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Choose Your Stand to grow your photography business

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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#1 Habit of Successful Photographers – Focus on YOU to grow your photography business

Today I would like to share with you the #1 habit of successful photographers (as I see it). Obviously this is my opinion, and not based on some highly touted scientific research, but it is based on the 15+ years of running a profitable photography business. You are not going to read this anywhere else, because this is not what most people want to hear. There are lots of photography business gurus on the internet touting their “7 easy steps to” this and their “5 custom phases” for that.  And,  I am not saying that their steps are wrong or flawed in any way. Heck! I myself give away a 4 step process on my blog. However , the way that things are marketed these days has led us, as business owners, and as human beings, to be convinced that we can have instant success… instant results… and instantaneous prosperity. We have been duped into believing that instant is the way to go, and that is is preferred to the “old school” values of integrity and hard work. But unfortunately, that simply isn’t how the universe works. You can’t lose the 20 pounds you gained over a two year period, in two weeks. You can’t spontaneously manifest a skyscraper, and you can’t create a stable and profitable business overnight… using 5-9 easy steps.

If you really want to build something of value, you need to focus on the place where you  have the most amount of power and influence… on YOU. When you are a photography business owner, YOU are your business. You might have employees that work with you, but YOU are in charge of the vision for your company, and that means that you  have to work on YOU. You need to develop yourself into a leader if you want to lead a great organization. (Even if that organization only consists of one person). You need to develop yourself as an artist, if you want to be known for your art, and you need to create the mindset of prosperity and success, if you ever hope to manifest that in your life and in your business. And you have to take care of your mind and body so that you can have the energy and focus necessary to really make an impact on the world.

As we approach 2015, now is a great time to reflect on what’s missing. Not to focus on it, with fear. That will just create what you DON’T want. But to root out what is going wrong, so that you can focus on that which will transform it. January is a great time to plan out your year, and the end of December is a wonderful time to reflect on the previous year to help you create an effective plan.

Ask yourself, What is missing in ME, that if I developed it, my business in 2015 would create more success and prosperity? Whew! That’s a big question… right? Even with the level of success that I have been able to create, when I ask myself that question, I get lots of answers to “what’s missing?” So you probably will too. The list might even have you feeling overwhelmed. But that’s ok. After all… overwhelm is probably one of the things that you need to address. So, if overwhelm is your immediate feeling, then you have already rooted out a major issue. Facing that issue head on is going to start the process of transformation. The fact of the matter is that most photographers do not have the skills needed to run a successful photography business. Most photographers like to take pictures. It is, after all, what drew us to photography in the first place. But most photographers are not skilled business owners or leaders. And those skills are MORE important than photography skills in creating a successful business. Entrepreneurial skills are critical to building a business that works. And, for a creative person, those are probably the last things you want to focus on. But here is the good news. Those skills are the exact things that will free you up to do your photography. If you can build a stable business that works, you will have your time freed up to concentrate on your art. Unless you are extraordinarily talented as a photographer, you will never be a successful profitable photography business owner until you develop yourself. Even most of the incredibly talented and famous artists didn’t become popular until after their death. And, you certainly don’t want that!

I don’t usually share videos from other coaches, but this one is so good, so timely, and so relevant to you… and to me, that I had to.

If you can take some time to listen to, and implement the advice in this video, your 2015 could be AMAZING! Develop these 5 habits in YOU, and watch your business SOAR! (And lest you feel like I am contradicting myself… these aren’t 5 “easy steps”. Creating powerful “habits” is all about YOU. The time that you spend focusing on improving YOU will never be wasted. Even if you decide later that being a photography business owner is not for you. These powerful productive habits will be with you as long as you are on this earth. And, who knows, maybe they will even come in handy after that).

 

My thanks go out to Evan Carmichael for this video.

 

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Tim Ferris & the Minimum Effective Dose Principle

Today’s tip is to apply Tim Ferris’ minimum effective dose principle to your photography business. What is the minimum amount of effort that you can put into each important area of your business? How much time, effort and money do you need to put into your photography business each week on marketing… on accounting… on staff improvement… to obtain your desired result? Maybe you know these and maybe you don’t. If you do know them… then stop doing everything that is in excess of the minimum needed amount. This will conserve energy and allow you more time to plan and grow your business. If you don’t know what the minimums are, then your best bet is to get educated. But get educated by folks who have been running successful photography businesses for years. Those are the folks that have already made all of the mistakes and spent years testing out ways of doing things. They already know what works and what doesn’t. So duplicating successful photography businesses is your fastest path to success.

If you would like to see some cool videos by Tim Ferris, here’s the link to register to receive them. http://www.thefourhourbodybook.com

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Photography Business Tip – Do the important things first

Today’s photography business tip is to focus on the things that will make the most difference for your photography business success. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your actions. So what are your 20% action that create the 80% of your results? There’s no point in focusing on the 80% that only create 20% of your progress… that simply isn’t a good use of your time. Make a list of your 20% activities and make sure that you do at least one every day. If you do that, you will make the most progress in the least amount of time.

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Photography Business Tip – Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Today’s photography business tip is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable… and more specifically, get comfortable with failing. None of us likes to fail, and sometimes we even let it stop us from doing great things. One of the most powerful things that I have learned in business is that I am going to fail. I probably won’t fail every time, but I will fail a lot. That’s what playing a big game requires. That’s what living life to the fullest demands… total commitment and courage! And, when you are playing a really big game in life, or in business, your odds of failing go up. Why? Because it’s easy to succeed at little inconsequential things, but doing BIG things requires risk, and that involves a higher chance of failure.
BUT, if you can remember that failing is just part of the process… a necessary part to real long-term growth, you can embrace failure. And pushing through that failure will eventually lead to success.

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Grow a successful photography business – Tips – Take care of You!

I know it seems a little silly to make this a photography or business tip, but if you have been in the photography industry for any length of time you know it’s easy to get burned out. Photography starts out as a passion and a huge joy in our lives, but after years of learning business, marketing, and trying to keep our focus on the photography side our business, it can lead to burnout… Big Time! Whether you are a new photographer or have been in the photography industry for years, it’s really important that you make yourself the TOP priority. You have to take care of yourself. Noone else is going to do it for you, and you can’t run a successful photography business without a leader at the helm who is fit, healthy, confident and moving forward with a passionate plan.
Do what you need to keep yourself on track… exercise, eat right, feed your mind with inspiring stuff, even pray a little (if that works for you), but make sure you take care of YOU. Cause your photography business is going to be in BIG TROUBLE if YOU aren’t doing well. Being a leader can be a real challenge… but it’s incredibly rewarding… and it’s the way you are going to leave your mark on the world. So don’t forget to take care of YOU!

XOXOXOXO!

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Grow your photography business – Photography Business Tips – Keep an open mind

Today’s photography business tip is to keep an open mind.

One of the quickest ways to infuse your photography business with new energy and passion is to keep your eyes open to what is going on around you, not only in the photography industry, but in other industries as well. How are businesses finding the right clients? How are they marketing to those clients? Especially if you have been in photography for a long time, it can be easy to become rigid in your thinking about what works and what doesn’t. But if you can be open to new ideas, and test them out, you might find some really great new ways to grow your photography business and increase it’s success.

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