5 Poisonous Words That Can Derail Your Photography Business Goals
I want to try to turn my part-time photography sideline into a full-time business someday. Eventually, I would love to quit my day job if I can maybe figure out how to get my name out there… ~ Jonathan – Part-time fine art photographer
With so many people doing photography projects in their spare time, it’s no surprise that I get several similar emails each week.
Given the chance, I know most folks would happily exchange their full-time jobs for the self-employed life so they can focus more on their passion for photography.
But here’s the truth:
Unless Jonathan, along with many others in his position, make a big change in their attitude, they’re doomed to stay exactly where they are, regardless of their camera expertise or Photoshop chops.
Why am I calling them out for a bad attitude based on a simple email?
Go back and read the email excerpt above a few more times.
Consider the words he used, and see if you can spot the problem.
The thing is, those two sentences contain 5 simple—but deceptively poisonous—words that can lead to failure before you even start.
The Power Of Words
Long before Edward Bulwer-Lytton coined the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” in 1839, words were recognized almost as a force of nature.
The things we say to others—and, just as importantly, to ourselves—can encourage great aspirations or they can bring about crushing despair.
For example, we’re all familiar with the terrible effects of cyberbullying and the sometimes tragic results it creates.
But, did you ever stop to realize that we’re ALL more than capable of bullying ourselves?
No one is immune to this form of internal abuse.
Not me, you, or anyone else. We’re all guilty of it at one time or another.
Don’t Bully Yourself Out Of Success
Sometimes, self-bullying comes in a direct form of severe self-judgement:
- I’m not smart enough to figure out how to compete with the best…
- I’m not creative enough to be a professional photographer…
- I won’t ever learn to write good marketing stories…
- What makes me think I can be successful?
- No one will ever find me that interesting…
- It’s too complicated…
- I can’t do that…
And so on.
At other times, the bully in your head is more insidious and its efforts less obvious, although just as effective at derailing your efforts.
And that’s exactly the problem with Jonathan’s email and the many others like it that I see on a regular basis.
It may not be immediately obvious, but the bully is there—hiding in plain sight—if you know what to look for, revealed in this case by 5 deceptive words that slowly poison the mind into the ultimate abandonment of the initial dream or goal.
Here they are, exposed at last:
Are You Robbing Yourself Of Your Own Commitment?
Imagine you need some help with a big home project over the weekend.
You call up a friend to ask for their assistance and they say, “sure, maybe I’ll try to come over on Saturday afternoon…”
Does their answer fill you with confidence?
No, in fact you’re probably left wondering who else you can call, or how you’re going to manage to get it done on your own, right?
Those two words—“maybe” and “try”—quickly and efficiently rob their response of all traces of commitment.
The $64,000 question here is this:
Are you doing exactly the same thing to yourself when it comes to committing to achieving certain photography business goals?
A Quick Attitude Adjustment
Here’s Jonathan’s email again:
I want to try to turn my part-time photography sideline into a full-time business someday. Eventually, I would love to quit my day job if I can maybe figure out how to get my name out there…
But imagine if he’d written this instead:
I want to turn my part-time photography sideline into a full-time business by the end of next year. With enough money saved by then, I’m going to quit my day job. Right now, I need help to master the art of marketing to get my name out there…
Do you see the difference in attitude?
Now, we have someone fuelled by passion, determination, persistence, and commitment.
Their internal bully is nowhere to be found in statements like that, and I guarantee you they have a much higher chance of success.
I see the evidence of this every day in my coaching business here at the Prime Focus Lab.
But they never do those things, preferring to come up with excuse after excuse for why they can’t won’t.
It saddens me to know there’s not much I can do for such folks because they’re trapped behind a wall constructed from their own lack of commitment. Any attempt from me to persuade them to take action is seen through their distorted filters only as being “salesy”, which gives them yet another convenient excuse to not do what they need to do.
Rather than dwell on that, I choose to focus instead on those who are ready to take action. These are the folks who commit to putting in 100% effort each and every day towards making their situation better than it was yesterday and achieving their photography business goals, regardless of what it takes to get there.
Which of those groups would YOU prefer to be in?
A Simple Action Step To Achieve Your Photography Business Goals
Here’s something simple you can do with this new-found perspective…
Type those 5 words in a big font on a single page, along with any others you catch yourself using, print it out and tape it up in your workspace.
Every time you sit down to think about your photography business goals, or to ask someone for help, make darned sure you ELIMINATE those words entirely.
Instead, replace them with more assertive words that imply decisive action.
While it might feel a little awkward at first, it will soon become second nature.
In fact, you’ll suddenly start to notice how often other people use those poisonous words in their own communication, and you’ll wonder how you ever missed them before 🙂
Closing Thought By James Paolinetti
Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become endless…
How far do you really imagine you can take your photography business?
Can you see yourself enjoying stellar success with what you’re doing?
If not, or if you shrink away from any ideas of being wildly more successful than you previously imagined, then you might need to identify and eliminate any limitations you’re setting on yourself, either consciously or unconsciously.
Seriously, why not aim for the stars? You might be amazed at just how far you do go!