Business owners aren’t always so quick to tell you the biggest mistakes they’ve made in business. They’ll be happy to tell you all about their HUGE successes and tout the things they’ve done right through the years. I know, because I am guilty of this
not so humble brag. It’s not often you get a completely stripped down confession from us about what we’ve done wrong and the mistakes we’ve made. Maybe it’s because we feel that we didn’t get a leg up when starting out; why should we offer up our secrets. Or maybe it’s because we’re a bit self righteous. Whatever the reason might be, today I’ll share with you the biggest mistake I made in my photo business. And if you’re being honest with yourself, you’ve likely made it to.
It’s OKAY! We’re human and we make mistakes.
For a long time I was worried about stacking up against other photographers in my area. I compared myself to no end with everyone around me. What I did that they didn’t do and what they did that I didn’t do. To be honest, it wasn’t just other photographers, it was any other business in general. Let me tell you: that was absolutely miserable. Taking your full on autobiography and comparing it against someone else’s highlight reel will drive you mad. Or into a deep dark depression that is difficult to climb out of.
The biggest mistake anyone in business can (and will) make is comparing your business to others.
It took me 5 years, but I eventually learned that if I do my own thing, regardless of what anyone else is doing, I will succeed. By comparing my business to others whom I believed to be more successful, I was single handedly driving it into the ground.
As humans, we’re so quick to compare ourselves to others we often miss the beauty happening around us.
This is so unhealthy on a myriad of different levels. Most importantly we take for granted the fact that we’re individuals and each have our own unique set of circumstances. I, for one, am pretty restless. That’s why I have a job that allows me freedoms from moving about photographing to being able to sit down at RAIL and enjoy a cupcake and coffee while I work.
I used to feel guilty if I wasn’t at the studio starting at 9.
Then I came to the realization, if I am at the studio from 9 to 5, when the rest of society is working; I’m not going to ever get clients here. Because HEY! Y’all are usually at work and school during those hours. I would have these full work days and by the time clients would arrive for sessions I was so over it. I would keep it turned on for my clients but by the time it was time to go home I was exhausted.
My personal relationships were jeopardized because I was an uber bitch to everyone I cared about when I got done working
It took a good long while and lots of fiddling with my schedule but I am falling into a routine that allows me to take care of personal chores and tasks, all of the computer work that comes with being a photographer done and still have energy to spare when 4:30 hits and it’s time to grab my camera and start shooting. Most importantly I have time with my loved ones without being a cranky, curmudgeony heifer.
Getting out of the “this is how it is supposed to be done” mindset is a tricky task. Once you allow yourself freedom and remove judgement that’s when magic starts to happen.
Have you made the mistake of comparison? How did you change your mindset?