Professional photographers, who are financially secure and operate growing businesses, have learned where success lives. The success you want to experience as a photographer and person is in the future! Listen to your professional colleagues and other small business owners you may know. Those who speak mostly about the past or present events, obstacles and problems at their businesses or in their careers tend to be less successful.
Conversely, anyone who is eager to explain the kind of future he or she has planned and to share his or her vision have typically experienced some success and seem to experience more every day. People who live in and for the future are often much happier than people who dwell on past mistakes and seem confused about how to change their mindset, so they’re able to focus on the future.
The best of these future-oriented people are not just living a fantasy; they are actively involved in taking the steps to make it happen. A very practical method to develop a success strategy for the future is to write the date at the top of a piece of paper (or on a computer screen) five years hence. It is now 2017, 2018, whenever. How would you define the best kind of success and happiness you can envision for yourself, your business, your family at that time? Do you aspire to a position of leadership in your community? How much bigger would your photography business be? In revenue? Number of employees? The amount it would be paying you? Do you offer more kinds of photography services than five years earlier? You’re not just a portrait photographer, but also shoot many weddings.
How would you want your personal life to change? A bigger house? Saving more money and maximizing your retirement plan? More time for travel? What kind of success would you want for your spouse, children? Be as specific as possible as you list the answers to these and other questions. This first step is to create as concrete and as complete a vision as possible of your ideal situation five years in the future. Amazingly, just doing this exercise will help you forget about the past and adopt a more positive outlook.
Your piece of paper or computer document now represents a list of goals you expect to reach five years in the future. The next step in the process is to use the present to make the changes and redirect your efforts and energy that start you on the path to your ideal future.
It’s often easiest to start with a number, such as your business revenue or your personal income. If your goal is to increase revenues by 50% during the next five years, then focus on thinking of ways to increase it by 10% each year, instead of planning for one big leap. Breaking the process into smaller steps makes it easier to move forward, note your little successes and provide you with positive motivation to increase revenues by the next 10-percent increment. Work through your list, writing the specific “baby steps” for each of your five-year success goals.
Now that you know exactly what you must do to create a successful future, it’s simply a matter of taking action on each step. Use your document to record the exact date you reach your small goals and describe what it feels like to be a success, living and working with the end in mind.
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Photo by PhotographyTalk Member Prykhodnyuk Maxim