getting ideas for the next project by doing this one?

[01:00:09] Alicja Colon: I want to do, I definitely, the, the idea here is that we wanna do something that is, um, yearly. We want this to be a yearly kind of thing that happens. We hope that it’s gonna be, um, We hope that it’s gonna be wildly successful is, is our hope. But the, the biggest thing right now is that I [01:00:30] am also gonna be trying to open up a, like elite photography part too.

[01:00:34] So like, so I, so I love the boudoir for the women, but I’m also realizing that sometimes kids need to see themselves as like, As their favorite athletes. Mm. You know what I mean? And so it’s like, so right now what I wanna do is I wanna take all of those skills of like lighting things really cool and maybe have like a Nike or Under Armour vibe or whatever, and I’m lighting, [01:01:00] you know, kids that way and doing photos to kind of really encourage them.

[01:01:05] Um, 

[01:01:05] diane: oh, that’s cool. That’s a really neat idea. 

[01:01:09] Alicja Colon: So that’s very opposite. Very separate. But the definitely one, one thing Joe 

[01:01:14] diane: asked if that will be under one umbrella. Umbrella. I don’t know why I said uh, 

[01:01:18] Alicja Colon: umbrella like that. Yeah, yeah. Uh, the, the designer and me definitely doesn’t want it to be underneath one umbrella, but for, for like, just [01:01:30] functionality right now, it has to be just cuz I can’t, cuz I already, I still have my Alicja commercial.

[01:01:34] I still have my commercial stuff out there too. Um, Eventually, the big eventually is that I wanna get to the point where I am coaching lighting and I’m coaching like whatever I can do to like teach like photography and lighting. Um, I wanna do that too. So that’s like my super, like down the road like thing that I wanna do.

[01:01:57] I love that. Well, let me 

[01:01:58] diane: just read off how [01:02:00] people can get in touch with you and I’m gonna spell it out just in case somebody’s like me and has hearing stuff. So very v e r y, avant, a v a n T. Am I saying that right? Yeah, very avant. Yeah. It’s like avantgarde, 

[01:02:15] Alicja Colon: but I didn’t like the guard. 

[01:02:16] diane: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:02:17] That’s what I thought. But I was like, so very and then on Twitter you can, and in, uh, Twitter and Instagram. You can still be found at Alicja. I’m gonna spell that out. Alicja Colon, [01:02:30] a l i c j a c o l o n, on Twitter and Instagram. And then also on Instagram. You’re very avant. V E R Y A V A N T. And then again, remember, it’s very for your podcast, Alicja, thank you.

[01:02:49] And I just thank you. Love that you asked. You’re like, I don’t know if you want me back. I in boudoir, but oh my goodness. What a great story. Absolutely, girl. I don’t [01:03:00] care what you’re doing. Thank you. You’re always have a, a invitation and I’m just thank you guys for all coming and showing up. Yes, thank you.

[01:03:07] I, um, super appreciate it. And just, Alicja, just keep going. You’re such a great inspiration for me and thank you. I’m just really glad we’re, we’re 

[01:03:18] Alicja Colon: friends. Likewise. Thank you. 

[01:03:21] diane: All right. Well guys, next week I have Mina K um, another really strong, awesome woman illustrator that does [01:03:30] collage and is always blowing my mind with what she’s doing as well.

[01:03:34] And we were continuing, I am taking the month of July off, um, for just my sanity. I will, um, hopefully, uh, will be doing some other things. I’ll be publishing, hopefully some other things I am working on. But if you are someone who is wanting to. Maybe you have something that you’ve been wanting to do for your, [01:04:00] for your business, but it always gets low on the list.

[01:04:03] Or you have a class that you’ve never finished. You need some accountability or you just need some structure, you need some people to meet with on a weekly basis. I am opening up Power Station again, so I am excited to have Power Station, which is like a mastermind. Um, if you are interested, the dates are wrong, but it’s gonna start on June 20th.

[01:04:24] It’s a Tuesday and it’ll go for 13 weeks. So if, if you have a [01:04:30] project, maybe it’s for you. Maybe it’s something that is, I thought of so many things that I have put my business on hold for because I didn’t have the accountability. If that’s something, then maybe you wanna join. So this is my one little commercial here at the end.

[01:04:47] Click on if you go to creatives In the upper right hand corner, it says Apply for accelerant. It’s the same thing. I just need to change the word. You can still do the accelerant [01:05:00] program as well. You can read about it. Everything will be fixed by the end of today, hopefully. But Alicja, thank you.

[01:05:05] Thank you so much and everybody, I hope I’ll see y’all next week.

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