It’s your business and you can cry if you want to

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on August 24, 2015

in This is Business,This is Life

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One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
“Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

Native American Folk Story

We have a lot more control over our lives than we like to admit.

You’re here because you want to be.

You’re reading this because you choose to.

You’re a part time professional photographer because you chose this path.

You can stop anytime.

You can start anytime.

You have Caesarian power with which to choose left or right, to charge X or Y, to shoot with kids or couples or cucumbers.

As kids, we tested boundaries constantly, much to the dismay of our parents. Over time, worried parents and rule-mad schools and faithless employers clipped the wings of our fearless (even fearful) exploration, shoved them in a locked box and threw them in the ocean.

It was not in their best interests to see us fly.

After 18-plus years of living with our incredible power in bondage, we almost always go one of two routes, equally dangerous and tragic:

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Three practices for progress without procrastination, perfectionism or paralysis

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on August 21, 2015

in This is Business

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What if you could make steady gains in your businesses without stress?

Without procrastination.

Without perfectionism.

Without paralysis.

Can you imagine what it would feel like to move boldly toward your dreams with confidence, comfort, and clarity of purpose?

Take a deep breath – doesn’t the thought alone give you ease?

If you can master the following three practices, all of which are within your control, this is exactly how you can feel while you’re climbing the mountain of success.

Your allies in this war against stress and The Resistance are:

  • Kaizen
  • Imperfect Action; and
  • Iteration

Master this triad of painless progress and you’ll be able to launch, grow, and succeed with grace.

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Niche pickin’

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on August 19, 2015

in This is Business

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“Identify your niche and dominate it. And when I say dominate, I just mean work harder than anyone else could possibly work at it.” – Nate Parker

The single most vital piece of advice I give to struggling PTPs is to tighten your niche.

But if you haven’t even launched yet, how are you supposed to know what target market you want to serve?

Make it up.

Like so much in the startup phase of your business, you’re just going to have to make the best educated guess you can. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

To make your life and business easier, err on the side of fun.

What do you love?

Who do you identify with?

What market best aligns with your energy, personality, and experience in life?

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

July 12, 2015
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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?

July 6, 2015
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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.

June 25, 2015
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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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