The Top 8 Essentials for a Successful 2015!

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we create them.

– Einstein

A friend of ours had the best year ever in his business, ever.

The reason for it was talked about on this blog by the Business Insider. That post is about the top tips Andrew Carnegie used to become one of the wealthiest men of all time and was documented in the book by Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich.”

We used the exact same tips back in 2007 and it completely rocked our business and set us up for an amazing 2008!

We want to share with you our top 8 tips that took us from making $4,000 profit in 2007, to making 100 grand in 2008! These are the same tips that we now use each and every year that have helped us continually build our business and make it better time and again.

If you choose to use these simple tips, you will have a better business in 2015, so only read on if that is what you want!

1. Define your purpose.

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Hill says to, “Create a plan of action and start working toward it immediately.” The way we did that was to create a vision statement for our business. We wanted to “impact couple’s marriages through photography that is relationally based, with a focus on marriage, not just their wedding day.”

Having a defined purpose (or vision) gives you a reason to get up and work at it every day. When you are working toward something that is bigger than yourself, you have purpose in your life. Now you need a Mission, or a “how” and that is where you start to create an action plan and start working toward it NOW!

2. Create a “master-mind alliance.”

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Contact and work with people “who have what you haven’t,” Hill says.
Create a small, tight network of people that are doing what you want to do is what catapulted our business just when we needed it. We found wedding planners, photographers and a few brides that were doing the gigs we wanted (not the ones we had at the time), and demonstrated value to them.

We gave them every reason to refer us and our business exploded and we were booking like crazy. Someone already has a network, and YOU need that network. 

3. Go the extra mile

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“Doing more than you have to do is the only thing that justifies raises or promotions, and puts people under an obligation to you,” writes Hill.

 

Use this in every aspect of every single thing you do for anyone, ever. When you do, those people will feel reciprocity and will want to do something in return for you. They will want to refer you, help you, or buy your products and services.

4. Indulge your imagination.

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Dare to think beyond what’s already been done.

 

When we changed our business model in late 2007, I remember looking at the top 5 wedding photographers in the country and deciding we would do what they were doing, only better.

You have to allow yourself to think big, and believe big if you want big things to happen. You are what you believe so don’t think small.

5. Exert enthusiasm.

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A positive attitude sets you up for success and wins the respect of others.

 

The more positive we thought about situations, the more those situations worked out for our good. The way you choose to think will determine the outcome of your circumstances. (Tweet this out!)

6. Concentrate your effort.

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Don’t become distracted from the most important task you are currently facing.

 

Focus + Intensity + Time creates Momentum according to best-selling author Dave Ramsey. You need to concentrate your business, your effort, and your time into to doing what matters most and close out all other distractions.When we did this in 2007 it gave us powerful momentum that took our small city by storm. It gave the perception that we were everywhere and that made us more valuable. You can’t do that if you are not concentrating your efforts in one direction.

7. Profit from adversity.

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Remember that “there is an equivalent benefit for every setback,” Hill writes.

 

We all fail, and we have had plenty of set-backs in our career. Use those set-backs and as opportunity to learn, adjust and more forward with more knowledge than you had before. 

8. Practice “applied faith.”

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Believe in yourself and your purpose so fully that you act with complete confidence.

 

If you don’t  believe yourself, than your clients won’t either. A lack of confidence is very apparent to everyone around you and when you don’t think you are good enough, then everyone starts to believe it. Guess what? You ARE good enough. Hear that from us. Hear that you are good enough and that you CAN do this. Don’t listen to anyone else that says otherwise.

 

Your Chance To Respond! 
Which one of these 8 Tips do you need to do the most? Start the Conversation by making a comment and let us know!We know that you are going to have an amazing 2015 and we will see you after the first of the year!!!
  • Victoria Gordon

    All your tips hit home but especially #8 PRACTICE “APPLIED FAITH”. Thank you.

    • Zach & Jody Gray

      Agreed! We hope you have an amazing year and we are glad you are stopping in to the new site!

  • Amber

    You guys are amazing, thanks for sharing!

    • Zach & Jody Gray

      Thanks Amber and thanks for commenting!

  • Guest

    Thank you so much for sharing! This will definitely help the start of my photography business… Love your work!

    • Zach & Jody Gray

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Rebecca Nash

    Good Morning!

    This set of 8 tips was a great recap for me and fits so perfectly into what I’ve been working on.
    I’ve decided to focus down on weddings (and engagements) this year so that I can really give all my time, energy, and focus into what I’m doing. It was an important move for me because I realized the satisfaction I get and the value I can give a couple over the course of their engagement up to their wedding day and beyond was one of the biggest gifts I had to give. Recently having been on the other side of things as a bride myself, I recognize how much the little things people said or did to help us feel supported along the road to the wedding day made a huge impact in my feelings about the wedding, my stress levels leading up to it, and subsquently to the relationship that my husband and I had during that time.

    Now it’s my turn. Yes I want to create stunning artwork! Yes I want to be able to support my family both with my time and financially! But HECK YA I want to help couples to build memories, strengthen their relationship, and allow them to feel truly supported during this huge transitional period and on into their marriage. What could be better?
    Now it’s all about keeping focused, providing insane value by going the extra mile, and using that applied faith everyday!

    Thanks once again for sharing your knowledge and experiences to allow all of us to grow!

    Rebecca

    • Zach & Jody Gray

      That does sound amazing and if anyone can rock this, you can my dear!

  • Jesus M. Garcia

    Tips 1 and 2 are the ones I really need to focus on for 2015 (so yes, tip 6, too). I’m mainly a portrait photographer but I have also shot a few weddings. I absolutely love photographing weddings and engagements so I would love to do more, and possibly exclusively. These 8 tips are exactly what I needed today… Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

    • Zach & Jody Gray

      I think it would be brilliant of you to focus your energy on one niche and knock it out of the park. Go for it and see the success it will bring! Thanks for commenting!

  • Mark Wikkerink

    oh man, these are all great tips! Definitely going to be working hard to put these into practice this year!