You might have seen lately that I’ve been talking about my ‘Coach’ and ‘Coaching’ – no I haven’t signed up early to coach the Australian Netball team (I wish!) but I have decided to delve back into the work of helping others, previously in youth work and now, in an effort to tie in my love of photography, I have been learning and updating skills to coach/mentor hobby photographers or other photographers who are in business that are struggling to get it to that next level. It can be about teaching someone how to use his or her camera to get the best out of their equipment. It can be about taking a landscape and learning editing techniques to make it pop. It can be about how to use lightroom efficiently to speed up your workflow, instead of being stuck behind your computer all your life. It can be around getting your calendar booked so you are no longer working a 9-5 job as well as doing photography to make enough money to survive. It can be about help with packaging and pricing your services so you fall in love with your offer, feel super confident and attract ideal clients you love who say yes more often. It can go bigger than that and be about identifying goals in photography, business and life. The beauty of working one on one over an extended period of time means that all your concerns will be addressed, unlike when you go to an in person workshop or watch a training online. Yes, some of your questions may be answered, but what happens in 2 months time when you have finally implemented that change but have come across another hurdle?
I think one of the hardest challenges I will face in this new venture is to demystify what coaching/mentorship actually is. When most people hear coach they think sport or something that happens in America not in Australia! You’ve probably already been coached in the workplace, but haven’t had it called ‘coaching’ as such. Instead you might have sat down with a team leader and discussed your skills, how you might develop them to boost your current performance, and set goals to get you there.
Coaches aren’t counsellors. A coach is there to help you from the get go – possibly even helping you to start from scratch to develop the skills and knowledge you need to get from where you are, to where you want to be, most effectively. They can be employed to help you start up your new small business, or work alongside someone who has been in business for a few years, but wants to take it to next level and just can’t seem to work out how.
In sport, your ‘coach’ is obviously the person on your team labelled ‘coach’! AFL coaching staff and Elite Netball coaches have training and knowledge that allows them to bring the best out of their players for that end goal – the yearly premiership as a team, but longevity of their career as an individual sportsperson. In business, it could be your manager, or someone you hire in, who challenges and develops you so that you can function as self-sufficiently as possible. It isn’t necessarily just for your success, but for your over all survival!
Depending on who you are talking to coaching and mentoring can mean the same thing. There is no judgement from a coach/mentor about your skills or goals, but there is the motivation to reach beyond where you currently are and make a lasting change to your life and business.
Move away from the exhaustion, stop wondering why everyone else seems to be doing ‘better’, and quit thinking ‘I’ll be happier/business will be easier/I’ll make more money…when…” and work towards it now!
What Olympic runner ever won gold without a coach? None! So why should photography or ANY small business for that matter be any different? You don’t have to go it alone, but you CAN take leaps and bounds ahead of the rest and avoid a lot of mistakes, simply by getting a coach on your team.
Do you want to learn how to take image like the one below? Do you feel like other photographers must have something you don’t and your so afraid of failing and not being able to book enough clients? I’ll explain more in the next weeks about how I’m bringing coaching/mentorship to the Jade Norwood brand, what it could mean for you, and how to get involved.