Not sure if you believe in grumpy planets like Mercury who is creating it’s usual digital mess around here. But I will say this, the four times a year Mercury retrogrades I have found myself with more technical glitches, mysterious emails going out unscheduled, even vacuum cleaners and hard drives crash.
The TipSheet announcement we sent that said “How can you get your mojo back when you are not feeling it?” was from back in March. When we resend the correct link to the current TipSheet we got a few emails that told me in no uncertain terms that they wanted their mojo and read the article!
I’ve taken the article and posted it below. I know many of you are having a hard time with your photography business. Especially those of you who are in the New York, New Jersey, and other affected areas. If I can help you with a little mojo tip I am glad to do it.
Keep pushing, it won’t always be like this.
How to pick yourself up from the floor when the punches keep coming
Your mom (or dad/grandma etc.) has always believed that there is greatness in you. She’s been your biggest cheerleader, your rock, your go-to person. She’s always willing to comfort you and she’s ready with the right concoction to apply onto your many wounds. Up until now you thought you may even have had a shot at it for real. But then it happens: life takes a few bad turns. You even saw the sign ‘bumpy road ahead’, but you were not prepared for this. The blows are coming, you are already on your knees, your ego bruised and battered. Nothing goes right. It’s been a while since you felt good about yourself. You start feeling like you are letting those closest around you down and you are a disappointment. Let’s not even mention the financial aspects. You are dead broke on top of it.
Phew. That is a lot. Let’s talk about how you get back on your feet. But let’s be clear about this from the get go: life is not fair. Bad stuff happens to good people. Sometimes it takes a long time to find out what you came here to do. Finding your style and who you are isn’t easy either. To top it off, most of the time it takes way longer than you had ever thought it would.
Worst of all, you know you need to exude confidence and a great attitude to demonstrate to potential photography business buyers that you are the one to give the job to – but you are not feeling it.
Getting Your Mojo Back
When I throw myself a pity party, I remind myself of the road traveled. It’s a tough one. From the fight for pure survival – food on the table and a roof over the head to a nervous breakdown and living in a cotton ball for six months – I covered the gamut of angst. I remember the death of my father, the loss of my support system and biggest fan, and the unbelievable grief that I felt that made me cry in my sleep. No matter what is going wrong right now – I went through some pretty heavy things before. Chances are I will get through this one, too. Maybe not as gracefully as I want to but I will get through it. That is the wisdom of experience. You just know it will work out eventually.
Try this: Take a piece of paper and write down the challenges that you already have overcome. I bet you’ll be able to put quite a list together and guess what? You are still here.
Just like it did before, this too shall pass. And you will be still here, a bit stronger, more experienced and resilient.
The second thing I do to move away from that failure feeling is working on getting my perspective back. I like a bike ride to the beach or a hike into the mountains. Anything that makes me realize that I am a small part of a much larger universe. If everything works together in such perfect harmony then I am a part of it. That means that there must be a plan for me.
The third and most important one – I get back to what made me want to do this in the first place. If you are an artist and you chose this career because you love it – THIS IS YOUR TIME TO RECONNECT. Feel what it feels like when that magical moment occurs when you become one with what you do. That feeling that there is nothing else that makes you this happy but this job, this career. We are in a creative profession because of our love for it. Doubt only creeps in when we choke on our fear. You want to get back to that place where your heart opens and that feeling, and you know which one I mean, is back and fills you up from head to toe.
Whatever that is for you, and whatever you need to do to get there – do it today. Do it right now. When I ran my stock photography business I would lock myself into my office and look at the thousands of images we represented. It was impossible to look at the work of a Tim Street-Porter or Oberto Gili and the many, many others and not feel like this is what I was supposed to do. I remember thinking to myself that there was no way this couldn’t work because it was just too good.
Passion for your work is what sets you apart from a 9-5 job. Use it!
Let me give you a couple more strategies I have used that I recommend to my coaching clients and that I use myself.
Remember your past accomplishments. If you have done it before chances are you are going to do it again. So there…
Reading every testimonial and thank you letter ever sent to me (thank you btw you have no idea how often that keeps me going).
Looking at pictures that mean something to me from those very special moments where I felt on top of the world. I want you to remember that feeling. That is the mojo I talk about, you’ve got to feel it.
Limiting the time spent worrying about money. In my worst times – when I was $135,000 in the red, I only worried about money twice a month. When I had to pay bills. Be disciplined about how much you worry. Generally it leads to nothing.
F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. First time I heard this was from James Malinchak, one of my coaches. It’s helped me many times.
Avoiding talking about how bad it is, but rather, you should be talking about all the things that you are doing to change it.
Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Everyone is afraid and everyone has had tough times.
Finally, being grateful for what you have. Watching YouTube video’s of other people’s inspirational stories gets me a serious reality check. As emotional as it may be, watching what courage others often have, especially children with serious challenges, makes it easy to be grateful. Focus on what you have instead of what you have not. Fear contracts space whereas love and gratitude expands.
In my personal experience with hard knocks and adversity and I can tell you one thing with certainty – the tougher the test, the better the other side will be. But only you know if you have what it takes to make it in this industry and it is not for the weak. If you are committed – keep going. I believe in you.