That’s not really true; I want to be happy. But not being broke is nice, too.
The point of this post is: I need a business plan.
I’ve written before about the roadblocks, the hurdles, the headaches, the walls I’ve run into trying to figure out this photography business stuff on my own. It both helps and hurts that I’m fiercely stubborn; I will run into the same wall over and over and over again until I just run straight through it, if I can’t find the door and that’s what it takes. And there are parts of the business side of this that I do well. I get to work every morning and send my pitch emails, answers queries I’ve gotten, follow up with clients and venues and record labels. I can do that stuff; it’s part of what I spend my day doing anyway, which is sending emails and reading about music on the internet.
But what I can’t figure out is how to take it all to the next step. I can’t figure out how to get past the publicists for the bands on the next level above who I’ve been shooting. Half the time I feel like the publicists I email don’t even read what I’m sending them, which drives me nuts on multiple levels. I can’t figure out how to get bands to sit down with me and let me shoot them for projects — one of the reasons I shelved my Brothers In Arms project this year, because I needed to rethink how I was approaching it on a couple of levels — and I can’t figure out how to generate paid work. I can network and pass out cards and tell people to call me all I want, but I can’t make them call me, and I can’t make them hire me.
There has to be a way, though. My business plan right now is held together by baling wire and sheer hard-headedness and PBR. It works for me, how I am now, but I want to be better. I want to be bigger. I want more doors open. And it’s not happening with the fly-by-night, seat-of-my-pants way I’m working now.
I have no idea how to build myself a serious business plan. But I didn’t know how to shoot with a flash two years ago, either, and now I do. So I’ll figure it out. It’s just another wall to crash through like the Kool-Aid Guy, and I’ve proven before that I’m pretty damn good at crashing through those.
This wall just has a lot more structure, is all, and frankly, that’s something I could use in my life. So in the steps of figuring all this photo business shit out, this is the next one for me, and probably the big one. It scares me, trying to figure out the business stuff. How to make this profitable and rewarding and all that jazz. But sometimes it’s good to do stuff that scares you. I mean, in the end, everything I’ve done photo-wise for the last four years has scared me.
So what’s one more business plan, in the scheme of things? Nothing. But everything.
First I’ve gotta go spend money at the mall like a good capitalist with shep and Clea and Jenny, though. A business plan is important — but you’ve got to have priorities.