I think from time to time we've all felt like we've gotten in a rut. We're doing the same thing over and over again and nothing is changing. We're spinning our wheels and getting no where. We sit staring at blank screens, feel uninspired to pick up our cameras and struggle to get through what feels like a never-ending task list.
Wedding photographer and Showiteer Melissa Kilner shared a personal anecdote in the Showiteer Facebook group last week that I couldn't help but relate to and thought so many other photographers and creatives could benefit from. Here is her story…
I don’t want to freak you out, but I wore pants today. In fact, I wore pants yesterday too. I’m about to blow your mind and tell you I wore pants for the past week. REAL pants. Ones with buttons and pockets. ALL DAY. I know. You’re impressed. What can I say? It’s kind of a big deal.
Let me start my story 8 days ago: I sat in front of my computer, in my yoga pants, un-showered, at <<cough>> 4pm <<cough>> , “editing” a recent engagement session. Facebook running in the background, with my computer dinging at me constantly with notifications. My laptop open next to my iMac, catching up on Parenthood before the season finale while I worked on images at a slug’s pace (a girl’s got priorities). And my daily to-do list was sadly left unchecked.
The funny thing about that is, I have spent the last several months focusing on rebranding my business, doing a ton of self reflecting about who I am as a person, who I am as a photographer, what inspires me, and what makes me happy. I’ll tell you, I have some grand ideas. Most of them including me in high-fashion couture, serving brilliant clients, all the while, sipping on my juice cleanse. And there I was in this moment, un-showered, in the same clothes I slept in, unproductive, and honestly, feeling like crap about myself. Realizing I wasn’t even the person I had spent months thinking I was. Let me tell ya, that feeling sucks. And then I completely 100% committed to throwing myself a pity party. Streamers, balloons, tequila… EVERYTHING (go big or go home, am I right?).
Once the party was over, I had to laugh out loud. I imagined a CEO of a fortune 500 company going to work in the yoga pants she slept in, un-showered. Sitting in her office watching Parenthood while catching up on emails in between commercial breaks, perusing Facebook more than actually working. That girl wouldn’t last for more then a day. Then why in the heck did I think I could run a successful business with the same habits? What am I doing?!
It was that minute I recommitted to myself to take my job seriously. To take MYSELF seriously. I’M A MOTHER-FREAKING BUSINESS WOMAN. I have beautiful dreams of where I want to go in life. And I realized the only way that was going to happen was if I got out of bed every day with a purpose. So that’s what I’ve done every day for the last week. I sit at my desk with heels, lipstick and my hair done, regardless if I’m leaving the house (my kids are feeling a little uneasy from the drastic changes). But you know what? I’ve gotten my work done. Like a GIRLBOSS. Fancy that, right?
That got me thinking, as photographers, what else are we doing that is self-sabotaging our businesses? I know some of you can stay focused in pajama pants. That’s AWESOME. You do what works for YOU. I’ve been researching articles about things that will quickly get you fired from a job, and I chuckled at quite a few points as I feel like they may be the norm in this industry. How often do we complain about our jobs on social media? Even if you don’t friend your clients, have you ever thought they may Facebook stalk you as much as you secretly Facebook stalk them? How much are you procrastinating deadlines, not delivering images in a timely manner? How often are you participating in industry drama (hello Facebook)? Shoot, how much time are you spending on social media NOT furthering your business? How often are we only doing the basics and not going above and beyond for our clients? What’s holding you back from being the best version of yourself?
You may be an artist, but possibly more important than that, you are a BUSINESSPERSON. And if you want to keep being an artist for a living, you need to take care of this business of yours. So go put some pants on.
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