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For Photographers: What Have You Failed At Today?

We don’t do this very often on the blog, but today I wanted to share a video with you guys that really resonated with me, as well as with the members of our Business Coaching Group for Photographers

Let’s talk about the fear of failure for a minute…

I randomly had the opportunity to work with Sara Blakely (CEO of Spanx) on a photoshoot last year….so I got to make a connection with this super successful woman (and as a result I have a closet full of free Spanx that have definitely come in handy after having 3 kids….!). Anyway, she is a true entrepreneur – she’s the kind of person who fills the room with her presence and is an incredibly smart businesswoman….

I love this interview she did, I hope you’ll take a moment to watch it.

 

Business Insider: Spanx CEO On Failure from Eleanor Rigby on Vimeo.

We all have fears.  Most of those fears stem from a fear of failure.

We spend a lot of time coaching photographers, and this is what we constantly hear:  “I’m scared to raise my prices.  I’m scared to transition to in person sales. I’m scared to make changes to our branding.  I’m scared to try new lighting techniques.”

We’re all scared of SO many things when it comes to our businesses!

Back when I worked in the corporate world, I was surrounded by the status quo.  I probably heard the words “we’re doing it this way because this is how it’s ALWAYS been done” every single day.  There was little room for innovation. Little room for change. No space for trying new things.

Now that we run our own business, the freedom is crazy.  We can change our prices whenever we want.  We can try new things.  We can structure our packages differently from one day to the next.  If something doesn’t seem to be working, we can change it immediately.  We can innovate.  And in short, we have the freedom to fail.

Rick and I might be the weird/crazy ones, but we are CONSTANTLY changing things up and trying new things (both on the business side and on the technical photography side). Many of these things are behind the scenes.  And, truth be told, we fail all the time.  But I’m proud of those failures….because it means that we are getting out there and innovating and trying new things and continuing to push ourselves.

Because I am a perfectionist to a fault, I HATE the idea of failure. I hate that feeling of not knowing how something is going to pan out.  I studied physics and nuclear engineering for my undergrad – and I’ve always liked numbers and facts and solvable problems.  It’s the grey area that’s always been tough for me.

Rick and I have spent the past week trying to launch a new project, and in the process we’ve been sitting here in our studio literally failing each day for the past 8 days to get this thing setup exactly how we envisioned.  We’ve been putting all of our efforts into this new marketing tactic, so we’ve failed to blog regularly the past week, or to post on social media, or even answer all of our emails in a timely manner [gasp!].  Every time we try something new, we know we’re taking a bit of a risk.  But we also know that if we don’t succeed this first time, we can apply what we’ve learned in the process and get it right the next time.

Anyway, enough rambling! My point of this post is: I WANT YOU TO SET A GOAL THIS WEEK TO FAIL AT SOMETHING.

Do you know you need to raise your pricing to be profitable but are afraid you’ll lose a booking? Do it. Try it. Fail at it and learn from it.

Do you know you need to figure out how to use off camera flash? Get out there and fail at it over and over and over again until you get it right.

Without our failures we would never see our successes.

If you never push yourself outside of your comfort zone, nothing is going to change in your business. You’ll look back a year from now and wonder why you didn’t make the changes you needed to make earlier. You’ll wonder why you let yourself flounder for so long in this in-between.  So, get out there and fail.

Love,

A

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