Posted By: Linda
On Sunday I ran my first half marathon. As I crossed the five mile mark I felt a huge rush of emotion as I realized not only would I complete it, I was going to totally exceed my own time expectations. I remembered back to almost three years ago when I didn’t know if I could walk, let alone run, without pain. Along the way I shed a few tears, but they were most certainly excited and happy tears as I finally put those fears to rest.
I kept waiting to hit that wall I had heard about, when you feel you have nothing left and can’t go on, but fortunately for me it simply didn’t happen. As I crossed the finish line as strong as I started I felt so alive, like I could do absolutely anything!
So what does this have to do with photography and this month’s business exercise? Well, I feel like I crossed that five mile mark with my photography business back in August on the SOAR blog when Me Ra asked us to voice our dreams. But the thing with my photography business is that shortly after that I hit the crazy wall! What made me hit it? One word…
For the past month I have been working with our SmugMug designer on my website and blog and it’s been a slow process. Even as I write I know Billy is waiting on me for content and decisions yet I’m still somewhat blocked. I am over thinking everything, second guessing every decision, and my perfectionist is in full control. When I think about branding I think about logos, tag lines and presentation because that’s the easy part for me. Discovering my own authentic brand and the core qualities I want to embody is exactly as Karen described for me… “like walking through a dark cobweb filled room. CRAZY MAKING!”
Before this exercise arrived in my in-box I had already got to a certain point. Brainstorming with myself, a sheet of poster board and a pack of multicolored markers, I had decided on some words that I felt defined my style and a tag line that differentiated me. Here’s a sneak peak of what I came up with…
What keeps striking me is how valuable and applicable these business exercises are regardless of the stage you are at. Instead of using this month’s exercise to discover my brand, I will be using Karen’s three-step process to ensure what I have already come up with is a valid, real and genuine expression of what matters the most to me. I want to give it the wholehearted YES she encourages us all to do.
Here’s the first step…
Describe the 4-5 core qualities that you want to be known for in your business.
- I want to be known as a professional – someone who will not compromise on service or quality.
- A storyteller – I want to sell stories – not images.
- Down to earth, warm and engaging – I want my clients to think of me as a friend.
- I want to provide exceptional experiences and capture images that grab people’s hearts.
And as well as all of these values, I want the core essence of my brand to reflect my (somewhat) unique identity here as a New Zealander.
Yes – it’s quite a wall I am trying to break through but I am so thankful to our wonderful business coaches Karen Buckley and Fay Freed of the Wisdom Connection for their continued support and invaluable exercises that keep me moving forward. I am also super excited, and just a little nervous, to be flying to Orange County today where my friend Melanie Jaramillo and I are attending Jeff Jochum’s Biz Clarity Workshop. Jeff is a straight shooter and has a totally different approach to Karen and Fay. I’ve been warned to prepare to have my brain twisted, melted and turned upside down. Gulp. Can’t be worse than running 13.1 miles can it?
See you on the other side of the ‘crazy’ wall!