Last weekend I participated in a workshop where some of the content looked at the fictional cartoon character, Popeye. Popeye was a cartoon character who was very popular in the United States and around the world. He was originally created in 1929, and became an iconic cartoon figure in the 1930’s and beyond. I often get asked by photographers ‘what is the right time to launch my photography business?’. I have found that difficult to answer, but after last weekends workshop I am clearer on the answer – launch in your Popeye moment!
So what does that mean? One of the things Popeye was famous for was eating spinach and running to the rescue of his sweetheart, Olive Oil. He would exclaim ‘This is all I can stands, I can’t stands no more’! It was his point of exasperation. He could no longer just stand by, he had to act. Then he would eat a can of spinach and burst into action. This is what I call a “Popeye moment”.
How is this relevant to photographers and their businesses? I see a lot of photographers who have drifted into running a photo business. Friends ask them to shoot family portraits or a wedding, or they sell a few images on a micro stock site. Suddenly they like the idea of being a paid photographer and they dream of quitting their corporate job and become a full time photographer.
It’s not long before they find out that running a photography business is not easy, and they become discouraged or lose confidence in their photographic ability. They haven’t had a Popeye moment to focus them and compel them to act.
So what is a Popeye moment? It’s when enough is enough. Popeye says ‘I can’t stands no more’! It is a line in the sand. It is a tipping point. It’s a decision. A photographer who has a Popeye moment, can no longer stand shooting only on weekends, working a job they don’t like just to pay the bills, and not having an outlet for their creativity. They can’t stands it no more! They are compelled to act. This is the time to launch your business. Your Popeye moment propels you. It drives you. It means going back to how things were is not possible. You must move forward. It gives you the strength to overcome setbacks.
Cherish your Popeye moment. It is what makes you take this path. Remember this feeling. You are compelled to act. It will give you the strength to keep going when times are tough. It will drive you – success is the only option. I can’t stands it no more!
Your Popeye moment will set you apart. It will change you. It will set you on a path to success. It will redefine you. Launch in your Popeye moment!