Nina Mucalov shares her love for photography and how she helps female entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Nina Mucalov, the owner of Nina Mucalov Photography, gets it done like a boss.
Entrepreneurs we love: Nina Mucalov
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
Before having children I worked in the world of investments and hedge funds. I worked in both big name and boutique firms and was often the only senior woman on my team. I loved my job. But I also wanted to do something more creative that gave me the flexibility to create the life I truly desired.
I fell in love with photography more than a decade ago. It was after seeing my wedding photographs, and how they were in a different league to the photos I had become accustomed to from phones. I became obsessed with learning everything I could to create images that captured the true beauty of people, moments and details.
Fast forward nine years and I’m now photographing dozens of families and female business owners each year. I love capturing images that they’re proud to share, that help mums appreciate the beauty of their families, and help female entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
At the start of my business, I struggled with being visible. It felt scary or somehow ‘wrong’ to promote myself online or on social media. I’d write a post and select an image but hold off on publishing. I felt embarrassed about what my friends or vague acquaintances might say (like that ‘friend’ from accounting class I hadn’t seen in more than a decade, who always made me feel awkward).
But I think about it differently now. Posting online and on social media is how my ideal clients find me. It’s how I’m able to help people. It’s how I can provide value for and connect with my ideal clients so they can get to know, like and trust me.
And it’s why I love working with other female business owners. I love seeing how professional quality images and videos, the ones they’re proud to share, can be a driving factor in them increasing their visibility, their impact and their business bottom line.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
I invested in a business coach near the start of my business journey and I still work with her today. I had all the doubts: ‘what if it doesn’t work?’ or ‘what if it never works and I’ve wasted all this money?’. But I invested anyway and I know it’s made all the difference.
How do you deal with self-doubt or criticism?
I try to remember that (almost) everyone feels self-doubt. Criticism isn’t personal. I’ve built a set of go-to tools (including walking, meditation, journaling and sleeping) that help me get through patches of self-doubt. They keep me moving forward in my business.
Favourite places to work?
Sitting on my bed, and my three to four favourite local coffee shops (I’m obsessed with good coffee).
Favourite business tool or a work ‘mantra’ that you use?
Favourite tool: Celebrating the big wins and the small ones.
Favourite mantra: ‘She believed she could so she did.’
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
You get to build your business in a way that feels good for you. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking other successful people have a ‘secret’. But they don’t. They’ve just created a model that works for them and they show up for it every day.
Your go-to self-care activity?
Journalling. I started journalling regularly a few years ago and now it’s my go-to activity whenever I’m feeling low or stressed. It’s changed my life.
One piece of advice to your younger self?
Believe in yourself. I used to hear people say that but I didn’t really get it. Now I do. We’re all amazing and worthy exactly as we are.
Get in touch with Nina Mucalov online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!