Yes, you! I just want to say keep your spirit alive. I want to you to keep it on fire. Burn whatever doubts are inside you and Begin As You Mean To Go on. This is the recipe for success; begin as you mean to go.
When we were in younger, we are full of spirit and positivity about life and everything else we are excited about. It all seems like we can conquer anything the world put in our face. A little bit of spirit and work every day, everything will be alright. As we got older, things changed. It’s not that we don’t need to work anymore. Things changed in the sense that we are not always excited the way we used to be, which is actually what we need more in our business. We need more excitement in our businesses!
We need to start the way you want to finish and to be consistent with that goal through everything that you do. It is more than excitement, it is about the carrying that excitement through every step of what we do.
Here are some points to ponder:
1. Run a business with the future in mind.
Running a business is hard and you must run it with a plan in your head or at least a target for what you will achieve in the future. I have plans and I know where I am 6 months from now and I know what I plan to get in the next 2 years. Build your dream and make a plan. The trick is to work with the end in mind, even from the beginning.
Example – If you want to be a professional and seen as an expert then LOOK like an expert from day one. Create a solid brand concept, create a look that you can carry forward and not one that you intend to fully change when you have more time.
2. Don’t start off treating your business like it is a hobby or that you aren’t “good enough” to charge a reasonable fee for the professional service you provide your clients.
If you sell yourself short from the beginning you will not recover and be able to build a business and lifestyle around what you provide your clients. They will not treat you like a professional if you don’t treat yourself like one. If you want to do this, then you need to GO PRO now. It is fine if there are other people better than you, people with more experience then you… Guess what! In 10 years that will STILL be the case.
Don’t ever forget that to them, you are an expert because you can provide more then they can provide for themselves and on top of that… They like you, they trust you and they feel they have a connection with you.
I see a lot of business owners who run their businesses more like a hobby or as if their clients are doing them a favor. They are not doing you a favor; they do business with you because you serve their needs and you do it in a way that resonates with them, PERIOD.
The unacceptable part is some even say that they aren’t ready to charge “real prices”. This statement blows my mind away! You don’t hear a doctor say anything like that, do you? Why do you not value your time, your family or what could be an amazing business? Go pro before you think you’re ready, fake it till you make it and see the magic happen. That doesn’t mean you should charge more then you are worth but stop underestimating the value you bring right NOW and charge accordingly.
The reality is that you need to start out in a way that you see your business operating for a long time. It is beyond foolish to start out as a discount, hobby photographer if you intend to have a profitable portrait photography business that is scalable and provides you with the income you need for your family, your efforts, your time away for the people you love and for the lifestyle you desire.
My Own Example: When I started in photography I decided I didn’t want to be a low priced photographer so I positioned myself not to be one. I knew that if I started off charging a few hundred dollars for my work just because I was “new in business” I would still be charging that. I did the opposite! I charged over $3,000 for my first “professional” photo shoot, which still blows my mind away, but 12 years later… they are still great clients!
3. Why it is important to “Go Pro” and “Act Pro” from the start.
As I said earlier, “Go pro before you think you’re ready, fake it till you make it and see the magic happen.”
It is important that you start as a pro and act like a pro from day one. Firstly, because change is hard to do or sometimes next to impossible. People often think “I can do “this” for now and when my business gets bigger I’ll change things up.” This is a mistake! Changing a habit is very hard to do, and if you do, you actually kill your branding.
Secondly, you will be starting over from scratch. Isn’t that hard work? Isn’t that throwing away what you have built through the years? Do we honestly have to answer these questions?
For me, changing your business while it’s operating is like changing your tire while you’re driving your car. It just doesn’t work
It doesn’t matter what your business is, if you are good at what you do then you should price yourself properly. Operate your business like you’re a pro from day one, have solid branding, nail done a marketing strategy, set up business operations and procedures and price yourself like you’re a professional.