I have written many times about not trusting what others say about how good you are. So many photographers have been suckered into starting a business as friends and family tell them how good they are and really they have no true understanding about what it takes to succeed in running a business. Just the other day I saw a post by a well meaning person telling someone to change careers and become a photographer by under cutting other photographers and offering the same services just at lower rates, a perfect way to fail!
But at the same time I also see and hear about many other photographers that are doing something good with their photography, growing a business and they get side tracked into other areas by friends, family or business associates that are trying to help but are doing the opposite.
If you are getting started, or you already are in business, make sure that you have a plan to your business and stick to your plan. Yes talk to others to make the plan, work night and day to figure it out but then make sure that you are sticking to it and not following the whims of others. You may have to adjust your plan but make sure that it is you that decides it and not the whims of others.
In my printing business I have a saying that I base all my work on, that is “I will help you get the best images from your digital files, slides or negatives.” I get so many people that tell me that I should use cheaper paper or ink, or not help by adjusting images, or cut other corners, But when I weigh what they are saying against my business statement I can easily see what way I should go. Sure there are times that I may adjust what I do but it is based around my business statement, not others.
Why am I writing about this today? Well a while ago I had a photographer that came into the studio to tell me they were changing what they do and how they did it. Not to make themselves better, not to offer a new or better product, but all because they were told they should make the change to make more money. I tried talking them out of it but they had decided to go that route. What happened? Well they are now leaving the photography industry, the changes took a slowly growing business and killed it in only a couple months. Did it effect the people that told them to change? No. Did it destroy what they had been working on? Yes.
So before you sell out your dreams make sure that you are weighing the advice and the changes against what you want and are doing.