Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cycle 61 Photography: Goals and Objectives

Welcome back to the very first steps of building a photography business from nothing into a viable, enjoyable, and sustainable entity. (Accidental alliteration) (Twice) Yesterday I outlined where I am in the process, and in what form the business currently exists. Today I'm going to hammer out some goals, and see where I want to direct my efforts over the next several months. This may come out rather "stream of consciousness" as I'm basically developing these ideas a few moments before they hit the keyboard. I'm naked here. Mentally. Read on, if you dare, after the jump.

I realize already I'm going to have to start at the top and work down. So for today, here's the big ones:

My first, and most over-arching goal, is simply to have Cycle 61 Photography replace my current job. This is a huge, and daunting vision unto itself. My job, although it sucks the very life out of my soul, offers a steady and decent paycheck, enough to cover the cost of a family of five living a modest lifestyle in the San Francisco bay area, one of the country's most expensive regions. To do this will mean playing in the big leagues of the photographic industry. This goal may be a few years off, but it's the pinnacle towards which all other efforts shall point. Chase Jarvis is my inspiration here. When he was done being a ski bum with a camera, he took all his shots, assembled a portfolio, and said to himself "How can I make the most possible money off of my images." So he sold them (and himself) to REI. From nothing to big-league commercial/advertising in about a month. Chase, you rock!

The second, and slightly more attainable goal, it to replace the overtime income I currently earn. My employer frequently permits us to work, 60, 70, 80 hours a week, and most of us jump at the chance. I simply can't cover my bills on 40 hours pay (see, I told you there would be ugly, raw spots here) and I want to not be at work any more than I have to. This is not so lofty as goal #1, but will still be a major accomplishment. Over 40% of my 2007 income was overtime. I've got three kids that are growing up right under my nose, and I'm missing it, because I'm always at work.

This is the long range stuff. --RANT ON-- I've said this already, but I don't want to be just another landscape photographer, another wedding or headshot or whatever guy. I'm willing to work through that, but I'm going to find a niche, dig it out with an axe, make it viable, and absolutely own it. I want everybody who shoots in my field to have the thought, nagging in the back of their mind, that if they do a kick-ass job then everybody will think they're copying Nick Davis. Why? Because I'm Nick Davis. And although I'm a really nice guy, I'm arrogant, tenacious, and crazy enough to launch a photography business and know that I can make it fly. --RANT OFF-- Whew. That feels good to get those words out. Okay, let's make that rant be goal #0. Even more fundamental that replacing my income, is building something amazing, and powerful, and truly, uniquely mine. Today was big picture. More nuts and bolts tomorrow. See ya!


Sean said...

Nick, as a fellow bay area resident who recently looked into supplementing my income with photography (then realized it wasn't practical for my current situation) I have an idea of the task you're starting.

That said, I love your attitude and posted about it. As long as you can keep the energy up, I have no doubt you'll succeed. It will be very interesting to keep up with your progress.

Also, unrelated, I love your nuts and bolts photo. Can I include it on the post I linked above? (I can link it and give you credit however you like)

kenteroo said...

Hi Nick,
I've been where you are (well, maybe not quite there, my job wasn't sucking the life out of me) and have had decent success so far with relatively little effort.
The biggest obstacle I found was my family. I foolishly launched my business on almost the very day I helped to conceive my second child (nearly 4 years ago) and there aren't enough hours in the day for a full time job, new business, and a wife and baby.
If you're past that and have the support of your family you are almost there. Decide what kind of money you need to make and make a realistic business plan. It's that simple.
That, and steer clear of negative people (most photographers, sadly).
You have quite a few folks pulling for you, use them.

Roman 'Skiver' Skyva said...

Good luck mate. I am in the process of documenting a similar 'journey' here in London: I'll keep an eye out on you :-)

Neven Prasnikar said...

Hi Nick,

It's a courageous step to take and I wish you all the luck! I like your work so I thought I could give you a little something that may help you boost your business. I'm not going to write about it here as I would have to abuse your blog and advertise... but, do send me a note to Neven dot Prasnikar at artplus dot hr and I'll explain the details. Nope... not selling anything... well, not to you anyway ;-)