When you decided to become a photographer, what process did you go through? Did you establish goals for yourself? Did you commit yourself to the business with all your heart, knowing you would find success?
How’s it going?
If things haven’t turned out quite the way you thought they would, you’re not alone. I talk to photographers every day that set out to create an extraordinary business, and fall short somewhere along the way.
1. Fear of failure.
Sometimes it’s easier NOT to do something than risk it all. Unfortunately, that’s why most people never achieve their dreams. It’s scary to have people around you say, “I told you so”. It’s easier to have the dreams deep down inside, and never share or acknowledge them. But failure can be a good thing. Think back to your childhood. How many things did you attempt for the first time? Failure doesn’t enter our minds until we’re heading into adulthood, and then it hits with a vengeance. Put aside your fears, and give it a try.
2. Fear I might lose money.
Many photographers start their businesses on a shoestring budget. I know; I’ve been there too. And it’s easy to play head games with the little money you do have: How can I put an ad in this magazine if I don’t know what results I will get? As a small business owner, you will lose money. You’ll make choices that don’t give you the results you were hoping for. But it will give you one thing – an education. Being in business for yourself allows you to do, see and experience things most people never see. Get in there and lose a little – you may be surprised at how much you gain.
3. Fear of the unknown.
This is the fear of not knowing what comes next, or how to approach the next situation. If you’re building a business for the first time, every day brings something new to your plate. And if you’ve never experienced any of this before, it can be a little overwhelming. The best piece of advice you can receive is from another business owner who has achieved what you desire. Especially if you don’t have family or friends operating their own businesses, it’s important to remember that you can find mentors that can provide you with direction and step-by-step plans.
4. Fear of losing the people around me.
Take a look at the five people around you that you spend the most time with. How do they feel about your business venture? If they are cheering you on, congratulations. But if they aren’t, are you afraid you may lose them if your business succeeds? Our circle of friends changes year after year. If your friends don’t support your dreams and desires, it may be time to increase your circle and choose a few optimistic peers that will help you achieve business success.
5. Fear of losing my freedom.
What if success comes through the door – rapidly? What if you no longer have time to have lunch dates during the week, or meet for long dinners with friends? Only you can decide what’s most important to your life. Giving up freedom in some areas may allow you to build freedom in others. Instead of time off on the weekends, maybe you’ll build up your bank account. Or instead of overnight camping trips, maybe you’ll take weeklong cruises. Freedom is truly what you determine it to be.
Do you see yourself in at least one of these fears? Every successful businessperson I’ve coached has lived through at least one of these fears. And if you haven’t, it may be time to open your eyes up wider to your own life, and taking a closer look within.
If you do see yourself facing one of these fears, use these three steps as a way to re-energize your life.
Step One – Acknowledge the fear. Why are you holding this fear close to you?
Step Two – Analyze the fear. Begin building a list of possible outcomes. If you fear you’ll lose money, the worst that can happen may be bankruptcy. But the best may be amazing sales.
Step Three – Overcome the fear. Once you have your list in hand, use it to work through your fears. Take baby steps if you need to. But concentrate on taking small steps to tackle your fears.