Anybody seen a forest around here… I can’t see it with all those trees.
Sometimes the Nonsense We Tell Ourselves Can Make Us Crazy.
Today, I have a challenge for you all. Not one that I make lightly. And one that comes from a deep and abiding point of wanting you to be successful. Really successful.
It has to do with barriers. Barriers to better imagery. Barriers to better clients. Barrier to a more lucrative and exciting business.
Barriers that we set our selves because we are very comfortable in where we are. And that includes being comfortable when where we are sucks. That is how we humans are wired. Staying in the status quo is far easier, and far more comfortable than breaking out of the bubble an confronting change.
We work hard to not change anything. Even if we want to change, there is a fear that holds us in a stable place without challenging the edges because fear says we will meet great harm if we do.
And in most cases this is pure bullhonky… (yeah, I heard that somewhere…)
We have built those barriers with our belief systems, and those belief systems are so often built on a base of fear instead of a base of knowledge.
Have you ever heard a photographer say “I can’t charge that much, my clients can’t afford it”? I have. Nearly everyday it is sputtered out on some forum somewhere on the net.
It is such a self defeating thing to say. And it will make success for that photographer come much slower.
Let’s take this statement apart like an old Chevy motor and find out why the sucker don’t run good.
- If you are trying to sell something to someone who cannot afford it, that makes you kind of a smarmy kind of saleswacko, right? I mean, what kind of evil SOB tries to sell stuff to people they KNOW cannot afford it. Now this may not run in the front part of your conscious brain, but believe me it is in the subconscious.So you are already setting up failure because to succeed in selling something to someone who cannot afford it makes you a slimeball.
- The assumption that you know what they can afford is also sort of a silly idea. You don’t know what they can afford or not afford. Just because you cannot afford it, doesn’t make it unaffordable to your neighbor or client. You may THINK they cannot afford it, but really you are saying “I don’t think my stuff is worth what I am asking for it – and no one else does either.”Maybe it isn’t – but that is for another discussion.
- Pre-disqualification is simply fear stopping you from finding out what other people think of the value of your work. Perhaps you are right, and they do not value your work at a rate that you want to charge. OK… fine. We would at least know that, and could work toward a specific challenge to fix it and raise the value in your customers view.
- This sort of negative talk has no upside. It has no value other than to further convince you that there is no reason for you to expect to be successful because you make stuff no one wants to pay for.
Now ask yourself if that sounds like a business that is going to succeed?
I don’t think so either.
Fact is, there are people who can afford your work. There are clients that WANT to afford your work. There are clients that would work with you if you doubled your rates before they would work with you now, because they want the BEST photography and they know that is not cheap or free.
How about the excuses/reasons we have for not marketing our work? From the feeling that it doesn’t matter anyway (see above), to ‘why bother, the business is dying anyway”, to a fear that if you do market, you will have to deliver something and that would mean moving from your comfort zone of doing nothing and bitching about it.
These are fear walls that keep us focused inward – unable to move to the next place and feeling that it is both a blessing and a curse. After all, if you never get a gig, you will never screw up a gig, and that makes you feel safe.
Success will put you in the spotlight and you will have to perform… to spec. That can be scary, but we know what to do to never be in that position, right?
We keep on doing what doesn’t work. And we keep on filling our heads with non-truth, fear based excuses and reasons why we can’t.
Man that word sucks the suck out of suck… “can’t”.
It is a word that means “throwing in the towel.” It is quitting before you even try, and admitting to the world that you are incapable of doing something you may very well have never tried.
It is also a lie. In many cases you surely CAN do what you need to do… you have chosen NOT to do it. A choice, not a disability.
Look… change is hard. Really hard.
But it is necessary. It is life. It is the very fabric of our world. Change brings innovation, new ways of seeing things, and possibilities that may seem endless… unless you ‘can’t’.
I think you can. I think you can be successful. I think we can all be successful. Damn the economy. Damn the restrictive governmental regulations. Damn what our parents and siblings and the people we work with say.
They may be right when they say they ‘can’t’ but we have to stop letting them make us think WE can’t.
We just have to change things up. Make new ways our ways. Develop strong ties to growing in ways we have not thought about before.
We do things differently than we have been doing them. We CAN make changes, of course we can. We CAN find clients who want our work – hell, other photographers find people who want their work. We can too.
We stop saying we can’t. We stop not marketing (our current method) and begin marketing. We stop telling ourselves that they cannot afford us, and look for clients that can appreciate the value. We stop sitting on our asses and playing on Facebook and get out there and make more pictures…. OK, that last one was for me… but you get the picture.
And here is the challenge.
What negative lines are you repeating to yourself that may not actually be true?
- Is it that you are not ready?
- Could it be that you are not good enough, and don’t want anyone else to find out?
- Is it that no one would like your work, so why bother trying to show it to anyone?
- Is it because your gear is not as good as that guy with the really awesome blog says it should be?
- Is it because someone on Flickr said you were terrible with composition (although eleventyhundred others think you do just fine)?
I know there is a negative phrase you are repeating time and time again. Tell us what it is… and tell us how you will fix it.
If you are interested in the “No Fear” last edition of Project 52, visit this page for more information. We will fill this group very quickly.