I wanted to share this with you … I talked to a mum today who has set up her own business, inspired by what she heard and learned during The Confident Mother. Amazing in itself, right?
Anyway, her business has now been running for 4 or 5 months … she’s a photographer, and she’s brilliant. She’ll be there at my book launch.
How mums in business get successful
This mum wanted to talked because she’s feeling overwhelmed. She’s trying to balance expanding her network of “mummy” contacts (toddler groups, pre-schools etc) to get more family portrait photography to bring in income while really wanting to do what for her is more creatively satisfying i.e. commercial product photography. However to get those jobs you need to demonstrate experience, build an impressive portfolio, nurture a different set of contacts. She was struggling to know how to market her services to two different audiences.
What do you want to be known for
We talked about her photography style … she doesn’t do ‘ordinary’ portrait photography. She enjoys photography which is more creative, more arty – family photos outside or in black & white. She recognises that she needs to stand out when she talks to people. To tell more people what she does. To have a ‘sticky’ story so that she is remembered more easily. To become known for a type of photography.
It is hard at the beginning of any business journey. She is absolutely passionate about photography. She didn’t consider herself ambitious when she had a corporate career but as a photographer, she wants to stand out. She wants to be noticed. She wants to be the best she can be. And that’s her passion talking, and I love it!
Get clear on your business goals
We discussed her business goals because when you run a business, it’s important to get really clear on your business goals. In other words what do you want to achieve and why’s it important to you. That clarity can make all the difference.
Focus on ONE thing at a time
Then we talked about focusing on just ONE thing at a time. In the early stages of your business, it almost doesn’t matter which thing, as long as it is ONE thing. Ask yourself every day “what’s the one thing I can do today to get me closer to my goal“.
Check out Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book The One Thing. Or check out one of the many interviews with Jay Papasan on YouTube.
Deal with the overwhelm
As for dealing with the overwhelm, this is what I tell all my clients:
- Focus on the quick wins.
- Block out time in your diary dedicated to specific activities.
- Take ‘me’ time and look after yourself.
- Declutter your brain: take a blank piece of paper and offload your thoughts, ideas onto that blank piece of paper.
If you would like more ideas on how to deal with overwhelm, you’ll love my action sheet in which I share more ways to deal with overwhelm so you can get more done.
How it worked out
Towards the end of the conversation, Michelle said to me “It’s been so helpful to talk this through. I’m feeling so much more control already.” (By the way if you like the sound of talking through your overwhelm, you can book a complimentary call with me too).
UPDATE: three years later and how did it work out for Michelle? Well, her business is booming – check it out here.
She’s done a couple of photoshoots for me; she’s worked with elite cyclist Alex Dowsett; she’s worked with a few of my small business clients; she’s covered several events for Heart Valve Voice including climbing to the top of O2 and St Paul’s Cathedral, and so much more.
Because good things happen to those mums in business who cut through the overwhelm, get clear on their goals and focus on just one thing at a time.
p.s. if you are thinking about launching a photography business, check out this article from ShootDotEdit on How to start a photography business.