I read recently that almost 60% of new photography businesses fold within the first year.
I have a feeling I know why this happens.
Running a business is hard work. Like running-a-marathon-in-driving-rain-uphill-hard work.
And there are disappointments to be had. Like being six-years-old-and-ice-cream-rolling-off-the-cone disappointment.
There are also times for success. Like woa-I-just-scored-a-pair-of-Jimmy-Choos-at-Goodwill success.
But, I’ll be honest. Some days I wonder if it’s all worth the effort.
I’m going to be really transparent here. These are questions that roam my mind often.
Why do I constantly compare myself to others?
Will I ever by THAT good?
Am I making the money I need to sustain the business?
Did I really just down a package of Oreos while editing?
Can I BE any more tired?
Am I even worth what I charge?
And, so many more questions and whiny thoughts…
Do you notice the pattern here? My list of doubts isn’t about anyone but myself, my insecurities as a person and as an artist. They really have nothing to do with the operation of my business. These are all gifts of my Censor, that voice in my head who likes to mentally beat me down like a mean girl in high school.
There comes a time when you hit a cross road in this business. Do you make a u-turn and head back to the safety of your pre-photography life or do you keep moving ahead? There will be potholes and places where the road will drop off. But, is the end destination worth your effort?
Maybe you need to determine what that destination of success is for you. Set your goals as Suzanne wrote about months past.
Change your questions that roam inside your head. Don’t let negative thoughts run you over. Ask yourself these types of questions instead…
What do I see in other’s work that I would like to see in my own?
What makes someone a great photographer and what steps do I need to take to get to that level of expertise?
What do I do with the money that I earn for my business? How can I use it more wisely?
How should I assess if I am charging clients appropriately? Who is near my level and would be willing to compare pricing?
…I’ll just accept that I’m an Oreo-addicted insomniac and not touch those questions.
Now, I’m off to shoot with a lovely senior on a beautiful day and my blog post is finished early…today is a success.
Smile on even the smallest of successes and reflect, but don’t dwell, on failures. After all, you can’t be blessed with the lesson of a failure without trying first to succeed.
Come on over and say hello to me at JP Ball Photography!