Just yesterday I arrived back from a week in Vancouver. Couple of days on the slopes doing my favorite sport in the world skiing really helps clearing my head. The peace and astonishing beauty of the Canadian Rockies will calm the craziest and busiest mind. I realized that I had gotten so close to ‘my stuff’ that I couldn’t think clear anymore. Back at my desk I want to share a couple of ideas on how you can get to where you want – fast.
1.) Without a clear goal you can’t get there. I cannot stress enough how important it is to set yourself two sets of goals. A is the big goal that you want to achieve and B are the smaller goals, which I also call your milestones that you need to hit on the way there. Here is how: Write down one thing you want to achieve by the end of the year. $xx,xxx increase in revenue by December 31, 2011. Write down how many more jobs you need to do at $x,xxx dayrate or perhaps how many images you need to license to achieve your goal. Break it down into months and/or weeks. That’s your main focus. Everyday you do the actions you need to take to achieve this monthly or weekly goal BEFORE you do anything else. (Unless of course you have a paying job which always come first.) Stay focused and disciplined and become a lean mean execution machine.
2.) Step away from ‘your stuff.’ Like in my case you may just be too darn close to your business and can’t see a thing because you are too deep into it. Give your brain a break and walk away for a little. In ‘The Women’s Code Conference’ that I just facilitated there are two strategies I recommend. One is using K.A.R.L. (Know, Accept, Relax, Live) Please click the link to read more on it on my womens blog and the other is to do something fun even if it’s only 5 minutes a day. Why? Because sometimes you get so wrapped up in your stuff that you brain goes into endless loops. It keeps virtually circling around the issue without being able to find a solution. But, here’s the problem with that. First you drive yourself crazy and second unless you change one of the variables you can’t resolve anything. Why? Your mindset, habits, and actions got you there in the first place. Unless you change one thing you are not changing the outcome. You must step away from ‘it’ to gain clarity.
3.) Acquire necessary skill sets. Let’s be realistic. We are not good at all things equally. That gives you two options. Either you put the time and energy into learning the skills you are missing. For most photo professionals that lays somewhere between accounting, marketing, sales and basic business skills. OR you focus entirely on your craft and hire someone to map out the path with you or do the work for you. As is assistants, business managers and of course coaches like me. For those who have missed it, during the entire month of April I am offering complimentary 15 minute business consultations. Just shoot over an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask Michael when the next available slot is. Or fill out the form on the blog. And if you don’t think that you need to know what I know than look at what you identified as a missing skill and get your training lined up.
You got the passion and the photography skills. Unfortunately you can’t take that to the bank. Photography is a business like any other business and without the required skills you are not making as much as you could and should make. How much is the lack of your getting help costing you on a monthly basis? Can you afford not to make investments into your own future? It’s so tempting to wanting to get the new gear or computer instead of learning a business skill isn’t it? Do not buy that camera body or the lens but for the remainder of the year commit to investing in your business skills instead. If you do it right, you can buy all the gear you want with the extra money you generated (or book that long overdue vacation.)