No one opens a business and instantly becomes successful. Every single business owner has made mistakes and has had things that set them back. Today I wanted to touch on what I believe is the biggest mistake that I made in my photography business.
I am just going to come right out and say it: comparison. The biggest mistake I made in my business was comparing my business and my work with others. It was a constant thing for me. I was constantly checking my “competitors” social media sites to see what they were working on, or I was going to my favorite photographer’s Instagram and in turn talking down to myself and my own work because I felt like my work didn’t measure up to theirs.
My scrolling through Instagram was putting more negative thoughts into my head than positive ones. I was comparing my pricing to photographers who were doing similar things and then kicking myself because maybe they were charging a lot more than me. I was constantly feeling like I didn’t measure up & that maybe I should just stop all together.
Now I want to stress that this didn’t happen in my early on business. When I was starting out I was on top of the world and I felt like I was FANCY! But you know what was missing six years ago? A giant push of social media. My insecurities in my business came once social media became an crucial part of making my self known. It was then it became an insecurity.
I consider comparison the biggest mistake I made in my business because it deterred me from doing things I might have done naturally. I posed people a certain way because I saw others doing it. I charged a certain amount, I edited a certain way, I WAS a certain way because that is what I was seeing on social media. When really what I should have been doing was patting the people I admire and the people who I saw as “competitors” on the back and said, “You keep doing you” and walked into my own light.
It took me quite some time to find my self in photography. If you have been following along since the beginning I am curious if you ever saw a difference. But I finally did have a revelation that MY work speaks to a certain audience. It doesn’t speak to everyone but it doesn’t speak to no one either. Once I was able to be confident in my abilities and what I was creating, I was then able to scroll through Instagram and see those photos I love from other photographers, and instead of saying…”if only I could…” I said, “They are rocking it!! I am going to push myself harder to create something as wonderful as that”.
I hope if you are also struggling with comparison, that you can step back, realize your worth, recognize that others are creating great work too, and move forward! To not let the comparison monster take hold of you!
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