Do You Really Want The Help or Are You Just Making Excuses?

I had to laugh in an ironic sort of way.

Why is it that the people that need the most help often are the same ones with the most closed minds?

Let me paint you a story.

A photographer runs a business, yet can’t seem to understand why she’s struggling to survive. It’s not her fault after all. It’s the economy. It’s the industry. It’s everybody else. And occasionally she needs to confirm it in her mind that it isn’t her – it’s everything else. The odds are stacked against her and she’ll just have to wait it out until things return to “normal”.

So every once in awhile she does a little investigating to prove she isn’t at fault. She orders my Pricing Your Photography and skims it. Not reads and applies it. Skims it. Nothing new, AND SHE”S REALLY SHORT ON MONEY, so she returns it for her money back.

That’s perfectly fine with me. You see I’ve had hundreds of people buy my Pricing Your Photography, with only a handful returned (from people just like her). And the comments have always been overwhelmingly positive –

“I can’t believe how low I was pricing before. I’ve almost doubled my rates, and now I know why.”

“Now I know my business will be successful.”

“I’ve never looked at my prices like this before. You made something I used to guess at into a science.”

Yet I’m always intrigued when I hear the “nothing new after skimming it” that comes with a return. So I did a little investigating to determine how this photographer really is priced. And what I found didn’t surprise me – its definitely what I expected. [Read more…]

Why My Tips Will Never Work For Your Photography Business

Every single day you have access to millions of articles, publications, secrets to success manuals, videos, courses and guides.

You can read solid advice from the moment you get up in the morning until the moment you go to bed.

You can talk with a mentor, study with an adviser, and listen to your favorite guru every moment of the day.

Yet when you take all of this and try and put it into your own business life, one thing holds true: it may or may not work for you.

What?

That probably sounds like the most wishy-washy statement you’ve ever heard. How can you take advice from a zillion different sources, put it all into good use for your business, and not know if it will work for you? It should – its great advice right? [Read more…]

10 Things You Have Heard As A Professional Photographer

Chances are when you started thinking about becoming a professional photographer, you held the dream close inside for a while. I know we did. After all, it had been generations since any of our family had broken into the entrepreneurial world. What would they think? What would they say?

Well as chance would have it, they probably had a lot to say once you did tell them. I’m sure you heard it all. And I was reminded of some of the things family and friends said when we finally made our announcement this morning when I read through a great blog post, Things They Have No Right To Tell You. So I came up with some of my own.

Have you heard any of these?

I’ve never started a business before, but I can tell you it’s a very risky thing to do, especially in this economy.

Nobody makes a great living as a professional photographer; welcome to the world of being a starving artist.

I’ve never been a photographer before, but I have a ton of ways to help you build your business.

I really need professional photography. Would you be interested in spending a day photographing me, and I’ll give you some of my “product/service”?

I have a great charity – could you donate some of your services to help me out?

I’m in a tough spot right now, but I love your work. If you photograph me for free, I’ll tell all my friends about you – and I know “a lot” of people.

It takes money to make money – be prepared to spend a lot.

You have real talent; I know you’ll be successful.

Quit dreaming and get your head out of the clouds. Get a job like the rest of us.

I’ve tried that before, and I can promise you it doesn’t work.

What else have you heard?

7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22

It’s been a year or two since I was 22. (Okay, maybe three or four.) But as I graduated college and started down the path of life, I remember thinking the world was all mine. I was going to get a great job, quickly earn my millions, travel anywhere, any time, and in general live the life everyone wants to live.

Well things obviously changed from my original 22 year old goals. A Lot! And that’s okay, because right now I wouldn’t change a thing. Yet if I had five minutes to go back and tell my 22 year old self a thing or two, this is probably the advice I would give.

1. Don’t worry about picking a “perfect” career right now. Instead, pick something you can learn from. If you want to travel more, get a job on a cruise ship for a year. Your life isn’t cast in stone at 22. Have fun and play around with the jobs you take. It will only help you later in life.

2. Stop with the credit cards, and build up your savings. Invest, invest, invest. Okay, I’ll admit when Andrew and I first got married, we bought a townhome for $30,000. Man I wish I still had that townhome and was collecting rent. And stocks? Why didn’t we invest in Microsoft or Apple? Its fun to look back and dream, but I would definitely tell myself to jump in a lot earlier.

3. Do what is right for you. It’s hard moving away and getting out of your comfort zone. But the time you spend with friends and family will change along the way anyway. Instead of focusing on what you have, focus on what you could have once in a while too.

At one point in our photography career, Andrew and I had the chance to move to Phoenix to start up another photography business. Because our daughter was young and set in a great school environment, we chose not to do it – and are kicking ourselves now. It would have been a great opportunity. Yes, things worked out well staying and doing what we are doing now. But we always wonder “what if” we would have jumped at something entirely new.
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