How is it possible to be an excellent photographer, and yet fail to reach important financial goals or receive the recognition your work deserves?
Ask any strong swimmer whose been caught in an undertow, and you might find the answer.
Imagine standing knee-deep in the ocean. Waves are crashing against you, knocking you off balance, and the undertow drags you out to sea. You try swimming back against the tide, but you only exhaust yourself. If you do as water safety experts tell you–swim parallel to shore until the powerful current subsides–you’ll likely survive.
Here’s the first secret to a successful business — don’t waste energy resisting what you can’t control.
Having worked with hundreds of photographers and responding to dozens of questions every month, I have seen two primary roadblocks to business success: resistance and fear.
You may be thinking, “Resistance, what planet is he from? You bet I’m resistant. Who wants to risk failure or throw good money after bad, and besides, other photographers are having the same problems. So what’s resistance got to do with stagnant sales or the fact that nothing seems to work?”
You can’t control your competition, the economy, and changes in technology. It is impossible to move in two directions at the same time. As long as you resist trying new things, i.e. swimming parallel to the shore, the undertow will win.
Regardless of potential benefits from trying new ideas, you avoid what makes you feel uncomfortable. New ideas may make sense, intellectually, but implementing means doing things out of your comfort zone, and so you rationalize: you’re too busy; such things would be contrary to your studio image; or you just wouldn’t be comfortable doing them.
You want the benefits, so why can’t you find the energy, the time, or the motivation.
The second secret to a successful studio to simply keep moving forward, and if you’re never uncomfortable you’re probably never far from your comfort zone.
The second common roadblock separating you from success is fear: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown. This fear can inhibit forward movement.
Fear of the unknown can be anything outside of your comfort zone. To find the courage to move outside your comfort zone, you may have to change your attitude and perspective about your business. Just as when you photographed your first family, two year old child, or wedding, you will find the strength to face this and any future challenges.
Share your thoughts. Agree? Disagree? Have you faced a challenge and found the courage to overcome it? Pay it forward and share how.