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Photography Business Boundaries

August 16, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, How to start a photography business, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Tips by admin

Today I want to talk to you about photography business boundaries, and boundaries in general. In the 16+ years I have been running my photography business, the thing that has wreaked to most havoc for me and my company, has been difficulties with boundaries. And, I believe, that if you have problems setting and keeping strong boundaries in your business and in your life, then getting your boundaries established and strong will be the single best way to improve your photography business.

Why do I say that? Because boundaries effect everything. Boundaries are the limits you set on outside influences. Boundaries are your first line of defense against invaders, and boundaries are your protection from harm. As creatives, we photographers tend to have more permeable boundaries than other people. And this can really get us into trouble. Here are some examples.

Pricing – pricing is the boundary you set on what your photography business’s products and services cost. Do you ever find yourself discounting your pricing when someone tells you that they cannot afford you? Do you set your pricing so low that you can’t earn a decent living? Do you fail to stand behind your pricing as being fair and appropriate for the service that you provide? Then you have a pricing boundary problem in your photography business.

Hiring, Training and Managing – your employee policies are your boundary for human resources in your photography business. Do you ever find it difficult to confront an employee that is taking advantage of you and your generosity? Do you have a hard time firing employees that are not doing their job? Do you avoid discussing issues like tardiness, absenteeism and insubordination, hoping it will just go away, or take care of itself? If so, then you have an human resources boundary problem.

Accounting – your accounting practices are the boundaries you set on where the income is coming from and where the money is spent in your photography business. Do you jump every time you see a cute new little prop pop up in your inbox? Do you set income and expense goals for your business, but always find yourself breaking your own rules. Does your expense column outweigh your income column? Then you have a boundary problem with accounting in your photography business.

Marketing – your marketing plan is the system you put in place to keep your income high enough to stay in business. Marketing effectively and consistently, with discipline, is quite possibly the MOST important boundary you need working well in your photography business. Do you plan to make a certain number of calls or visit a certain number of potential clients each week, and then chicken out? Do you find every possible excuse for why you are unable to create enough time to follow through with your marketing plan? Do you bury yourself in “research” or “education” to avoid marketing? If you do any of these things… and I’m sure you can think of plenty other examples, then you have a really big boundary problem in your photography business. And this boundary problem is YOU. You are unable to set limits on yourself, and follow through on your promises to yourself. And this, my friend, will destroy your photography business.

Time Management – how you manage the time you spend in your business and the number of hours you work are the boundaries you set on time management in your photography business. Do you find yourself working so many hours that your kids have given up trying to even get your attention? Is your workflow disorganized or not followed? Do you convince yourself that spending hours each day on Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram etc. is the best use of your marketing time? Do you try to do everything in your business yourself, never delegating or outsourcing, and continually running yourself ragged? If you have any of these problems, you have time management boundary issues in your photography business.

There are many other places that you need boundaries in your photography business, but these are some of the biggies. I have had problems in all of these areas in my business at one time or another. Photography business boundaries, or my lack of thereof, has caused a lot of damage. And, I don’t want these challenges to cause damage to your photography business.

So, what can you do? Well, the truth is, boundary issues are not quickly or easily dealt with. If you have boundary problems, they are, to some extent, part of your personality. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make improvements that will have a big impact. If any of the examples above ring true for you, you would be well served to find, and read a good book on boundaries. One of the best out there is “Boundaries” by Townsend and Cloud.

But, if practically everything above rings true for you, then you are probably experiencing significant difficulties in operating your photography business. And, you need to get help right away! One, two or three of these can cripple your business, but if you are having a hard time with all of them (to some degree) it will literally suck the LIFE out of you and your company.

If you are in this place, you are probably feeling overwhelmed, and maybe even hopeless. But there is hope.

I am offering a FREE 30 minute photography business coaching session to anyone who needs help right now with boundary issues. I am in the process of writing a book for photographers to specifically tackle these issues, both in their photography business, and in their life. If you would like to receive your FREE 30 minute coaching session, and/or are interested in participating in research for the book, please call me @ 512-997-7429 to schedule your appointment. All participants will remain anonymous.

 

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Miracle Morning – Day 33

July 22, 2015 in Business Tips, Exercise, Goal Setting by admin

So I completed my 30 day miracle morning project a couple of days ago.  Wow! What a ride! The fact is that I have had a morning routine for several years now, so I wasn’t sure that miracle mornings would be much different. But I was wrong! I didn’t realize how much of an impact some of the things I hadn’t been doing would have on me. I have been in the habit of exercising, drinking a healthy protein shake, filling out my Daily Action Items worksheet and working out my mind on www.lumosity.com for some time now. But the journaling, meditating, visualizing and reading were new. And… they turned out to be… well, I hate to say it… but “miraculous”. There’s something amazing about writing down your experiences that can make you see things you have been missing… big things. Especially when you are a driven person like I am. I am typically moving a bit too fast… constantly. So slowing down to record my thoughts and feelings on paper has really had an impact on me. Journaling every morning, in the quiet, with no one else around, and the space to really get in touch with my own center has helped me see patterns in my life that are not longer serving me. And, as I continue to observe, without judgement, insights are coming to assist me in making changes for the better. While I am still quite new at this… at least that’s what I am finding.

So, I have decided to keep my miracle morning routine. But I have altered it slightly from the routine suggested in the book. (Actually the book recommends you modify it to suit your needs and goals).

Here it is: I have listed time frames rather than exact amounts to keep myself from being too perfectionistic or critical, and to keep it fun.

3-5 minutes: read today’s day in the daily meditation book

5-20 minutes: journal my thoughts on that meditation, or just on what I am thinking and feeling in the moment about my life

3-5 minutes: read aloud my affirmations

2-3 minutes: visualize my major goals as realized using all my senses to “lock” in the memory of it having been accomplished

5 minutes: read 10 pages in a book that is designed to assist me in the attainment of my goals

5-15 minutes: www.lumosity.com daily practice

30 minutes: workout

3-5 minutes: make and drink a high protein, low carb healthy shake

3-5 minutes: fill out my daily action planner for the day

As you can see, this routine will take me between an hour and an hour and a half. And, to be realistic, I will probably need to split it up between before, and after, taking the kids to school. I may modify it along the way. Especially when I need to travel for work. But I have come to realize that having a set routine to keep myself balanced, grounded and healthy is more important than just about anything else I will do during the day. I can’t make a big impact in the world if I am not healthy… and neither can you. So, maybe you’d like to try the 30 day miracle morning challenge yourself. I guarantee you will find it very beneficial if you do. 🙂

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Miracle Mornings Day 11

June 29, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Uncategorized by admin

You may be happy to hear that on day 7 of my miracle mornings I discovered chapter 7, the chapter on making miracle mornings work for busy people. Yay! Boy was I glad to find out that you can get the benefits of the miracle morning in only 6 minutes a day. Woo Hoo! I haven’t tried the 6 minute method yet, as I have been finding there to be more time than that needed for me right now. But I am encouraged by the fact that, when needed, I can reduce my hour down to a much shorter time and still receive the results I am going for. What results are those, you may be asking? Well… here is what I have been gaining so far.

1. My morning meditations (Silence) are gently reminding me to avoid perfectionism, stay present and be good to myself. With the TPPA print competition occurring yesterday, and none of my prints scoring merits, I REALLY needed this reminder to keep from beating myself up yesterday.

2. My (Affirmations) have already started paying off, as I am seeing evidence in my life of the things I have been affirming. This is really fantastic! I remember using affirmations 25 years ago, when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life. They were incredibly powerful for me then, but I never made a habit of using them after my life improved. This miracle morning project has shown me that using them every day is well worth the time and effort.

3. I started working out daily (Exercise) about two and a half years ago, so the exercise part of my miracle mornings is not new. However, I believe that my daily habit of exercise is one of the most important things that I do every day. It has gotten me through many difficult times, and kept me strong and full of energy to tackle each day.

4. My morning mind exercises on lumosity.com are not new either, but continuing them every morning always has me feeling sharp and ready to take on my next challenge.

5. Daily journaling (Scribing) has had many benefits for me… and also some challenges. While I don’t always like what I discover looking deep into my own psyche, I do expect that it’s going to be very good for me in the long run. Let’s call it “character building”.

6.  I have not gotten very good at the (Visualization) yet. I used to find this sort of thing quite effortless. But the older I get, and the more things I want to take on, the harder it is to choose between my options. So, I have been noticing that I am getting distracted and confused when trying to visualize outcomes. I may be over-complicating this one. I will try simplifying tomorrow and see how that goes.

5. And (Reading) has always paid big dividends for me in my business and my life. Audio books may have replaced books somewhat for me, but learning from experts has always helped me to skip over learning curves and implement what works much more quickly.

These are the SAVERS of the miracle mornings… the Life SAVERS. Whether you are currently in need of a life overhaul or just wish to implement a bit of preventive maintenance. A daily morning routine like the miracle morning could prove to be incredibly powerful for you. It is certainly showing great promise for me. 🙂

 

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Photography Business Goal Setting – Leave a Legacy

April 15, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, How to start a photography business by admin

Photography Business Goal Setting – Leave a Legacy

One of the best exercises I have ever participated in was one I learned many years ago when I was voraciously reading every book I could find on personal development. I was running a photography business for another company at the time, and I really wanted to succeed. I wish I could remember which book I was reading, because I would recommend it to you, but sadly… no. Anyway, in this amazing book, that I can’t remember the name of, there was an exercise on how to leave a legacy. You see, one of the biggest differences between successful and unsuccessful people is how long term their thinking is. Unsuccessful people, and business owners, think very short term… they have a paycheck to paycheck type of thinking (or mentality). They don’t really plan for the future. They let life happen to them (and their businesses). If you asked them what their 12 month goals were, they would probably tell you that they don’t even have goals for this week. But successful people, and business owners, think long term. And the more successful they are, the more long-term their thinking is. One reason why running a photography business can be so overwhelming is, that as artists, we tend to get easily distracted. “Squirrel” or “shiny object syndrome” seems to dominate many photography business owners thoughts. But this is mainly because most photographers, especially those without much business experience, are thinking way too short term. The solution to this problem is to take a long term approach to your photography business… which brings me back to my favorite exercise… the question of how to leave a legacy.

The way that you do this is to stop for a few minutes. Turn off all distractions, and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Then picture your funeral. Picture your loved ones around your casket. And then … imaging what they are saying. What are they remembering about you and the mark you left on the world? Were you loved? Did you love? How did you contribute to your family, your community and your friends? What do they remember as your best qualities? What legacy did you leave?

Now open your eyes and ask yourself if you are on track to becoming the person that you want to be remembered as. Are you designing your photography business and your life so that you can leave a wonderful and inspiring legacy? We only have so much time on this earth to be, do and have all that we were put here for. If you aren’t the path that you want to be on… then now is your chance. You get to decide the legacy you want to leave. Design that legacy now… and get to work… while you still can.

One of the reasons why I have not been blogging as much, or video blogging, like I was in 2014, is that I to have been designing the legacy I want to leave. I have been soul-searching to make sure that my photography business, and my coaching businesses are aligned with my long term goals. I have been working on developing ideas for courses and group coaching, so that I can impact more people’s lives and businesses. Stay tuned. In the coming weeks and months, I plan to add new and exciting dimensions to the blog, that I hope will have a positive impact on you and your photography business.

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My photography business philosophy – “Everything Counts”

March 29, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting by admin

I have a photography business philosophy that helps guide me and my photography business. It’s a philosophy that I learned from Jim Rohn, one of the pioneers in the personal and professional development field. I think, at my core, I always believed that perfection was the way to do things. Because of the way I was raised, in a fundamentalist Christian household, I often felt a lot of shame when I made mistakes. So, I grew up trying to be perfect. As you might guess, I failed at that, practically 100% of the time. OK… 100% of the time.

So when I heard Jim Rohn’s tapes (yes cassette tapes is how most of my personal development information was purchased in those days). I felt a significant amount of freedom from his business philosophy that “everything counts”. And, I began to incorporate it into my own photography business philosophy. What does “everything counts” mean? Well, for me, it is a reminder to focus on progress rather than perfection. You see, everything that you do in your life counts… either to move you, and your photography business, forward, or to move it backward. And, that was really good news to me. Because I was doing a lot to grow my photography business. But before I heard Jim speak, I wasn’t giving myself very much credit for that. Because, in my mind, it wasn’t perfect… Yet. After all, I fully expected that it would be one day. It had to be, because I needed it to be perfect. I didn’t realize that trying to make my photography business perfect was going to kill it. All that I could see was what was wrong with it. Since there is no way that we will ever attain perfection, something will always be wrong with it if we are measuring against that scale. So I stopped doing that. I became a proponent of good enough, in one-step-at-a-time, in the idea that everything counts. Every time I pick up that phone and call someone who is holding an event to enroll them in the idea of using my company for their photography… that counts. And, every time I don’t pick up that phone, when I know it is the thing to do, that counts too. We are always either moving forward, or moving backward. There is no such thing as standing still. But, since everything counts, all you need for progress is to do more things to move you forward than to move backward. That’s all. And, if you can incorporate some habits in each area that moves your photography business forward each day, then as soon as you have done those things… you are already ahead of the curve.

So what small steps can you take in your photography business today that will count toward progress? What potential partner can you approach today? What blog post can you write to serve your clients? What donation can you make to a non-profit organization that is close to your heart? What system can you put in place that will save you time tomorrow?

It doesn’t have to be big to count. It doesn’t have to be dramatic to count. And… it doesn’t have to be perfect. We learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. So drop the pursuit of perfection, and embrace moving forward, one step at a time. Because in your photography business, as in mine… “Everything counts”.

Here’s a link to one of Jim Rohn’s videos on the topic of “measurable progress in reasonable time”. I LOVE listening to Jim Rohn.

 

 

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Time Management – Concentrate

March 4, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, photography education, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Tips, Time Management by admin

Time Management – Concentrate

Today is our last day talking about Rory Vaden’s time management focus funnel from his book “Procrastinate on Purpose”. Today is when you finally have something that you get to do. Yesterday we talked about procrastinating on purpose. And the procrastinate step is a great way to set aside tasks that don’t need to be done right now, so that you can do tasks that do need to get done now. I’m not talking about putting off something that you know you should do. I am talking about doing something that you should do, instead of distracting yourself with something that is not as significant right now. If you ask yourself the question “can I put this off?”, and the answer you get is “no”, then what you have is a task that needs to be done now. Now it is time to concentrate. This is when you turn off the phone, close your email, shut out all distractions, and give yourself a set amount of time to really focus. Focus on that one task… that one significant task that is going to create more time for you tomorrow. Focus on creating your sales system. Or focus on setting up your social media structure. Concentrate on writing the copy for your new book, or whatever it is that is going to make a big impact… long term. If your task is a big one, you may need to schedule many sessions to concentrate. If it is smaller, then you might be able to complete the whole thing in one big chunk of time. But concentrating is about shutting out distractions so that you can get that significant task completed.

Did you know that each and every time you are interrupted, it takes 15 minutes to get yourself back to a true state of focus? Think about how many times during the day you are interrupted. For some of us that means that we never really have a chance to focus on anything. If we have our email setup to notify us every time we get an email, or our Facebook page to signal every message we get, then there is really never a time during the day that we can get real concentrated focused time. What about the buzz of our cell phones? Even on vacation, few of us are willing to be very far away from that little buzz. No wonder we all feel so overwhelmed, and yet still feel like we aren’t getting very far. We have become incredibly impatient these days. We want everything now. And we get it NOW! But we are paying a high price for that. We are paying the price of not being present where we are. The people that are right in front of us get precious little of our attention, while we defer to the email, Facebook and ringing phone.

If we can use Rory Vaden’s focus funnel to eliminate things that don’t serve us, automate things that can be systematized, delegate things that are better handled by someone else, procrastinate on things that we do not need to be doing yet, and concentrate on the things that really matter… our entire lives and businesses can transform. We can get back to spending our lives on things that make a difference, on things that are fulfilling and meaningful. And for me, a chronic driver and over-achiever, maybe even finally find peace. 🙂

Here’s to you and to your peace… today and everyday moving forward.

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Time Management – Delegate

March 2, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Photography Entrepreneurship, Photography Marketing Tips, Photography Workflow, Time Management by admin

Time Management – Delegate

Building on our time management techniques from the past three posts, today I want to talk about Rory Vaden’s “Procrastinate on Purpose” step of Delegate. Once you have asked yourself… “can I eliminate this?”, and “can I automate this?”, if your task has not been handled yet, you move to the next stage – delegate. This is when you ask the question… “can I delegate this”? Now, I have to admit, delegate is the hardest step of time management for me. It always has been. For years, decades even, I have struggled with delegating things. Why? Because I did not have, what Rory Vaden calls, the permission of imperfect. I have always felt that, for the tasks that I needed to get done on a daily basis, that I could do it either faster, better or both, than having someone else do the task. I know that sounds ridiculously arrogant, but it was also true. After all, for most of these tasks, I was doing things inside my own business, things that related to systems that I myself had developed. I knew these tasks inside and out. I could practically do them in my sleep. Delegating them seemed like a ludicrous option. Even Rory says I was “right”… which is probably the only reason I was willing to listen to his explanation of why I needed to delegate anyway (LOL).

Rory says that it takes up to 2.5 hours to teach someone how to do a task that takes 5 minutes. YIKES! 2.5 HOURS! No wonder I was thinking I couldn’t afford to delegate anything. That’s a lot of time management! However, I was missing a key ingredient to this thought process. And that was this… once I have taught that person how to do the task, not only can I focus on something else, but they actually get better and better and better at doing the task. This speeds up the efficiency of the task, and ensures that my clients are being handled much more effectively than they were when I myself was doing everything. With someone else handling the time management of these tasks that are less significant to my making an impact on the world, now I can focus on those things that are significant. If you don’t remember from my earlier post, significance is how long something matters. Significant things are things that will matter years down the line. Me answering my phone right now, is not significant years from now. However, me developing a training program for my team to answer the phone effectively and efficiently, will matter years from now. Once I have delegated incoming phone calls to my team, and trained them to do it well, I can move on to the next item on my list that will be significant to my life or my business.

Here is Rory Vaden’s focus funnel again. Notice how each of our first three steps have handled a lot of tasks already. Just you wait until we get to the next stage. You are going to LOVE IT!

Screen-Shot-2015-02-19-at-5.11.19-PM

 

What can you delegate inside your business? If you are a photographer, unless you get some sort of fulfillment and enjoyment from retouching your own work… DELEGATE IT! Retouching is time-consuming… and boring. It is tedious! And, it is extremely cheap to delegate! If you don’t already have a source for this, I recommend www.retouchup.com . They are inexpensive, professional, and fast! If you are not happy with what they did on your images, you can have them re-done for FREE. I get most of my images back before 24 hours are up. And… you can try them for FREE. Click HERE if you want to try them out.

There are probably many tasks like this in your business that you can delegate. You can delegate using a virtual assistant. You can delegate SEO, social media, email marketing.

Leave your answer to the question… “What can I delegate in my business?” in the comments below. And, I’ll see you here next time for the last two steps of the focus funnel. 🙂

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Time Management – Automate

March 1, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, Time Management, Uncategorized by admin

Time Management – Automate

Using Rory Vaden’s focus funnel (from his book, “Procrastinate on Purpose”), we can see that the next step in his time management model, after eliminate, is automate. If you are unable to eliminate a task, then the next question you want to ask yourself is… “can I automate this?”. What is automating? I see it as creating a system. A system that will allow the task to be performed automatically, and predictably, moving forward. Automating a task, while it may take a while to initially set up, will save you tons of time in the long run. For example, you could automate your initial contact with potential clients. You could create a series of written or video emails that could be used to introduce you and what you stand for to your potential client. These emails would then automate what is currently taking you a lot of time to perform for each potential client individually. Now, am I suggesting that you stop answering the phone, and let the emails do all of the work for you? Not necessarily. But maybe sometimes. For instance, what if you could set up a system, an automated system, that would kick off when a new visitor comes to your web site? What if, when someone goes to your image gallery online, a video plays that introduces you and why you do what you do to your potential client?  Then, what if you could further improve your time management by having an opt in box that collected that person’s email address? What if that email then went into a follow up system, an automated follow up system, that emailed out a new video to your potential clients every few days? You would record the videos once. You would set up the automated system once, and then you would benefit from that automated system every time a new person opted in on your web site. Wouldn’t that save you a lot of time?

But Kate… you say… I don’t have time to set all that up. I am already overwhelmed just trying to keep up with everything I already have to do. The reason why you are having a hard time keeping up, is that you are trying to do everything yourself… one task at a time. Rory Vaden says that multipliers (the people who are able to multiply their time) spend time on things today that will give them more time tomorrow.

Here’s the focus funnel again:

Screen-Shot-2015-02-19-at-5.11.19-PM

What can you automate today that will save you time tomorrow?

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Photogenesis 2015

January 17, 2015 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, How to start a photography business, photography education, Photography Tips by admin

I am just now catching up from my trip to SanMarcos, Texas to attend and speak at Photogenesis 2015. 2014 was my year to start this blog, and begin connecting with photographers and photography entrepreneurs around the world. And now… 2015 is my year to start speaking. Photogenesis was a great place to get my feet wet, since they needed speakers for walkup workshops. I did my 2015 Success Roadmap class, and it was so fun! There were several other walkup workshops happening simultaneously at Photogenesis, so I didn’t have a ton of people. But that was ok with me ’cause I had more time to spend with each photographer personally. If you were able to attend Photogenesis and see my class, thanks for attending! It’s wonderful to have attentive excited photographers listening to grab a bit of inspiration. If you weren’t able to be there… never fear. While getting your 2015 plan done in January is always ideal… February is a great time to put new systems in place as well. And I am going to videotape my presentation from Photogenesis (obviously I won’t actually BE at Photogenesis, but it will be that presentation) and put it up here on my blog. Anyone who wasn’t able to attend will have the opportunity to get a plan into action for 2015, and if you were lucky enough to have joined me, and hundreds of other photographers, at Photogenesis 2015, then you can watch the video and get a refresher.

This video will be packed with the big picture for your business for the year. This is the best place to start from… what you want your business to be, do and stand for. And it will get down to the details of your strategies and tactics for creating your vision in the real world. It’s going to be exciting, so stay tuned.

Happy New Year everybody!

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Choose Your Stand to grow your photography business

December 31, 2014 in Business Tips, Goal Setting, How to start a photography business, Photography Entrepreneurship by admin

Today’s photography business tip is to choose your Stand. We have talked about creating your stand before, but I want to re-visit it today as we are on the precipice of a brand new year. Today we say goodbye to 2014, and we usher in 2015. Today is a great day to celebrate everything you have accomplished this year, and to ponder what is next for you… in your life and in your business. And that’s why I want to talk about choosing your Stand.

Millions of people will be making New Year’s Resolutions today and tomorrow. They will be creating grand promises… passionate goals for the upcoming year. And that is really cool! I love the idea of a fresh start, with a new year and new goals to get inspired. But I also believe that there is something far more powerful than any resolution or goal, and that is your Stand.

What is a Stand? It’s exactly what it sounds like… it’s what you stand for. It is who you are in the world, regardless of the role you are playing at the time. Your stand is timeless. It is Who you Are, not What You Do. It is not your career choice (photographer) or your goals (do a million dollars in sales), it is not your resolutions (lose 20 pounds). It is your Why. Why you exist in this world. What you exemplify with every particle of your being.

Getting clear on why you are here on this planet, and choosing a word that you can call upon to ignite your passion and inspire yourself and others is quite possibly THE most powerful thing that you can do for you, your clients, your family, and your business. When you can get clear on your Stand, people will rally around you to assist. People who are inspired by your why will be drawn to you. And people who don’t fit your why will start to fall away… leaving you surrounded by those who will add fuel to your passion and propel you toward your true purpose.

So why do I care about this so much right now? Well… because I have just recently realized that I have been disconnected from my why. I got caught up in the details, and I got sidetracked by trying to save something that I really needed to let go of. I was so busy stubbornly holding on to this thing that I thought was really important, and trying to get it to work, that I missed the fact that it simply wasn’t workable… and it never was going to be. When I looked up from my dogged pursuit of problem-solving, I realized that I had lost nearly everything that was important to me. I had let this thing do severe damage to my business, my family, my health, and my emotional well-being. And I had lost track of my stand… my purpose… my very being.

Maybe you feel a little like that too. Maybe there is something in your life that has been draining you of your energy and your passion, but you haven’t been willing to let it go. Or maybe, you just don’t feel lit up with passion about your life. Well… if that is so… Today is The Day! Today is the day for freedom and clarity. Today is the day to reconnect with who you are and what you stand for. Most of us were raised to think that much of what we are able to be, have or do in this world is limited. But it is not. We are unlimited beings, full of possibility, and able to choose who we want to be and what we want to create. So now is the time.

What do you stand for? Ask yourself this question, and think about what lights you up. What has always lit you up? If you could no longer be a photographer, what would still be there underneath “photographer” that is who you are… at your core? Find a word that lights you up.

For me that word is possibility. That is what I stand for. I stand for breaking through seeming impossibility myself, and assisting others to do the same for themselves. Whatever blocks seem to be in your way can be removed. They can be broken through. Your challenges can be overcome. And who I am is the person who will get you in touch with that belief, while, together, we clear away the fog that is obscuring your path.

The really cool thing about choosing a Stand is that it is who you are regardless of what you are doing. For example, above I explained how Possibility fits into my coaching practice. But what about when I am not coaching? What about when I am speaking, training or photographing clients? Because my Stand is not about What I am doing, it infuses everything I do. It inspires every action and gives me a strong foundation from which to make every decision and every choice. Remembering this is what eventually pulled me out of my recent situation. I thought that I was standing for possibility. But I was actually trying to force something, and force is the opposite of possibility. Force is a product of fear, and possibility is a product of love. I believed, while I was operating from fear, that I was doing everything I could to solve the problem. But I was actually perpetuating it by succumbing to fear and manipulation. When I was able to step back a bit and get in touch with my Stand of possibility, it became clear that the solution was to let it go. From my Stand of possibility, I am present, and I am clear. I am a better speaker, trainer, photographer and coach. Because I am focused on why I am doing what I do the What of what I do gets handled in the background. I am more connected to source energy, and best of all… I am free.

Having a clear Stand, or as some call it, Why,  can simplify everything in your business and your life. It can remove the distractions of the details that can become so overwhelming at times. Creating a marketing plan, setting up your chart of accounts, payroll, hiring and firing, all of the things that you need to handle in your business will become easier when you have an undercurrent of an amazing purpose for Why you do what you do. Your Stand is the rock on which to build your business foundation. So, if you haven’t already done so, create your Stand TODAY, and start 2015 with a strong foundation for success.

If you want to learn more about this, “Start with why” is an amazing book that can help you get even more clarity of purpose. I highly recommend the audio version, that you can carry with you on your phone to help remind you every day how to live from your Stand … or your Why.

Please share with me your Stand, so that I can support you in being who you have chosen to be in the world. Give me one word that speaks to you, and everyone around you, what you stand for and/or why you do what you do.

Happy New Year!!!

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