What is your definition of success? This was the final question of an interview. I was recently asked to talk on the podcast Finding Creative Success. The entire experience as a whole was something that made me reflect on what Marta and I have been through. Over the past couple of years we’ve seen so much growth and maturing of our business. Is that what we sought after? When we talked about what we wanted for our business, was this it? One of the things that I mentioned on the podcast was that success is an ever-changing thing. It’s measured differently by different people at different times in their lives. How do you attain it?
Don’t be afraid to set goals that lead to success.
I am constantly asking Marta, “Where do you see us in five years? Ten? Twenty?” The reason I do that is to ask for some sort of idea on where she thinks we should take our business. Our idea of success a few years ago was for both of us to go full time with the business. It’s changed. We want to better ourselves further. We have different ideas now. We’ve matured and are continuing to grow. Ask yourself, where do you want to be in 6 months/1 year/5 years/10 years? Write it down. Put it in a place you’ll read it everyday. Some of the most influential people in business do it. You should do it too. Make it happen.
Walk towards success, but don’t be afraid to look back.
I am constantly looking for different ways to better my craft. We’re always evolving. On the other side of the coin, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our business. For a lot of photographers, business is a scary word. We’re creatives. The last thing we want to think about are P&L (Profit and Loss) reports, ROI (Return on Investment), or accounting. I get that, I totally do. I mean, I hate that stuff. Let me be honest. But data is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your business, see where your money is coming and going, and to see what your audience is doing. Run a SWOT Analysis in order to make tough decisions. All of these things that I mentioned are applicable to any business and will guide you into making better decisions.
Where should you invest your money? Should you get a profile on the Knot or Wedding Wire? Both? Neither? Where do you get the most of your money? Where can you improve? All of these questions can be answered with data from P&L’s and good accounting. These will increase your overall ROI. Having cash flow is the lifeline of any business, but the ultimate goal is to be profitable.
What is success for you?
Everyone’s definition of success is different. Why are we doing what we do? What do we want to do in order to make sure that we don’t fail? Once we reach that goal, what do we do next? Just ask yourself where you want to be. Write it down. Now how will you get there? You might not know now. But put that piece of paper somewhere and spend the five seconds it takes to read it. Over time, you will start to realized how you will get there. It’s weird, but it works. If you’re determined enough, anything can happen.