Secret Powers that even Covid can’t take away!
“You’ve always had the Power my dear, you just had to learn it yourself!”Glinda, “the Good Witch,” The Wizard of OZ
Do you have one habit that you’d like to change today? Do you have some aspect in your business or personal life that you know you should take action to change? Why, haven’t you made that change? I’m sure there are as many excuses as there are N-Vu users reading this article. Trust me, I would never profess to be an expert in the area of achieving your goals or motivating people to do so, but I recently had a life changing event where I was able to lose 55 unwanted pounds. In the next few minutes my goal is not to share my weight loss tips, but how I was able to find and harness the Power to do it.
What Does it Take?
So, at what point do we decide to finally take action to change an important aspect in our life or business? I think we all have different levels of thresholds. For me, when it comes to the financial aspects of my business, my threshold is extremely low. When we first opened our studio in August of 1982, our strategy for selling our photography was like everyone else in our area, using 4×5 or 5×5 proofs to do the selling. Popular yes, but not the most effective style of selling. It didn’t take us long to seek out mentors that were generating sales that were 10-20 times the national average. We learned from such greats as Ken Whitmire, Chuck Lewis and Lisa Evans. We Learned, we Implemented, we Profited, and eventually taught (and still do) the same success sales techniques to thousands of photographers.
Where I have a low threshold for the financial stuff, when it comes to more personal aspects, I’m pretty laid back. My success at losing 55 pounds took a lot of factors coming together before I finally took the massive action needed to finally find the motivation. Since the late 80’s I’ve been a big fan of Tony Robbins. As long as I can remember he’s always preached that:
“The path to success is to take massive, determined actions”Tony Robbins
Tony came up with his 3 step MAP, Massive Action Plan to help his followers achieve their goals. Basically, once you have “absolute clarity about the exact result you want and why you must achieve it”, the next step is to create the MAP (Massive Action Plan) to get yourself there. I’ve used this technique from time to time in my life, but never with weight loss. Here’s how it works and here’s how I implemented it.
The three main components of MAP are:
- Write down the results you want to achieve – Lose 65 pounds in a year
- Write down your purpose (compelling reasons why you want to accomplish your goals) – Better health (being around to see my grandkids grow up) Look and feel better (buying a new wardrobe) and
- Develop a sequence of priority actions! – Invest in a weight loss system that has a coach to help me and do the system, period!
So, I bet your thinking what I’d be thinking if I just read this. “That sounds WAY TOO easy, Bruce. Also, I’m sure this wasn’t the first time in your life you’ve attempted this…why did it work this time?”
The MAP concept is easy. It’s just a matter of having the discipline and motivation to execute it. No, this wasn’t the first time I’ve tried this. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and many you’ve probably never heard of. Why did it work this time? Let’s do a deep dive into each of these.
I’m not sure where I discovered the quote, “most people plan their vacations better than they do the important things in their lives.” So, why was I so successful this time? The MAP concept gave me a step by step (plan) system to follow and the stupid shutdown gave me plenty of extra time work on ME and my goals of better health. I think that lack of discipline comes from not having the time to focus on doing the right thing.
We All Know the Right thing to DO!
We all know what we need to do to lose weight – drink lots of water, eat less carbs and sugar, cut out alcohol (Ouch!) and do more exercise. With our busy day to day lives, we have way too many distractions and of course, excuses. The shutdown forced me to slow down, reflect and do some much needed soul searching. I found by having less distractions because of the slow down I was able to focus more on the prize.
For me I have 2 different types of distractions that haunt me. The first is internal and the other is external. The main Internal Distraction that I fight with, and I think most humans struggle with, is being able to choose. When you have too many choices it’s hard to choose. I learned this early on when I learned to sell with projection. When you give clients too many images to choose from they get confused, frustrated and demand that you post them online. Then they can take their sweet time to make their choices. Because you gave them too many images to choose from, you have now lost control of the sale and your bank account will suffer. Bottom line, try to eliminate your options. As far as my weight loss journey, having a solid plan to follow day in, day out, helped to eliminate my options and concentrate on doing the right thing.
Recommended reading – The 5 Second Rule! The main theme of this quick read is, “The Moment you have the Instinct to Act on a goal you must count 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you!”
External distractions are even more challenging. All of us being artists, it our nature to always be curious to look for the artistic things that are around us. We are also expected to run a business which includes marketing, creating beautiful saleable images, selling those images, and balancing a checkbook. During the course of the day we have thousands of opportunities for external distractions. Trust me “I feel your pain,” but here’s a couple Business/Life Hacks for you to minimize external distractions.
- Give yourself self-imposed deadlines during the day. My late wife, Sue, was a master at this hack and today, my son Josh is just as gifted. When he’s “IN THE ZONE” working on a project, I don’t even think of asking him a simple question. If I do it’s “Dad, you know I’m on deadline on this…I don’t want to be distracted!”
- Don’t check your email or phone in the first hour (at least) of the business day. One little spark turns into a small fire and before you know it, it’s lunchtime!
- Change your environment if something or someone is distracting you. This is obviously such a personal thing, but you need to understand what exactly is pushing your distraction button. For this I have one word for you photographers, Photoshop! From a weight loss perspective it was getting rid of all of the bad stuff in the house and going on longer walks or playing golf more often.
The Power of 6!
(4) The Power of 6. This is another hack from Sue and part of her legacy. To stay focused and not distracted, first thing in the morning use this technique. Basically, when you do your “to do list” (what we call ACTION LIST) for the day, generate it in the evening before while your thoughts are engaged with what you want to accomplish the next day. If you wait to do this in the morning, chances are you’ll forget what you should be focusing on. Choose 6 and only 6 items to go on the list. What you are doing is (see above) minimizing your choices. Next, look at the 6 items and prioritize your list. What needs to be done first and what can be done last? Here’s a major point– Most people do the easy things first followed by the harder ones. (Human Nature) DO THE OPPOSITE! You will find that you will double your performance before lunch. I had the opportunity to witness Sue’s magic with this strategy for many years. Her goal was to finish her 6 on the list by noon, have lunch together and then work in the afternoon on the things that really moved our business forward. She called it “Bonus Time” and it’s what contributed to our success then and today!
Have you ever discovered what motivates you? This is one subject that I’ve always been fascinated with. In college, I studied psychology. In fact, I minored in it. I learned the pain-pleasure principle, developed by Sigmund Freud. For us artist types, the pain-pleasure principle lies at the core of everything we do, and of everything we are. Our beliefs, values and psychological rules are all built upon this principle. The decisions we make, the actions we take, and the habits we indulge in, are all based on this principle.
Your choice to play in Photoshop (pleasure) instead of working on something like marketing to build the business (pain of failure) is also based on this principle. So, with all that said, what motivates you in life and in business? In the beginning, for Sue and I, it was the financial rewards or the MONEY potential in the photography business. Why? In 1982, we went from 2 financially stable jobs (me-school teacher/Sue- working for the City of Renton) with our first (Josh) on the way, to becoming both self-employed during a major recession. Believe it or not, interest rates were 18%! Yes 18%! Thank you, Jimmy Carter!
Our only goal and motivation at that time was for survival and avoiding the PAIN of failure. Having to go back to teaching and working for the government was not an option with us. You can see why we weren’t worried about print competition and put all our priorities into building the business and future. As we became more financially stable, our goals became learning from the best in the industry and maximizing what we learned. As soon as we felt we could really make a living in professional photography, we concentrated on building credibility by entering SPPA (Seattle Professional Photography Association) PPA and of course PPW’s print competitions. Winning awards, trophies and the respect of our peers is a great feeling, but more importantly it was the press releases and the Authority Marketing (Read this book by Adam Witty)we were able to show in our community!
As you can see, our motivation has changed as our business and family has evolved over the years. Today, as I write this, I’m 65 and have 5 grandkids. My motivation is to be around for another 30 years or so spending time with my great grandkids, traveling, and enjoying what life comes my way.
I believe we all have the Power inside for making major change in our life and it needs to come from inside you. May it be losing 55 pounds, stopping a terrible habit or repairing a relationship!
Here’s your Homework!
- Understand your thresholds for making change
- Come up with a MAP that you can follow and be successful with
- Minimize your internal and external distractions
- Implement Sue’s Power of 6 Strategy and
- Discover what motivates you. Does it come from Pain or Pleasure?
So, as you have read, I didn’t write about my latest pose, favorite lens or Photoshop hack. I hope you were able to gain some new insights by reading my words the last few minutes. Hang in there my fellow professionals…YOU GOT THIS! With everything we have gone through these past months, I think we have always had the SUPER Powers that even Covid can’t take away to get through this… we just needed to learn it ourselves!
About the Author: Bruce Hudson
In the early years of Hudson Portraits, the Hudsons main focus was to build a business on the strong foundation of superior customer service and innovative photography. “We have always had a passion for our clients that was contagious. I feel that is why our business grew so quickly from the start. Positive word of mouth marketing spread like wildfire,” says Bruce!
During the next 15 years, Bruce and Sue photographed hundreds of weddings and thousands of family and high school senior portraits. They were also approached by Fuji Film and other industry leaders to travel and share their successes with other professionals all over the world.
Unfortunately, in 1996 Sue lost a 22-month battle with cancer at the age of 41. Today at Hudson’s Portrait Design, Bruce still recognizes that much of the continued success of the studio is definitely part of Sue’s legacy.
Beginning in 2006, Bruce’s son Josh joined the family business full time after opting out of attending law school. Ironically, Josh is doing exactly what his mom Sue did while she was alive- managing the day to day operations of the studio AND keeping his old man in line!
Hudson’s Portrait Design is considered one of the top family portrait and wedding photography studios in the country! Many of Bruce’s early high school senior clients from the 1980’s returned later as brides and grooms. They then came back as parents of newborn children, as family portrait clients, and even parents of high school senior clients!