Austin Photo Workshop, Dispatch #1 - Find Your Entrepreneurial Self


One of the greatest advantages of freelance photography and writing is the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. As your own boss, you can work when you want, where you want. And get paid to do what you enjoy. The idea, finally, is that it doesn't feel like work.

But, admittedly, it can be a little overwhelming, too.

For some advice about striking out on your own, we turned to Barbara Winter, author of the best-selling Making a Living Without a Job, who flew in from Las Vegas to meet us here in Austin.

"The things that make you a great photographer will make you a great entrepreneur… like knowing how to focus, and shooting until you get it right." Whenever you find yourself in an entrepreneurial bind, she said, just ask your photographer self how to solve the problem.

And then… turn to what Barbara calls her "Six Pillars of Entrepreneurial Success"…

Pillar # 1: Find Inspiration

"Nobody has ever told me that their natural habitat -- the place where they feel most creative and inspired -- is a cubicle," Barbara said. Inspiration, she says, is something you have to nurture. To do it best, find your "natural habitat" -- the place you feel most at home. It could be traveling around, camera or notebook in hand… or in your home, out in nature, in the city. When you put yourself in your own "natural habitat," that's where you'll find inspiration.

Another way to nurture your inspiration, Barbara pointed out, is to immerse yourself in your favorite books, music, movies, and other art.

And it's contagious -- when you're leading an inspired life, you'll notice that other people around you are inspired by what you're doing, too.

Pillar # 2: Gather Information and Ideas

"What you don't know, you can find out." A determined entrepreneur -- photographer or writer -- believes that she can find what she needs at any step along the way, and monitors what she needs to know next.

It's never been easier to become an entrepreneur than it is right now, Barbara contends. And it'll only get easier, because we're living in a time when information is accessible to anyone who looks.

That said, there's a multitude of bad information out there. When you look for information, be sure you're asking someone who knows. To paraphrase Barbara: Don't ask somebody who's never left home for travel advice." Which leads us to…

Pillar # 3: Find Your Heroes and Heroines

You'll find success faster as an entrepreneur if you're willing to learn from other successful entrepreneurs. Even if they aren't doing what you want to do, you can learn from their methods.

Pillar # 4: Reinforce Your Dream

Keep coming back to your big dream. Whatever you have your eye on -- maybe it's all-expenses-paid travel as a writer… maybe it's your photos up on billboards --  keep it in your sights. It'll make it easier to get through any tough spots.

Pillar # 5: Develop a "Prosperity Attitude"

Barbara pointed out that most of us aren't brought up with a "prosperity attitude." Money can be an emotionally charged issue. So it's important to leave behind limiting thoughts on what you deserve to have or to earn. Open yourself up to making money and being prosperous.

Pillar # 6: Find a Supportive Community

Supportive people will make a world of difference on your path to entrepreneurial success. You need those people who you can call to share in your excitement -- the same ones who will encourage you to keep trying when things don't at first go your way. They're the ones who get excited about your projects and ideas, who help you think up solutions, and who hold on to your dream when you lose track of it… so it will be there waiting for you when you're ready to pick it up again.

I wish I could share everything that Barbara told us today, but you'd be reading it for hours if I did.

I've been up in my room typing this note, but I'd better get back to the workshop… I'm missing out on a presentation by Jen Stevens -- the Five Myths Debunked about Breaking into Magazines -- and then Rich Wagner is up with his tricks for selling locally… and more.

I'll fill you in on more tomorrow… stay tuned…


Bonnie Caton
Your Live Workshop Correspondent

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]