One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
It's the slowest time of year for just about everybody, except those of us passionate about SPTV. So, for most of you it's the perfect time to work on things to help build your confidence.
Think about the photographers you admire most. They speak with authority. They never stop learning, and they recognize they have to keep sharpening their skill set, not just in photographic technique, but in marketing, business, and their relationships.
For many of you, instead of aggressively working to strengthen your short suits, you act as if your shipment of confidence is just going to show up on your doorstep in a FedEx box! We all have times when we lack confidence. Business and technology are constantly changing, and it's only natural to have a few WTF moments. So, if you find yourself lacking a little confidence now and then, here are three things you can do to strengthen your belief in yourself.
Your Education: I won't deny for a second this will sound a little self-promoting, but I wouldn't be involved with SPTV, if I didn't believe in what we're all trying to build—a stronger educational resource in photography. Your education as a photographer NEVER stops. You have to pay attention to new technology, techniques, and consumer trends. In the months ahead, SPTV is going to build on the information available to help you make 2015 the best year yet.
Along with SPTV you have to get yourself to every possible convention and workshop you can attend. You need to feed your brain and read the blogs of the people you admire most. You need to join the local photographer's group/guild/chapter and attend the meetings.
Your network: Surround yourself with positive people. Everybody doesn't have to agree with the path you've chosen, but if they're negative about it, then you need to find a way to remove them from your sphere of influence. I know it's far more complicated than I make it sound, but nobody has the right to step on your dreams.
Build your network with people who have skills different than yours. Look for relationships where you complement each other. And remember, a great network is about sharing and staying in touch. It's not a one-way street where you just collect business cards and give people a shout when you need help.
Find a mentor: This is harder than it sounds because everybody is typically so busy. However, you can still develop a relationship with somebody who can help you from time to time with your journey. This is about building confidence, and a good choice in a mentor can help you stay focused and smooth out the road here and there when you're feeling frustrated.
Here's the bottom line, and it's not exclusive to photography. Building confidence is all about being involved. You can't just sit on the sidelines and watch everyone go by. You have to get involved in the industry and in your community to build confidence in your skill set as a photographer, a communicator, and a businessperson.