Guest Blogger: Sally Sargood

We are thrilled again to have Sally Sargood as a guest blogger this week. She has been working in the photo industry for more than 20 years and knows the ins and outs of pretty much everything. So, we’re excited to share an inspirational post of hers about being your own secret ingredient.

Originally posted by Sally Sargood on her blog.

Click here to visit her website.

THE SECRET INGREDIENT – YOU!

I think it’s fabulous that there is so much education and information accessible for people in our industry to learn more about the craft and the business of photography. Many people attend workshops, seminars and conferences; they watch webinars, read blogs and articles, and absorb as much information as they can. They take notes and listen carefully all to try and learn what will make them successful. Once home, some even implement these theories, yet come back to the next seminar saying, “it doesn’t work for me. My business is still not flourishing.” It seems so many are looking for that one secret ingredient, a magic formula that will turn their business into an overnight success. And they’re right! There is one magical ingredient that will determine whether your photography and business is successful…YOU!

I believe that people need to focus on themselves just as much as lighting, posing, sales and marketing. It’s like trying to get fit or lose weight; you can buy the gym membership or “get fit” DVD, but that doesn’t mean you suddenly have the body of Elle McPherson or Channing Tatum.

The key factors within YOU that can mean the difference between achieving success or not include motivation, determination, perseverance, drive, will, confidence, persistence and happiness just to name a few. When was the last time you went to a seminar, workshop or even read a book to work on these things? Be accountable to yourself. Be honest with yourself. Are you really doing all you can to make this business work? Not many of us are – and I say US because I have also fallen into this category…often!

The following are some key tips that hopefully give you that kick in the pants and put you in a better frame of mind:

Motivationthat inner drive that carries us toward all we desire
Get active, get motivated!
“You are what you repeatedly do.” This could be the singularly most powerful thing to remind yourself to get motivated! Do more of what makes you feel great!  If you always feel lazy and can’t be bothered finishing a project or constantly procrastinating or bitching and whining, this can soon take over become a large part of who you are.  That’s enough motivation right there to change bad traits, wipe out negative thoughts and adjust the situation to become more stimulated. Invite more goodness into your life.

Set goals for yourself
This has been said before, but have you noticed that when you stop setting goals for yourself and your business, things begin to slow down? They don’t need to be big goals. Small tasks, daily and weekly goals will get you just as far, if not further. Make personal as well as business goals. Business goals could be something like, “I want to shoot 2 portraits a week, every week with a sales average of $1000 for each. “ Or, “I want to shoot 3 portraits a week every week with a sales average of $1500.” Your goals will grow as you reach each one.

Write it down
Writing it down is about clearing your head, identifying what you want, and setting your intent.

Confidence
“Whether you think you can or you can’t – you’re right!” Henry Ford
Try thinking you can. Stop thinking, “I could never do that” and just do it. Even if you fail, many successful entrepreneurs, business people, blogs and articles will all tell you that failure breeds success. If you don’t believe you can do it, nothing will ever happen.

Step outside your comfort zone now and then.

This is where the real magic happens!

Don’t give up!
Situations, feelings and challenges can cause us to lose heart. When we feel overwhelmed or exhausted, we have a choice as to how we respond to it. The best response is not to give up! I’ve been fortunate over the last few years to work with and speak to some very successful people from very different industries, with different values and goals, yet the ONE KEY thread that I have heard so many say is that the KEY to success is PERSISTANCE! Don’t give up.

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
–Winston Churchill

Make it count
You will actually be determined to succeed more if you have to succeed at less.
“Make everything count. Whatever you do or keep in your life, make it worthy of keeping. Make it really count.” – from The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life, page 8.

Happiness
YOU are responsible for your own happiness. Make yourself happy rather than relying on others to do it for you.