Business books and business myths, article.
Did you know that "nine out of 10 businesses fail in the first five years" is a complete myth? I didn't.
For photographers who are thinking of turning pro, this ties in with Mike's article about that.
"The other thing that "positioning" means is specialization. Many professionals fail because they refuse to pigeonhole themselves. They believe (usually with justification) that they are widely competent and can do all kinds of work — an interior this week, a portrait next week, catalog shots of industrial widgets the next. Unfortunately, that's not how buyers think. Buyers of industrial widget shots want the best industrial widget shooter, and they wouldn't dream of hiring a portraitist to do them. I once knew a guy who shot a lot of metal parts for one of his clients who was surprised when his client found another photographer for a particular job. When questioned, his buyer told him, "But you do foundry parts. That job was for automotive parts!" It's that bad."
"Professional photography is not a "nice life," however much you might think it would be fun to be the next Galen Rowell. It's not a way to escape the nine-to-five grind. For almost everyone who is successful, a simple nine-to-five job is a life of leisure by comparison."
"It's a tough, demanding business, with long hours, high pay but low yield, lots and lots of marketing to do, and not a lot of opportunity for indulging your artistic side."
That's the thing, innit? When I was a kid, I had this idea that being a professional photographer would be creative, how cool would that be? But not only do only hard-working pro's make any money on their photography, the number of people who do so creatively is virtually nill. The chances are better becoming the next Mick Jagger.