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Portrait Startup

Lesson 17 of 35

Taking Ownership

Sue Bryce

Portrait Startup

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

17. Taking Ownership

Lesson Info

Taking Ownership

We're gonna talk about selling yourself. Answer me one question, what do you want? I just don't know what I want. (audience giggles) I think about it and I just don't know what I want. Okay. Everybody knows what they want. We all dream. We all know what we want. We just don't wanna say it out loud, because we don't think we can get get. We don't think we're worth it. And we don't know how to get it. So, it's just one of those things, we don't know how to match up with the, I want this, with the, how do I then take action everyday. So, this is a big learning thing for me, this is something that I've been teaching all of my friends. When I want something, I say, I want this. I think about it every morning, I empower it every morning, and then I take action, tangible action, everyday towards that one thing. It's congruent with what I'm already working towards because that's how you know it's gonna come to fruition. You already, it's right in front of you, the answer is right in front of y...

ou. It's not left field, it's right there. The person that can help is right in front of you, I'm telling your right now. You need to tell me what you want. Now, I've asked this of my friends. I say, tell me something you want. They're like, okay, a million dollars. And I say, you want a million dollars? Okay, cool, how how you gonna get that? And they're like, you just told me to tell you what I want. And I was like, yeah. Now you gotta tell me how you're gonna do it. And they're like, but I thought that's the point is it's not how it's gonna come to you. It's the what you want. And I said, yeah, yeah, that's true. But you can sit at home and try and manifest a million dollars all you want. But if you said to me I'm gonna start a business doing this and I want it to make a million dollars in the first year, that is achievable. Because that actually has a viable action of stepping forward every single day towards something you want. So, I ask you again, what do you want? I want two sittings per week with an average sale of $2, well, that's a pretty good goal. And then every single day you need to wake up, you need to say my name is Bethany Jo Tubs I am a fair bit photographer I want 8 sittings a month with an average sale of $2, and I'm gonna empower that every single day. Because you want the result more than you want anything else. And then you write it and you put it by your bed. You know what I did the other day? I wrote what I want on the inside of my wrist and I keep reading it during the day and some guy asked me if it was a tattoo and he was talking to me about it and he was like, why is that written on your hand? I say it's, you know, life goals. And he was like, okay. And I write it on my computer and I put it by my bed and I put it in my office and I put in on my screen saver because when I want something I declare it to the world, to god, to the universe to Allah, to whoever you want to tell. But until you say it out loud no one's gonna hear you. I want more work, universe says okay. I want more work, okay. Be specific, I want this and then tell me everyday for 30 days. I want you to go and write down what I want. I want this and then everyday you've got to get up you've got to think about what you want. Oh, that's a good book. Three simple steps by Trevor Blake. He talks about doing a meditation in the morning empowering what you want. Three simple steps and that's to action instead of manifestation. The truth is you're not telling me what you want people are still skirting around. You don't have to say it out loud. That's fine, I get it, sometimes it's very hard to say it out loud what you want. You don't want to say what you want because you don't think you're worth it you don't know how to get it, naysayers will knock you down. So the most important part here is that you take ownership of it yourself. I was watching a speaker, I've said this before I was watching a speaker who is not a photographer who has published books and has a big following and has a publicist deal and has a publicist. And as I was watching this person on stage it flared all of my ego and envy. Like every part of me, like my heckles went up. I was hating on this girl, I was disrespecting her. And it occurred to me in that moment that she had something I want. Because why would I treat her like that unless I've perceived that she has something I want. Maryanne Williamson said, I have not received the criticism for failure that I've received for success. And that tells me, in this world, we perceive that as somehow you succeeding takes away from me. Human nature. So I'm standing there, I'm disrespecting this girl. I leave this talk and my ego is flared up. I'm in the car I'm saying, I'm better that her. My talk was better than her, I had more stage presence I am more powerful, I'm even cuter. Everything, I was right in that place you know. Ego, ego, and then I went and watched the sunset and I poured a glass of wine and I said out loud what is it about what she has that you want? And my ego said, a book deal and a publicist. And I went like this, really? You want that? And my ego was like, yeah. And I was like, why didn't you say? And then it occurred to me in that moment I had not done one thing. I had not taken ownership of something I really wanted. I told the girls this story when they were at my house in L.A. Just recently I was walking with a good friend, Sally Sargood, we'd had dinner. And I'd just read a psychology paper on fear that afternoon at 4:00 and it was was 7:00. We just eaten dinner, we're in L.A. We're walking, she's talking, I'm listening to her she's telling me a story and there's a guy walking towards me and he looked at me a certain way and I had just read this paper on fear that said fear is biological, it's visceral you feel it deep in your core. He said you will process fear in your body before your brain knows what it is. So as this guy walked past me all the heckles on my back came up like this and all the muscles in my shoulders tensed. And I knew in that moment, he had turned around. The guy, he had something in his hand. I don't know if it was a weapon. And he was right behind me and my body told me before my mind did. And had I not read this I would not have been in this situation. I've trained in martial arts but I can't catch bullets. Just because I'm trained in martial arts doesn't mean I have super sensory spidey powers. My visceral fear touched my body before my brain knew what was going on. I let Sally keep talking because I took the moment to look over my shoulder and as I looked over my shoulder, he was behind us. I was turning right to go into a car park and it was right on dusk. There was a big man standing by a car. And I guided Sally, still talking, towards this guy. It was a safety thing to me if I walk towards this guy, he's gonna see us walking towards this guy. And he's gonna go. The guy gets in a car and drives off. So he's now right behind us and now there's nobody in the car park but us. Sally's still unaware of what's happening and I've now looked at him three times and he's right behind us and I have to take action right now. My visceral fear was telling me that we were in eminent danger, my body was responding. It was responding like an alarm was going off. Sally was unaware that this was happening. I took one step and I pushed her between two parked cars and I stood between her and him and I backed up and I put my hand out like this and in the strongest energy I could I went like this, No! Like this is not gonna happen. What you think is gonna happen, is not gonna happen. And I broke the cycle of what he thought he was gonna do. Cause he started to hit himself in the head and say, where's your car, where's you car? Cause he thought we were gonna walk out to the car. Now I've got a parked car between me and her I push her this way, straight into a restaurant I see this guys, I say to them there's a guy outside I don't know if he has a weapon he followed us to the car park can you come out with us? They walk out they take us to my car. When I get out to my car he is waiting at my car. Now had I not read that paper at 4:00 in the afternoon around visceral fear my body may not have responded the way it did. But I learned the most incredible lesson about business in that moment because that has nothing to do with the fear you're talking about. And in fact that fear is what's kept you alive as an animal. That fear is remarkable and it speaks to you. It is visceral and guttural and it is in your body. My muscles went tight before my brain new what was happening. And then my instincts were like a lion I knew what was happening and I saw it all going down. I looked for solutions and in that moment it went my way. But what you're talking about is making a phone call. What you're talking about is writing a business plan. What you're talking about is confronting how you feel about money and self value. Not a man with a weapon in a dark car park. That is fear. Fear is real. But it is not in your business. And that is what you need to understand. I've talked about fear a lot and as I was coming to grips with fear the realization was it's not fear. It's apathy, it's avoidance, it's self-hate it is everything you struggle against but the actual fear, the idea that it's fear is incorrect. You are not afraid to "put yourself out there" You simply don't know how to sell yourself and value yourself. And when you get over that and you have to price yourself and you have to do it with value and you have to do it with ownership. Because that is powerful. And you know, it was an amazing experience to feel that in my body because the fear I felt knowing that one of my friends was in danger that myself was in danger in that moment I felt that visceral, biological, survival and that has nothing to do with what I struggle in my business. And that I think is so powerful. Holly Margo says Sue leaves us with a wake up call once again. Tomorrow we're going to come in and do the reveal wall we're going to follow that up with selling yourself and selling your products. We're gonna try and get over that hurdle of selling yourself and selling your products and being okay with the money and what you deserve and what you're worth. We're going to talk more about solutions to hurdles as opposed to conquering blocks and fears. I came at this a year ago telling you all this is a money block, this is a selling block. This is a blah blah blah block and everybody wrote back, clearly I have a block but I don't know what it is. So now I have to look at what block you have and give you some solutions to start actively breaking them down. We're gonna finish with some cool videos. We've got more power talks, it's a great day. This is a great workshop, I feel it's probably one of the most emotional workshops I've ever done and we're talking about business. You know, I get excited about some strange things but seriously I've been crying all day. I've nearly lost my voice crying. (clears throat) So I think that's the whole point right? I'm just so proud of these photographers and I'm so proud of the online community and it's just amazing, it really is. And do you know what I just don't want to stop teaching. You know I will tell you one thing when I wrote this talk a couple of weeks back I realized that I wasn't taking ownership of something and I'm gonna declare that now. I'm gonna stand up and tell you something about ownership. When I stood in front of you in 2012 and said my name is Sue Bryce and I'm a portrait photographer. That tore my insides out. I struggled so much to do that to take ownership of that because I felt like I was a cockroach in the industry and I've had to defend my genre for so many years cause it was "A dirty word" Then I felt like it was a shallow word. And I felt like I wasn't worthy of it. And I built a business that seemed more financially successful then anybody else I'd known. So then I thought maybe it is worthy. Anyway, I took ownership of it that day and I did it by teaching you a class. So let's fast forward to three years and three months later I took ownership this month of being an educator. I didn't realize this but I judge educators. I judge them for teaching when they haven't done the work. And I realize that I hadn't even put educator on my social media. I was still Sue Bryce photographer. Because those who can't, teach and I can. So I really struggled with it. How do I stand up and be one of the worlds best educators in my genre, in portrait photography if I can't even own it? If I can't even tell people that's what I do. So I had to acknowledge what it was that I was hiding from. I didn't want people to think that I was an educator and therefore I stopped shooting and therefore I was irrelevant. Because I do both. I actually talked to Nicki about it and she said do you judge surgeons who spend 25 years learning how to do surgery and then teach at university? And I said, no. And she said, then why would you judge yourself? I said, I don't know. So I stand before you today completely blindsided by the fact that up until three weeks ago I was now owning that I love to educate. I also love to shoot. I don't want to stop doing either. But I wasn't owning my path as an educator. I am Sue Bryce, I'm a photographer and I'm and educator. See ownership is hard, it hurts when you say something because you don't want to be judged. It hurts to say something because you don't want people to nay say you or shoot you down or tell you you're not good enough. But you can spend your whole life doing that and if you do not confront it you will never get to the next level. So I can be as terrified or as self hateful as I want but the truth is ownership of what you want is what's gonna set you free. I needed to own that and I wasn't and I've been teaching you on this platform for three years. Trying so hard to just look like a photographer that knows stuff instead of embracing the fact that I have the tools to teach you to change your lives so you guys have freed me. Cause you're proof that it works. You're proof that more than me could do it. And you're proof that you can make an income from doing it and a hell of a lot faster that me. So if that's what I leave you with today I own that today. You go home tonight and you own what you gotta own. You own your price, you own your service. You own what you want and declare it. And I don't care whether you say it to your family or out loud, pray, whatever you do. If you don't own it today, you're not gonna own it. And if you can do that for me it's gonna change everything.

Class Description

When Sue Bryce taught her first CreativeLive class in 2012, she reinvented the category of glamour photography. That workshop inspired thousands of photographers to create a new kind of portrait photography business.

During this special event, you’ll hear from Sue again and meet nine photographers who changed the trajectory of their business and their lives thanks to inspiration they found in Sue’s CreativeLive classes.

In Portrait Startup, you’ll find out exactly what these photographers did to transform their fledgling photography operations into sophisticated, profitable businesses. You’ll learn about what it takes to build a profitable photography business and Sue will detail the Areas of Mastery required to run and sustain it. 

You’ll learn about:  

  • Cameras & Lighting
  • Studio or Location
  • Website & Portfolio
  • Marketing & Design
  • Social Media & Connection
  • Price & Product
  • Sales & Selling
  • Money Management
Sue will discuss the essential elements for building a successful glamour photography studio and you’ll get specific, tactical insights for doing it yourself.

Each of the guest photographers will share their own unique story of following Sue's business model and they’ll provide intimate details on what they've discovered and what worked (or didn't) for them. Sue will share the secrets behind her wildly effective Reveal Wall and share strategies that guarantee sales while keeping clients happy and eager to refer you to their friends.

If you want to build a photography business that celebrates the beauty inherent in all women, while running a business that provides for you and your family, join Sue Bryce and guests for Portrait Startup and learn how to build a business and life that you love.

Click here for the Complete Sue Bryce collection.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials


Mentors Solutions Workbook


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Sandra Sal

How glad I am that I have purchased this course! Sue is just wonderful woman, photographer, business person and life coach. This course is so informative, inspiring, educating and just AMAZING!! Simply a must have! Don't even think "should I get it" just buy it and you will be blown away! I loved every second of it and will keep re watching it many times more! Thank you to Sue, wonderful mentours and Creative Live!!

Laura Captain Photography

As a person that is new to portrait photography and to starting a portrait business, this class has been extremely valuable to me and well worth my time. It is also very helpful to hear from the mentors. I have a lot of respect for Sue, her work and her wisdom. She is genuine, has a passion for her work and has a wealth of information to share. I believe this class will actually allow a person to achieve their goals and build a business. I now feel more knowledgeable and more confident about pursuing a photography business. Thanks so much Sue and thanks to CreativeLive for providing wonderful online education.

Janice S.

i just finished watching this workshop. though i'd seen sue's name on the list of creative live workshops, this is the first one i've done. to me, she is effectively partnering life coaching with photography education. which is awesome. between being an ER nurse for almost 20 years, as well as arriving at my late 40s not unscathed, i can relate to much of what sue has said and would like to think that i'm in a better position to tackle the business of business ownership than i would have been 20 or 30 years ago. the other thing i noticed was hints of rhonda byrne. this may or may not actually be the case, but it seems like it. the power of positive thinking essentially. i loved the whole thing. though i'm not really close to implementing the business practices taught here, i wanted to watch the whole thing before moving on to her glamour photography workshop. i wanted to understand what i would be moving toward as i go through my technical education. i believe i will be adding 28 days to my class list too. thank you sue!