11 – Transitioning from Employee to CEO and Turning Passion into Profit with Melissa Wilbur Food Photographer and Online Store Owner.



Freedom Based Business Podcast is here to inspire and showcase to others that achieving freedom and success whatever that may look like TO YOU is entirely possible and there is no better example of that than my recent client Melissa!

Melissa is the owner of Edible Shots by Melissa is a former project manager who turned her passion for photography into profit which later allowed her to ditch the cooperate world and go full-time in her business! Melissa offers delicious one-of-a-kind tutorial-based food photography to one-on-one clients as well as through her Shopify website where she sells exclusive recipes and photography to food bloggers who need optimized and unique content!

She is sharing with us how she turned her passion into profit and her wisdom and experience for others who are looking to do the same. You’ll see throughout this episode Melissa’s true joy for her work comes through and how much she enjoys being her own CEO!

In this episode, you’ll learn how you too can ditch your 9-5 with the right strategy and mindset to confidently make the transition from employee to CEO.

Mesh the things you love with the things you know

Melissa shares how she and her father have always had a mutual love for photography. She began taking portraits but knew it didn’t quite resonate with her. In 2020 she realized that she could mesh her love of finding and trying new recipes with her skill of photography to create tutorial-based food photography.

Experience before expansion

She shares how through serving her photography clients she was able to gather experience and streamline her workflow in a way that would allow for her to expand her offerings. After working with clients one-on-one she was able to expand into the world of digital exclusive recipes and food photography!

“I started out wanting to accept client work because I felt that I needed to really take the time to work with clients, provide a great client experience, and just get more experience under my belt with photography, recipe execution, content, and creation just making the photos look amazing composition wise. I needed to get my reputation out there. Then I decided well because you start doing those things more often you really started to streamline and you become really efficient.”

Melissa took the time to understand her ideal customers’ needs and perfect her offering before expanding with a digital product. This allowed her to craft a digital product that she is confident her customers will love and that generates sales!

Transitioning from employee to CEO

Know your capacity while working your 9-5

It is common for business owners to wish for the clients to come but are unaware of their capacity to serve them while also working their day job. Melissa shares how she kept track of her capacity to serve new clients and how that allowed her to continue filling up her schedule to the point where she can go full-time!

“I started to block off the times I could shoot a recipe. And if so how many could I do after the workday is done? So I kind of filled that in, and then I started to count, how many recipes realistically would I do each week and that gave me e number. That told me how many clients I could take on and that was when I realized I was able to fill my calendar to what would be considered full-time.”

Give yourself a deadline for going all in and plan for the unknown

She was very strategic and realistic with her transition. She was realistic with her capacity and set herself a deadline for leaving her job. She began saving and preparing for it well before she planned on taking that leap. This added deadline to reaching a goal is often a step that most business owners miss, they assume it will happen when the “time is right” instead of taking action towards making it the right time.

“I started to build a nest egg just in case. I said I was looking at the date of December to consider leaving. And we had a full conversation about it and we were totally on board and he was completely supportive and said yeah, okay that can work!”

How Melissa realized she wanted to make the transition from employee to CEO

“I was realizing what my corporate job was going to offer, and it was basically just gonna be stale. It was just going to be the same all the time. Whereas food photography, again, allows me to turn a hobby into a full-time job in the service of others, which brings me a lot of joy. plus, I get to cook, I get to do recipes, and I get to style them. I get to practice all of my photography knowledge. I am just so much happier from there.”

“The respect and joy that my corporate job was really lacking has been replaced almost tenfold when I became my own boss”

How Melissa’s website allowed her to cover the cost of her website within 24 HOURS!

Melissa booked me for a website Done in a Day where we build out her Shopify website so people can come and shop her exclusive recipes. Here is what Melissa has to say about our experience working together –

“I gotta say your website Done in a Day is an absolute godsend. oh my gosh, it gave me so much more. First of all, it was a relief based on specific goals that I have for my sire, as well as the additional maintenance support that I needed. The Done in a Day was the best start. It gave me so much confidence in launching the site.”

“I really enjoyed the reviews of each page after they were done. I didn’t have to worry about being on the phone. All I had to do was just check my email that day and be like, oh, well, here’s my homepage. That was so much better than the experience of trying to do it myself.”

It was so fun to sit down with Melissa and hear her nuggets of wisdom for making the transition from employee to CEO! Connect with Melissa and check out her website where she sells exclusive recipes and photography for food bloggers! If you’re looking to level up your website, a Website Done in a Day could be a perfect fit for you just as it was for Melissa. Fill out the form below did get more details on what a Website Done in a Day could do for you.

Connect with Melissa –

Website & Recipe Shop – Edibleshotsbymelissa.com

Instagram – @edibleshotsbymelissa

Facebook – @edibleshotsbymelissa