I had an interesting comment thrown at me a few days ago and I’ve been pondering it ever since.
“You’re just lucky. You just happened to fall into the right place at the right time and happened to make some good money.”
The implication was very few can do it, its almost an impossibility to do it again, and photography is a market that simply has no money in it. If you make a decent income, it won’t be in photography.
So I decided to take the approach that maybe this person was right. Maybe there is no way you can make money at photography. Maybe the only people that do are lucky. In which case, if you are a photographer, maybe now is the time to give it all up. That’s right, walk away. And I have 3 reasons to prove that now is the time to do so.
1. The only way to get ahead in life is to be lucky – one in a million is the only shot you have.
Do you play Powerball (lottery, mega millions, whatever you happened to call it)? Did you stand in line for hours to buy a ticket? Did you hope and pray that your one ticket would be the magic winner and you would walk away a changed person?
That’s luck. You don’t have to do anything other than stand in line and buy a ticket. No planning (other than which line to hang out in). And it all comes down to chance – will your numbers be the actual numbers pulled.
Photography is much the same way. You grab a camera and start shooting. If people like your work, they pay you. You may book a few clients. Or maybe not. It all depends on your luck for the day.
2. The only way to make money is to work for someone else – there is no room for small business and it’s way too risky to try.
Paychecks are where its at in today’s world. Nothing is safer than having an employer keep you safe and secure. You work for them 40 hours per week (or more) and they give you a paycheck at the end of the week. Hopefully. Your benefits may go away. You may worry about the pink slip. But at least your safe as long as it lasts.
The true risk is small business because it simply doesn’t work. You never know if you will succeed and there is no way to build a future that brings in a healthy income.
3. Every day brings something new – a plan will never help you achieve your goals and dreams.
Every person will get around 29,000 days on earth. And every day brings something new. Which means you can never create a “to-do” list because you won’t get the opportunity to do it – every day is a clean slate. There is no planning for the future, and there isn’t a way build on the knowledge you’ve accumulated in the past. It all comes down to luck anyway, so throw your cares to the wind and just see what happens today. You may be surprised.
The Real Truth
Okay, I had a lot of fun writing all of that down. But hopefully it made a point that will stick with you today.
A small business isn’t successful because it had a little luck. Okay maybe Instagram selling for a billion dollars had a little luck, but that’s a whole different story. For the most part, small businesses are successful because the owner puts in a whole lot of hard work to turn it into a success.
Can luck play a part of it? Sure. You may have dropped everything at the last minute to visit a networking party you weren’t going to attend. And you meet the most amazing wedding coordinator that drops a dozen high end wedding clients in your lap every year for the next five years.
But is that really luck? Or is it part of your planning and determination? You’ve built up your reputation. You’ve built up your skills. You’ve worked months, even years at developing a successful business. And the one person that contributes to your success comes along because “luck” or “fate” put you together.
Yet isn’t it all a part of your planning? Your goals? Your determination?
If you want success bad enough, you’ll do whatever it takes every day to bring you one step closer.
Yep, I was a seven year over night success story. Seven years to learn everything I needed to know to help me grow our photography business from start up to six figures in two years. That included education, working for others, experimenting with other businesses, and finally applying it to my own business. Seven years.
Luck? Maybe. But I think it’s a whole lot more.