Nothing kills your energy, mojo and determination like comparing to a likeminded business. So if you’re avoiding doing your souls’s work because someone else is already doing what you want to do, this post is for you.
The fear of looking like a “fool” or a “bad copy” of someone else is real. It can be disheartening seeing another person rocking the dream that has been brewing inside of you. Because you want to capture the same type of photos, do the same kind of creative work and share the same type of content with the world.
You may be asking yourself:
What’s the point of doing what I want to do if she is already doing it?
Why should I bother trying to follow my dream when someone else is already doing it BETTER?
What if it looks like I’m copying and people notice that?Will they think I’m a fool?
Here’s the truth; no matter what you decide to do in your business you can be pretty sure someone else is already doing it and doing it better as well. That’s life. That’s the name of the game.
So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to give up and die with your dream inside of you? I hope not. Because your ideas wouldn’t be coming to you, or rising from within you, if they weren’t meant for you to breathe life into them.
You got to make a promise to yourself NOT to let it hold you back. Because, if you hold yourself back you will regret it, I promise you that!
NEVER EVER care about what other people do with their business. NEVER EVER give any interest in how awesome they are or how perfect they seem to do things. And NEVER EVER let what someone else do stop you from doing what YOU want to do!
NEVER compare, and never give up your dream because someone else is already doing it. If I had given in to that kind of thinking I would NEVER be here a writing this post. I wouldn’t be a published photographer and coach teaching courses to women all around the world. I wouldn’t be a successful business owner, stylist, writer, podcaster, and entrepreneur.
So how do you deal with the fear of looking like a “bad copy” of someone else? You ignore it and you continue like YOU are the ONLY one in the world doing what you are doing. You have to think like that to survive and thrive as a business owner.
I know this is a huge challenge and I know how scary it is to keep going for your dream when you see someone else doing it already. But it is unfair to you to compare yourself to someone who has been doing what you want to do for a while. Don’t use it as an excuse to hold yourself back.
Don’t give up. Don’t pity yourself because this is not about you. There’s space and room enough for all of us. You got to turn your focus away from the competition and away from feeling inadequate and then start focusing on YOUR AUDIENCE; the people you can help. Because no matter how many are doing what you are doing, you are the best to help your people.
No matter who you are. No matter your level of expertise, you will have potential clients, fans and an audience that will grow to love and trust you.
You don’t have to be the best in your industry to be successful and harvest a huge profit. But you gotta do what you do with heart and soul. You gotta put your clients and your audience on the top of your priority list.
Accept that other people are doing what you want to do. They’re not you. They don’t have the same unique combination of voice, experience, perspective and style as you. Only you can bring that unique blend to your business and your clients.
You start with one person, then two… you grow your business, your email list and your revenue one person at a time. So if you can help/serve just one person with what you offer, that’s all you need to focus on. Give that one person a great experience. You can do this, but you gotta stop comparing.
The true secret to success is not to try and reinvent the wheel, but rather to put your own particular spin on it. And more importantly, market your product or service in such a way that your customer thinks that it was made exactly for them.
Running a 6 and 7-figure business has very little to do with luck. It’s all about MINDSET and SKILLS.
It saddens me to see how many creatives give up on their dream because they struggle to make money. They blame themselves, lose confidence and doubt if they are good enough – when really, what they lack is business know-how.
It can be super depressing and frightening to realize that you do not make enough money to cover your monthly expenses.
You feel lost and alone. Like you are this huge failure that cannot figure out how to make a living doing what you love.
I know the feeling. I´ve been there.
As a young mother in my early twenties, I collected empty bottles in the streets and exchanged them for money, so that we could get something to eat. It was not my proudest moment, but I was broke. I was a young, frustrated + struggling artist.
And I gave up my dream back then because I wanted a better life for my children. Today, many years later I wish I knew back then what I know today.
I get questions all the time on how creatives can make money in their businesses, and it goes something like this;
“My business is not making enough money, how can I increase cash flow so that I can afford to pay my bills and so I don´t have to worry about money ever again?
“I don’t know where to begin or what to do, and because I never get bookings I feel like I’m the worst photographer ever!”
So, today I’m sharing the top five reasons why creatives don´t make money with their businesses. These are POWERFUL steps, and if you commit, you’re well on your way to making it work.
5 Reasons Why You’re Not Making Money With Your Creative Business (And How to Fix It)
Don’t freak out if some of these apply to you, because it´s totally normal. The first step to change is to acknowledge you need change. Being real and honest with yourself will help you get things back on track.
Reason #1: You are not fully committed
Let me ask you this; are you fully and totally 100% committed to making money?
If you do not do at least ONE thing daily to grow your bank account, grow your profit and sky-rocket your sales – you are not fully committed.
You got to let go of that old story about the struggling artist and be laser-focused on growing your income.
I didn´t start to make money in my business until I decided. I decided that this is what I want and I wouldn’t accept anything less. I stopped giving up and backing off, and I made a conscious choice to believe that I could have whatever I wanted.
Making money starts with a mindset shift and a whole lot of action. This is you being really clear on what you want, stepping up, and doing the work.
So if you want a profitable business, the first step is deciding that’s what you want, and that’s what you’ll have… because there’s no other option.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Every day ask yourself; “what action can I take today to actually put money in my bank account?” Asking yourself this question will help you focus and get what you want.
Reason #2: You play hide and seek
The number one reason why so many women don´t make money in their business is that they don´t show up.
They hide, thinking it´s so much easier to play safe and color so far inside the lines that they don´t stand out as being too much.
As humans… we crave safety. It’s one of the top human needs. We need to feel safe.
So when presented with the idea of getting out from our hiding place… it can feel terrifying!!!!!
Perhaps you know the feeling. You want success with your creative passion, but you avoid showing yourself to the world – hoping that one day will be your lucky day and someone will discover you.
Let’s get serious for a moment.
Have you ever noticed how much time you spend presenting the EVIDENCE about why you need to hide and play small?
Because it’s way, way, way too scary to show up as YOU and you find yourself thinking; “Let me put everyone else first and let me just hide in the shadows and then….”
Someday, I will put myself out there… Someday, I will promote my products… Someday, I will ask for the sale… Someday, I will show the world how great I am…
But here´s the truth; visibility is critical to the success of your business:people can’t pay you if they can’t find you.
“Someday”, will not make you a profitable + successful business.
“Someday”, is an excuse to hide and play small.
And YOU are better than that!
YOU deserve more!
You have SO MUCH to offer. And it doesn’t do anybody any good if you keep it to yourself.
You’re done disappearing into the background. Beige was never your color anyway.
Now, is when you stop hiding. Now, is when you forget about “someday” and act TODAY!
This is your time to step out into the light and show the world what you have to offer.
KEY TAKEAWAY: You can’t wait for a miracle, sign, or lucky break. You have to make your own luck. If you are serious about your dream, you must go for it – every day!
Reason #3: You are a perfectionist
One of the biggest causes of creative dry spell is the need to “get it right.” We strive for perfection, and when we fall short, we feel less than and worthless.
What we don’t seem to realize is that perfectionism is the enemy of done. CREATING something and being WILLING to share it with the world is super important.
Why? Because though your content might not be perfect, it will help people who were once in your shoes.
You don´t have to be an expert; you just need to be a small step ahead of those you wish to help.
And if you help and inspire people, that’s an accomplishment in itself, regardless of your need to be “perfect”.
Let’s be real. To run a profitable business, you need to create products and content that solve your clients biggest pain points.
And this takes time and effort to create. Many business owners get overwhelmed just by the thought of this. They want to make the perfect product, the perfect newsletter, take the perfect photo for Instagram or write perfect caption for social media.
But you can’t create perfect stuff all the time… and if this is your goal, you’ll most likely never get your business up and running.
Instead of berating yourself for messing up and stumbling backwards, give yourself a warm-hearted pat on the back for trying, for making progress, and putting things out there.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Solving problems your clients have is more important than you showing up perfect.
Reason #4: You don’t know your target audience
If you are confused about exactly who your target audience is and what position to take in your industry, you will struggle to make money – it´s that simple.
You need to know your potential clients inside and out and make sure you can answer these three questions:
#1: What do your customers want and need most? #2: What are their pain points, that is, the most urgent problems that they need to solve? #3: How can you help them?
Customers are looking for solutions and if they are confused about how you can help them or if they don´t understand the exact benefits from working with you – they´ll move on.
Potential clients are constantly asking the questions, “What’s in it for me?” and “Who can provide me what I need, in the most convenient way?“
With so many websites and businesses online, you need to answer that question from the moment they show up at your website or discover one of your products online.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Get really clear on the value you provide your clients and charge accordingly.
Reason #5: You’re afraid to ask for the sale
Do you get a dry cotton mouth when people ask you how much you charge?
Do you avoid selling your products and service because you are afraid to appear pushy, salesy or icky?
If so, you are not alone. From working with thousands of women around the world, I´d say that 95% of creative women feel this way.
The number one excuse for not going for the sale is lack of confidence.
But here´s the truth. It´s not lack of confidence. It´s lack of skills.
How can you be a world-class sales queen when no one never taught you how?
I mean, no one wakes up one day thinking; “I´m going to be a professional ballerina”, and then the next day dance with the New York ballet, right.
You need to learn how to promote yourself. You need to learn how to communicate to your desired audience. And you got to learn how to love selling.
And just to be clear; selling is not about being annoying, or trying to force your products on someone.
Selling is LOVE. If you love what you do, all you sell is LOVE.
Selling is sharing inspiration. If you feel inspired to inspire others, all you sell is inspiration.
Selling is storytelling. Forget icky sales emails. Talk about your journey. Share how you got from where you were to where you are today.
Share how you overcame your struggles and how you now are ready to help people who are in a similar situation as you once were.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Talk about the experience and the benefits people will get by working with you. Be passionate about what you do and what you offer and share your excitement.
Alright, that’s it for today. Now commit to changing just ONE thing at a time.
Allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone because it’s outside your comfort zone you will sky-rocket your profit.
Are you sometimes overwhelmed with negative thinking – perhaps being downright rude to yourself? Criticizing yourself for not doing enough?
I guess we’ve all been there; having bad days and moments of self-doubt. Days in which you fall short of your own expectations, and instead of treating it as a learning opportunity, you beat yourself up about it.
The frustration that comes from trying to turn your creative passion into a profitable business can quickly turn into a long rant of self-critique.
The pain of being the starving artist, the struggling creative, overworked with little or no money is REAL.
Fighting to figure out how to do it. Constantly looking for the missing piece to get clients, build an audience and harvest a great income. It´s scary, it´s frustrating, and it´s the situation for so many creatives out there.
I get you! I’ve been an entrepreneur for 28 years. I launched my first clothing line at the age of 15. Started my own dance studio at age 18. I´ve been a full-time artist, a personal trainer, an interior designer and created three 6-figure businesses, including a coaching business, a photography business and numerous of online training programs.
Bringing my creative ideas out into the world is my passion – I love to see my vision grow into empires.
And if there’s ONE THING I’ve learned from my many years as a creative entrepreneur, as well as from coaching thousands of clients, it’s this:
There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with YOU!
If you struggle with growing your business, it does not mean that you are incompetent or incapable. Not at all! It simply means that you are an entrepreneur without a compass. It´s that simple.
Going from struggling artist/creator to a running a profitable business isn´t so much about hard work, brilliant plans, talent or luck as it is about confidence, thoughts, and emotions.
With the right mindset in place, there ain´t nothing you can´t do!
I want you to remember:
YOU can start over, each day. The best time for new beginnings is NOW. It´s okay to have setbacks… it´s okay to draw a line in the sand and start over. Just make sure you are moving the line forward – in a positive direction.
Move in the directions of your dreams and goals. Take baby steps, but take steps that stop you from being stuck.
We all want to reach the top of the mountain and feel that we have achieved something amazing. We want to feel alive, happy and excited. We want to be financially independent and work with what we love.
Whatever you are working towards, and however far you still have to go, let me tell you that; YOU CAN DO IT!
Keep chasing your dream. Don´t give up! It doesn’t matter if you are moving fast or slow, only that you keep moving AND that you STOP criticizing yourself!
Because the truth is; every time you criticise yourself you take a step back – away from your desired destination called your dream life.
When you Play BIG in life fear will be a constant shadow following your every footstep.
Fear will show up asking if you’re sure – if you’re really, really sure you want to take this big risk? And you start to feel shaky.
You start to fear entering unknown territory. You think of all the things that could go wrong.
But, If you spend your life playing it safe, sticking to what you know and what’s comfortable (even if those things cause you unhappiness), you’re missing out on the incredible possibilities of what could be.
Sometimes the biggest risk is taking no risk at all. And oftentimes in taking the biggest risks, you find yourself living your dream life.
Here’s the thing…
The quality of your life and the success of your business is directly affected by how you FEEL about yourself, and how you THINK of yourself?
That’s why I want YOU to make a firm decision TODAY to boost and improve your self-esteem! Give yourself some credit for ALL that you DO and ALL that you ARE.
Doing so will empower you to do more, love more, give more, become more and live more.
All success in life comes from a place of self-confidence. A deep trust in yourself, that you are worthy of it all and that you deserve the best in life.
Abandon the idea that you are not good enough. Stop trying to ‘fix’ yourself; you’re not broken. No one is! You might have some bad habits, you might be a bit out of sync with yourself from time to time- just like the rest of us. But you are not broken, and there´s nothing wrong with you.
You are a perfect, beautiful, unique human being with perfect imperfections. Instead of telling yourself little lies about who you are and what you can and cannot do, focus on your potential, your passion and spread your message with the world.