As much as we would like to think otherwise, there is a huge psychological component to every challenge we face. Whether you’re playing sports or trying to finish your PhD, your mentality will play some role in your ultimate success or failure. As we talk about positive and negative mindsets in business, the critical component we will attempt to understand is the concept of photography business momentum.
What is Photography Business Momentum?
If you’re a fan of classical mechanics, you know that momentum is a function of mass and acceleration. In other words, you need to build something (big!) and get it moving (fast!) to have momentum. Of course, the descriptions of big and fast are relative terms that will mean very different things at the various stages of your career. Most importantly, photography business momentum is the psychological feeling that you’re making progress and meeting your goals. If you feel that the hard work you’re doing is paying dividends (even if it’s really not), you’re going to be motivated to keep doing what you’re doing in order to keep that performance growing. In the business of photography, momentum can take many forms. I personally felt momentum in my own photography business when people I didn’t know wanted to hire me, it was the best feeling ever and I wasn’t sure that day would actually come. Once I had several of these small wins, I tried to make a habit of setting incremental goals that would help me build the momentum in my business that would lead me to success.
How to Build Momentum in your Business
In the simplest terms, building momentum in business is a two part process. The first part is developing a killer photography business plan (see the article Making a Photography Business Plan that Works). Second, and perhaps more important, you must pursue that plan with a vengeance. Any business will require a substantial amount of effort to get off the ground. A great example of this kind of phenomena is an aircraft. An airplane burns substantially more fuel during its takeoff and initial ascent than it does once it gets to cruising altitude. In your photography, you’ve no doubt spent countless hours developing your skills with the camera and making amazing images. You must now devote that same energy to implementing your business plan which will lead to photography business momentum.
How to Sustain Momentum in your Business
The biggest mental obstacle you will face in your business is that it’s not growing at the rate you expect. You probably have not started a business before and don’t know what a realistic expectation is for things to really take off. The truth is in most cases it’s going to be at least a year or two before that big breakthrough will come. This time frame will vary but it’s a good ball park. If you’ve been building your business for that amount of time and are not gaining any traction, you need to reassess your plan and make the necessary adjustments. The danger in this process is that the burden of getting your business off the ground can be discouraging. Your photography business will probably take longer to become profitable than you would like. That is why discipline (and balance!) is important. You’re running the most important marathon of your life and you have to finish! Make weekly and long term goals so that you can reward your effort along the way and keep yourself motivated. The nice thing about momentum is that once you attain it, it’s very hard to stop.
photo credit: Maico Amorim