Tough Times….Who’s to blame?
This time around I have decided to talk to you about an ugly truth that no one likes to talk or think about….Who’s to blame in tough times? I want to share with you a small secret to success in your photography business and in your life. Reflection.
Your photography business (and life) is like any other business…It is a reflection of you. So ask yourself this….Is there something wrong, something that is not working, something missing? If so….who or what are you blaming? The economy, your clients (or lack of), other photographers? I find it interesting that here in Michigan (where unemployment is at 14%) all we ever hear about are the unemployment numbers….You never hear anyone say: “Today the employment rate is at 86%”…Why is that?
The fact is that in any business if there is a problem or an issue you can always look inwards for the solution. Remember…Your business (and your life) is a reflection of who you are. And since for most of us this is an industry where we have few employees…..the answer is simple….if you fix the boss…you’ll fix the problem. This goes beyond all else and applies in every aspect of your business…from marketing, to shooting, your attitude, to selling, etc. The solution of course is to take total responsibility for you and your business. Sometimes this hurts. Sometimes it makes you nervous, anxious or uncomfortable. But that, I believe, is a good thing. Being innovative and having a creative output in your photography business will not always fall within the guidelines of your comfort zone….at times you will find that you will need to push yourself above and beyond your normal everyday ways of thinking and doing.
Sometimes it’s a deflating blow to your ego (yes…we all have one). And your ego can hurt you more than anything else in your business (and life) if you let it.
So ask yourself some very key and sometimes hard to answer questions like: “What can I do to improve my photography? My customer service? My workflow? My product line? My lighting? My time management? What direction do you want to go in? When you start to ask these kinds of questions….you will start to get some answers. Sometimes the answers will be like small little hints of what to do. Sometimes they will be huge painful reminders that you are not yet where you want to be. The thing is that you must be willing to go looking for them and you must be willing to receive them.
Start with something simple. Use a pen and note pad and start to write out the areas of frustration for you in your business. Next you must look for the symptoms….there you will find a great source of answers and you will see the first place you need to look at for improvement. Don’t complain about them (remember that this is the career you wanted to have and everyone around you is looking to you for strength and leadership) instead, own them and ask yourself: What can I do to learn from this? What do I need to do to change this? What can I do about this that will produce a positive and creative answer? Next use the K.I.S.S. rule….Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t over think it. Some of the most complicated problems come with the simplest of solutions.
Remember, every problem, every pain, every challenge we face has within it the seeds of an even greater opportunity for growth. Just remember that you must be willing to own it or it will own you.
It has been said that “Tough times don’t last…but tough people do”….So together lets stop pointing our fingers and placing the blame….Lets be tough and show the world that we can last!
Until next time,