We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristal Hacker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristal, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk: a situation involving exposure to danger or to expose someone to danger, harm, or loss. That seems quite negative to me. When I think of risk, I box it in with faith. I look at it as an unknown factor but it is not viewed as negative in my mind. I could never imagine that after a year of living through a pandemic, I would resign from my corporate job of 10 years to put my all into my own business, Hacker Medias. During a pandemic, when so many people unwillingly lost employment I volunteered to resign. It was a move God was preparing me for, for the longest. I took a great risk for my family as my husband and I both financially support our home. With God literally pushing me out of my comfort zone and my husband supporting me, I decided to have faith and take the leap. The decision was not easy. There are so many thoughts that run through your mind; are you being ungrateful, shouldn’t you be happy with what you have, what if you fail, why are you doing this now with the state of the economy? My determination to follow my purpose was greater. The uncomfortableness in my spirit was greater. God showed me that my family needed my attention more, along with the purpose He placed in me. I am working harder than before but it is so much more fulfilling. I’m able to impact peoples lives directly. I am there for my children during an age they need me most. I am also able to be more present with my husband and family. Life is so much more than punching a clock and getting a check. It takes risk/blind faith to step outside the plan that has been taught to you since childhood. In my life, taking risk has resulted in me feeling free and it has taught me discipline. In my career, it has shown me there are no limits as long as you believe in yourself and keep going!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I think the greatest compliment I received this year was, “I never meet a stranger”. To my family and friends that have known me forever, they would be shocked to hear that! I was shocked myself. I call my clients my #yougothackedfam. That is not just a tagline or slogan. It is how I want them to really feel! To know that one, I’ve grown out of my shyness a little more and two, I am able to connect with my clients in a way that they feel they have known me longer than our initial meeting, makes me happy. I challenge myself all the time. This growth and connection came from me putting one foot in front of the other and continuously striving to be better than I was the day before. Of course it’s not easy. You get stuck, confused, make mistakes, and even wonder what the next step is. If you handle what God has placed in front of you and try not to worry He will always guide you to your next task. My brand is real! I want to bring out the best version of yourself, I want you to be confident, I want you to leave feeling better about you! It’s so much more than taking “a picture” to me, and I hope I leave everyone of my #yougothackedfam members feeling that way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Honestly, the first step is to sleep LOL! We have to recoup. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t sleep. I need my sleep to function. For lunch, we have a cool spot in Downtown Chattanooga called Lil Mama’s Chicago Style Hoagies. I would take them there first to get the most flavorful hoagie you have ever had and we would get some Fancy Banana Pudding for dessert and their banging Juicy Jae. Go there and you will see! Next up, we take the kids to Dave N Busters for some games and drop them off with the grandparents some grown-up fun. I have always wanted to go to the Chattanooga Cigar Bar, listen to music and relax so that would be on the list. At some point during the week rock climbing downtown at HighPoint Climbing would definitely be a thing to do. Downtown Chattanooga is so beautiful and you’re able to rent bicycles to ride around. That would be a great time to see all of the cool photography spots and art on the buildings. After doing that, we would stop by Coldstone Creamery and get some of my favorite ice cream to round up the full fun week! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a shout out to plenty of people! First, my parents! They have helped me so much during this journey, I couldn’t do it without them. I also have to thank my in-loves, Janet and Jeff. They have supported me from the beginning. My granny Tawana who always reminded me of my worth. In the last few years I have met some amazing women who have be-friended me and taught me invaluable information and offered so many opportunities: Nicole Frazier and Shaun Mosley. Thanks to both of you! Thank you to my entire city, C-H-A-TT-A-N-OO-GA, TN the support you have shown since I started this business in 2013 is appreciated! You all have stayed with me through every step. God gave me the vision and I’m going to keep running and I hope you run with me! To my husband Sean, my kids, thank you for always rooting for me. All my friends and fam thank you for being my cheerleaders! You all deserve recognition!
LaJoy Photography LLC