We kick off every client’s coaching program talking about mindset. We can (and do!) teach every powerful marketing strategy in the book, but somewhere along the way of gaining momentum and kicking some business booty, it’s bound to happen…
The traction comes to a screaming halt (or dies a slower death, either way, it’s not fun). Panic steals Confidence’s spot and you somehow find yourself feeling paralyzed and desperate.
No matter how successful you are in business, no matter how many years you’ve been a wedding photographer or any other kind of creative entrepreneur, there are going to be frustrations, challenges or roadblocks that have the power (if you let them!) to knock you on your butt.
That’s why it’s so important to spend time to strengthening your mindset. You can’t have a strong business if you don’t have a strong mindset. If you lack one, you lack the other.
Okay, so far I sound pretty discouraging. But sugar-coating doesn’t do anybody any good. You get it! You’ve been there! How the heck do you stay as far away as possible from all that ick!?
Well, I’ve got 5 mindset shifts you need to make to grow your creative business. I’ve compiled this list from our own experience as wedding photographers and as business coaches for creatives and from the big mindset moves that have transformed our clients’ businesses over the years.
1. Give your day a chance.
It’s just too easy to go from waking up on the right side of the bed, ready to take on the world to comparing, criticizing and shaming yourself. Depending on what’s going on in your personal life or what you’re currently facing with your business, that downward spiral can happen in all of 2 seconds. I know because I’ve been there.
Take a look at what triggers you. What sets you off in the wrong direction? What makes you feel badly or unworthy? Is it scrolling Instagram when you wake up? Whatever it is, stop dripping those things into your mind and life. Instead, give your day a chance by implementing a morning routine that strengthens your mindset and manages your weaknesses.
When you start your day being proactive instead of reactive, you’re much more likely to make smart decisions, experience gratitude more regularly and be the talented creative entrepreneur that you really are instead of feeling like the ghost of the confident girl you once knew.
Not sure where to start? Here’s what my morning routine looks like.
2. Stop taking everything personally.
I’m an INFJ on Myers-Briggs, heavy on the F (Feeler), so this is one I’m always working on myself! I’m not saying don’t pour your heart into your business or give it your all…of course, there will be times we take things personally as creative entrepreneurs. These businesses of ours are pretty much members of our families.
However, there are going to be opinions, mistakes, challenges and setbacks. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to say “YES!” to what you’re offering. Potential clients that really, seriously say they’re going to book with you…well, they might not. You’re going to get “NO!”s and you’re going to feel like Forrest Gump when nobody wanted to sit next to him on the bus.
And all of this is okay. It hurts. It feels like your world is crumbling. But, it doesn’t have to. Stop taking everything personally. If just for a minute, step outside of the situation. Pretend you’re an outsider looking in and ask yourself, “How can this situation be improved?” rather than saying to yourself, “I’m not good enough, I should have never reached out to _________ or quoted that price or, _________ (anything else you say to yourself when something doesn’t go as planned).”
This leads us nicely into the next mindset shift for creatives…
3. Learn from mistakes and move on.
Yes, you need to take your business seriously. No, you don’t need to beat yourself up over every mistake or wrong turn. Not every setback needs to settle into a scar.
Go ahead and give yourself a few minutes to feel the disappointment of the situation. Then, figure out how you’re going to move forward. The coaching clients of ours that see the biggest, most consistent successes in their businesses are the ones who put their big girl pants on and keep dredging forward, even if they think they can’t or don’t want to in that moment.
Of course, you don’t want to keep making that same mistake over and over again, so give yourself some space to see how you can do things differently next time. Write out some alternative actions you can take.
4. Be flexible.
This one can be a toughie, especially if you’re a type-A planner and/or perfectionist! Yes, having a game plan, a roadmap, clarity, direction (call it what you will!), is vital if you want to bypass years of indecision and heartache with your business. It’s so important that we started a business centered around it 😉
Here’s the catch: Entrepreneurship is full of surprises. There are opportunities and people and things hanging out in your future that right now that you have no way of seeing or knowing! Isn’t that rad!? But that also means, as you’re making decisions, trying new marketing strategies, building relationships, etc. you have to leave a little space for the unknowns and be willing to tweak and switch gears, if needed.
Your original game plan might not go 100% according to plan. But, if you have an open mind, are flexible and willing to bob and weave along the way all for the sake of the greater good of your clients, potential clients and personal satisfaction with your business, you’ll be so much better off than standing your ground if what you’re standing on is quicksand.
5. Get outside of yourself.
My fifth and last mindset shift I believe you need to make to grow your creative business is to get outside of yourself. I mean this in a few different ways. First of all, yes, you are the only one responsible for the success of your business; but no, that doesn’t mean you need to do it on your own. Get an accountability partner; join a mastermind; or better yet, hire a business coach 😉
Secondly, I mean that we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. To-do lists, monetary goals, hours logged in, clients booked, and the list goes on. It’s easy to get sucked into the, “Oh, I wish I could meet you for a coffee date, but I have too much to do!” blues. Yes, you probably have a lot to do. No, you don’t need to say “Yes!” to every coffee date; however, getting outside of your head, your lists, your goals…it’ll do you good. Besides, building genuine relationships with industry friends is one of the biggest (and most fun!) ways we’ve grown both of our businesses. But, I’ll get into that another day.
Tell me! Which of these mindset shifts do you need to make pronto?! I know there’s at least one! Don’t be shy…leave a comment below and start implementing today if you are serious about growing your creative business.