|How Do I Get Started?
Question: I've been a photographer for a while now, and really want to make it my full time career. I've attended a large seminar/expo, and have seen quite a few successful photographers that offer products and programs. I've also hunted around online, and am overwhelmed at the information available to me. Who do I trust? Which program should I buy? If I buy yours, how do I know it will help me?
As a wanna-be, a newbie or a growing photographer, how do you get started? Who do you trust to help you achieve your hopes and dreams? With so many mentors available to you, how do you know where to begin?
When you really think about it, life is full of "getting started" moments. If you decide to go to college, you have to request applications and take a few tests. If you decide to change jobs, you have to apply and interview. If you want to grow a successful business, you have to commit to growing and changing every day.
Whether it's always been your dream to open up a studio, and you've made 2007 the year you will achieve your dream. Or you have had a studio for a number of years, but you're dedicating 2007 to the year you turn it into a six-figure success. Or maybe you have a successful studio, but you're working seven days of the week and still feel overwhelmed. You all have one thing in common: the need to rely on others to help you achieve your dreams.
Building a business is similar to a giant jigsaw puzzle. When you decide to open up your business, you start with your very first piece. That first piece is exciting; it holds all of your hopes and dreams. But the first piece doesn't do a lot for you; it simply signifies you've committed to working at the puzzle.
In order to get the second piece you have to take some type of action. Maybe it's filling out the paperwork with the government to make your business legal. Maybe it's getting new business cards. Maybe it's creating a brochure. Each of these is an important step, and will help you build your puzzle.
Yet your puzzle will take years, maybe even decades to complete. Each year you are in business you'll have new dreams, new challenges, and new desires. Who can help you fit another piece into the puzzle? Who holds the magic key to bring you one step closer to your dreams?
There is never one magical person out there that holds every key. No one person can show you all there is to know. Instead, a different person enters your life for a reason - to provide you with one more piece to the puzzle. Trust your instinct, and trust that you have found that person for a reason. Invest in a relationship with them for a moment, and learn all you can. They will undoubtedly lead you to the next important person in your life. At which time it will be time to move on.
I have had several dozen mentors in my life over the past 20 years. I can remember each of them, and list them by name. They each brought an important piece to my puzzle. And they've helped me become who I am today. I invested heavily in relationships and mentor programs with each of these people at the appropriate time. I still think highly of each of them, even though I may no longer have direct contact. In 2007, I will find other directions and relationships to invest in. And that's what makes each New Year so exciting for me.
The same applies to you. You have reached a certain point in your life. The people and opportunities you are finding now are the appropriate items to help you with your business now. Don't be afraid to invest in a relationship with a few chosen mentors. Learn from them and apply what you learn to help you grow.
Your business (and your personal life) will thank you.