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The TRUTH about investing in YOURSELF (+ your business)

business tips

I feel like it’s become a ‘buzzword’ phrase and topic

’invest in you GURLLLL!’

And, I mean, yeah, I get it…but also I think the overuse of the phrase has watered down the message and the point.

 

AND IF THERE IS NOTHING ELSE YOU READ IN THIS BLOG POST, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH…

Here is the thing no one wants to tell you about investing in yourself: If you don’t believe in yourself enough to invest in YOU, your business, then why should ANYONE else? If you aren’t willing to put your OWN money on the line, to go all in, to throw away plan b, then why the Hell should anyone invest in YOU? Why should anyone pay you for your product or your service, when you’re too afraid to bet on yourself? I truly believe that the most successful people have been willing to go all in, before there was a reason to.

And allow me to please clarify, that INVESTING in yourself and business, doesn’t always mean CASH MONEY. 

It can look like investing your…

  • Time
  • Faith
  • Efforts
  • Focus
  • Heart

…and yeah, at some point, you are gonna have to fork over some dollar bills too.

 

Look, I am ALL for free resources. But, I also know that the free stuff only gets you so far. When I started my business, I scoured the internet, watched YouTube videos, read blogs, took books out at the library…anywhere and everywhere I could find information or help, I devoured it like a stray dog who just found a t-bone steak in the garbage outside of a 5 star restaurant.

 

It wasn’t just my time, but my dedication to succeeding that I invested in those first months. Not to mention the sacrifices I made. 

Then, what little money I earned those first few years, a dedicated amount of that (basically whatever didn’t go to vital bills) was put back into the business to help me build and grow. 

And when I did invest, in the right thing at the right time, I saw the return on my investment come back 10 fold. 100 fold. Seriously. Not every investment I made was the best, and it was a learning experience, but I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without having put some skin in the game.  

So again, I ask you: If you don’t have the kahunas to bet on you, then why are you so offended and hurt when you can’t book a client?

 

Here are a few tips for you on how to choose the right investment for you:

Do your due diligence

Seriously, one of the worst investments I made was choosing a mentor just because I really loved their photos and they had a big name and a large following. I learned absolutely NOTHING at a one day in person workshop I had flown across the country for. The photographer was honestly there to visit and party with friends, and we were her meal ticket. My opinion, of course, and feeling as I left that day. Now, I could have allowed that to leave me bitter and sour and vowed to never invest another dime of my hard earned cash, but then I wouldn't have had some of the AMAZING experiences I did with other mentors. So, do your research. Hear from other students or attendees, don't be afraid to reach out and ask the instructor questions, and expect an answer. One of my red flags should have been when she never responded to any of my emails after I paid her before the workshop, but again, you live you learn. If anything, it was still an extremely valuable lesson, because it taught me what I would never want to do to another as an educator. And that was a priceless lesson. 

 

Choose someone who specializes in what you need

Don't choose a mentor because you love their work, but their specialty is teaching editing or posing, and what you know you really need help with is business. Just because someone has top notch work, doesn't mean they are top notch at teaching every area. If you want to learn how to edit better, look for someone who specializes in editing mentorship AND has the look/work you want. If you know you need to buckle down and learn marketing, LOOK FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS KICKASS MARKETING ANDDD specifically teaches that. 

 

Don't be afraid to branch out of your niche to learn

It may seem obvious, but I think many times this one is just the total DUH tip that people never think of. If you're a photographer, you don't HAVE to learn EVERYTHING from another photographer. Business, marketing, finances...you can learn this from other people! Life coaches, marketing experts, accountants, books, educators, course creators, WHATEVER. I noticed HUGE shifts when I started attempting to learn things outside of the photography world. Yes, if we want something related to our craft specifically, probably going to need to look within our community. But, if we need other things, for example, branding, then why are we looking to other photographers and not website designers, graphic designers, or artists who specialize in creating brands?

 

Look, I know it can be scary to invest in your money. Which is why it's important to choose wisely when you do. But, I promise you, it's also so important to realize that we cannot know, or do, everything ourselves. And we certainly don't need to reinvent the wheel. This path has been walked before, and maybe not by us in our exact shoes, but it's okay to reach out, get some help, and hire a guide who is going to show us a totally kickass shortcut through the woods to success. 

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