People often go into a business for the wrong reasons. Maybe they come into a large sum of money they can invest, and they’ve always wanted to get out of their 9-5 job with a boss. So start a business. Whatever, doesn’t matter as long as they are free to be their own boss, right? Get lots of money and work when they want.
Well, being self-employed doesn’t really work that way. There are more hours and responsibilities than you know what to do with, but through my own photography, I’ve discovered a sure-fire way for you to have a “wealthy” business and lifestyle. Become a wealthy photographer by:
1. Fall in love with photography
2. Go after your dreams
By now you’ve probably realized I don’t mean monetary wealth.
You see, businesses are hard to get off the ground. Things get a lot harder before they get better or easier, and it can be a long road before you see a profit and the fruit of your labours.
So if you want to start a business, it should really be in something you love, something that you won’t start to hate, something you won’t want to abandon when things are looking bleak. Because at some point, they will look bleak.
With that in mind, if you’re a photographer looking to go into a business, you’re much more likely to stay with it, and even enjoy the hardships, if you truly love the craft. If someone starts a coffee shop without ever working at one, how do you think they’re going to fare? But if you have had a camera in your hands for the past several years, and you’d want to have one with you for the next 10, whether you’d be paid or not, then you should go for it.
By going after your dreams you will always be heading towards the lifestyle and goals that lie in your heart. And that will always make you wealthy beyond measure. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to pay off the mortgage and support you and your family by having that camera in your hands, but until that day you’re still living life to the fullest.
There’s probably a step 3. involved in all this, where you have to come to terms with what is most important to you. Thomas the other day discussed balancing work and pleasure, but really, our work is pleasure to us.
Travelling to interesting locations. Meeting unique people I probably never would have met otherwise. Getting to live the lifestyle that I (we) want. Making images that excite the viewer and make a difference – make them stand up and pay attention. This is what photography is about at its core for me, and this is what drives Thomas and I everyday to make great images.
Long story short: Don’t do it for the money, do it for the wealth.
*I wrote this post originally for my other blog Creative Dwelling. But really it was about this business venture between Thomas and I, so it only made sense to post it here too.