You can’t grow your business without SELF-CONFIDENCE.
When was the last time you got your hair done? When was the last time you went for a run and got that glistening healthy glow? And the big question.. when was the last time you did a self-portrait? Ah! If you’re just like me that was the last thing that you thought would need to be on your business to-do list.
Growing up I had the worst self-esteem ever. I was tall, lanky, bony, frizzy hair, the works. I got called a witch for my long nose and anorexic for being skinny (and this girl could EAT). It hurt so much to be told I was diseased, and I tried so hard to be “normal”. My friend (who was slightly over-weight) would give me her lunches at school so I could double up to gain and she could go without to lose weight. I wore baggy sweaters and would not sit without having my hair covering the side of my face and my hand up to casually cover my nose. I wish I could go back in time and stand up to myself, for myself. Tell myself don’t listen to them you are beautiful just the way you are. Don’t listen to their lies, YOUR lies that you are ugly.
Once I hit my Sophmore year in Highschool, things CHANGED. Instead of people telling me I was anorexic and a witch they started saying I could be a model. My nick-name went from Twig to America’s Next Top Model (and G-Money, but that is another story because I definitely didn’t have any money ha!) and I started to believe it. I finally started to shed my baggy sweaters, and wear clothes that hugged my figure and even took modeling jobs after high school ended. That was all it took.. for people to believe in me, for ME to start believing in me. I was so nervous modeling but I put myself out there to really push myself confidence-wise. I have pictures of myself at my best and I will always have them to remind myself THIS is who I am. This is who I want my kids to see and grow to be.
Now what does this have to do with growing your business?
People with self-confidence do better at their jobs, have better relationships, are more attractive, are more successful in life, and are more self-aware. You can’t love your clients and your business until you love yourself first.
When YOU have the confidence, you exude it. It spills off onto those around you. Those kids in high school who thought I was America’s Next Top Model? They had already had confidence in themselves and a healthy self-esteem, they had so much they had enough to give to others. The kids who bullied me did not. They sucked it right out of me and that was exactly what they needed to feel better about themselves.
So I have a challenge for you.
Take a self-portrait. It’s not that hard anyone can do it, just set up a tripod, set your timer, and edit with your fancy editing skills. Or even better have another professional photographer take your pictures. I want you to put yourself in your clients shoes and be a client for a day. I want you to shine! Practice your poses, find your best angles and best of all show off those BEAUTIFUL pictures. It took me a while to get to this point, but I did it. Here is my self-portrait:
Do you like my shiny new red hair?
Confidence isn’t only key in your image. And maybe you are already confident on how you look and exude it onto others (yay you, you are my hero!). There are so many more aspects to confidence that you need to run your business. (Starting this blog was another fear of mine for example, baby steps!). You could have fear in talking in front of crowds, putting yourself out there as a business owner and leader, or taking your print sales to the next level.
Here are some tips on building that confidence of yours!
1. Take my challenge. Take a self-portrait, do it you are beautiful!
2. Know that people make mistakes and try not to dwell on failures. We all make mistakes, it’s okay!
3. Just go out and do it. No matter what it is (like my blog for example) it is not perfect nor will it ever be. If you wait until it is perfect, you will be failing to thrive confidence-wise and then you start thinking too much and well.. you know where this is going.
4. Visualize your success and set goals. Think about all the positive outcomes your business will have and the wonderful things that are coming your way. Look back at how far you’ve come.
5. Don’t surround yourself with bullies! We all know the type.. photographers and business owners who put down others thinking they are better than everyone. Even if it is not directed at you, it can still affect your confidence and that is not the kind of thing we need to be surrounded by! We need to surround ourselves with positive people to help us thrive.
6. Read books, watch workshops, study, learn! This is a wonderful way to gain confidence.
7. Give! Do charities, help other photographers find their way, instill your confidence in them. Be beautiful not only on the outside but on the inside as well.
8. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is a no-brainer, but we all do it. Don’t compare your start to their middle.
9. Be healthy. Live your life and get a healthy does of confidence in just being you. Take up a hobby, exercise, go out with friends, etc.
10. Practice, practice, practice. Whether you are photographing your first wedding or doing a televised interview you will be most confident after you’ve practiced and got it down pat!
11. Fake it until you make it. Smile. Hard. Make eye contact, hold your head up high and your shoulders back even if you aren’t sure. YOU can do this.
WE can do this. <3