Will doubt rule you?
A bloke once said to me – every photographer I know is working in a framing shop.
That was when I was just starting out, and maybe that’s the truth for him but people do like to tell you that it can’t be done.
I think this is one of the hardest things to overcome when you’re starting out.
You know those salmon that swim against the current to get to their spawning grounds? Same sort of thing, heaps of them get eaten by bears and the ones that do make it are a minority.
It seems like being a salmon is a crap idea so I’m glad I’m not one but the ones that get past the bears achieve their mission.
A full overview of the business of photography can be found here in our ‘Roadmap to success’
Business is the same, your friends mean well but they are the bears so watch out for them. ‘It’s so competitive’, ‘I know someone who tried that and they went back to their old job’, ‘everyone’s a photographer nowdays’ and it’s these statements that keep people where they are in life.
If you’re prone to listening to them, you will stay where you are because that’s what you wanted to hear when you started telling people about your plans.
Remember this, we all hear what we want to hear and see what we want to see but there’s a simple solution to this – never tell people what you’re doing, don’t tell them your plans, because they won’t be able to tell you that it’s a bad idea, don’t go looking for negative input and you won’t get any.
I know it’s hard because we get excited and want everyone to know about our new adventure but be careful – self doubt will stop you in your tracks.
Create your own environment.
There’s a book called ‘Adapt’ by Tim Harford which talks about the isolation of the Galapagos islands and how the species who evolved there developed unique traits.
There was no outside influence, and if you translate that to what I said earlier about not telling anyone your plans – it means that no-one can add an opinion or sway you from your path because in your own environment. Do this and you will not doubt yourself as much.
You are free to do whatever you want and if one of the things you want is the belief that success is possible, then no-one can disagree with you. You’re the only one that knows what you’re thinking and this is a great thing.
There’s always the option of going down the study path by considering something like the photography institute but my experience has been that flying solo and doing my own thing has resulted in success.
Living in your own world with your own beliefs, accompanied by solid systems, a cautious approach and careful planning allows you to walk out the door with a result and wave it around.
Telling everyone how successful you’re going to be and then not achieving your targets opens the door to criticism and self-doubt.
– ‘I told you it was too hard’, ‘remember I said that everyone that I know is working in a framing shop’
There’s a broader overview of this and other issues concerning starting out on the article called ‘Roadmap to success’ which you can find here
When people tell you something can’t be done, they’re telling you that they can’t, or wouldn’t do it or that they wouldn’t try, and strangely, they don’t want you to do it in case you’re successful
They don’t want to have it, they just don’t want you to have it, they want to take it from you so that you can’t have it. Don’t let them steal your adventure from you.
Of course, you’ll have your supporters and you won’t need to be too cautious with them but this is lesson to be learned – if you give people a gun loaded with enthusiasm, most of them will shoot you with their bullets of opinion.
Again, this is something I have learned over a lifetime and I don’t want you to be impeded on your journey, because it’s a great journey, and I want you to get there as quickly as possible.
Next week, I’ll share my experience about your clients seeing the value in your photography.
Please share this around with your friends and I’ll see you again soon.