Hot Tips From My Month Of Business


I rolled in from West Texas late last night and I’m still on a creative high from the magical adult summer camp that is Yeah! Field Trip. It far surpassed my expectations and I’m so happy to have ended this experiment with a happy finale!

But, the beginning of this month was bleak. The slump of winter had set in and my winter flu forced me to stop working for much longer than I wanted. Once I recovered from my illness, facing all of my business tasks that I had ignored for months really took a toll on me. I started subscribing to tons of newsletters, reading blog posts, and listening to podcasts about business. I attended workshops and about two weeks in, I felt more confused than ever! Every expert was telling me to do something different. So do I rebrand my entire website? Do I need five separate instagram accounts? No, I don’t track my leads! AM I FAILING AT LIFE?!

The web of information overload was too much, oh the life of a questioner :/. But in the end, all the digging around started producing a clear path for me to walk down and now I have a plan.

Since I’ve already wrote enough about all the negative feelings I have towards this experiment, I will skip my usual recap of Good vs Bad and instead give you…

Sarah Natsumi Photography Self Portrait.jpg

Hot Tips from my month of Business!

  • If you own a business and you are going through a slow time, take it as an fantastic opportunity to work on your craft and improve your business. Or fuck off to Bali for a month. Don’t do what I do and have an annual winter existential crisis ;p.

  • If you make money from your creativity, remember to do personal work. Your creativity is your life force and your contribution to the world. Don’t let money be the only reason why you’re picking up your camera/paint brush/guitar/mouse.

  • Education is forever. I have somehow figured it out in my personal life. I read self-help books, go to annual meditation retreats, run this blog. For sure, this bleeds in to my professional life but I haven’t spent time learning as voraciously with photography. I recognized how much I needed this at the retreat this weekend when I ended up in the front row of every workshop writing down everything the teacher had to say. I was starved for photography education and I didn’t even know it.

  • At the retreat I went to a workshop aptly titled “The Art of Taking Care of Business” with the incredible Shelby Meade. A young photographer asked her how to get his work out there and she suggested a gallery show. She spelled out the step-by-step on how to do it. Afterwards he asked her for inspiration on others who had done their own gallery show. She quickly said, “No, just do it. Nobody ever showed me how to do something, I just did it.” As much as we just want someone to just tell us what to do, there is no clear A-Z path to success. Every business is different and everyone is on their own path. Just go out there and do it.

  • Hire a pro. On the other hand, if you need some guidance, hire someone to help you! This month of business lead me to hire a photo consultant! Carolyn Potts has been in the photo industry for decades and I signed up for a 6-9 month program to level up in my photography career. I feel ready to invest time and money in my career and am so grateful to have her guidance this year.

  • Be Proactive. Reach out and go for the work you want. This is my biggest fail. I take a passive approach to business letting other businesses reach out to me. I’ve always known that this is sort of my achilles heel but this weekend I talked to so many incredible photographers and realized how silly it was to not reach out. How else will these potential clients know I exist?

  • The incredible timer helped me out again this month to focus and knock out work faster. I love the timer.

  • Be confident in your work. People are coming to you for your expertise. Guide them through your offerings and take the lead.

These hot tips are mostly aimed at lessons I need but maybe others can benefit from this. Do you have any hot business tips? Comment below!

I’ll be posting about my third experiment tomorrow!