How I overcame the limiting beliefs echo chamber of parents, friends, and coworkers

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on July 12, 2015

in This is Life

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Tim Ferriss introduced me to the idea of lifestyle design, and for that, I will forever be grateful.

His book, The 4 Hour Workweek, broke my echo chamber.

I grew up in a small town, had parents who lived poor but comfortable, graduated from a small high school, and went to work straight out of school at a small newspaper.

Up to the point of reading Ferriss’ book, which I consumed as an audiobook on a long drive from Bandera, Texas, to Fort Worth and back, my life questions were simple:

  • Do I have enough money to buy computer games?
  • Can I afford to upgrade my computer so I can play better games?
  • How loud can I make my car stereo?
  • Am I doing good enough at work to keep getting a paycheck?
  • Do I have enough money to spend on dates with my girlfriends?

I was a sadly typical twenty-something.

A Basic Bro.

(With a few shades more class, thanks to good parenting.)

Life was comfortable. Good enough. I didn’t really have anything big worth caring about, so I cared about small things: video games and bassy car stereos.

My echo chamber consisted of my parents, friends, and coworkers, all with similar ambitions: get the next paycheck, and get by best you can. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t take risks. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

Then Tim Ferriss broke my life. He busted my echo chamber.

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Why do I feel like I’m getting nowhere with my photography business?

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on July 6, 2015

in This is Life

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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway

You know how to kill a writer?

Put a blank page in front of him.

Same goes for your limitless options when it comes to creating art as a photographer – if you can dream it, you can shoot it.

But it’s hard to do anything when we’re presented with the option of everything.

You can do it all.

But here’s the rub: do you want to be busy or do you want to be successful?

I’ve wasted years spinning my wheels being very busy getting nothing (important) done.

I was trying to be a jack of all trades, a Renaissance man, a photographer who could solve any visual riddle.

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You know what? You suck.

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on June 25, 2015

in This is Life

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You know what?

You suck.

Your art sucks.

Your web site an amateur piece of crap that would embarrass a real photographer.

Which you’re not.

Your dream is silly, naive, and will only end in you failinglike you’ve done so many times before.

You’re not even capable of learning how to make art, make clients happy, or how to act and market and shoot and sell like a professional.

You’re an imposter. An immature, self-absorbed, selfish wannabe who’s getting laughed at right now by the cool kids – the ones with real cameras, real clients, and real talent.

Unlike you.

I think you’d best listen to a real professional and quit playing ‘photography business‘ before you really embarrass yourself.

Let me ask you:

Would you ever…

ever…

EVER…

allow someone to talk to you this way?

Then why do you say these things to yourself?

Think about it.

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Light the fire

June 25, 2015
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Admit it:

Your problem isn’t that you’re spending too much time doing the second best thing (or the third, or fourth, or fifth…) – your problem is that you’re not doing anything at all because you’re a perfectionist and scared to paralysis of doing the wrong thing.

Which deep in your ego, is anything that isn’t the best thing.

And let’s divorce ‘reading‘ from ‘doing‘ – let’s say here that ‘doing‘ is what you’re supposed to be in the act of after you’re done ‘reading‘ something.

Blog posts. Tutorials. Books. Magazines. Forums. Facebook groups. Twitter.

Every one of them invaluable sources of wisdom, perspective, and ideas.

But reading them doesn’t get anything done.

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Letting go of expectations

June 18, 2015
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If you’re unhappy with your business, you have a problem my dad has a solution to:

“Don’t let your alligator mouth overload your butterfly butt.” – Mickey Taylor

Now, this quote is more applicable to my bravado as a teenager, but it also speaks to the expectations we create for our businesses – most destructively about things over which we have no control.

Can you learn, practice, and improve your art? Absolutely.

Can you Show Up, F8 and Be There, and make your ideal clients say they see you everywhere? Doubtless.

But can you make them call? Can you make them buy?

No.

No, you can’t.

Whether you’re a day or a year or 10 years post-launch, you can’t make potential clients pick up the phone.

This can be hard to accept.

You’re wildly excited about engaging and serving your clients, but they don’t feel the same way…yet.

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Do you even lift (your camera), bro?

June 11, 2015
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Know how to grow your muscles?

Feed them. Use them.

Know how to grow your art?

Feed it. Use it.

If you’re not doing practice shoots, if you’re not doing paid shoots, if you’re not going click once a day…

What are you doing?

When’s the last time you took a photo of another human being?

Well, partner, that’s too long.

I dare you:

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How to overcome limiting beliefs about sales and marketing

June 3, 2015
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“God didn’t equip us with unique talents, insights, drives, and ambitions for us to be ashamed of them. He meant us to use those to serve others in the marketplace. And people are waiting for what you have to offer.” – Michael Hyatt

Many artists just starting their photography business have the Betamax dilemma: a superior product saddled with inferior marketing.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

I totally understand the distaste you have for the business side of art; I think it’s shared by every artist who has suffered the trip outside their comfort zone to ask for business, or ask for the sale.

Good news, mates:

Marketing is a blessing to your community.

And sales is a blessing to your clientele.

There are limiting beliefs artists get saddled with from a lifetime of cultural experience:

Read more inside…

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