I’m going to ask you a favor as you join this community. I’m going to ask you to BE SELFISH. I don’t mean don’t share or participate – quite the opposite. For the next year from now, I’m going to ask you to be Selfish for yourself, your family, and your business.
Many photographers that come to me are spreading themselves so thin that they are serving no one and hurting everyone connected to them. They try to do it all themselves and wind up doing none of it well. They are stressed out during the season of work and are so exhausted in the off-season, that they don’t get any work done to prepare for the next one.
How many of you have “Season Widows” (or “Widowers”) at home? You kiss your spouse gently on the cheek the 2nd week of August and tell them you’ll see them sometime around Halloween (or Thanksgiving). I see countless teams working until Midnight, or later, and then getting up at Zero Dark Thirty to go shoot the next school or league. This is the “hustle” so many people are proud of putting in, but they don’t realize they are on a destructive path.
If this is you each season, you are dying and you’re running out of oxygen. Some of you know that this is why you’re here. Just as they tell you on the flights, I’m going to ask you to Put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then serve those around you. Otherwise, you will pass out and die.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that at the beginning of a business, the budget may be tighter, and you are forced to do a little double duty. However, if you’re years down the road and you’re still in the same do-it-all-myself mode then we have got to have a serious conversation. It is quite possible that this is not the right gig for you.
Everyone has a fitting place in the world where things click, and it all falls into place. There is no right or wrong judgment – it is different for everyone. I know that I’m not built for sitting in a cubicle all day talking to prospects on the phone trying to get one to stay on the phone long enough to sign up for our free trial of X-Widget. That is not my thing. But there are people for whom it is a dream job made for their thick skin and persistent nature.
Do you feel that this is truly where you belong and that it IS your “thing?” Do you know that you serve your customers better than your competition and that people are better off having met you? Fair enough. Then you owe it, not only to yourself but to your customers to serve as many of them as possible. You need to get it together and structure up around you so that you aren’t constantly stressed and overwhelmed. Get systems in place so that you can efficiently serve as many people as possible and also reap the added benefit of increased sales and profit, allowing you to serve your staff and your family better than you do now.
It may be that to get it off of your plate, you need to find someone to help, at least for a few hours a week or month. Yes, with a little guidance, they can do it as well as you can, and with today’s work environment, finding help is easier than ever before.
For example, if you hired a Virtual Assistant for just a few hours per month, they might be able to clean up your digital files and folders, if you have trouble finding images. Perhaps you need a copywriter that can help you reset some social media posts or marketing pieces. Maybe, you need someone to help you with customer service emails. With online platforms, like GotPhoto, that can be managed remotely and if you set up a Dropbox folder of your images, a Virtual Assistant (VA) could manage just about any customer service item you’re willing to let go of. At 15 to 30 minutes of YOUR time each, think how much time you would get back each month.
Commit to involving yourself in the Systems community and let us help you develop the systems to allow you to grow and develop your team, no matter how big or small. Let’s get you in a place where you flow smoothly from one step to the next and when the inevitable meteor crashes in from the left field, you can handle it with skill and precision.
The first step is to evaluate where you are right now so that we can identify what steps you need to take next. In another post ( https://systems.photography/season-checklist/ ) is our Season Checklist in case you missed it from the Live Member Call. I’m giving it to you in Word so that you can either print it out or fill it in digitally. Need some help filling it out – or understanding what it all means? Book some time so that we can go over it together and help get a plan in place to get you where you need to be to make the change you know you want to make. Remember, you can always book a coaching call at https://calendly.com/systems4volumephoto