I have spent the last two hours of my three hour child free opportunity writing this blog. I had other things to do, and I just felt called to sit here and type this instead. I fully believe that SOMEBODY needs to hear this today, so here it is! (Also the feature image is a plant from my favorite mexican restaurant, haha!)

To the photographer who is killing it- whether you are new, seasoned, have no idea how you got this far, or know exactly what got you to where you are- CONGRATULATIONS. You don’t hear that enough. You deserve applause. Applause from your friends, family, clients, and applause from your peers.

It’s easy for us as business owners to fill ourselves with fear; with doubt. To look at the photographer next to us and start saying awful things to ourselves. Have you ever found yourself thinking these toxic thoughts?

  • She’s better than me
  • I’m never going to be as successful as her
  • I need to lower my pricing so I book more than her
  • What is she doing that I’m not doing?
  • I have to copy her, what I’m doing isn’t working

 

And here’s the worst one of all….

 

 I dislike her because she is successful.

 

I want to tackle these five lies you may tell yourself. I don’t want to talk TO you, I want to talk WITH you. I want you to imagine me holding your hand through this conversation as a friend, NOT as a teacher. We are together and I just want to stop your hurting. Let’s start with the first lie.

  1. She’s better than me.

You- you sitting reading this- are not your JOB. You are your soul. The photographer down the road may be doing great at marketing. Maybe she is FABULOUS at posing. Might be that she knows everyone in town and you are new to the area- either way- no one who is doing well at work is BETTER than another person. At the end of the day, we are all wonderful at our own things. I am a GREAT binge watcher of Netflix. I am fluent in sarcasm, and I consider myself a good friend. These things among others make me ME, not my job. So when I see someone else being great at their job, honestly my thought process is “Oh cool” and then I move on, probably to food. Know who you are- know what makes you great. Someone else being great at their job does not make you any less great.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. – James Keller, Catholic Priest

 

  1. I’m never going to be as successful as her

Even Miss Cleo couldn’t tell anyone that (anyone remember her? CALL ME NOW FOR YA FREE READIN). Don’t allow your mindset to become a pity party where you decide some current moment will be FOREVER. Remember being in high school thinking “I’ll never love someone again” when a boy broke up with you? And you did? Remember in the early stages of your business when you said “I’m never going to be good at this!!” and you got better? If you need a reminder, go look at your beginning images- You grew! Nothing temporary is forever.

 

  1. I need to lower my pricing so I book more than her

 

Pricing is not something we create based on feelings. Pricing out of fear will be the quickest way to drive your business into the ground. Pricing is a MATH EQUATION  I teach in my education course! It’s the components of the money you need to pay bills, the expenses you have, the time you put into work, and a percentage that needs to invest back in after taxes are taken out. None of it has anything to do with how you feel, so you just make sure your pricing is working for YOU, and don’t worry about anyone else’s!

 

  1. What is she doing that I’m not doing?

 

You’re probably not going to like this one: considering asking her. Get out of the mindset that someone doing well is your enemy. Someone doing well would be wonderful to learn from, don’t you think? Not saying she’d be open book, I don’t know her, but for the most part, I think people are kind enough to welcome a friendship, to offer a mentorship, whatever the solution may be. But we don’t have to be secret silent enemies. Go say hi. CONGRATULATE HER! Even if you never figure out what exactly is driving her success, it really doesn’t have an effect on YOU and YOUR business. My dad always told me “you be you”, encouraging individuality. So I’m going to say it to you too.

 

  1. I have to copy her, what I’m doing isn’t working

 

There is nothing more obvious to me than when a photographer is trying to go down a road that isn’t her road. Speaking in a way she THINKS is right, shooting and editing and blogging in a way she sees a successful photographer doing it, but it isn’t natural because it’s not her. There is nothing more powerful than standing strong in exactly what you offer and feeling confident in that. I am confident in knowing I will never be a weekly blogger- I am sporadic with my thoughts, sometimes I don’t post for months, and then I get a spurt of things I want to say. I see the trends come in and out with photography, and some I get inspired by and want to try, and some I don’t like at all and never do. But the reality is, through everything, I am me. There is a difference between using someone as inspiration to continue to be yourself, and just copying them. As someone who has been copied, it stinks. It’s awkward. And she may find out about it, which makes it a whole weird thing… just don’t!

 

  1. I dislike her because she is successful.

 

This is the big one. This is the one that makes me have to tell you to look deep within yourself and love YOU. You are worthy- you are a daughter of the King made with intention and perfection. You do not need to look around the world and create a dislike for people who may seem to be a different place in their career than you. Do not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Do not discredit your success after seeing someone else’s. Love what you bring to the table. Love who you are. When you love who you are, you appreciate others- they don’t make you feel this vulnerable, this full of fear and anger.

 

The more time you spend staring at someone else’s Instagram page, generating feelings of failure and hate, the less time you are enjoying your life, the fruits of your own labor, and living well.

 

Make the choice today to stop. Make a conscious effort to put down the phone, find what you love about you, SHARE that with the world, and grow your light. There is room for all of us. We can all learn from each other. Life is too short and your individual gifts and talents are too precious to dislike girls you don’t even know.