Photographers learn to see the light, but creatives also find themselves trapped in the darkness of their doubt. If you’re stuck in your fear of starting a business, I’ll help you break down some myths and mental blocks to remind you that another word for fear is excitement. Ultimately, would you rather be someone who faces your fears or gives in to them?
Of course, that’s easier said than done. You can stand on a cliff trying to convince yourself and still have a hard time getting yourself to take the plunge. However, it becomes easier if you watch someone else jump and survive or have vital data such as the depth of the water below.
Therefore, I’m going to break down some steps that will help you overcome your fear of starting a business. You can learn from someone who has taken the plunge and see data on the validity of certain fears. Let’s go!
5 Steps to Overcoming Your Fear of Starting a Business
Here are five steps you can take to overcome your fears and bravely enter the photography industry:
- Name your fears.
- Look for and reduce fears.
- First steps and step sizes.
- Keep overhead low.
- Make a plan.
1. Name your fears
One of the first things you can do to help overcome your fear of starting a business is to name what those fears are. Write them down on a piece of paper or, better yet, on a giant whiteboard. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Sometimes just writing down your fears helps you see things more clearly. You might see that some of your fears aren’t even rational. Or you might determine that you need to address some of those fears in order to move forward.
Fear, like all of our emotions, has a job to do. Sometimes that job is to let us know that something is scary and we need to prepare for it by learning a skill or gathering information. Which brings us to step 2.
2. Seek out and reduce fears
Let’s say that from your list of 15 fears, there are two very valid fears. Now you can focus on those fears and find ways to reduce the fear. You can reduce your fears in several ways, by taking baby steps or doing some research.
Let’s start with research. Sometimes your fear indicates a lack of knowledge. There are probably some skills you need to learn to do something new.
If you’re afraid to start a business because you don’t know anything about it, it’s time to learn something new. Make a list of skills or requirements that would give you more confidence to start a business if you had them.
3. First steps and step sizes
Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. And sometimes the best way to overcome your fear is to just jump. But I’m not saying start with the high five and leave your day job swimming in uncharted waters. However, while you acquire new skills, as mentioned in the previous section, you can continue and declare.
Take the first step and adapt the size of the first step according to your level of preparation. Setting up a website is quite easy and not that scary. Telling your best friend about your plan is a great first step.
There are many steps you can take to slowly start a business and then grow it from there. You don’t have to go ahead, just start with one client. Put one foot in front of the other, take one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be started.
Maybe your business first starts out as a side hustle. Then, once you have momentum, you can invest more time in it. Chances are you’ll learn a lot of lessons along the way, so it’s worth building slowly to make sure your foundation is solid.
4. Keep overhead low
If you quit your job, take out a loan and put it all on the line, you could find yourself in over your head. Instead, keeping to the idea of taking small steps is important to keep your overhead low. The lower your expenses, the more your income is valued.
You’d be surprised how inexpensively you can start a business. You can even rent equipment or studio space on a case-by-case basis. The best way to avoid getting in over your head is to keep your overhead low.
5. Make a plan
Action is important, so I want you to do one thing before you get lost in making a business plan. Create a website or tell a friend or book a job, do anything to get started. I know too many people who overanalyze and never act.
However, once you’ve taken these first steps, it’s important to think about some sort of business plan. You don’t need an official business plan with high-tech graphics, but if the nerd in you does, go for it. Above all, I want you to think about where you want to go and what steps you are going to take to get there.
If you have a purpose or a sense of direction, you can formulate a path to get where you intend to go. This may mean that you return to the search category where you are looking for the best way to do branding or marketing. It’s also a good time to figure out how you’ll make a profit and where your money will come from.
Your plan may include a list of skills you need to develop or training you want to invest in. Inevitably, you will also need marketing and accounting skills. Learn business, learn photography and get started.
Overcome your fears and start your business
This five-step process to help you overcome your fears and start your business involves seeing fear as a teacher. What do you need to learn and where do you need to evolve? Next, starting your business means taking the leap, but remember that you can start with a small step.
What are you afraid of? Name it, fix it, then resolve the gap with knowledge or data. There has never been an easier time to start a business and you can do it with little risk and minimal investment as long as you do it the right way and start small, your overhead costs are low and that you acquire the necessary skills.
About the Author: Brenda Bergreen is a Colorado wedding photographer, videographer, yoga instructor and writer who works alongside her husband at Bergreen Photography. With their mission and mantra “Love. Adventurous. They are dedicated to telling stories of adventures in beautiful places.
Picture credits: Header photo by 123RF. All other photographs by Brenda Bergreen.