It takes a lot to be a business owner and at the same time an artist. Years ago Jerry Ghionis was teaching a program in Ohio and talked about how backwards the life of a photographer is. I'm paraphrasing, but you'll get the point.
You launch your career as an artist and have to focus on your skill set and developing your technique. At the same you're expected to be a business owner and understand all the components of running a successful business. The truth is, everybody should go out and be a second shooter for two years and develop their skills as an artist first, then jump into the responsibilities of running a business.
Here's my point...for most of you, you're still in the slow season and have lots of opportunities to fine tune your skills and at the same time, various aspects of your business. Personally, I love applying the low-hanging fruit philosophy to your personal growth as well as your business. Stop over-thinking everything you have yet to do. Focus on concepts you can implement quickly and take those that are longer term and set a time line for completion.
Great examples of low-hanging fruit:
- Rewrite your bio so it's in the first person and sounds more like an artist's statement instead of your work history on a job application .
- Clean up your galleries and get rid of any images that aren't "wow" quality.
- Take your camera out and just practice one technique you're weak in. For most of you that's probably going to be lighting.
- Look through the WPPI exhibitor list. Even if you're not going, it's a chance to know who's in the industry. I'm amazed at how many companies so many of you have never heard of!
- Take a vendor in your community to lunch. You can build your network one relationship at a time with printers, florists, wedding planners, venue managers, limo companies, bridal salons, salons etc.
The list goes on and on. The point is, start tackling some of those challenges you've been putting off. Nothing is easier than starting with projects that can be quickly done, but have strong impact.
Most important of all stop worrying about how much you have to learn and give yourself a pat on the back for how much you've already learned and accomplished!
Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb;
The more scared we are of a work or calling the more sure we can be that we have to do it.