Hi, I'm Viviana Podhaiski

The START is a personal blog where I will be sharing some very real moments about being a business owner and how Everyday Lifters got started.  Over the last year I've had many curious minds wanting to know who I am, what I do, why I do it.   Hopefully the stories will inspire, start conversations, make you laugh, and live life a bit more.  

Many have reached out needing help with things ranging from how to use their camera to how to successfully navigate Instagram.  So many of you have such kick ass ideas that maybe the content shared here on The START will help you along the way on your journey.  Just like you, I am still learning and excited to take on 2018!

Make sure to return next week as I will be sharing how to nurture your ideas when starting a business and a list of resources that helped me get started!  

I Quit My 9-5 Job

Let's start with the number one question.  What do you do to make a living, you can't just be a photographer?  I use to be a teacher and I quit and yes I am a Professional Photographer.

Teaching wasn't quite 9-5, it was more like 4:30am-5:30pm kind of job.  I went to college to become a teacher and I was good at it.  I LOVED teaching children how to read and it's how I pictured how the rest of my life would be like.  I have a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Masters in Special Education.  "So....Viv, how the hell did you end up a photographer?"   I'll get to that in a minute.

The day I decided to take a leave of absence, I was at the end of my career.  Meaning, my days were spent fighting off panic attacks, depression and anxiety.  Last year, on the first day of school, I passed out after dismissing the students.  No, I mean I literally passed out.  I was overcome with a severe migraine headache and was carried off in an ambulance.  Reality check---

I guess you could say I was burned out.  No, it wasn't like this all of my 12 years of teaching.  But can you imagine living the groundhog days of my job for another 20+ years before I could retire? 

There was a very specific moment in my career that triggered a series of health problems.  In this post I won't go into details, (one day I will), about what exactly happened, but let me put it this way, it wasn't the students.  It's never the students.  

With January just around the corner, soon I have to give my job a final answer on my return.  The calendar days like to remind me of my very secure job that is waiting for me to say yes to.  If I say yes.. then it's a pause on Everyday Lifters, or maybe even goodbye.  


How I Became a Photographer

Photography has always been a part of my life.  As a matter of fact, I have a scar on the corner of my right eye from a camera falling on me when I was a toddler.  I wanted to play with my parents' camera, so I climbed for it and BAM- 3 stitches.  We were meant to be.  

Around the time of panic attacks, depression and ambulance rides, I decided to upgrade my camera and hoped that continuing my hobby of taking photos would distract me from the pain of going to work.  That's when I found out that I loved photographing weightlifters. 

Defining Moments in My Life

 One of the last photos I took with my film camera. Venice, Italy (During Carnival)

One of the last photos I took with my film camera. Venice, Italy (During Carnival)

In my office I have up specific photos that represent defining moments in my life.  The photos remind me of those times when life was really scary.  But from those moments came change and the most amazing opportunities.

For example, the photo above reminds me of the time I called off a wedding and went to Italy alone.  Guys this was before Google Maps and I literally had to buy a map to find my hotel.

That point of my life, there was so much uncertainty, but I always knew I would be ok.  From that day forward I made a promise to myself that while I am breathing and walking on this planet, I have every right to be happy.  Hence why I had the cojones to leave my very stable teaching job.

So, on those days where I am questioning everything regarding Everyday Lifters, I make sure to look back at this photo.  Just to remind myself that new beginnings can't happen without change.  

To Be Continued...

Next Post:  "I want to start my own business, now what?"

Please comment below to share your thoughts and any stories of triumph when you woke up and started living your life!

This is a personal blog of Viviana Podhaiski. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. 

love u!  I will eventually come back to fix all the mistakes.  maybe...