Here’s the tea, sis. ☕️ The best thing you can do when building a photography business is to stay in your own lane, with your eyes down – and DO the work. But what does that actually look like? How do we avoid comparison and create a business that’s all our own?
What about when you want to stay in your lane, but you’re scared… because you can’t see where it’s actually going!?
It’s easier to stay in your own lane when you can see the end of the road, right? But when you’re in the thick of it, driving through the fog… sometimes it’s overwhelming. You may become tempted to take someone’s else’s goals and ideas and make them your own, (even if it’s unintentional.) Because they’ve defined that as success, and they’ve said it works… so it must be what will work for you too… right?
Wrong. So unbelievably wrong, friend. But we’ll get there.
If you’ve been around the JVP blog for any amount of time, you’ve likely seen that I’m not your typical photography educator. I operate my business from a very specific standpoint, one as a child of God. If that doesn’t vibe with you, you may not wanna take biz advice from me… because there’s gonna be a lot of faith-based advice up in hurr.
So, here’s your chance to go find some other type of blog post about staying in your lane, I guarantee there’s a billion.
Okay, sweet. 😎
Here are my top tips for staying in your lane:
1. Get quiet with God. Ask Him what HE wants for your life and business. Then be still, and listen. (Yes, even when it’s quiet and awkward. Keep being still.)
It sounds simple… but how often do we actually do this? How often do we ask God what HE wants from us, instead of telling God what WE want from Him. (I’m guilty too, friend. 🙈) I’m so quick to word-vomit my business plans and goals to God, without taking into any consideration His plans for me. So this step comes first, always. Whether it’s for your photography business, or an upcoming decision in your life. Do. This. First. (Please!)
At a loss for what to even say? I gotchu. Let’s do this together. (Yes, I’m really doing this right now.) Repeat after me:
“Lord. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me in my life and business thus far. Even though I’m not where I want to be, I know and trust that I’m exactly where YOU want me to be, and where I actually need to be.
I forget that the “next-level” that I sometimes pray for, I may not even be able to handle yet. So thank you for your protection and divine direction. Thank you for existing in the future, and for all of those unanswered, tear-filled prayers.
Sometimes it’s just hard, because I get so caught up in all of the noise and messages that are spoken to me through my emails and on social media, that I need to do this, and be this, and implement this before I’ll get where I want to be.
But today I want to take a stand — with You. Today, I choose not to move until you say – “move.” I choose not to listen to another voice, or a “you should be doing this” until I know it’s sent from you. Because I now see that they’re not on the same path as me. They don’t have the same life as me. They don’t have the same calling as You’ve so graciously given me.
So Lord — speak. I give you all authority over my life and business, and ask you to tell me what next step YOU want me to take. Help me to drown out the noise, and help me to see clearly the direction you want me to move in. And when I hear the direction, *you may need to repeat this a few times because let’s be honest I struggle here* – but when you do give the instructions… help me to have the courage to actually follow through and do it. Whether it takes faith, monetary resources, or a combination of both — help me be bold in spirit and do so with intention. Help me follow through. Help me craft a business that’s built on the solid rock — one that’s built on You, Jesus. Forgive me for my lack of faith, my lack of courage, and my lack of action. This is the year, the exact moment in time, I’m surrendering my business to you, Lord. Let it be. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.”
Because the well of that direction, all of that content preached to you from your left and right, all of it — sister it’s gonna run DRY.
Heaven’s well; well… it won’t.
You don’t need to do anything right now. You don’t need to be anyone else. Shut the noise OFF. The only voice that matters is God’s, and the people He chooses to speak to you through. You’re right where you’re supposed to be. Inhale, exhale. 😉
Now that we’ve gotten our hearts in check, let’s chat about why Jesus wants you to stay in your own lane.
2. By staying in your own lane, God is able to give you the set of directions that were meant for you.
You aren’t concerned with following a path that wasn’t ever intended for you… therefore your “detours” and “exits” are actually specific to you and the journey He has you on.
You’re not taking wrong turns. When you route from “your current location,” to “the location you’re headed,” those instructions are specific to YOU. If someone else were to route to that same location, they would get an entirely set of different directions, because they’re both starting and coming from a different place. So why do we think our journey in business is any different…?
If the end goal is heaven’s gates, (once you’ve accomplished all God has laid out for you,) — then I guarantee the way in which you get there will, (and is absolutely supposed to be,) different than everybody else’s. Rest in that, friend. 💕
3. When it comes to both life and business goals, everybody has, (or should have) completely different ones.
Let me demonstrate the issues of building a business with someone else’s blueprints.
As a photographer, I know you see some of these “insta-famous” photographers, and wish your business was as successful as theirs. They’re traveling the world, booking out a year (or more) in advance, and creating work that makes you stop in your scroll every. single. time. You save them as inspiration and try to replicate them, and sometimes crumble in tears because you feel like your work will just never get there.
But maybe you have children and a husband that you so deeply enjoy spending time with. The weekends you’re not working are spent with them, and you cherish every single moment. When asked what your top priority is, it’s them. Being a wife and a mom and raising little warriors of the Cross.
So would you actually be happy with all that traveling the world, booked up and busy would entail? Because you’re only seeing the glamorous side on the ‘gram. You’re not seeing the kids that wish they could see their mom, but “she has to work” again. And some moms that do that have children that are grown, their children are at an age that they’re doing their own things; so it fits better into their lives at this point.
See how that’s a calling that may not be a good fit for the season you’re in right now? And you’ve already stated that your top priority is your family… so that blueprint doesn’t actually fit in with what you want out of life.
… But because this instagram era has defined “that” as what’s successful… you think you need that too.
But you don’t. You only need to be, and do, what God has called you to do. That’s it. Because that is the ONLY journey that is truly going to satisfy. He is all that will satisfy.
I pray that this encouraged you, strengthened you, and helped you simply take a deep breath.
I pour out my heart to you through this, because I spent a long time chasing dreams and goals that weren’t even a good fit for me. I adopted other people’s strategies as my own, and wondered why every single time I felt discouraged and frustrated that I wasn’t getting the same results as they were. Then I figured out it’s because I wasn’t supposed to. 🤯
It sounds simple, but I truly think this narrow road… this is what it’s all about. This is where we’ll find true joy, and the success we’re seeking — and it’s where we should be focusing our efforts and energy.
So here’s to staying in our own lane, staying in communication with Jesus — and letting him take the reins of our life and business. Here’s to breaking the mold, and re-routing.
( loading the proverbial GPS “rerouting screen” )
It’s time to take the scenic route. This is gonna be good. 😉
Did you read this post and just about die over how accurate it was for where you’re at, and what you’re feeling?
Well I tried hard to do that, friend. 😉 And I could, only because I’ve been exactly where you’re at. So, if after you’ve prayed that prayer, and you felt led to reach out to me to figure out where you could learn more… start with downloading this little puppy. It’s my “4 steps to becoming a successful and confident photographer,” freebie, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt — it’ll change your business.
Here’s to new beginnings, friend! ✨
Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼
If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.
Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂