Why Having A Mentor Helped My Business
Walking into the unknown is scary, especially when you are 23 and straight out of college and thinking about starting a photography business. I am a huge planner, I like to have a plan of action, a step by step guide if you will. But I didn't know any photographers and I had this crippling fear of failure.
I still do...
As a kid my mom always taught that I could ask for help and that it was ok to ask for help. Well, I may not have always asked for help, but I did ask tons of questions about everything, because I wanted to know the best way to do things so I wouldn't fail.
After graduating with my degree in photography, I was too afraid to start my own business and so I didn't. I had a few shoots, but just didn't know what to do or how to grow interest. As things started to come up in life, I had to get a job outside of photography, because, well, life happens.
Of course I wasn't loving it and I decided I needed to ask for help. Not from family or friends, but from photographers. So I searched the internet and made a list of photographers in my area whose style of images was what I was looking to do.
After emailing 20 photographers, 3 emailed back, but only one worked out. I met her at a restaurant for breakfast and she had agreed to let me intern with her. It started out as office type work, then assisting on sessions on school shoots, to being lead photographer on a few schools shoots to becoming the lead photographer for all the schools we photograph.
After a year of working with her, I started my business, not because I felt ready, but because I had someone there who could help me. Soon I had my business license, resale number, business bank account, insurance, online galleries for clients, upgrades to my website and email domains. Four years later, I am farther than I ever thought I'd be.
Having a mentor was when things really started to change for me. Your friends and family are always great to have to support you, but often times they are more worried about protecting you. Not a bad thing. But sometimes you need someone who can help you take risks, risks that they've taken and have come out successful. Someone who can see your blind spots, who can answer your questions, bounce ideas off of you and push you out of your comfort zone a little more.
My mentor, Julie Horn, has really helped instill confidence in myself and has helped me bring my business to where it is today!
Give a shout out to someone who has helped you reach your goals!