Build your support system early on, your support system is your most valuable asset in business and in life.
Be sure to create a support system that you know you can be honest with and they can be honest with you. There are going to be times where you will have tunnel vision and you won’t want to see or hear a different way of doing things because you have such a high expectation of yourself that even though this is the first time you’ve ever run a business you should just magically know how to find a way around a problem, and that your initial ideas and thoughts must be the only way to proceed forward in your business (hello ego). And just remember throughout this experience, as with most small businesses, there is only you, so when there are roadblocks you can’t just spin around on your chair and ask your colleague about ways in which you can fix a problem. You wear many hats in your business – you are the photographer, the editing team, the administration team, the marketing team, the copywriter, and the IT team amongst many other roles, and whilst you’re busy trying to learn all of the different aspects of each of those functions within the business and how to implement all of them successfully and cohesively, the reality of it is that you don’t know everything and you’ve never run a business before, so sometimes you will need help or a different perspective. Having a support system who will respectfully and gently suggest an alternative approach or a different way of getting around an issue is exactly the kind of support you need. By all means try to figure it out yourself first – there is power and confidence in learned knowledge and being able to problem solve on your own – but don’t shy away from the perspectives offered by your support system. Oftentimes a fresh perspective will either help to solve the issue, or will put you on the path of another way to find a resolution. No-one can do everything on their own. No-one. Don’t be scared to ask for help. Don’t be scared to be real and raw with your support system – on your low days, they’ll lift you, on your high days, they’ll celebrate with you, and on the days you need help, they’ll generously provide whatever wisdom and support they can, and this why building your support system early on is so important.
The support system you have is the most beautiful melting pot of friends, family, work colleagues, fellow photographers, and most importantly your parents. All of these people make it possible for you to keep doing what you do.
To my support system – you know who you are – I am truly grateful for you always.
“My friends and family are my support system. They tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear, and they are there for me in the good and bad times. Without them I have no idea where I would be, and I know that their love for me is what’s keeping my head above the water”.
― Kelly Clarkson
Each of the seven essays reflecting on my first year in business will be released every day in the lead up to my business birthday on the 7th March 2022 and can be found via my journal page.