What's in it For Me?
The best advice I was ever given, and I'm gonna credit him because he is a remarkable man, and he changed my world, he's a portrait photographer in Melbourne and his name is Robert Piccoli. He's a successful, incredible businessman, beautiful photographer, great human being. He's lecturing at the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers in the next couple of months 'cause I saw it advertised and I thought oh I just want to be there so I can shake that man's hand. 'Cause I haven't spoken to him for five years, six years. He came to my studio years ago, 2007, when I was in my little garage and he took me to lunch. I don't know why. He said I see you at the forefront of international portrait photography in the next five years. I looked at him and I was like, me? And he said yeah. I said you see me, and he's like yeah. And it's like how? Why? What? What? And he just planted this seed that he believed in me, this successful, incredible man. And then he told me something. He took ...
me to lunch, I even remembered what I ordered, and he said can I give you one piece of advice? I said yes. He said, every time somebody asks you to do something in business, go like this: yes, what's in it for me? He goes, if somebody asks you to do a free shoot say yes, what's in it for me? If somebody asks you to turn up and do an event. Yes, what's in it for me? If somebody asks you to add extra prints, if somebody asks you to shoot their wedding, if somebody asks you-- say yes, what's in it for me? He said because it is the most incredible thing you will ever ask yourself in business because straight away you'll understand that everything comes at a price. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Value will be given back to you. Somebody always has something to give you. What's in it for me? So you say it over and over and again. Great, what's in it for me? Certainly! What's in it for me? There must be something you can do for me. I can't afford to pay you, but I want you to do this for me. Certainly, I can do that for you, what can you do for me? You can't give me money, can you give me contacts? Do you have a friend who owns a business? Do you have a contact you can recommend somebody to do a paid shoot? Do you have like-- what's in it for me? And I have kept that at the forefront of my mind and business for the last 10 years. I do not want to hear this anymore. They have money, but what about me? I can stand in front of you until I'm black and blue and tell you over and over again, all I thought was if only somebody would give me $30,000. If only somebody could pay me, I could make it. If only somebody gave me this break. If only someone discovered me. If only some-- and then one day I just did that one shoot that paid me that money and I stepped up and I owned my path. I'm gonna go into business on my own, I'm gonna make this happen, and every day has been a step towards ownership. Every day since 2003. Now, it is not easy. There were times when I have gone backwards on every level, even 10 years later, 12 years later of being self-employed, I still revert back to my victim mentality. I still revert back to my guilt and shame mentality. I still revert back to moments of losing confidence, of trying to compare myself, of trying to contrast myself. Still after 12 years I've come such a long way and I still find myself going backwards. And every single day I take a step towards going forward again by telling myself over and over again, you've been banking a library of honor. You've been banking a library of the life you want, just keep swimming, keep going, keep walking, keep believing, keep reconnecting. I tell myself that on a weekly basis. It's never ending, it doesn't go away. I need you to know you can change and you can grow. You can heal. You can save. Like if that's permission right now, if that's what you need, I'm telling you. Here it is, this is it. Doesn't get-- Sue Bryce told me I could change. 'Cause I'm telling you right now. And I've been so proud of Nicki and her growth and her change. Until last Thursday when she said she's earning the same amount of money in her photography business as she was as a social worker. And that was the first time I've heard this so at her mentor I was like (squealing gasp) stop. Back it up, beep beep beep. Okay I get it, you're a lot happier. But why aren't you flourishing in income right now? Why have you set a limit of I'm allowed to be happy for the same amount of money? No more, no less. So I'm gonna challenge her over the next year, to bust through that limit of what she can earn 'cause now she's actually in control of her income, and she's still allowing the same amount. You see that's the belief system you have when somebody else pays you. You're not in control of the income, they are. You are always in control of your income. You always have the exact amount of money you believe you're worthy of having. In the same sentence I'm gonna say you have the exact relationship you believe for yourself. Alright, you have the exact relationship that you think you're worth.