Today on The Capture Crew podcast we are talking with Aidan Meadows on what success looks like for you in your photography business.
Aidan is a Orlando, Florida wedding photographer with an eye for capturing authentic moments. This year brings him new revelations in how he views success and how he’s adjusted these views to align with his core values without compromising his work. He also joins The Capture Crew on PodcastEpisode #32.
When you first start your business it’s easy to work 15 hour days, starting at the crack of dawn and working into the late night hours. But anyone who does this can tell you, this is not sustainable.
So how do you keep going? How do you know when you’ve reached the right level of success and what do you do when you get there?
Aidan shares with us something that may feel counter intuitive for you in growing your business.
In your climb for success you may start to feel the burn out before you realize it’s there. You will find yourself frustrated, tired, and maybe even snappy with clients. Your relationships with family, friends, clients and vendors may begin to suffer because of this new level of exhaustion.
If you get to that point it’s vital to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Keeping your goals in mind, ask yourself what you truly value. Knowing what your core values are will help you make sure that your day to day actions are aligned with your big picture goal. When these things are not in alignment it will be easy to get off track, spinning your tires in directions you don’t even intend to go. It can leave you feeling worn out and not like your best self.
For Aidan, his core values were not aligned when he was working 19 hour work days. He was missing quality time with his wife, who often accompanies him as a second shooter on the weekends in order to spend more time together. Luckily, this is something she also shares an interest in but working together is not the same as spending time together – and Aidan realized something had to change.
While last year he shared with us on The Capture Crew Podcast that he was doing well and had made his goal of 6 figures, this year things look a little different.
By looking at the bigger picture, Aidan discovered his core value in his photography business was to make enough money so that he can enjoy a simple lifestyle with his wife. They can take trips when they want, without worrying about excessive bills or needs that would make it difficult to partake in these desires.
Because Aidan has kept his goals in mind, seeing the bigger picture, he has been able to create a work life balance that supports his core values.
Only you can decide what matters most to you at the end of the day.
You are not alone if you are feeling similar. Burnout is something very real for entrepreneurs, especially when starting out. Here’s some tips to help you if you are feeling the same or even if you just want to start putting steps in place to grow further:
Be Selective in who you work with. While this is a luxury many can’t afford when they first start out, when your calendar starts to be completely blocked out you can start to be more selective. This will help ensure that you are working with clients who don’t just care about you from a business perspective, but also as an individual.
Big Picture Goals. Keep in mind the big picture and assess what is contributing to or taking away from your end goal. Adjust as needed.
Get closer to your vendors. Working with vendors helps ensure you are not marketing yourself blindly, and over time you will be able to refer clients to vendors, and vice versa, that share similar values and work ethics – making for a more cohesive experience. It also means it’s more likely that your clients will also align with your values.
Be firm on boundaries. Both personal and in business, boundaries are important to your well being. Set cut off times and boundaries and uphold them as much as possible. Disrupting a boundary should be an occasional decision that you make, not the norm.
At the end of the day when you feel yourself starting to plateau in your growth you will have two options. You can choose to be content with your success and look for ways to stay consistent where you are. Or you can make the decision to keep growing, giving yourself new goals but keeping in mind the larger picture so that you don’t burn out.
There’s no wrong decision. The choice is yours alone to make.