Do you find yourself fighting with the prospect of failure every day in your photography business? Is your peace of mind suffering because you can’t seem to find that one great way to turn things around?
How many mentors and gurus are you learning from on a daily or weekly basis, as you search for the difficult answers to all your business problems?
Might you, in fact, be looking for the elusive “Magic Pill”?
The All-Powerful Magic Pill Is A Myth
I’m sure you already know this to be true but, like the fountain of youth or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there is no all-powerful magic pill out there that can fix everyone’s problems.
It’s a myth — it simply doesn’t exist.
At least not in a form that everyone can take…
What do I mean by that?
Surely, a magic pill must be “magical” enough to fix everyone and everything — otherwise it wouldn’t be a magic pill, right?
In reality, there is no single, “one-size-cures-all”, magic pill.
However, there’s nothing preventing you from making your own — one designed just for you, and your own specific set of problems and desired outcomes.
The Answer Is Within Your Own Mind
Something I found quite astounding when I first thought about this was the realization that we all have the necessary ingredients to create our magic pill, already within our own mind.
We don’t need to go off searching in other places to find the mysterious secrets of success, or buy into vague-sounding “money-making” systems.
No, it’s all there, waiting for us to unlock the vault of our own mind and read the formula that’s perfect for us.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t learn from mentors and business coaches — these people are absolutely essential in helping us to see our own inner truths, by virtue of their objective and unemotional detachment from what we’re trying to do. They’re our guides on this journey toward our success, but they can’t simply hand it to us on a silver platter.
The Magic Ingredients
So what do you need in order to formulate your own version of the magic pill for success in your photography business (or any business for that matter)?
I’ve compiled a list of 12 simple factors that, when combined together in the correct order and proportions for you, will propel your business further than you might have thought possible.
Here they are for you…
#1: Eliminate Negativity
Forget “opposites attract” and think instead in terms of “like attracts like”.
Negative thinking, or having a negative attitude, is one of the biggest killers of success because it prevents us from believing in ourselves, and in what we can achieve.
Negativity surrounds us, and it can be difficult to protect ourselves from it, but we must do so at all cost. TV (especially the news) is one of the major purveyors of negativity simply because it gives people more things to complain about by distracting them from their own problems (caused mainly by their own negative paradigms in the first place).
Your magic pill must have a special coating that repels negativity and attracts only the positive aspects of our lives.
#2: Remove Your Mental Boundaries
Nothing will keep us more imprisoned than the invisible fence we construct within our own minds.
If you catch yourself thinking thoughts like, “I couldn’t do that” or “no one will pay that much for my services” or “I’m just not good enough”, then what’s happened is you’ve blundered into a boundary that you’ve created for yourself.
What would happen if you went around, over or under that fence to explore what lies beyond?
What would be the worst that could happen if you took out your mental wire cutters and broke out? How far could you go?
#3: Identify Your Core Beliefs And Values
This is one of the critical components of your magic pill, and you’ll need to work hard at identifying those things that resonate most deeply with you and your beliefs.
A business coach or mentor would be invaluable to you in this area.
For example, I’ve invested a lot of time into learning that the five major values that run like a golden river through everything I do are:
As it turns out, these qualities have a large influence over all the decisions I make, but they my not resonate for you.
Everyone is unique, and you might have a very different set to this.
The important thing is to know what values and beliefs are driving your inner machinery most efficiently.
#4: Embrace Your True Value
Do you have a hard time asking your clients for money?
Are you constantly wrestling with your price list, and dealing with uncertainty about whether or not people will pay what you’re asking for?
The problem here has nothing to do with your prices, but everything to do with how you value yourself and your talents.
If you are competent at photography and can consistently deliver a product you can be proud of, which your clients are thrilled with, then you should embrace that value and understand that the prices you charge are reflected by the value placed on your services and products in the mind of your buyers.
Put simply, you are worth what you are worth.
#5: Identify Your Personal Calling
Do you have a specific niche market, or are you offering your photography services to a wide range of clients because you need the business?
Have you ever caught yourself saying something like, “I specialize in weddings, families, children, seniors, pets and nature”?
By definition, it is not possible to specialize in everything, so why do we try?
There must be one or two areas that you feel specifically drawn to, that you could really specialize in and become known for.
Look at everything you do with a critical eye and find that one thing that speaks to your soul the most, and follow that as your personal calling.
#6: Invest In Your Mind
Knowledge and information are major keys to success, and we are a product of what goes into our minds.
I worked in the computer industry for a long time, and was very familiar with the acronym “GIGO” — garbage in, garbage out.
Our minds work the same way.
If we expect to have the output of good ideas that are geared toward our success, then we need to feed our mind with information that is aligned with that purpose.
Be selective who you learn from, and what you learn, and avoid the opinions of those who simply think they know better because their own negative thinking limits their beliefs.
#7: Set Tangible And Realistic Goals
Have you committed any goals to paper?
Do you revisit your goals on a daily basis?
Are your goals emblazoned in your mind as clearly as a plane’s destination in flight?
What are your goals?
“To be happy” or “to have more money” are not goals — those are desires that result from the achievement of our goals.
An example of a tangible goal might be, “I am going to generate $300,000 in revenue before 31st December this year through the sale of wedding photography services to couples who love and value my photography.”
This is a real goal, clearly defined, and with a deadline that makes us accountable to it.
#8: Quit The Sole Pursuit Of Money
“Show me the money!” is a famous movie quote, of course, but is not something we should aspire to if we truly want to be successful.
The reason is that the pursuit of money by itself is not self-sustaining.
When things get difficult, or we suffer setbacks, it’s easy to give up, and many do.
However, if we pursue a passion, and attack it with desire, authenticity and a genuine wish to help others, the money follows almost as a side effect.
When the going does get difficult, as it no doubt will, our passion and belief in what we’re aiming for will sustain us through those hardships.
#9: Give First
It’s true that, in life and business alike, what we give will come back to us multiplied many times over – but only if we give joyously and without expectation of reward.
If we give from a perspective of obligation, or with the motive of expecting something in return, we set ourselves up for a rough time ahead.
I’m not talking about financial giving, by the way, even though we need to do that too; I’m speaking about giving of ourselves to those who can benefit from our experience and knowledge.
This is especially true in the circles of networking, where so many people expect everyone to hire them just because they “gave” a business card. It just doesn’t work that way!
#10: Protect Yourself From Becoming A Commodity
In order to be successful and truly profitable in the photography business, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
If you find yourself competing on price in order to win a client, then you’ve stepped onto the slippery slope toward a failed photography business, and you need to get back on solid ground as fast as possible!
Competing on price means that your photography has become a commodity in the eyes of the consumer.
Your services are no different, and therefore interchangeable, with any other photographer they could choose.
The only logical reason to buy from you then becomes the price.
Fall into this trap, and your business is as good as dead.
#11: Work From Your Heart
How passionate are you about the photography business?
Actually, let me rephrase that:
How passionate are you about serving those who can benefit from your photography services?
If you work from a position of passion, from your heart, then you will work harder and longer than anyone who works for the money or any other logical reason.
Not only that, but your passion is also contagious. Your clients cannot even become immune to it, unless your passion is diminished in some way or another.
When you communicate with your clients, do so in such a way that they can clearly see your emotions and your passion for what you do.
So what if it makes you feel a little vulnerable or exposed?
That only means you are human and a real person, just like they are.
#12: Be True To Yourself
This is the glue that holds all the other ingredients of your personal magic pill together.
Without integrity and an honest dedication to your true self, the whole thing falls apart so fast it will make your head spin off.
For example, if you think that you could earn good money being a wedding photographer, but you don’t enjoy the romance and excitement of weddings, then it’s probably not for you.
Don’t do it just because you can go through the motions.
On the other hand, if you can really identify and relate with high school seniors, and you see the world the same way they do, then go for it and make the absolute best you can out of it.
The Ironic Conclusion
Sure, it has a set of “active ingredients” but the only reason it works is because you have faith in it and you believe it will work.
Also, you just can’t hand someone else your personal magic pill and have them expect it to be as effective for them as it was for you, especially if they are not in the same place in their business life as you are, or have the same values.
Final Thoughts — Dosage and Directions
Take one magic pill at least three times a day, with or without a meal.
However, you may exceed the stated dose — in fact, this is recommended.
Do not stop taking your magic pill, even though you may feel better — this medication is intended to be taken for life.
May cause extreme feelings of euphoria with repeated use. Do not engage in negative thinking or self-doubt when taking this medication, as these may reduce its effectiveness.
Wishing you all the very best of success, wherever you are 🙂