Have you ever made decisions about your business that really scared you? I hope so. Here’s why.
My fingers hovered over the button, and a strange mixture of nausea and tears washed through me, tinged with a wave of excitement.
What if. What if. What if.
Have you ever felt nervous whilst running your business?
Running your own photography business is often, a scary thing.
Deciding to announce ‘I’m a photographer’ in the first place. Making decisions like raising our prices, deciding to specialise in one genre or area, investing in new equipment, creating new products + launches – all of these are scary things to do.
This weekend when I launched my second book, I felt very nervous indeed. My first book sold really well and I’d received lovely letters + feedback about it.
But this time was different. The book is specific. It’s much more in depth, it’s different, it has a very different focus and feel, and I wondered – will people want it? Will people want it enough to pay for it?
I knew it could help others to grow their business.
But the fear, the doubts, they creep in, don’t they? While my fingers hovered over the button, just for a second, those fears infiltrated my mind. The ones we all have. Can I do it? Really?
I had set myself a scary financial goal in my head. I had set up a framework to try to achieve those goals. But in my head, there was a tiny voice that said, that number is ridiculous. You’ll never sell that many copies. You’ll probably just sell a handful.
With each hour that passed, after I had clicked ‘Publish’ on the book’s webpage, I had to fight back those voices. But that’s ok. I was ready for them. They’re always there, I’m learning to deal with that. I think it’s part of human nature, but even more than that. I think they’re a good – a great – thing. This is why.
Perhaps you can’t remember the last time you felt nervous, excited, and slight sick with apprehension because of your business.
You remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? It was scary. The stabilisers were taken off and you felt that little shiver of the bike beneath you and you think for one second – I’m going to fall.
But you don’t. You glide down the street. You probably slam your feet down at one point because you forget where the brakes are. But other than that your hair streams behind you. The wind is on your face. You’re exhilarated because… You did it.
You felt the fear and you did it anyway.
You felt nervous and you didn’t listen to those nerves because you knew, deep down you just knew, that you could do it.
If your business doesn’t make you nervous on a regular basis, there is the possibility that you aren’t following your heart.
That heart’s desire where you get on and ride into the sunshine and the breeze.
Whether your goal is freedom from the 9-5, financial freedom, or just your independence, the point of a goal is that it is always just slightly out of reach. It is always just far ahead of you to make you feel slightly uncomfortable. Like walking. Riding bikes. Reading.
Because what’s the point of standing still? Of being stuck? Of not growing our skills and knowledge?
There are two possible opposites. One is that you are perfectly happy where you are. You’re completely in love with your life and you’re maximising the gifts – your unique, god-given gifts- that you’ve been given, every single day. If that’s the case, that’s a beautiful thing.
But for most of us, we want more. Not because we are greedy or hungry or we are chasing empty capitalist dreams. It’s such a myth that wanting more is automatically greedy or wrong and that we should be content with what we have already.
Reaching our goals stems from childhood. From before we are born, even. We learn, we attempt, we succeed or fail, we try again. Reaching for goals is innate within us.
But we forget. It’s easier for us to stay comfortable, to not step outside our comfort zones. We become reliant on the money that particular styles of shooting being us, or the ease of knowing our shooting style and what suits us, or from the ease and safety and security of working in one particular way / for a typical fee / with particular equipment / with people in our local area, etc. Our business is doing relatively well, we figure, so we have no need to do anything differently.
But what about this. What does your heart have to say about that. Is there a secret dream you know you’re burying and it’s just become another dream, something beyond the possibility of actually happening?
Have you ever wanted to write a book? Offer mentoring sessions? Have mentoring yourself? Create your own website? Specialise in a unique photography form, (whether that’s boudoir or babies or portraits of circus performers)! Do you want to double your prices? Triple them? Offer boudoir sessions only? Create a fashion shoot with a professional team? Submit your work to magazines? Get featured in Vogue? Invest in a training program or book that you know will most likely transform your business, but the price makes you feel sick when you see it?
What can you think of that makes you feel truly nervous?
What do you really, really want to do?
Chances are, the thing that makes you feel nervous is the very thing that you should be doing.
When you find reasons not to do it
*the time isn’t right
*I’m not well known enough to charge those prices
*I’m not a very good writer
*I can’t afford it
What you’re doing is – telling that girl with that beautiful bike with the streamers on, with her face full of expectation and hope and wanting you to be oh so proud of her at least trying… that she is going to fall. Do you really want to tell her that?
Take the risk. Take a deep breath. Make the price rise, start the book, change your brand, buy that camera, invest insane sums of money in your training, put pen to paper- whatever it is that’s tucked away deep down inside as your desire, write down your goal and take action towards it. Ride fear and apprehension and excitement and if you fall, so what.
You get back up and ride again.
I beat my financial target for my book. I beat my sales target. Do you know what would have happened if I didn’t set these goals for myself? If I had let fear win?
I wouldn’t have been able to undertake the actions that led me to achieving my goals. I wouldn’t have increased my prices. I wouldn’t have sold-out of mentoring sessions. I wouldn’t have held an online launch-party. I wouldn’t have sent emails out to my lovely recipients on my email list. I probably wouldn’t have even written book 2 in the first place.
Is there anything that I’ve talked about that you know, deep down inside, that you would love to do but that you secretly think you’d never be able to? Or that you make excuses not to do, because you know it’s the one thing that really, you probably should be doing? Does your business make you nervous on a regular basis?
Tell me about it. Leave a comment below, or email me directly. And if this post has meant something to you; share it with others. You might help them too.