Becoming a Photographer – China in your Hands

Cast your mind back to the 80s. T’pau! Remember them? T’pau said “don’t push too hard your dreams are china in your hands”. If you don’t know the song see below.

So, China in Your Hands… who knew that my 7 year old self would remember that song 25 years later while thinking about my business and the direction I want to take it in.

When you want something very badly it can be tempting to go for it all guns blazing, throwing everything you have into it; time, money, your heart and your soul.

It’s so tempting to pour all of your resources into it, at the expense of everything else, but the fact is that most businesses need to be built on strong foundations and they need to grow organically in order to be sustainable in the long term.

I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated over the last few weeks that I’ve hit a bit of a wall with my bookings for the year.

I have a good number of bookings for the year and some weddings that are so exciting they make me want to do an ‘EEEEEEEK’ but I’ve not had any new bookings for a little while, so I’ve been feeling a bit despondent.

I’ve been wondering what I can do to change this. Should I throw some more money at advertising? Should I spend more time on line promoting myself? Are there other things I can do? WHAT CAN I DO? I need to do ALL OF THE THINGS.

Then I looked at my diary for available weekends, week days and some time that I can, you know, see my friends, family and spend time with my fiancé.

I realized that realistically, based on my current position I probably don’t want too many more bookings for the year because I don’t actually have the capacity for them.

I’m fully booked for several months over the summer, I have a part time day job, I have a wedding to plan and several other big projects on the go and that means that I’m regularly working 60+ hour weeks and wedding season hasn’t even started for me yet.

Yes, it’s the start of wedding season and I’m already knackered! What that means is that I kind of have to go with the flow for a bit now and stop trying so hard.

If I do have a push towards getting more bookings it’ll probably only result in bookings that I can’t take on without compromising the standard of service I provide for existing clients or, worse, I’ll compromise my own well being.

I’m no good to my customers if I feel totally exhausted because, again, the service that they receive from me will suffer as a result. I also want to ensure I have some sort of work life balance and enough energy to pay proper attention to my relationships with friends and loved ones.

Because of that I’ve taken the decision to step back and let my business continue to grow organically. I’ll still advertise and I’ll still submit my work to blogs in the hope of getting features that will, hopefully, lead to lots of lovely bookings, but I need to put less pressure on myself to grow too quickly. I also need to cap my number of bookings to ensure that each of my customers gets the attention they deserve.

When I go full time next year I can throw more resources at growing my business and promoting my brand because I’ll have the foundations and structures in place and the time to manage any increase in my level of bookings.

So back to the T’pau quote:

don’t push too hard your dreams are china in your hands
don’t wish too hard because they may come true
and you can’t help them

If I throw everything I have at my business RIGHT NOW rather than letting it grow and develop in a sustainable way, I’ll either fail to maintain the standards of service that I want to provide to my customers or I’ll fail to look after myself properly.

Over stretch = burn out.

What steps have you taken to ensure your business grows without compromising other areas? How do you plan to grow your business in a sustainable way? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Becoming a Photographer – China in your Hands

  1. Laura this is great – thanks for this! Especially for those of us who are balancing ‘two careers’ we can be so ‘overdriven’ that we forget to enjoy what we’ve achieved, the journey and the reason we started doing this thing we’re passionate about in the first place! Great Post – and a nice throwback to a tune I grew up with – but at the time had no idea what she was singing about lol!!

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