Yes, I just “created” the verb “Pheonixing” meaning the act of rebirth, I know it doesn’t work really but it is the sentiment I am trying to convey (not in reference to the Australian laws regarding company executives dodging bills from creditors).
Since I am beginning anew like the proverbial Pheonix I think it is time to take an honest look in the mirror of where I was and where I plan to go from here. Selfishly I am writing this for myself, not for any reader. My hope is that this cathartic exercise will be the mark of a new professional chapter.
I deeply miss my work as a photographer it has been my compass in life for the past 24 years. While I operated in the “black” for 13 plus years and I now have five years separating me from my work I think it is good to take stock of what I did and how it can be improved upon.
Top 10 reasons I believe I was less successful before:
- No tax preparedness, savings plan, or organizational skills.
- Not being professionally organized until very late in the game.
- Not defining my style, target markets, or professional goals.
- Not shedding clients that I outgrew professionally or raising rates accordingly.
- Not raising my rates to track with my success.
- Buying unsuitable advertising for my business.
- Not getting involved with different communities.
- Getting into a rut and happily staying there for years, yes years.
- Not continually testing ideas.
- The biggest killer was halting my education in my craft.
Top 5 reasons I believe I was successful before:
- I’m talented and creative.
- I have a deep passion for photography and video.
- I’m extremely driven once pointed in a direction.
- I can learn any new skill and implement it quickly.
- I kept my overhead extremely low whenever possible.
- I have been very hesitant to restart my business.
However, once again I am at the crossroads and have opportunity and time to rebuild my career so let’s start with my terms slash must-haves for this reboot.
In order of importance my professional reincarnation requirements are:
- must be creatively satisfying
- must allow me time to focus on family when needed
- must generate capital in excess of operating costs
- must be flexible geographically
- must partially generate capital passively
Here is my current plan directly in response to my requirements
- must be creatively satisfying / Push to test everything; photograph and video models, food, architecture, video, collaborations with other artists and personal art shows
- must allow me time to focus on family when needed / During school hours for my son and not on weekends
- must generate capital in excess of operating costs / don’t know how to address this one until money starts rolling in
- must be flexible geographically / 90% web-based, good internet = flexibility for at least stock and portraits
- must partially generate capital passively / in the downtime shoot stock video, stock photography, and selling prints via Etsy.
I have put together an Etsy shop (click the link and like shop please, it will help) with some of my travel photography, submitted footage to sell as stock video and am just now starting to book a few early clients some of which I will be shooting in this next month. After my son is in school I will start testing models again, shooting more video for stock, and sketching out my first art show concept since college (crap it’s been almost 20 years since my last show!!!!).