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Advice for Photographers

Let It Go: How A Bad Attitude can Ruin your Business

As an entrepreneur, you live eat and breathe your business.  What what happens what you’re in a bad mood?  Do you ever find that your work, or at least your creativity, suffers?  What about being perpetually perturbed?  Have you ever thought about how your attitude can affect your business?  There is no such thing as keeping your personal life and your work life separate; you will always bring a little part of one into the other.  But when the part you bring is sad, frustrated or downright angry you may inadvertantly be bringing bad vibes to your business, too.  Part of growing as a business means growing as an individual.  Having a perpetual negative attitude impedes you from not only learning but also growing as an adult and an entrepreneur; this means your business also loses the potential to grow.

So what effects can a negative attitude have?

Negative attitudes can be incredibly draining for those around you.  Whether you’re just venting in a quick Facebook status update or rambling on with a girlfriend during a coffee date, you’re creating situations where those around who you do emphathize with you begin to feel drained.  Although the occasional “OMG this totally sucks [insert rant here]” status update can be forgiven, be careful not to perpetually post negative thoughts or comments.  Habitual negativity can end up being your trademark amongst your friends, family and peers.  It would be a shame if your trademark negativity were to be so pronounced that is were to overshadow your successes.  Perpetual negativity can also affect your people skills; something that can have a dramatic influence on how you approach potential clients during consult meetings.  And then there’s the physical effects of negativity… just ask your doctor!  They’ll tell you all about how increased stress and negativity in your life can lead to ulcers, depression and even increased risk of heart disease – yikes!

Do you have a bad attitude?

It’s normal for everyone to simply answer ‘NO!’ to this question… but I challenge each and every one of you to think this over thoroughly.  Reflect on it.  Sleep on it.  Come back to this article tomorrow and read it again after a little soul searching and see if your answer is different.

I’m no psychologist, but I have had the pleasure of coaching many new photographers through their first few years of business and have become very familiar with a variety of attitudes and their effects on one’s business.  You may be a bit of a negative Nancy if you:

  • Feel like you’re always right (or that your way is the “better” way)
  • Turn to social media on a regular basis to “vent” about problems.
  • You feel like nothing ever goes your way
  • Find yourself frequently arguing on social media or message boards over matters that are trivial
  • Feel like everyone is irritating or annoying
  • Feel bitter, upset or defeated if others in your field succeed or are granted opportunities that you aren’t
  • Frequently find yourself as the perceived victim in a situation
  • Justify your anger based on previous negative experiences

Making the Change

Changing your attitude isn’t an easy task!  It’s a slow and steady process that is ultimately very rewarding not only for yourself but also for your business.  As your personal attitude changes, you’ll find that your attitude as an entrepreneur changes too.  As the positivity increases in your personal life, your business life will begin to blossom, too.  All those who have made judgements regarding your poor attitude in the past will begin to take notice of the new you.  Don’t get discouraged if this change doesn’t happen over night – remember, it took months (or years) for people to develop this attitude of you so it will take time for them to change their attitude towards you, too.

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Start by making a list of things you are thankful for.  Although it may seem “cheesy” it will help you identify aspects of your life that bring your joy.  When faced with challenging situations, try to find a silver lining.  There’s always a teensy-weensy bit of good that can come out of any situation.  Reflect on your days and your challenges and learn from your mistakes.  Take charge of your attitude and embrace the fact that you are the only person who is in charge of your attitude.  Although others may make you feel angry or irritated, you are the only person who decides how you react towards the matter.  Finally, do your best to minimize your complaining.  Don’t reach out to your social media updates to “vent” – keep it personal and private.  Opt for a hand written diary – often the act of physically writing something (opposed to typing) helps you reflect on what you’re writing about.

Although the effects of your new-found positive attitude may not immediately apparent on your business, by changing not only your outlook but how you react to stresses, you’re setting yourself for not only a healthier and more productive relationship with clients and peers but also an increased quality of life both in and out of the office.

 

 

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