10 Ways I’ve Grown My Business

July 3, 2019

Being Persistent – Not Giving Up

One of the biggest things I see among aspiring entrepreneurs is a lack of resilience. You guys know I love you, but some of you need to be more persistent. It is one of the biggest make-it-or-break-it traits for an entrepreneur.

Carol Dweck breaks down in her book, Mindset, that there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. A fixed mindset tends to play the victim in most scenarios; this individual believes that their qualities are as they are – that talent alone creates success, without effort. On the flipside, is the growth mindset – the belief that there is always room for an improvement, and when you encounter a bad experience you look for ways to learn from it, to grow.

I believe that’s one of the biggest barriers for entrepreneurs. Too many of us have a fixed mindset that holds us back from our true potential.

Some of you have heard this before, but I believe it serves as a good reminder:

The entrepreneurs that you look up to (Rachel Hollis, Jenna Kutcher, Joanna Gaines) – did not get to where they are now without a lot of hard work, uncomfortable experiences, or nights where they cried themselves to sleep. You are only seeing the result of all of their work. Things did not come easy for them.

And no, things will not come easy for you either – but if your role models can make it this far? You sure as heck can, too. You just have to be persistent about it. Look at your uncomfortable experiences as lessons you can learn, and remind yourself that all great leaders started somewhere. This is your somewhere, it will get you to where you want to be – if only you persist.

Not being afraid to try new things

This is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself as an entrepreneur. It boosts your creativity and gives you more clarity about the services and/or products you could offer.

If I hadn’t have said “why not?” to photographing my first boudoir session, I probably wouldn’t have ended up becoming a boudoir photographer. If I hadn’t have taken a leap of faith and left my 9-5, it would have taken me a lot longer to build my business to where it is. If I hadn’t have said yes to photographing a clothing company’s Fall line, I might not have realized that I really love working with other brands.

I’m all about niching down, I think it’s a super valuable thing to do for your business – but I’m not against trying new things. I’ve said it before and I will again: it is okay to evolve in your business. That shows growth.

Investing in Yourself

Hands down, one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my business. Investing in yourself leads to new growth, connections, and opportunities. Whether it’s through workshops, mentoring sessions, hiring a business coach (hello!), or online resources. They say that people who pay, pay attention and I could not agree more. While you can find a ton of info through podcasts, blogs, or freebies – if you really want to take your business to the next level, investing in yourself will help make that happen.

However, I need to follow that up with this: you have to put in the work. Simply hiring a business coach and then continuing to do the same things you were before will not give your results. You have to put in the work, too.

Allowing yourself to dream

I’ve gotta thank Evie Rupp for this one! Awhile back she shared on her Instagram that she took the time to write out all of her dreams. She held nothing back. And then, one by one, she began to see them come to fruition.

I tried it out myself and sure enough, my dreams began to unfold, too. There’s something about allowing yourself to dream – giving yourself that permission. It is so freeing.

Studies have shown that people who write down their goals accomplish significantly more than those who don’t. And that leads me to my next point:

Setting goals

You will never get very far if you don’t set goals for yourself. They don’t have to be big goals – they can be simple goals like, forming a morning routine that you’ll do every morning.

I love Rachel Hollis’ practice, 10 dreams I made happen. Every day, you write down the 10 dreams you want to happen. Every day. And because you are writing them down every single day, you really begin to believe them. It’s very empowering!

Setting goals for yourself and your business will absolutely lead to more growth.

Forming a good quality experience

This is how you get referrals and repeat clients! I actually did an entire episode all about my client experience back in episode #5, so if you need any inspiration then give it a listen! Client experience is how you get people coming back and bragging about you to their friends.

Treat your clients like gold and they will bring you even more business.

Reading & Writing

The past year especially, I’ve realized the profound difference this can make! I always keep a notebook with me to jot down ideas, things I need to work on, or a good ol’ brain dump. It’s done wonders for processing my thoughts – because if you’re like me, you have a million things running through your mind on the daily and it can be hard to sort through them all. Writing has made such a difference for that.

Reading has been just as effective. Some of my favorite books lately are:

  • How to Get Sh*t Done by Erin Falconer
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
  • High Performance Habits by Brendon Bruchard

If you’re looking for a book to read that will better your business, start with these 3. They are pure gold.

Surrounding myself with a support system

You’ve heard the saying – you are the average of the 5 people you most surround yourself with.

As an entrepreneur, you need a support system. I know that some of you are surrounded by people who say that you can’t, surrounded by people who don’t believe in you and limit your potential. You need to find the people who will support you in this. It is critical, not only for your business, but for your mental well-being.

Some of you are thinking to yourselves, “okay that’s great and all, but how do I find those people?”

Through Instagram. Through networking. If you want to surround yourself with driven people (and remember: you and your business will greatly benefit from it), you can find them on Instagram. Use geotags and hashtags to search for other entrepreneurs in your area who you can meet up for coffee with. Go to the Tuesday Together groups in your closest city. Connect with people in your area through Honeybook Community.

Your support system exists. And those are some of the places where you can find them.

Networking

On that same note, networking has done wonders in growing my business. Connecting with other photographers in my area who I can meet up with for work-dates, who I can refer to clients when I’m booked up and vice verse. Reaching out to vendors about setting up styled shoots. Attending networking events in town and actually interacting with people there. Striking up a conversation with the gal sitting next to me at the coffee shop.

These are all ways that will grow your business, that will get your name out there.

And a little networking tip: ask them about them. Take a genuine interest in who they are – you are more likely to find things you can relate on! Eventually they’ll ask about you and that’s when you can share what you do, and why you love it so much.

#HustleHardPrayHarder

And the absolutely biggest way I’ve grown my business? Through prayer.

My mentor, Nicole Balsamo, shared on her Instagram awhile back that at the beginning of a month she wouldn’t have much booked. But by the end, looking back, she had 2-3 things scheduled a day. When I asked her about it, she said it was because of lots of prayer. And it made me realize that I hadn’t been praying enough for my own business. So I started by asking for more portrait sessions – before I knew it, I was swamped with more sessions that I knew what to do with.

It was such a valuable reminder for me. You may not be a faith-based person, and that’s okay. But I challenge you to try praying every day for one week about one thing in your business. And see if there’s any results.

There you have it! The 10 ways I’ve grown my business.

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