Building Confidence: Your Self Worth
I didn't have a lot of self value when I started being a photographer. So I valued the shoot, I valued the process, I would take the photographs and then, I based my self value on how they bought, how they reacted to the photographs. So if they're over the moon, and they spent lots of money, I was the best thing since sliced bread. If they weren't over the moon and they spent $700, and it was a low sale or a bad sale, I felt rejected and all of my self hate around rejection would come up. So it wasn't that I was losing enthusiasm for sales, I was just so afraid that when they didn't buy, my self hate was so strong, that it would actually color the experience that I just had. So I started to acknowledge this is where my self hate comes up. It comes up when I sell, because I'm still validating myself based on what they're buying. Now the other day I walked into a shop, I say it over and over again, tried on a dress, didn't buy it. Didn't like it, didn't buy it. Next day, walked into Nord...
strom Rack yesterday, bought four dresses. OK, now the sales assistant is not crying. Right? She's just doing her job. Some days you spend a lot, sometimes, some days you don't. But there was so much personal attached to how I was doing that and validating it. I've seen it a million times. I would like to say creatives, not photographers, because I hate to pigeonhole photographers. But creatives seem to be the most dramatic bunch of narcissistic egoic people I have ever met in my life and I didn't understand why that would make such a difference, because I made this image, so they're rejecting my work. But the truth is, is, they're not rejecting my work. They're bringing out the self hate and the lack of self value and the unsure-edness that I carry with me as a human being. So if you have lots of self-esteem and somebody calls you ugly or fat, and you have lots of good self-esteem, you're like, wow. That was, you know, pretty out there. But you recover. If you have bad, low value and self-esteem, and somebody calls you ugly and fat, you'll repeat that comment for the rest of your life. I mean I hear people say to me, one day they'll go, oh, you know when I was seven, this woman said to me, you've got buck teeth. I'm like, how old are you now? Like 38. You're still tellin' that story? You've remembered something somebody said to you when you were seven, 'cause it hurt you so much. It's interesting. We carry stuff from being kids. Little kids. And not just from our parents. But you know I maintain this. At around 37, 38, you have to consider that in two years you're gonna be 40, you need to forgive your parents and take responsibility for your life. And you can no longer tell that story. Okay? Once you hit 40, come on. 40's the kind of limit that you can tell your kid stories. You know my parents really screwed me up. Say, dude, really?
Yeah, you're 40. (laughing) Yeah, you're 40, you should've done the therapy by now. (Laughing) Come on, you're 40. You've gotta let it go. Alright. Recap. I bounced ahead. Reek of need, reek of desperation, reek of non-belief. Somebody just tweeted, you're a little skunk. You are a little skunk. Your smell is transmitting like energy out of you in the same way positive energy does, in the same way negative energy does, in the same way fear does. It's in every part of your pitch. Every part of your belief system is the energy that's around you. I just remembered what's at the end of the slide that that person needed to hear. What you're going through right now, what is it teaching you? 'Cause you're meant to go through this. What you're seeing right now, what you're being right now, what is it teaching you? Because for many years, my reflection of myself keeps showing me that I didn't value myself enough. It was reflected in my income. It was reflected in my job. It was reflected in my business. It was reflected in my boyfriends. I simply lacked my own self value. I made it my life's mission to work on that. I was like, right. My whole life is reflecting back that I don't think I'm good enough to have a good boyfriend, and a good house, and a good car, and a good job, and a good business. Like there's something in my belief system, clearly, that says you can't have any of that. You're not good enough to have that. So it's like surely if I change my belief system, if I change my value, if somebody disrespects me and I say stop, you just disrespected me, and then I act with respect towards them and myself, surely that will change what I'm getting. And it did. So all of a sudden, I shift my idea of my value. My value, and everything starts shifting with me. My income gets higher, then I want more income. Am I worth going up another step? 'Cause it's not like that, it's like that, OK? And then you plateau, and you go umph, and then you plateau, and then umph, and then you plateau, and umph. And it doesn't stop. New ceiling, new ceiling, new ceiling every time. All you need is one person to think you're popular. The reason I wrote this slide is because I was watching I'm not Josie grossie anymore. Oh, I love that movie. "Never Been Kissed." Drew Barrymore, I love Drew Barrymore. And her brother, David Arquette says to her, all you need to do is for one person to think you're popular. Now I considered this in pitching, because the one thing that I find now, is I no longer pitch. People introduce me with my pitch. This is the coolest thing. I used to be that nervous, awkward girl, that couldn't say what she does. Now people are like, have you met Sue Bryce? She's an incredible photographer. She photographs women; show them your iPhone. (audience laughs) And I'm always like, sometimes I don't even need to talk. Um, I feel like the more people that believe in you, the more people sell you. So one of the best pitchers is the evangelist, because you're not pitching, the evangelist is pitching you. The evangelist is the person who believes in you so much they're telling everybody. At the end of this slide it says, tell me what you would rather do, cold call or sponsor an evangelist? Think about it. Would you rather walk into a business and cold call and say, hi, I'm Sue Bryce and I'm a portrait photographer and I would really like to work with you. Or would you rather send the owner of that business a thousand dollar voucher and get them to come, be photographed by you, get free prints? Which is gonna be the hardest thing for you to do? So when I told people about that, to give away a thousand dollar voucher. Everyone was like, you're gonna give that away for free? I was like, don't you get it? This person has a network of 1,800 women. And if they like me, she's gonna give me to all of her friends. There's always another question in there. People are always saying, I'm not getting any referrals. So I do go back to the pitch list at the end of this segment, so don't worry. I'm coming back. I'm coming a full circle. I feel a little bit discombobulated today, because I feel like I'm always run kind of linear with my time line, but the irony is, is I wanted to talk about all of the different pitches and how they affect you emotionally, but I have to sort of intersperse them. They feel to me very much like one story. The elevated pitch being you're trying to sell something. I need you to work on your conversation skills. So to me the elevated pitch is, I'm a photographer. You need to lock it down. You need to lock down your very short spiel about price, you need to lock down your very short spiel about why, and I need you to practice it in the mirror, I need you to practice it while you're out walking, practice it with a friend, with a trusted friend, practice it with your spouse, your partner, practice it with your assistant, with anybody until you feel so good saying it, you could just click it out there (snapping fingers) whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. This is what I do, this is what I charge, this is my why. You know, so much so, that it becomes conversational, that it becomes natural, and that it's a very easy, easy thing to do. Because I gotta say, when I listen to people talk about a business, they can't do it with enthusiasm 'cause of the way they're speaking. So I always say to Susan, you've gotta tell me what you're doing and make me believe that you're excited about it, not trying to get validation from it. Let's just address that, because I think it's really important. The difference is this. Um, Tiff and I are doing a new workshop called "Everything That's Gonna Get In Your Way". Bridging that gap between your personal value system and money, and having a successful business. Um, I don't need to tell you that it's something we're going to do, because it's already happening, which means I am doing it. So I hear a lot of people when they become photographers, saying I want to leave my job and go, like and try and do the full time photography thing, and people are like, everybody's a photographer. Oh, my cousin did that, she can't make it. Oh, and you get the nay-sayers, and the next minute you lose all faith in your belief system. Instead of I'm still working full time and running my photographic business on the weekends, and it's become so big I have to cut back on my job in order to run my photographic business, and I'm absolutely loving it. There's two differences in those pitches. One of them is you're asking for permission. And the other one is you're telling people excitedly what you're doing. And they both sound distinctly different. So I, when people tell me that they, that people tell them they'll never make it, you're asking those people for permission. So one of the biggest problems I have as an instructor especially on Creative Live, because it's live, and people are watching you, is often the students tell me something in the kitchen and I'll say bring that onto live stage, 'cause I need people to hear this question, and I want to answer authentically. I don't want to repeat the answer. I want to tell them for the first time so they can hear it. And often when I get them in here live, they change their story. And it really starts to upset me. I'm like, that's not what you just told me in the kitchen. You just told me you, you're not gonna make it. You can't pay your rent. And then it occurred to me, that to stand up here I have to be really honest about my business, my income. You know, I can't tell a half-truth, because the end of the day, you can smell it. It's bullshit. The distinct smell of bullshit. And I realize that why do people lie to me when they're live? And then I thought because they have husbands and wives, parents watching, and maybe they haven't been completely honest with them. Maybe there's a whole lot of emotional baggage or expectation or emotional dishonesty that you're not quite being honest with. So I think I thought maybe they're not so much lying, they're just being very careful about what they're saying, because they're gonna hurt some feelings. And that never occurred to me. Like I'm quite happy to stand up and say, this is where I fail. But I don't rely on anybody. So I'm segueing back to. So when you have a partner that's supporting you, or if you have parents that lent you money, or anything like that, in order to get that money, you have to ask for it. And there's a certain victim role, in being needy and needing help. Somebody's always playing at I really need your help, if you lend me this money. And then the person lending money is in power, because they're lending you the money, so they're kind of like, okay. They somehow have a stake in what you're doing. And so all of a sudden, if somebody's got that control over you, you can't do what you want, because it's their money and their power. So we feel very all of a sudden restrained by somebody else's money and somebody else's power and somebody else's idea of our success. When I wanted to become a speaker for a, a photography speaker, I was at WPPI in 2010. I watched this talk and I was like, I wanna teach glamour photography. I wanna bring glamour photography back to the world. I wanna educate photographers and I wanna tell my story and empower people. I walked out of there, I walked straight down, sat down with a friend of mine, who knew me well, and I said, I wanna be a speaker. And she looked at me and she said, everybody wants that. And I was like, oh, do they? And she was like, yeah. And rolled her eyes at me. And then I thought, wait a minute. You want that. And she was like, well yeah. And I said, that doesn't mean we can't have it. And so you just told me your limits. They're not my limits. And she was like, oh, I'm so sorry. I just heard my father's voice. I just heard it. And I was like, well, just 'cause you don't think you can do it doesn't mean I can't. She rang me a year ago and she goes, I just gotta tell you something. She says yes, you did it. I said, I did what? And she goes, you did it, you've really did it. You said you were gonna do it and you did it. And I was like, yeah. Yeah, okay. Nikki and I were talking about this. She was, Nikki can like, everyone here outearn their spouse. Because you have a business, not a job. So if your spouse has a job, there is a chance you can outearn them. Right? I can. I can outearn just about most salaries. So I said to Nikki, you could outearn your husband. And she was like, really? No. Oh yeah, I suppose I could. Anyway she went and told him that, and they were talking about it, and she said she heard herself saying it, and it didn't sound like the truth. It sounded like I could, you know what if I could, what if I could? And I said I'll tell you what. Turn that energy around and instead of telling him you can, why don't you just show him. Like just do it. And then you can go, oh honey, I'm outearning you now. And it's not a case of, oh my God you're earning more money than me, it's a case of, when I'm saying it and it's not true, it's not happening, but now that you're doing it I'm like whoa. You know, action. So pitching from action as opposed to pitching from I hope. One day I could. What if I can? When I pitch, my confidence is about what I know to be true. How do you know that your plans are coming to fruition? They are congruent with what is actually happening. It feels like the now, not the future. And that single energy is what makes it happen now. It's not going to happen one day, but there's a whole lot of fear between it. It is happening now. This is what is happening now. So you know whey they do say on the Secret, speak like you already have the Ferrari? I didn't understand that. I was like, what do you say? I'm just gonna go up the street in my Ferrari and go shopping, and then you get in your Corolla and it's like, I don't get that energy. But now I understand it. It means it's happening now. It means you are having it now, not something you hope, not validation, not looking for somebody else to validate you, 'cause trust me, if you are looking to validate yourself, you will never find it. 'Cause what you're looking for is to validate yourself, and only when people stop, only when people undervalue you over and over again, will you find your own self value. So the confidence to walk up to a stranger, I think we've kind of talked about that enough. I feel like we, if the boys wanna pitch from a boy perspective, they can introduce their makeup artist, their wife or whoever into their talk. Always look eye when you compliment somebody. Practice your compliments to complete strangers. I went home recently to New Zealand and I was with my best friend for a couple of days together and we went into a coffee shop and I said to this woman, oh I love your dress. And she was like, thanks. And I said, you know we started talking about her dress. She was like, where did you get it? I said, where did you get it? And she told me, and we were talking about it, and I was like, awesome. And my best friend said to me afterwards, you always have been like that. And I said, what? And she goes, you just talk to people. And I said, isn't that what every human being wants? Is to be seen? Isn't it just so nice to live in a culture where you can speak to someone on the street? I love that. Practice it, please? Make it so much easier to walk up to a stranger. Confidence in approaching a business. Alright. I wrote a letter to my first businesses, 'cause I had no confidence to go and approach them. My letter said, my name is Sue Bryce, I'm a portrait photographer in your area. I would love to give your entire database a complimentary photo shoot and makeover, worth $190. I would not expect you to give that to your database until you had tried me for yourself. So I'm giving you a $500 voucher to experience a photoshoot, a makeover, and a portrait by me. If you are interested, please call me. That was the words I used. But I feel like the energy that got them in the door was, that I was prepared to give them a shoot and money, in order to get them on my side. To build a relationship. To be able to pitch to them about giving to their database. This single thing, I have taught that on my first Creative Live. So two and a half years ago, I said that on my first glamour, you know glamour photography workshop. I can not believe how many people don't understand this concept. Still to this day. Is it clear what I am saying to you, right now? That it costs me a day of shooting and retouching and the cost of a makeup artist, who sometimes you can get to work for free, because you tell them it's a test and you wanna try them out or whatever, to give away a free shoot that potentially can bring you a $100,000 in work. You've gotta find those evangelists. They pitch for you. They're doing the whole pitch, all they gotta do is believe in you. You get a couple of evangelists, I have a few. I've got this one woman I photograph. She spent $3,000. Every two or three months, she just posts a photograph from her shoot. And it's been two years, and it just totally pumps me up. Ohhh, look at this, another shot from my Sue Bryce shoot, God I love this woman, I wanna do it again. And just totally, just advertises me. She paid me. You know there's people like that everywhere. Those are the ones you grab onto and you just work them like they're your sales representatives. And treat them, and give them free shoots, and plump them up. Because that's marketing. That's pitching. Alright, so the confidence to approach a business really comes down to that. You can write the letter, but it's just too easy to throw away. You can send the e-mail and it's just too easy to delete. You get three minutes. But if you can A, shop at their business, become a client of theirs, because if you're spending money with me, you get, OK, here's a good one. I lost my Facebook page last year. Be careful doing business on your portrait page. On your personal page, even if it's just being general business like, not selling anything but just being a photographer. 'Cause if somebody reports you, they take your page away. I lost my page that day and I lost 5,000 friends, 17,000 subscribers, gone. And a thousand photographs. 999 photographs, gone. They said they import them, but they don't. And I reopened a personal page, and I decided because I have a business page, I would leave this personal page personal. And everyday I get tens or hundreds of e-mails from people on my business page. 'Cause people would rather be friends with you than be a fan. And I say no to them, because I decided that I would keep this page for close friends and family. And I've got 160 friends. And I don't need to boost my numbers to look good, 'cause I don't care. I want people on there that I love, that I know, that I would go out to dinner with. So if I photographed you, I friend request you. Onto my personal page. Because I've spent time with you, I like you, and I want you on my personal page. So to me it's like, you know, you have my time. You spent money with me, I like you, you have my time. That's all business. It's really hard to cold call a hair salon, but if you're in there getting your hair blown out, and you do the pitch, I'm a photographer, this is my work, then we should work together. I should give you a shoot, you should come and see what I do. How easy is it to pitch when you're in their chair paying them money? So if you can build that relationship by paying for a service, then you'll get their time. When you're a client you get their time, and you're not a cold caller. Alright. When you first meet someone, you're selling you, because how you dress, how you feel about yourself, how you present yourself, very very important. You need to consider this if you're a business owner, how you're presenting yourself. Alright? So I remember doing the fear section at Creative Live in Vegas, and so many people were like, I asked people what they were afraid of, and they were like, I'm too old, I'm not attractive enough, I don't dress nice enough, I'm overweight, I'm, and they're all listing all their personal attributes. You don't dislike somebody because they're carrying 10 pounds and they're not wearing the right top, do you? I mean it's not like that. Somebody, how nice somebody is isn't determined by what they're wearing. But you do need to consider that if you're in business, that you need to dress for your job, at least. If you're going to an event, at least dress like a photographer, or dress like a business owner, or somebody that's dressed, well dressed, nicely dressed, consider how you're presenting yourself. I don't need to be in hair and makeup every day, but if I'm gonna approach somebody, I pretty much think the better I look, the more confident I'm gonna feel in doing it. You know, do consider that. By all means. But the truth is, is when you start talking, it's not about how you look. It's the experience that you're then selling. So instantly switch it away from what they think of me, and to what it is that I'm giving you. So I ask people all the time, and we laughed about this, after somebody tries to sell us something, I'll say to one of the girls, what were we getting again? You know so many people try and sell to you or pitch to you without telling you what you're gonna get. I'm the one spending the money. What am I getting? What am I getting out of this? You know you're so busy pitching to me about yourself. What am I getting? It's just not about you. And that's the bottom line. The pitch is not about you, what they think of you is not about you, how they respond to you is not about you, how they respond to paying for your price list is not about you, how they respond to money is not about you, it's all about them. I've seen this a million times. We start building this experience. So we go, we're gonna do a pamper session, we're gonna do a styling session, we're gonna do a manicure, we're gonna do a facial, I'm gonna offer bikini waxing, I'm gonna offer this, I'm gonna get your nails done, I'm gonna offer this that and the other, and you're gonna bring in all these people. I'm gonna offer Botox, I'm gonna do it, and I go, stop. What are you selling? And they go, a photo shoot. And I go, well where was the photo shoot in that? 'Cause you're selling everybody but yourself. Ahhhhhh. Isn't that easy? You start selling everybody but yourself, because we find it easier to sell someone else than we do selling ourselves. Make no mistake about it, the photo shoot is part of my experience. But it is not what I'm selling when I sell the photo shoot. So I remembered in 28 days, we had a woman right in the chat room, I went to an event, I had the makeup artist there, she was doing demonstrations, it was all about the makeup artist, blah blah blah, we didn't sell any shoots. And I was like, did you spend the whole time pitching how wonderful it was to get your makeup done? And she was like, yeah. I was selling the makeup, not the shoot. What you're selling is the finished product. The finished product is the beautiful photographs. It's the experience of being photographed, it's the experience of seeing yourself being photographed, the pamper session is just part of it.
So you talk about, are we gonna get into competition? Are we gonna get into that topic, because I have a question here from Ida, who would like to know, how do you fix your block when you compare the quality of your work to others? And I'm wondering you're talking about it's easier to sell other peoples' work
But it's also easy to just blame other people on your, on what you're not doing right, and say it's because you know, it's this other photographer that's making me fail.
Come here, Nikki. Come and stand up here. It's human nature, we do this. (Nikki laughs) She's younger than me, she's slimmer than me, she's prettier than me. I find it amazing that we compete so often with everything we do. He's taller than me, he's stronger than me, he, you know, got more money than me. He has a hotter girlfriend than me. You know, she's prettier, she's younger, she's thinner, she's smarter, she's, there is always gonna be better people than you. But what you're doing is you're focusing on that. Okay? So you're making that, Nikki's attractiveness is what's stopping me from getting what I want. Now Nikki's married, and happy, happily married. So when we go out, I don't think Nikki's smaller than me, and 10 years younger than me and prettier than me. I just think about my friendship with Nikki. And if a guy is attracted to both of us, then he will go, look at these gorgeous girls. Or not. If a guy's attracted to Nikki and not me, I don't think, oh I wish he was attracted to me. He, I would say to Nikki, he was cracking on you, he thought you were really hot. (Nikki laughing) Because I like that he was looking at Nikki. It happened to us, we went to sushi. We ate too much sushi. We were standing on the side of the road, this really happened like two months ago. And these two guys were looking at us in the car and Nikki turns and says to me at the time, I ate so much sushi, look at this, and she's rubbing
I'm like really,
And these guys were looking at Nikki, obviously looking, checking her out, and I looked up right as they both went, (Nikki laughing) Wait, she was rubbing her belly? And we just burst out laughing, like it was so funny, 'cause they probably thought she was, and we still don't know what they said, but they were so like put off by it, and I was like, they thought you were really hot, until you did that. (Audience and Nikki laughing) But you know what? You can use that as as much competition as you want. There is competition everywhere, OK? I can only focus on what I've got, OK? What I've got. I can not look at Nikki and wish I was 10 years younger and wish that I was 20 pounds slimmer and wish that, I can't. If you feel yourself think it or say it, acknowledge it, thank you. Acknowledge it, but you know what? At the end of the day, you are not that. They say when you envy someone, you want something they've got. So last time I envied somebody, instead of envying them and hating them, which you do, I went home, I poured a glass of wine, I sat on my balcony, I watched the sunset, and I said out loud, what does that person have that I want? And then it just occurred to me what it was. What they had that I want. And I thought, I want that. So I'm gonna go after it. But instead of hating on them and getting stuck in it, I acknowledged it. Now, there are better shooters than me. How's this for a, I'll be so honest with you. The other day I was looking at Lara Jade and Emily Soto's Facebook page, and they've got 450,000 likes, and I was like, wow, the girls are kicking butt. And I was like, I've got 100,000. (audience laughing) They're so much better than me. And then I was like, my instant ego went, they photograph models. I photograph real women. And I heard myself say it and I was like, um, OK, I'm gonna photograph a model. I'm gonna do it and show everyone how good I am. So I photographed a model, put it on Facebook, and it got criticized, criticized, criticized and criticized. And I was like, eh, I thought I was just as good as everybody else. Then I photograph Irina. 63, found her in a cafe. 13,000 likes on one image. And it occurred to me, A, the first shoot I did for the wrong reason. B, you guys could smell it, 'cause it was skunky. C, it's not what my audience wants. What they want is for me to photograph real beauty. Not that models aren't real beauty, not that they're not real women, 'cause they are, everybody's a real woman, but my power is in that I'm not the model photographer. That's not my superpower. That's their superpower. And I envied it and I wanted it, and I did it, and it just went smack, and then I went, oops, reconnect to what I do. 'Cause I stood here two and a half years ago and I said I don't wanna photograph celebrities. I wanna photograph Maupoana from Hawaii, and T.Y. from Nigeria, and Sandra from Canada, and Amanda from Florida, and any woman that has ever looked in the mirror. And they've not felt good enough about herself. And I said it because, same way I'm saying it now, still makes me bloody cry, that is my superpower. I can pitch that because when I pitch it, that is the truth. Everybody believes it, everybody is drawn to it, everybody's attracted to it, that's my superpower. What's yours? And tell me, and stop getting lost in what other people are doing. 'Cause I still do, 25 years later, and I just get lost. And I would love to lie and say that there's another way, there isn't. If you find it, you can tell me. Then I'll tell everybody else. But the truth is, is there isn't. You gotta do it. You gotta feel it, acknowledge it, say it out loud. Your failings as a human being are perfect. They will make you a better person. They will show you the way every time. Every time your failings are just another opportunity to learn something new. So don't be afraid of them. Don't be afraid of having an ego. Don't be afraid of it.