Let's Talk About Doors
Let’s talk doors. Exciting right? No, not the physical doors to a building or your house. I’m talking doors that lead to new opportunities. Those are the exciting ones. One’s we are here to chat about today!
So you are over there walking down the entrepreneurial path just minding your own beeswax when BOOM. A new door opens for you that you never thought would happen. Maybe it’s a new building that would allow your business to expand, maybe it is a big grant you applied for that you never thought you would get or even a contract with someone you had never thought possible.
Walk through them doors. Seriously. Those exact situations are made to push you outside of your comfort zone. It is no secret that’s where the growing happens anyway. We have known that for years. When you went into business one of your goals was to be successful right? It would be silly going into business not hoping you would succeed. A couple of my own businesses were founded because I had a small window of opportunity and I jumped on those trains before I could talk myself out of them.
Looking back, it was one of the best things that I did. Of course I had doubts but who would I be if I didn’t at least see where I could take this? I owed it to myself to see what I was capable of. So do you. Don’t get me wrong, those train tracks were full of bumps, sharp turns and even stops. I had to get off a couple times and drag that train to an entirely different track to make sure I kept moving. I wasn’t always moving forward either. Sometimes you have to move back a little (or a lot) before you can skyrocket ahead. In my second year of my photography business I was shooting weddings, seniors, families, you name it. It was then that I discovered boudoir and I fell head over heels in love with what I was doing. I liked shooting all those other things but it did not fulfill me in the way that working with women and shooting boudoir did. One day a few months later I woke up with an idea. I wanted to specialize in boudoir and not shoot any other genre. So I did. I completely rebranded my photography business into a boudoir only studio.
That didn’t come without a big cost though. Boudoir was only about ten percent of my business at that time so I left behind about ninety percent of my revenue and holyyyy man was that scary af. There were SO many naysayers too. I heard so many things from not only family but friends too. “There isn’t a big enough market for that” and “No one would pay you a living wage to take pictures of them half naked”. You wanna know what? There is and they do. Now I am not saying I make millions but I am doing pretty alright. With the restructure in my business I had to redo how I priced myself also. Which meant I wasn’t giving out the digital images with a full print release anymore. Clients had to purchase their images after the session in the form of wall art or albums. I never thought that would be possible for my small town here in Michigan but I made it happen. A lot of that is most women don’t want their boudoir photos being checked out the the one hour photo guy at Walmart anyway. If you don’t get wall art or albums through your local photographer you really should. It is like Christmas for us every time. It also supports them in a really big way by keeping money in your local economy.
There is a point to all this. The fact that I cut out 90% of my revenue at one point in my business was a really big step back for me. But you know what? I doubt I would be in the same place I am today if I would have continued being the photographer I was before shooting all the different genres. I sprang light years ahead by taking a big leap backward.
That door was a super uncomfortable one for me. It really tested my ability to pivot as a business owner and lead me to follow my heart. Taking that step forward (or back sometimes) never guarantees you to be successful but if you put your whole heart into something and trust yourself to make it work you never know what doors will open beyond them.
Go forth and emerge, friend.
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