Photographers learn to see light, but creatives also find themselves trapped in the darkness of their doubt. If you’re stuck in your fear of starting a business, I’ll help you break through some myths and mental blocks to remind you that another word for fear is excitement. At the end of the day, would you rather be someone who faces your fears or gives in to them?
Obviously it’s easier said than done. You can stand on a cliff trying to convince yourself and still struggle to step over the edge. However, it gets easier when you’re watching someone else jump and survive, or you have important data, such as: B. how deep the water is below.
So I’m going to break down a few steps that will help you overcome your fear of starting a business. You can learn from someone who has taken the plunge and see some data on the validity of certain fears. Let’s go!
5 steps to overcome your fear of starting a business
Here are five steps you can take to overcome your fears and boldly enter the photography industry:
- Name your fears.
- Research and reduce fears.
- First steps and step sizes.
- Keep overhead low.
- make a plan
1. Name your fears
One of the first things you can do to overcome your fear of starting a business is to name those fears. Write them down on a piece of paper, or even better, on a giant whiteboard. Come on, I’m waiting.
Sometimes just writing down your fears helps you see things more clearly. You may realize that some of your fears aren’t even rational. Or you might find that you need to address some of those fears in order to move forward.
Fear, like every one of our emotions, has a job to do. Sometimes this task consists of telling us that something is scary and that we need to prepare for it by learning a skill or gathering some information. Which brings us to step 2.
2. Explore and reduce fears
Let’s say from your list of 15 fears there are two very valid fears. Now you can focus on those fears and find ways to reduce anxiety. There are a number of ways you can reduce your fears, from taking small steps to doing a little research.
Let’s start with the research. Sometimes your fear indicates a knowledge gap. There are probably skills you need to learn in order to do something new.
If you’re afraid to start a business because you know nothing about business, then it’s time to learn something new. Make a list of skills or requirements that would make you more confident about starting a business if you had them.
3. Getting Started and Step Sizes
Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. And sometimes the best way to overcome your fear is to just jump. But I’m not saying you should start the high five and quit your job while you’re swimming in uncharted waters. However, while gaining some new skills talked about in the previous section, you can go ahead and show off.
Take the first step and make the first step size appropriate depending on how ready you are. Setting up a website is pretty easy and not that scary. Telling your best friend about your plan is a good first step.
There are many steps you can take to slowly start a business and then grow it from there. You don’t have to go all out, just start with a client. Put one foot in front of the other, take one step at a time, and before you know it, you’re on your way.
Perhaps your business will start out as a side hustle at first. Then, once you have momentum, you can invest more time in it. Chances are you’ll learn many lessons along the way, so it pays to build slowly to ensure your foundation is strong.
4. Keep overhead low
When you quit your job, take out a loan and risk everything, you may feel overwhelmed. Instead, it’s important to keep up with the idea of taking small steps to keep your overhead down. The lower your expenses, the more of your income goes to profit.
You will be surprised at how cheap you can start a business. You can even rent equipment or studio space on a project basis. The best way to prevent going over your head is to keep your overhead down.
5. Make a plan
Action is important, so I want you to do one thing first before you get bogged down in creating a business plan. Set up a website or tell a friend or book a job, do whatever it takes to get started. I know too many people who over analyze and never take action.
However, once you’ve taken those first steps, it’s important to come up with some sort of business plan. You don’t need an official business plan with high-tech charts, but if the nerd in you wants it, then go for it. Most of all I want you to think about where you want to go and what steps you will take to get there.
When you have a goal or a sense of direction, you can formulate a path to get where you want to go. This could mean you’re back in the research category of figuring out how best to do branding or marketing. It’s also a good time to figure out how you’ll make a profit and where your money will come from.
Your plan might include a list of skills you need to develop or training you want to invest in. Inevitably, you will also need marketing and accounting skills. Learn business, learn photography and get started.
Overcome your fears and start your business
This five-step process to help you overcome your fears and start your business involves seeing fear as a teacher. What do you need to learn and where do you need to grow? Then starting your business means taking the plunge, but remember you can start with a small step.
What are you afraid of? Name it, stare at it, and then fill in the gap with knowledge or data. Starting a business has never been easier and you can do it with little risk and minimal investment as long as you do it right and start small, keep overheads low and learn the necessary skills.
About the author: Brenda Bergreen is a wedding photographer, videographer, yoga teacher, and writer from Colorado who works with her husband at Bergreen Photography. With their mission and mantra “love. adventurous.” They have made it their task to tell adventurous stories in beautiful places.
Photo credit: Cover photo by 123RF. All other photographs by Brenda Bergreen.