As a business owner, many of us can attest to the feelings of elation as well as pure and utter fear.
Business owners of any area or niche know the feeling and the range of emotions we go through on a yearly, weekly, or daily basis. However, some business owners start to fall into a trap where they become hardened by the world of business.
In the same way, people can easily be torn down; worn down by the rough life of an entrepreneur. Though these emotions are normal, we cannot let time and hard work make us weak or lack faith in our business.
It’s common, and it’s infectious. It’s easy to be more direct than friendly; more assertive and less understanding. It’s easier to say yes than say no. It’s easier to sell yourself short than use effort to fight.
It’s your business, after all. It’s so easy to become confident and so sure of what you’re doing in your business that you start to forget those dark, beginning days. And it’s also easy to fall into a rut even now, and that rut can seem pretty hard to climb out of.
Both situations can turn disastrous very quickly.
There are three factors to consider about your business that will help you maintain a level head and help grow your confidence. Staying gracious and humble while having confidence and attitude is possible, believe it or not. Here’s how.
1. Putting Yourself Out There
The scariest thing for most introverts is opening up and putting yourself out there. Whether it’s putting your work out there, yourself, your products, or your problems, it’s always a little uncomfortable.
In a community like that of photography, for the most part, it’s a safe place to be open and share your input. We have to get into a better habit of sharing with others. That’s not to say you should go overboard, but you will be so surprised by how many creatives were given advice at the start of their career and are more than willing to share a bit of advice to someone else too.
Share your goals, successes, and even your problems. You are never alone in your problems. Sharing those things will both build confidence and help remind us how grateful we are to be in this business.
2. Share the Wealth
There is no reason for you to keep all of the information to yourself. Creating webinars, podcasts, or teleconferences, you can connect with clients and other creatives with confidence. It has never been, and never will be, easier than it is now to connect.
Calling, messaging, emailing, or sending a letter to a client or another helpful photographer will also help us tread the balance of education. We can always be learning.
Don’t be shy or insecure about sharing knowledge with others, but also keep in mind that you can never know it all. Most likely someone shared information with you when you were still in the inspired stage with a dream and a few dollars. Show humility to those whose shoes you have walked in.
3. The Past is Precious
If you take the time to think about where you are and where you have been, it will almost always get you thinking back to the people who helped you get your feet on the ground. One challenge as we begin to see success is to never forget those people.
Maybe they were a mentor, a friend, or a brave client- it doesn’t matter. They helped you in some way at the start of your journey creating a photography business, and they are invaluable to you even now.
They may be old, and you might be better now, but they gave you a gift that has no price tag. Be gracious enough to call them back and check in with them and confident enough to thank them for what they did for you.
Don’t get cocky or arrogant now that you have so many more clients. Always stay humble and act with humility. Being arrogant will end up turning people away from you later on and being insecure in your business is just as bad.
We constantly have to toe the line between confidence and arrogance and, at the same time, tread the waters between insecurity and humility. It’s a tough balance, but by trying to maintain a middle ground with those factors, you will have the courage to reach out, share knowledge, and embrace those who helped you in the past with both attitude and gratitude.