Rachel Fugate started photographing weddings in 2011 and didn’t really become “successful” until she embraced her introvertedness. A big-name educator told her to get a better personality if she wanted to be successful, so she decided to prove them wrong. She made six figures the following year. When she’s not taking pictures, she loves to travel, cook, and hang out with her two dogs and husband.
A sustainable business means that your business fits into your life instead of the other way around. As an introvert her energy is precious and she wants to be careful with how she spends it. She wants to make sure she charges prices that let her have time off and not just work to make ends meet.
A lot of educators are catering more to extroverts than introverts. Making sure your business strategies fit your personality is really important. Some people believe that introverts are “broken” extroverts. And that is not the case. When she couldn’t find education that catered to introverts, she made her own. She believes you should be yourself and not fit into what someone says you need to be.
Find your superpower as a photographer. Be who you are and don’t try to fit into the non-existent mold. There are clients who need calm and quiet wedding photographers. By playing on your strengths you’ll attract the people who need what you have to offer.
The number one thing that has driven Rachel’s business forward is to invest in education. She used to think you could do it alone. But she ended up wasting so much time, not investing. You can get years ahead by seeing what’s possible for others.
You might want to check episode 10, where we talk in-depth about the importance of education and how by investing it you can get to your goals SO much faster and you will save SO much time in your career.
What is an introvert
An introvert is in general highly sensitive, creative, keen observers, intuitive, don’t like surprises, have strong emotions, dislike small talk, gain energy by being alone. More existable amygdala. Introverts are more cautious and think and feel deeply, vs extroverts are low reactive and are highly reward sensitive.
How to communicate as an introvert
You don’t have to follow the rules. If you hate talking on the phone, then don’t. You make your own rules in your business. A list of questions to get them talking on shoots. You also have an inner extrovert that you can let out. Read the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain. The passion you have for what you do. The root to success is being the sort of person you are not vs “I’m doing this to advance work I care about deeply and when the work is done I’ll settle back into my true self”. You can stretch your personality.
The benefit of introversion
Introverts are great listeners, take time to process and understand new ideas, are more cautious, take time to speak, very observant, we generally have good ideas because we take time to explore. We all have strengths and weaknesses and fit together like a puzzle piece.
Your sensitivity is your strength, use your intuition. Know when to step back and let a moment unfold. There are people out there who need someone exactly like you. Lean into what works for you, instead of listening to an educator who tells you exactly what to do. You can pick and choose. Cut out the noise and figure out what works best for you.
What has been your biggest learning experience or failure?
Defining moment. Do you want to quit or keep going? Biggest lesson – don’t give up. Don’t let people’s opinions of you stop you from doing the things you want to do. Some are going to dislike you, some are going to like you.
You have to show up as yourself to get clients you really get along with. If you’re just trying to fit in you can’t stand out enough to get noticed. You’ll get booked by someone random. If you share and show up consistently you’ll attract the ones you really want to, your ideal clients!.
Working with the clients you love working with and creating a business strategy around it will bring you so much more money than the income you are getting now. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to the Sustainable Photography mentor program, where will teach you how to create a profitable photography business by diving into who YOU are as an individual so that you can do what works best for YOU.
How to preserve your energy
Some activities and people will drain you, energy vampires. Get rid of them, outsource them, or plan your day around them. Making too many decisions, being too social. If you don’t you’ll end up in energy debt. Sometimes that’s ok. Like when you’re working towards an important goal.
Routines help us save energy because you don’t have to spend energy making decisions. Cut down on the decisions you have to make every day. Set boundaries on how often you have to be social, plan ahead on how you can recharge. Make a list of energy vampires, energy givers:
Add all your energy to one of the two columns. It might help you to see what you do more of.
Some introverts can be more social than others so you have to figure out your own balance. Think of things you loved to do as a kid. That can be a good start to doing things that fill you up. Balance is different for everyone and sometimes might be difficult to find that middle point, if you haven’t listened to episode 6 “Creating Balance with Jenna Henderson” you might want to check it out, you will learn everything you need to find your own balance and live happy with it.
The extrovert ideal
The world is set up for extroverts. Were expected to give expectations, give expectations. Extroversion is seen as the standard and introverts are seen as broken extroverts. Why do leaders have to have extroverted qualities like being charismatic and charming and talkative? In a gentle way you can shape the way. You can be a great leader as an introvert as well. You can make a difference either way.
Start prioritizing fun. Money flows when you’re having fun. Get a desk calendar to plan all the fun things you want to do. Or even just take one day off a week. Call it something cute and do whatever you want.
It’s okay to embrace your quietness. Listen in to feel less alone as an introvert photographer.
hi, i'm ingvild
This podcast is all about education and inspiration for photographers. A sustainable business is profitable and lasting. Instead of short-term wins you want to make sure you’re doing things that matter. Both to yourself, and to create the business you want. The goal of this podcast is that it will help you build and structure your business around your life, instead of the other way around.