A lot of people when transitioning from hobby to business (aka, turning the passion into a biz) jump in feet first. Which, hey, hitting the ground running provides some of the best learning opportunities.
The only issue is, it comes with a lot more failures. And oftentimes your personal life pretty much disappears entirely and you end up spending more time in front of your computer than you do with your friends and family.
It’s ok, we’ve been there too.
And we’re going to walk you through exactly how to navigate through that, how to take control of your business (instead of letting your business control you), and how to think and plan like a CEO so you can run a profitable, successful photography business.
Running a business: Not just what you do, but also what you think.
There is a certain mentality that comes with running a business. While the actions you take are critical, having the proper mindset from the start is another crucial part of the puzzle.
Here are some things that you need to keep in mind throughout this whole process.
1. You will fail. And that’s ok. Failures are some of the best teachers. I think Thomas Edison said it best during his trials for creating the lightbulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Knowing what doesn’t work with your business is just as important as knowing what does work. The important part is that you learn from it, make changes so it doesn’t happen again, and pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
2. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming… Our favorite animated fish taught us this one. For us, it means that success doesn’t happen overnight. It comes after hard work day after day, week after week, month after month. You just have to keep going, keep putting in the time, and you will eventually see results.
3. This is a business, not a hobby. Charge like it’s a business, treat it like a business, schedule yourself like it’s a business, keep records like it’s a business, prioritize it like it’s a business, value it like a business. If you want your clients (and friends and family) to take you seriously, you must take your business seriously.
4. Competition is a non-factor. Measuring yourself against someone else isn’t fair. Ever. Everyone started somewhere, and everyone’s professional journey is completely different from the person next to them.
I love this quote: “If you continuously compete with others, you become bitter, but if you continuously compete with yourself, You Become Better.” ~ unknown
5. Starting a business with no education is a recipe for setbacks. While I said you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, I didn’t say you shouldn’t learn from others. Learning from the mistakes and paths of others is a great way to help avoid large setbacks.
You need to be open to absorb all education provided. Make sure that you scour the internet for free online education such as the Colorvale Blog, thelawtog and even sign up for a biz coach if necessary. The important thing to remember is that you must ALWAYS be GROWING (in skill & business education).
Even if you learn something that you don’t agree with or wouldn’t work for you, that’s still valuable! Understanding what doesn’t work for you is as valuable as being spoon-fed all the right answers (actually more valuable, really). Be open to absorbing as much education as you can, even when you think you’ve learned it all (though trust us, you haven’t.)
6. Pricing your work really does matter! Pricing can’t just be a stab in the dark if you’re going to make this work long-term. Remember what we said about taking your business seriously? Part of that is pricing it seriously, like it’s an actual business you intend on making a living from. If you want to find out EXACTLY what you need to be charging for your photo sessions so that you aren’t running yourself straight out of business, we have a calculator right here for you!
… and that’s it for today. Probably enough to get you thinking I am sure! In part 2 of this series we’re going to talk all about developing obtainable goals and how to translate them into daily actionable tasks. So make sure you set a reminder to check back on our blog OR to get it via email sign up here.