Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Jackie VanHatten

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Jackie VanHatten

How do entrepreneurs view themselves? That’s what I’m trying to find out. Have they always “wanted to be an entrepreneur”? Probably. Do those entrepreneurs possess the ability to look at things differently? Most definitely.

For instance, listen to what Jackie VanHatten, owner of VanHatten Photography, has to say.

Ask Jackie what the Entrepreneurial Spirit means to her and she immediately says “risk taker…but in a good way”. Furthermore she understands that risks are an important part of being an entrepreneur. “Not everyone is willing to take risks. And not everyone can handle risks.”

Even more than that, Jackie says that person must have a passion for finding their own way.

Ahhh…I am hearing the word “passion” again.

Perhaps it’s that passion that drives those with the Entrepreneurial Spirit. It’s definitely what drives Jackie. Her photography business is her passion. Why? Because she loves people and loves to make them happy. How can she do that? “Who doesn’t like looking at great photos…your wedding, your kids, your pets, breathtaking landscapes, flowers in bloom?”

She defines her photos as “beauty”. And it doesn’t matter if it’s landscapes, dogs, babies, or weddings. They all provide a beauty to her clients.

Where does this passion come from in Jackie? “I’ve always loved photography. And I’ve been good at seeing things with a photographer’s eye.” Having a wonderful experience with her own wedding photographers propelled her into thinking further of photography as a career. Combine that love of taking photos and her already in-place talent. Toss in a strong desire to provide that same experience to others and a business was born.

How does she keep her passion for that beauty and for her clients? “I listen to my clients…really listen. I take time to understand what they want. Then I provide that for them.” Why? It’s important to her. After all, Jackie took a risk when she left a regular job and a regular paycheck. Was she afraid? You bet, she says. “Afraid of failure. But I had that desire…that passion.”

Is she afraid of risk? “Yes…everyday. But I found I can provide beauty for people and that makes it all worthwhile. She likes looking in the mirror and seeing herself as “boss”.

So what is success to Jackie? “Knowing I’ve gone above the client’s expectations is important…it’s ultimately the reason I feel I’m successful in this business. Making a profit goes hand in hand with success, as well.” Is it the most important part? “No…but it does matter.”

As an expert in the field of photography, Jackie strives to grow her business every day. Images drive her to do better and better for her clients. Her photos are not just “her photos”…those images are bigger than just her. They belong to the people or the cause. She views herself as only a part of the whole picture.

Jackie’s advice for those just starting their career or just discovering their entrepreneurial side…” be true to who you are. Don’t let risks hold you down. If you do…you won’t get anywhere. And I don’t think that’s what you want.”

Does Jackie think she possesses the Entrepreneurial Spirit? “Yes…because I’m willing to go on my own…try something different than what I had always done…and make success my way. After all, it’s all up to me to make it work.”
So what do I think? That passion came through loud and clear in her voice…the Entrepreneurial Spirit is like that.

Find out more about Jackie and her photography business at

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

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