Learn, learn & learn...
I have a full-time job in the banking industry wherein I work with small businesses, identifying what they really need from what they want. I admittedly never expected to end up in this type of career as I had no prior banking or lending experience, nor was I familiar with the laws and how the rules are implemented in Canada when it comes to personal and business financing. So I am grateful that I got a chance to be in this position, given that I had no previous background in this field. Now having said that, I am continuously absorbing as much information as possible to enable me to do the best job I can. The more I learn, the more I develop an understanding of how a business or farm works. In a way, this has helped me better understand how to operate my own business as photographer.
I admire all of my clients for braving out and balancing all of the risks associated with running their own business or farm. It is not an easy task. In my experience, some people seem to have the erroneous impression that once they own a business, they will have more free time when in reality, they will not. It's true that owning a business will give you more freedom and flexibility in terms of creating your own schedule. But it will never leave you idle, especially during the first five to seven years, as you will throughout this period tend to do most of the work by yourself. This is because you are establishing your business and building it from the ground up, so you want to be hands-on for every detail. You are also trying minimize expenses, so therefore you will try to be an all-around worker, from running the business down to cleaning or fixing stuff that needs to be done. This process can be stressful, but it is a learning stage for everybody.
As a photographer who also works regular hours, I feel like there's never quite enough time to do everything I need to do. There is so much to learn and so much to accomplish with so little time to spare, which actually frustrates me. I learned early on that in order for me to succeed in what I set out to do, I need to feed myself information to expand my knowledge, and also find the tools that will help enhance my growth.
Never stop learning.
This attitude does not only apply to me being an employee or a photographer. I believe that in everything I do, I must continuously exercise my brain. When doing my job, I keep on taking different deals so that I can get more familiar in the industry that my clients are in. This approach also helps me to learn more about my clients, how to do their deals or suggest any products or tools that can help in running their business.
In running my photography business, having that passion to learn allows me to create better images. To come up with a marketing strategy and to know more about the industry as well. Just because we know the basics of what we do, does not mean we should stop there. In this day and age when everything moves at such a fast pace, we need to keep up or risk getting left behind. Always try to look at things with fascination as if you were a kid. Be curious and hungry to seek out new information.
Because that is the only way you can grow.