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A Rant on Solopreneurship From a Photographer-turned Coach

For years, I didn’t realize that being a good photographer has little to do with being a successful solopreneur. I learned that you can't succeed as a photographer if you have the wrong mindset, and believe that buying a new camera, throwing money at a marketing service, or hiring a portfolio editor is going to make you successful. You have to alter the way you think– about your Why, the conscious and unconscious decisions you're making on a daily basis, and change the horrible way you talk to yourself inside your head– so that you can grow your business efficiently. Sure, you can read all the books you want and take courses on marketing, but if you don't know how to internalize those lessons and take focused actions based on the way your brain works they are not going to help you. I received so much "good advice" but for some reason I didn't implement it. Why not? I procrastinated, I was a perfectionist, I was afraid of failure, I was afraid of picking a niche because of what others might think about me, or fear that I would miss out on opportunities, or that I would be selling out somehow. If I had given myself the chance to think about things differently, or change my mindset, then all of those great lessons I learned may have actually made a difference in my business. Instead, I spent years in a cycle of trying things out half-heartedly and not succeeding. Sure, I did OK after many years of hustling, but it was an incredibly inefficient way to grow and the amount of stress it caused me was definitely not worth it, which is part of the reason I ended up not wanting to be a photographer anymore. If I went back in time and was able to teach myself these things early on like in school, my career probably would have looked a lot differently. But they didn't teach this stuff in school, and they don't teach this stuff in the marketing courses, or in the portfolio edits, or the technical workshops, so you're left with a bunch of great information that you don't know how to internalize while you face a giant wall of psychological blocks. As a (fucking awesome) coach, I can help you grow your business if you will let me inside your head and help you change the way you're thinking. Your business can grow at a much more rapid pace, you can shoot the kind of projects you really want, you can be the independent photographer with freedom that you want, if you are able to be your own best advisor rather than your own worst enemy. Also, photographers often lack focus (I was there!). Which makes sense because it's so easy to get pulled into a thousand directions with social media and tempting offers everywhere, and the awful social comparison. Being an entrepreneur requires a specific kind of focus, which most of us don't learn as we become good photographers. We know how to observe insightfully, make beautiful images, tell stories, connect with strangers, and all kinds of other amazing skills, but that doesn't always translate into the strategy we use to grow our business. Somehow a lot of those skills get thrown out the window when it comes to business. So it's not that we lack the knowledge, it's that we lack the mindset to implement it properly toward a business.


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