I just listened to yet another story about the bad economy this morning on NPR. I keep hearing about how many people are out of work about how they are simply not finding jobs. Even people with jobs are simply treading water, barely keeping their heads above water. The new economy is simply leaving many people behind.
Anyway, this got me thinking, because despite the crash of 2008-2009, my photography business is back on track and is certainly doing better than it had during those lean years when the entire global economy contracted. Assignment work is way up and I have more income streams flowing than I did before the crash.
Is it the same with you?
Before you answer, we need to realize that as self-employed creative types, we are at a distinct advantage when it comes to navigating the changing economy. Hold on, a minute. I’m not saying that it’s easy for us, and yes, we certainly face the continuous battles of educating clients, tightening budgets, lowball pricing, market saturation of imagery and diminishing perceptions about the value of intellectual digital content in today’s world.
However, what we have going for us is that we’re not widget makers or pencil pushers. Many of the jobs that have been lost revolve around manufacturing and middle management, and the hard truth is those jobs are not coming back. Another widget factory is simply not going to spring back in our town and re-employ everyone who got laid off when the first one closed. Read Why Software is Eating The World, by Mark Andreessen.)
Our business models revolve around specialized creative skills that not everyone can replicate. This gives us at least some job security. More importantly, though, we are in control of our own destinies. We have the power to shift our focus and to add new skills, services or products to our business models.
I’ve added writing, blogging, more Speedlights, teaching and a host of other elements to my own model, all of which have contributed to my increasing success during the past two years. You’ve probably done the same thing with your own diverse set of skills as well. Is it paying off?
In his book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink asserts that the future belongs to right brain creative types. If that’s indeed true, then we’ve already got a head start, we just need to keep adapting to the rapid changes that our world an our economy keep throwing at us as it continues to evolve.
So, answer this poll and then leave a comment, telling me what you’ve done to advance your own photography business and increase your potential for new opportunities during the past couple of years, or what you hope to do in order to adapt to the changing economy.
As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your input.