A Step in the Right Direction

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Times are tough for everyone these days, I feel it too. I am essentially “working” 4 jobs and barely staying above water. The trade off? I love everything that I am doing. I know that things will get better and I need to work my butt off in order to keep doing what I love and not reside myself to a windowless, box with only a computer and a printer as a companion. If I ever get a job in a cubicle please take me out back and give me a good beating. I want to always love what I do, even as I am struggling because that is what keeps me sane and happy. Yeah I may not have all the fancy toys or brand new DSLR, and you know what I don’t really care. I do it because I love to do it. Just like the makers of Life is good® say “Do what you like, like what you do.” Now where am I going with this, let me explain, it may not be what you think.

I have been slowly developing my photography passion into a business for the past few years. From doing photo shoots with friends as models to a few paid sessions, I am constantly soaking in any knowledge that could apply to my  “business” and craft as a photographer. However, up until know, I have not done much with it; especially the business advice I have foraged from online workshops and blog posts. Everything I have read as had a similar mantra, you just have to do it. Well, getting out of my comfort zone is a tough one as you may have read in previous posts, but I have taken a new step forward. When times get tough the tough get going, a quote heard all too often. I finally got going, and didn’t realize I was going until I was already mid motion

Things were looking pretty grim, financially, as hours at my full-time retail job are low this time of year and, as a substitute teacher if you don’t get called you don’t get paid. I wasn’t getting called as much. Anyway, My prior reactions told me to hide and wait till it passes. Not a good answer. So before this became debilitating I did something I hadn’t done before. I was proactive in moving my business forward and reaching out to perspective, and past clients. Do you know what the result was? There was no rejections and I gained more from those experiences than I would have worrying about what I should do. So if you ever get in the same boat as I have here are some things to try to move yourself, and if you have a business, forward.

  • Get out! I mean that in a good way. Be social and interact with friends and even make new friends. If you are trying to get a business going this will help with interacting with potential clients. It took going out to a PortSports Volleyball night to realize I was missing something, the social interaction with others.
  • Be proactive. How can you better manage your time, and money, so you feel more in control. Often times I feel overwhelmed, financially, because I haven’t planned for everything and things pile up. Do yourself a favor and stay ahead of the game. Same applies for your business. If you want business you need to be out there getting business and staying ahead of your own pitfalls.
  • Be creative. I found that once I made one move to bettering my situation, and business, I was more creative. I think this is because I was not worrying about the little things and my mind had more energy to spend on being creative. I have developed some new ideas to offer clients and will be meeting with some today about them.
  • Keep the momentum going. Don’t just go do somethings and think that it will sustain it for a while. It takes work, even though you love what you do, it takes work. Follow up on emails you sent, or talk with more people about ideas or get together with different people. It will bolster more ideas and possible leads.

Notice these didn’t bring in immediate monetary gains but put me in a better frame of mind for the long term. These seem simple and I’m sure you have read similar content like this before, but this is how I hold myself accountable. This was the first time I felt I instinctively reacted to a situation that would move things forward. That means I have been learning something from all those blogs and videos I watch. It’s all about follow through now. Time to get that camera out and do some more shooting.

Do you think business can become instinctive, or so ingrained that you do it automatically? Share your thoughts.

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