When Business is Slow, Water Your Grass
Hello Alora Tribe!
We are happy to start a new series on how other women in our tribe grow and live with intention. Our contributor below is Ricky from Sincerely Image. She is a second generation lifestyle photographer, full-time graphic designer!
Read on to see how she manages her business and deals with setbacks!
It’s been heat wave after heat wave here in Toronto and it’s synonymous with a drought I’ve experienced with my photography business as of late.
For context, here are a few examples of what’s happened in just a span of a few weeks: One of my retail clients closed up shop completely. Another client emailed me at the time of payment to say they’re unhappy with the raw photos from our session and asked for a discount (ouch). A third client informed me of their budget cuts and decided to work with a volunteer photographer going forward (ouch x2).
Admittedly, it’s challenging to stay motivated about what I do when it’s just “No” after “No.” Isn’t it human to feel less than amazing during these droughts? I think so. But there needs to be a process in handling these lows so that we’re not spiraling down a dark hole.
Here are some things that I do (or have been told to do) when the grass at my feet needs watering:
Have a conversation with God
Having faith is a huge part of my upbringing and it’s given me peace, hope, resilience, and assurance, so why stop now?
Refer to your gratitude calendar
I learned this from Bianca Harris of WIPP and it’s great for humility and clarity. An added bonus: it’s an effective mood booster!
Allow time for some sulking
My boss bestie Infinity + Bliss says this can help, but please, for the love of self — be ruthless about it. Time it on the stopwatch!
When the timer goes off, do something productive
I think it’s good to get a little distraction in somewhere, so you have that feeling of accomplishment and also time to let the residual emotions subside. A load of laundry, add to the donation pile or fix your lunch for the next day…just as a mental/emotional break.
Take a closer look at the situation and break it down
Ask yourself questions like, “What’s the lesson here? Is there a hole in my current process? What’s glitchy about this system? How do I word this differently so that history doesn’t repeat itself? What are the logical reasons that this is upside down and what can I do to flip it?”
Call for reinforcements
Talking it out with someone who genuinely wants what’s best for you could bring a fresh new perspective to the situation!
Be kinder to yourself
We’re all guilty of being unkind to ourselves. You are your business’ biggest asset, so take good care of it! What makes you happy? Personally, I love watching video clips of babies and puppies, supporting a fellow local business or browsing through the aisles of Value Village after making a donation (they give great discounts for donations, fyi).
Use the opportunity to do things you love to do. Schedule it if you have to!
I love the idea of disrupting negativity with this sort of thinking. Especially when you might have an emotional attachment to your small business like I do with Sincerely Image.
Even when you’re right in the middle of it, know that times like these will always pass. Use it to examine, plan, iterate and get happy.
Sunday rolls around and it’s a new week. I get out with my boss besties and support other local boss babes, then sit down to talk art direction and exciting new projects with the Editor at my other passion, Curated Life. Lessons are learned. New processes are laid out for the future. More for the grass!
Instead of just doing, we should keep growing what we love!