Why understanding the WHY behind your business matters

blond women in green jacket leaning on counter with laptop and camera

Do you have a group you bounce ideas off of? Like minded people that help you move forward in your business? 

If not, I highly recommend you find one (or start one)! Their value is golden. 

Why am I asking? Let me share a story. 

Recently I attended an overnight retreat for my entrepreneur networking group. We still meet on zoom every other week, but this was a weekend a few of us came from different parts of the province and stayed in an Airbnb to “get shit done”. We blogged, and ate, and played with ChatGPT, and soul searched, and ate, and really helped each other discover a thing or two about ourselves. Some personal, some professional. We got transparent about our background to discover the links with where we are today. 

Here’s what I learned about myself …  I have never understood the question 

What is my WHY? 

Why do I do what I do? What is the purpose behind it? The alignment between me, my offers, services and business? I never bought into it before. I didn’t think I had a why. Until these ladies started asking the questions that broke it down. I wish we had a tape recorder so I could get it right, but here is the jist of it…. 

Q: WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO? 

A: (shrugged) cuz I am a photographer and didn’t have a job when I moved (across Canada from Edmonton, AB to Halifax, NS)

Q: WHY ARE YOU A PHOTOGRAPHER?

A: (shrugged) I just always have been, since I was 16. 

Q: SO WHAT IT IS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY?

A: It’s my creative outlet. I can’t paint or draw to create something original, but I can see what is already in front of me and capture it in a way that grabs attention. 

Then I shared a story… when I was in high school I took a trip to New York City. When I got my film back 2 weeks later, I thought “I should be a photographer”!  I loved how the pictures captured the reality behind the events. The people, places, atmosphere. I applied & interviewed to be a part of the Cooperative Education career training program for the following year. When they asked what it was that drew me to photography, my answer was basically  … what you see is what you get. I love that it captures the reality of what is happening at a given moment. It shares a truth and saves it forever. 

Sounds laughable now in the days of digital with Photoshop and Ai, but in 1986 it was my truth.

So we were getting closer to MY WHY

My education & careers were all photography based. I had been a darkroom tech, a reporter, a social media manager in the events industry. 

My photography always had a photojournalistic style.

So they dug deeper.

Q: WHY DID YOU NICHE TO BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY

A: I want to get entrepreneurs away from stock photos. I want business owners to show up with confidence in their social media and on their website. I want to provide pictures that showcase who you are and what you offer to build like-know-trust with your clients and customers. 

And there is was . My WHY hasn’t changed since high school. I am a brand photographer so business owners can have pictures that share their truth online. 

Seems so simple, but my AWHA moment only came because of this group of ladies, and our mutual willingness to be transparent about our backgrounds. Now I feel filled with purpose. 

Hopefully, this will inspire you to 

  • find your people too, and 
  • understand the value of investing in your own brand photography shoot. 

So that’s my story. Want to stay in touch and join my community where I share photo tips and ideas? I invite you to join. But not for nothing. My gift to you are my Photo Tips, +4 ways to elevate your brand visibility on Facebook & Instagram.

Allison Smith

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