As a wedding photographer based in Ohio, I’ve accepted the fact that those nasty winter months will most likely be filled with rather tedious to-do lists for both my business and my life. November through February tend to be my least productive months of the year. I’m sure this is linked to some phycological reason because winter makes us all feel kinda yucky.. I have come to realize that the few months following that stagnant stage in my year are actually the MOST productive and beneficial to my business when I take action to re-inspire myself as an artist. By jumping into this “new” season with fresh eyes and motivation, it’s much easier for us to meet successes in our businesses and relationships. Though this post is intended primarily for photographers, it is relatable in many small-business situations! Here are 5 ways to get re-inspired following “your off-season.”
1. Re-arrange your office.
I know this seems like a small task, but trust me when I say it makes a world of difference. A few weeks ago I moved my desk to a different wall and it was refreshing. I feel more motivated when I switch up my environment every once in a while. This doesn’t necessarily mean lugging every piece of furniture to a different side of the room either. It can be something as small as changing the pattern of photos or paintings on your walls or moving a chair to a new corner.
2. Create a better schedule.
Yes, that means waking up early. If you’re anything like me, you probably dread hearing those words. I tend to be more productive when I hold myself accountable to a schedule and actually follow through. If I know I have to wake up early, I tend to close my laptop earlier in the evenings, and get some rest. Go through your phone and delete all of those alarms that are sitting there, and make ONE. Decide a time that is best for you + your family, treat yourself to some coffee, and get your work done early so you’re able to spend your afternoons and evenings doing the things you LOVE.
3. Find fresh flowers or plants you love.
Okay, to be honest. I never intentionally picked flowers from my front yard to go in my office space. I actually picked a few for a pretty Instagram photo I wanted to post and then had a leftover handful of colorful flowers. I thought it would be a shame to waste them so I stuck them in a mason jar with some water and sat them on my desk (the only place my cats don’t climb!) Pulling nature into my office makes editing a little more pleasant.. Especially when I get an occasional whiff of lilacs!
4. Set a few goals.
Each year I sit down and decide what I would like to accomplish in my business. This could look like a lot of different things for all of us. I evaluate what went well last year, what I’m striving for in the upcoming year, and how I can take practical steps to obtain that.
One way that I’ve executed “goal-making” this spring has been through the amazing Lara Casey’s Powersheets. These provide a gorgeous layout with simple entries and ways to get stuff done. These Powersheets have helped me identify problems in my lifestyle + business that I didn’t know I had, and better yet, organize my thoughts in a way that is easy. You can grab your own over at http://www.laracaseyshop.com.
5. Find new connections within your community
We are all guilty of getting too comfortable in our businesses. It is so easy to be established within a certain community and lose the ability to thrive in new places. There are so many creative souls who want to know you and help you build your business better each year. Some of the best friends I have in the industry, I met through consistently showing up to events and meetings. This could mean emailing a local photographer that you’d LOVE to collaborate with on a styled shoot or even breaking your comfort zone and attending a monthly meeting for creative business owners. Whatever “breaking barriers” looks like to you, make it happen and put yourself out there.
I hope this blogpost has shown you some practical steps to increasing your motivation in your upcoming season!
Photo by Shilo Alyse Photography