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From Part Time To Professional Photographer

                           

From Photobizx Podcast 231

KNOWING WHEN YOU ARE READY.

Bernie: That’s a good question. It involved, made list of 10 points, and that’s number one. How do you know you’re ready? Well, you know you’re ready when you’re willing to make that commitment. The most important thing I think is to have the want. Having the want is the most important thing. You’ve got to want to do this. It’s like getting married. Good times and bad, sickness and health from this day forward and forevermore. You marry your business. So you have to have that commitment, have to have the want. So you’ll know when you’re ready, when you get that want, when you get that feeling inside, which says, “Hey, I’m going to do this.” So that’s the first step.

Andrew: Is it okay just to dip your toes in the water and see if it’s a good fit? The way to do that would be keep your full time job and give it a go. Do you agree or is there a better way to do it?

Bernie: No, that’s exactly right. When I go swimming, I usually dip my toe in the water, but it doesn’t encourage me to go in. It really encourages me sometimes not to go in, but if that want is there that I want to go in, then I’ll jump in, even though it’s freezing cold. So it’s that commitment.

The other thing that I’ve got, is about that, is to have a strategy and set a goal when you are going to do it. Have a time period like say  “I’m going to keep my job and I’m going to work my bum off and at the end of the year I’m going to resign and I’m going into this full time.” The problem is, about dipping your toe in the water, is that you’ll find you won’t have enough time that you need with your marketing and your processes to put into the business to enable you to grow. So it’s like a double edge sword, on one hand you want to have the safety of income coming in, but on the other hand you won’t have the time that you need to have that income coming in. But as long as you have some strategic plan, I think that’s a good starting point.

Bernie: For example, I’ve got a client at present, he’s got a good job, he’s earning good money, he’s been working with me for three months, but in July he is going to resign. That’s a done deal. So it’s something you really have to think about. But as I say, if you’ve got the want, you’ll find a way.

Andrew: I guess it is a double edged sword because I know that once you leave the full time job, then you have more time to focus on the business and put more time and effort into it. But I guess even if you want to dip your toe in the water, you can still commit to that and go all in as best you can with the time that you have.

Bernie: The only problem with that that occurs is that you do a lot of the wrong things because you don’t learn very quickly, and so the process takes a lot longer. I don’t know about you, but I bought a business when I was 23 years old and I just jumped in the deep end. That was it. That was the end of the story. That was going to be the income for the rest of my life. That was a commitment with me. And yeah, quite often I didn’t eat. Yeah, I slept on the floor. That’s the commitment I made. So everyone’s different. Everyone’s in a different position financially or family-wise, so each has to make their own decision, but it will take a commitment.

Andrew: You mentioned you’ve got a list of 10 things. What’s the second thing on your list?

Bernie: The second thing is that I think a lot of photographers expectations are that they can go into business and suddenly be successful. Now in business, it takes time. You have to be patient, be patient with getting results. And I remember many years ago when I had my studio, a sales rep came to the studio who worked for a new bridal magazine trying to sell advertising, and he said, “We’re going to start this bridal magazine and we’ve given ourselves five years. We know we’re going to make a loss.” And I was like, “Wow.”

Andrew: Wow, that’s a long time.

Bernie: I know that’s a long time. But they made that commitment. They’d said, “Okay, we’re going to give this five years.” And that’s the sort of commitment they made with the photographer. Just be patient. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen if you put in the effort and do the right things. Now, how long will that take? It depends on how much time you can put into it. So there’s the double edge sword you need the time. Time is the most important commodity that you need to create a successful business.

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