Dave Ramsey burst onto the stage to thunderous applause. His all black jeans, black shirt, and black sport coat popped against the lime green backdrop. His energy popped more. He ran out of the back hopping, jumping, and fist-pumping. Like a prize-fighter at the beginning of a bout. Wahoo! he screamed. Yeah, baby! he followed. And the crowd went wild. Those who knew him, who loved him, who were already in his corner — and those who’d never seen heard or seen him before. For the first time that day, in the overcrowded convention hall, someone lived so large and loud  that it made the stage look small.

Having exhausted their hands, hoots, and hollers, all 3,000 attendees sat down. The speaker waited. Just a second. For the muffled sound of chairs to fade. To let silence fill the space. Then, he gave a rousing speech about business, life, and faith. Sharing his own business failures, empathizing with everyone else’s, encouraging all to press on; but, ultimately, impressing on us that every business has to have a larger purpose, a higher calling, a world-changing goal.

For Dave Ramsey’s business, it’s helping people get out of debt and build wealth, so they can live and give like no one else. For us, it’s helping photographers build successful businesses change lives. Theirs and others’ too.

as small business owners, we tend to live in two worlds: the clouds and the dirt

The hard part, as Gary Vaynerchuk, has explained, is that, as small business owners, we tend to live in two worlds: the clouds and the dirt. The clouds are the theories, the dreams, the lofty and grandiose ideas. The mission statements. The vision statements. The core values. The dirt, on the other hand, is the day-to-day. The less fun part. The behind-the-scenes that nobody sees but keeps the business running. It’s not social media-worthy or glamorous in any way.
 At Dave’s company, it’s the shipping room. That’s what we want to talk about today. As a New York Times best-selling author who’s sold millions of copies of his books, Dave has people assigned full-time (full-time!) to putting books in envelopes and mailing them all around the world. It’s not peaches or roses, for sure. It’s mundane. Routine. The same thing over… and over… and over again. It’s the dirt, if you will. But Dave doesn’t see it that way.

During his talk, he shared that one of his favorite things to do is to walk down to the shipping room. To see the envelopes being stuffed. To see the trucks pick the packages up. And do you know what he tells the guys who are doing the stuffing?

“You’re not just packaging books today. You’re shipping hope. Impacting a life. Forever changing a family tree.”

In other words, you’re not in the dirt. You’re in the clouds.

That was a powerful — powerful — realization for us. Because even though there will always be daily tasks and assignments in our businesses and in our lives that feel like they don’t matter, they do. Especially if they’re moving you toward a higher purpose. After all, God created the clouds, but He made us from the dust.

Are there times in your business (or life) when you feel like you’re in the dirt? Maybe you’re a photographer who’s bored editing photos, but maybe it’s the last one your bride will ever have with her dad. Maybe you’re a florist tired of arranging flowers, but maybe the bouquet you’re assembling will take the seat of a parent who died too soon. Or maybe you’re a planner accommodating what feels like the millionth timeline or shot list request, but maybe that strategic timing and perfect person placement allows a broken or blended family to be in a picture together for the first time.

Maybe you’re not an entrepreneur. Maybe you’re a mom. The CEO of your household. One of the hardest jobs in the world. And maybe you’re watching Dora the Explorer for the hundredth  time and reading Curious George for the fiftieth, and those bottles that need to be rinsed and poise of laundry staring you in the face make you feel like you’re failing today.

You’re not. You’re doing the most important job in the entire world. Because you’re making investments in the dirt that will allow your child to soar to the clouds.

So embrace the everyday, friend. Enjoy the rote, mundane, and routine. Because if you look close enough, it’s anything but those things. It’s packing books, and shipping hope to the world.

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We’re so proud of our shooting and editing course students all across the world! They’re shooting better, editing faster and serving their clients better than ever before!

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    Wow! I really needed this today! Starting a business is such hard work. It's so nice to come across encouraging posts like these, which remind you that all the little things do matter, especially if you are making a difference in someone's life by doing them!
    You guys inspire me so much! I've been reading your blog posts and going through your pictures on Instagram and I just love that you don't only take AMAZING pictures, but you also have so much positive energy and really do make a difference in people's lives. May God keep blessing you guys and your business!

    Amy & Jordan

    Wow, Marina, thank you so much! We can't wait to see you succeed!!


    This is beautiful!

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw! Thank you!


    This is beautiful and so inspiring!


    I am beyond thankful for your efforts to keep your business growing! This blog is my go to everyday "college" course. That might sound silly but I have learned so from you guys! Im here in Orlando Fl implementing everything I learn from you both! I admire your faith, business, and personalities! Thank you for "shipping hope to the world" through your blog!

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw!! Thank you so much, Ericka!

    Lorene Wilson

    This is a very good post and I certainly enjoyed reading it. I guess I knew it but have not thought that way for a while,

    Amy & Jordan

    We're so glad!!


    God created the clouds, but He made us from the dust. Love that insight. Thanks for the uplift!!
    You two are incredible, like a big hug coming through my monitor...

    Amy & Jordan

    Yes!!! We're so glad this was a blessing to you today!! Hugs!!


    Love this perspective! Just what I needed to hear when all I do lately it seems is edit, edit, and edit some more!

    Amy & Jordan

    Yes!! We're so glad this was a blessing to you!! Hugs!

    Jenn S

    This was an incredible read! Thank you so much for posting. All of the above is so true for everything we do in life...even if it is just smiling at a stranger as we pass by. I just love your eternally positive approach to life, love, work & everything! Thank you Amy & Jordan for all you do =)

    Amy & Jordan

    Yes!! We're so glad this was a blessing to you!! Hugs!!


    This afternoon, I will take the first photo of a long ago blended family finally all together under one roof for Christmas. Thank you for reminding me how important these images are. They aren't just setting up lights, moving heads, finding the angles. They are a reflection of the connections God has orchestrated throughout our lives. Ah...I love being in the clouds.

    Amy & Jordan

    Yes!! That's such a gift to them!!! Hugs!!

    Heather C

    This is why I love you two!!!! Not only is your photography incredible but your HEART is BEAUTIFUL!!! I am so thankful that God lead me to you. I am in module 3 of your course. I have been a stay at home mom the most of the last 19 years. Lots of dirt. The seeds I've down are reaping a harvest, but dirt can be so dirty! Thank you for casting this vision!

    Amy & Jordan

    Hi Heather! Aw! Thanks so much for sharing that with us!! We're so glad to have you in the course!

    We're cheering for you!

    Amy & Jordan

    Awe!! Thank you so much, Heather!!! We're cheering for you! :)

    Sandra Rampa

    Beautifully said. I cant wait to embark this journey. GOD Bless

    Amy & Jordan

    Thanks, Sandra! :)

    Jasmine Vandeventer

    I can't say how thankful enough i am to have found you guys. It's literally what I've been praying for; Christian, successful, business mentors for my budding photography business. I am hoping to afford your course very soon, we're faithful tithers to our church and have been working off debt the dave ramsey way. We're praying soon we will have freed up enough for me to purchase it. But we are so grateful to have your blog posts to glean golden information from until then. God bless you Amy and Jordan!

    Amy & Jordan

    Hi, Jasmine! Aw!! You're so sweet! You have no idea how much that means to us! Thank you so much! We're so excited for you to join us in the course! We're cheering for you!! Hugs! <3


    This is so beautifully written and and full of wisdom and hope. As a stay at home mom aspiring to begin a photography business this made me tear up. Of course, the Lord gives me my strength and purpose.. But to continue on my day thinking of myself as the "CEO" of my home working as hard as I can at the most import job I could undertake is very very encouraging and exciting. Thank you for your heart!!

    Amy & Jordan

    Hi, Brittany! Thank you so much for sharing that with us! You are so sweet! We're so happy this was encouraging to you! We're cheering for you! <3

    Natalie Thobe

    I Love this! We just did our debt free scream at the Dave Ramsey show last month! He's a stellar guy in person, too!

    Amy & Jordan

    He's the best!! That's so awesome that you got to meet him! :)


    Since discovering your website only a week ago, I have chosen to take purposeful and intentional steps towards bettering myself both in my photography as well as in my knowledge of business. I am halfway through Dave Ramsey's, Total Money Makeover, and I cannot wait to check out one of Jon Acuff's books next. There is this new feeling of determination inside of me to master my photography so that I can better love and serve others. Thanking you for teaching me that that is what this is all about. God is using you both in incredible ways!

    Amy & Jordan

    Hi, Samantha! We're so happy to hear that! That means everything to us! We LOVE Dave Ramsey, too! We're cheering for you!! Hugs! <3


    This literally made me cry! I really needed this today!

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw! We're so glad this was helpful, Jnan!:)


    I really needed this today! I just came from church and we are learning about how god the wonderful counselor comes to us in different ways and this blog was what I needed to solidify my passion! From a mom and a Dave Ramsey follower thank you for sharing this!

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw! You're so welcome, Brittany! We're SO glad this was a blessing to you today! We're cheering for you!