There is Enough
In all of our business planning, one thing has stuck out above everything else as a point of anxiety: competition. Not money, not marketing, not even the unknown. It’s always competition. Even the word sends shivers down my neck, as I’ve never been that great at competing. I fold in most games, as I just don’t care about winning. If it’s important for you to win, I’ll let you. Unless it comes to board games with my husband, then no one is leaving until I win.
Now we would be fools to think that we had zero competition in the field of photography. In fact, sometimes I think that’s all we have. Regionally, artistically, or by the sheer numbers of photography business out there — we are literally drowning in a sea of competition. After thinking about it in the sense of numbers, I decided I couldn’t look at competition that way. It wasn’t helping me propel forward, but instead forcing me to take two steps back. If I compare our business to everyone around us, then it’s no longer our business I’m focusing on, it’s someone else’s. If I stack up what we’ve done or haven’t done, to someone else then where does that get me? I’ll tell you where. It puts me in a place of fear and that is nowhere to start a business.
In order to keep my sanity in check, I’ve learned to turn this question around. Are there a lot of photographers out there vying for clients? Yes. But on the other hand are there clients out there vying for photographers. Yes. When it comes down to it, Bryan and I aren’t trying to photograph the entire population of Texas but instead want to build relationships with the handful of clients we have now and will have in the future. Our business doesn’t need to fight for someone else’s client, we want to find our own. In our business, competition isn’t about winning; it’s about being able to start and maintain a business among others who are trying to do the same.
In the sea of competition, there is something so very important to remember: there is enough for everyone. When I think of it this way, competition doesn’t put me in a place of fear anymore, but a place of excitement — to one day pursue the dream as successfully as so many other have before.