Effective use of time, to the creative person, is worth more than money. It’s the difference between building a career and dreaming about one. As a photographer, if you’re not using your time wisely, you’re like the lemonade stand proprietor who, without disciplining himself, drinks his profits. You’re going nowhere.
I’ve heard all the excuses. Creative people are famous for spending time finding ways to finance their creative habits. They moonlight at a fast-food restaurant or a construction job to earn the money to buy tripods, cameras, disks, lenses.
This is OK to a point — but it’s a pattern that can put you in a rut, because you can end up never having enough time to make and market successful photos. Particularly when it comes to marketing, which many photographers do not enjoy as much as taking pictures, it’s easy to make excuses and say you just don’t have time to develop a client base.
No More Excuses
Millions of struggling photographers squander their time on hobbies that have nothing to do with photography. If you are a home gardener, did you ever figure out how much time you spend in your orchard? One hour a day for six months is 180 hours. What kind of business plan could you build and implement if you devoted that same 180 hours to it?
I’ve heard all the alibis from the weekend gardeners, golfers, dog trainers, hikers, and tennis players when I ask them why they are pursuing these hobbies rather than building a solid plan for their business. I have a three-word reply for them: “Excuses, excuses, excuses.”
And for those who say they are working two jobs and they simply don’t have another minute to focus on marketing their work, consider this: Just 15 minutes a day is 91 hours a year!
In one year, you could be well on your way to a successful photography career, if you discipline yourself to spend that 15 minutes a day building a list of target customers and developing a strategy to reach them. Then maybe you can quit that counterproductive part-time job (four hours a night = 800 hours a year) and start living your dreams.