It’s so important to connect with your vision when setting up and growing your photography business.
Often when we think of our business and our goals we get too caught up in the here and now – it’s so easy to get distracted by current pressures, fears and old habits, too easy to remain within our comfort zone, to only think as far as we’ve gone before, or to things that are very nearly within reach. The problem with doing this is that it hugely limits us. We’re ultimately capable of so much more than we’re able to do right now, but if you don’t envisage in detail what that could be, and where you could go, you’ll just stagnate. Let’s start stepping in that direction.
So how do you connect with your vision? This task requires a healthy and vivid imagination. This is where you’re supposed to dream big about your future. Forget about feeling silly – for this task we’re not interested in what you think is possible, or what you currently think you have (or haven’t) the resources to do. Clear all distractions and let your mind roam free. This should be a bold and daring dream of an exciting and compelling future. What you describe might sound out of reach or fantastically aspirational, but this is exactly what your vision should be. An unambitious vision is not a vision and won’t inspire anyone, not yourself, and not others. This vision is to give you a really exciting beacon that will motivate you through the tough times and give you something exhilarating and inspiring to work towards.
When we look at your vision, we’re going to start at the finishing line and work backwards. So, grab a piece of paper and a pen and make notes under the headings below.
Set a timer for 5-10 minutes per section and just freewrite (write constantly, without stopping or editing yourself as you go). Remember, NO ONE IS GOING TO READ THIS. Don’t be embarrassed – dream BIG. This is for you, no one else.
A) YOUR LIFETIME
First of all, ask yourself, what would you like to achieve in your lifetime, what do you want your legacy to be? What do you want to be remembered for? Make a list – you don’t have to limit yourself to just one thing – and get it all down. These can be either personal or professional – often when we think in terms of our lifetime, it’s a mixture of the two. But, it doesn’t matter either way – this will just help you to cut through any smaller concerns and get right to the heart of your priorities in life, how you will feel fulfilled, and then we can start making sure your business aligns with and leads towards this.
C) 5/10 YEARS
Place yourself 10 years in the future (5 years is fine if that feels easier to you). If your business could be or do anything, if money was no concern, if nothing was standing in your way and you knew you couldn’t fail… what would your business be? What would you be doing? Now imagine that your business has achieved what you’ve just described; it’s exactly what you wanted it to be. Keeping it within the confines of time and space (i.e. no impossible journeys or magical imaginary locations!) describe your business and life in detail, using the following questions as prompts:
- What has happened over the last 5-10 years?
- Who do you spend your working day with? Who do you photograph? What kind of clients do you have? How often do you work with them?
- What do you spend your working day doing? Where are you geographically?
- What are you creating?
- What are you selling?
- What are you known for?
- What is your special skill that your clients know and love you for?
- What has worked really well for you?
- What have you stopped doing?
- What is your reputation within and outside the industry?
- What big difference have you made? How have you impacted others?
- What is your lifestyle like? (your home and family)
c) 3 YEARS
Now create a 3 year vision from this – how far will you have got towards this 5/10 year vision in 3 years’ time?
Now that you have this vision, refer back to it whenever you do any long or medium term planning (i.e. 6 week / quarterly / annual planning). Work backwards from it to set inspiring but achievable goals that gradually move you nearer to where you want to be and use it to motivate yourself in the coming months and years, to keep you on track so you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture and get bogged down in the minutiae. Meditate on it, journal on it, write it down somewhere you can see it often, visualise it – whatever you like. Just don’t lose sight of it. This is the magic you CAN create!
Remember – if you don’t feel a bit silly writing it down, you’ve probably censored / limited yourself before you’ve started writing. You should feel slightly (or very!) embarrassed to share it – if you feel like a wally writing it down, you’ve most likely done a very good job of it 🙂 Wallies FTW!
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