A photographer emails me, in response to this post.
“Rob, what you say resonates with me so much, I thought I should tell you. I guess I am burnt out. I probably don’t need to pay someone to tell me this honest truth. For the past few years I have been taking every class, trying new things to see if anything “sparks” my interest, classes on everything from social media to Facebook, but nothing has helped to get me motivated again.
I am pulled in every direction! One minute it’s Dog photography, then it’s Boudoir, then it’s Sue Bryce! Yikes.
I was so busy building a new website, getting knowledge , learning new genres, that I forgot to look up and realize it’s all just BUSY work.
I am no farther ahead and sinking into debt paying for this 1000 sq ft studio that no one comes to! I know I hate working alone, but can’t hire anyone. This is a bottomless pit.
So here I am…..maybe it’s just time to let it go. I have changed, but I am just tired of trying to keep up. Over whelmed by all the “new” stuff you have to do to try and attract clients.
I hope I don’t sound whiney. I am grateful for all my good years and great clients and lucky to be in a situation that I can retire if I want
to. Just seems a shame to go out so down.
I know you’re not a therapist, so don’t feel a need to respond unless you want to. Just feels good to tell someone how I feel.
I appreciate your honesty and have been reading your emails for many years……keep up the good work! There are many people out there listening….”
….”thanks for your comments.
Here’s my off the top of my head quick thoughts:
*I’ve noticed in my life of 38 years as a photographer there are phases, changes, ups and downs, swings and photographic existential crisis’s (you’re having one now). I’ve had many. You’re not alone.
Stick with me….keep reading…
* you need to focus. Tune EVERYTHING ELSE OUT.
* you also need to take a break. Go somewhere for 2 weeks…one week? do nothing. OR, take ONE FULL DAY off a week. nothing. no social media, no electronics. books, yes. (not business) writing is encouraged…so is mediating and …er, yoga? or any exercise
*realize you are looking for the answer OUT THERE. It’s normal. We all do it. The goal is to get back to basics, focus on YOUR skills, YOUR
passions, YOUR goals, YOUR dreams.
*but first, you need to know what YOU want. No looking out there.
*you’re young yet :)..(smart, dedicated, business-minded and creative photographers have longevity…some work into their 80’s!)…. you’re smart, and your work is very, very good. Very. (I checked it out) Don’t despair…..
*nothing else matters except tapping into that inner voice, inner passion, inner drive…nothing.
Which leads me to some steps for you…
Only do these when you’re relaxed, confident, rested and somewhat inspired/optimistic: (do this alone…and it triggers emotions, cool. If you cry, let it out baby!!)
1- where do you see yourself in 3 years? paint that picture in your imagination. WRITE IT OUT! no censoring. no Sue Bryce, no Rob, no one but you. Paint it…
2- what dangers, issues, road blocks are in the way? (all….addictions, debts, bad habits, crappy relationships, broken lenses, 3 legged dog, failing eyes etc etc)
3- what strengths, opportunities, powers, assets do you have rightnow? ( I know one…you’re work is very good. and two, you’re older,
hence, wiser…think yoda)
Bonus ask: what ten marketing things are you doing right now?
(responding to my email, AND doing the steps I suggest, are AL marketing..since it’s self improvement, and that falls under marketing.)
So there you have it. This person, in my oh so humble yet accurate assessment is looking in the wrong direction. Outwards vs inwards.
And comparing….ugh. This is always a killer.
And yes, I am a therapist. Of sorts. I’ve actually helped many people move into new directions in their lives. Some have given up booze, bad relationships and debt….etc etc etc….
All messes that need to be cleared up and firstly, made aware of.
I am like a marketing therapist I suppose. To me, marketing is everything.
And marketing involves the individual. Fix the individual, and you start fixing the business.
Of course, maybe don’t like hearing this. It’s too painful to look inwards.
The pain is bigger than the ultimate sweet savory experience of success down the road.
But you can’t get their without the hard work and honesty.
And looking inwards.
3 ways to access me:
Best- One on one coaching…
Yours in photography and success,