Change Your Perspective to Grow Your Business

Change Your Perspective to Grow Your Business

Intro by Skip Cohen

All of us know the challenges in growing a business, let alone surviving in today’s crazy world. But, at the same time, while we all know risk-taking is part of any business, that doesn’t change the challenges created by fear and the need to change our perspective.

In this recent post from Sarah Petty’s “Joy of Marketing” blog, she hit on a concept I simply love. It’s all about changing your perspective and challenging the “buts” we put in our lives when it comes to so many different goals.

In 2009 when I resigned from WPPI and Rangefinder Publishing, I wanted to start my own business. I was scared to death – we were in a recession, and I didn’t know what I would be doing. However, I knew it was time to be out on my own.

I remember my wife Sheila asking me, “What are you afraid of?” I instantly answered, “Failing!” A few hours later, she had me refocused on a dozen different paths I could be taking – each one without saying, “But I’m not sure I’m ready.”

Sarah’s not just helping us all get the “but’s” out of our lives but helping change our perspective and build confidence. This reminds me of one other line I’ve used a lot over the years, which describes my attitude whenever there’s a lot to risk…

“I do it because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn’t.”

There’s no question it’s tough to be in business today, but you’ve got a great network of people out here to give you a hand – from the team at Marathon to Sarah Petty, me, and so many artists who contribute to this blog as well as those helping to keep building our industry. We’re all here to provide you with the support you need.


There’s a powerful exercise I love doing with my students when they get stuck in the “buts”.

I’m not talking about anatomy here. The “buts” I’m talking about are the “buts” that your mind comes up with as all the reasons why you can’t (or don’t yet have) what you want.

I did this exercise, live, with 600 photography students at Go Boutique Live and I’m sharing it with you so you can start removing the “buts” in your life. I know you want to build a business, but I know that because you aren’t where you want to be you tell yourself reasons that you haven’t done that yet.


You’re saying, “I’m so ready to do this, but my photography skills aren’t quite ready yet.”

Or, “I have too many kids at home and my life is just too overwhelming.”

That’s what my student, Cindy Koteki, was saying. She was running her kids everywhere and that’s a full-time job. She was ready to succeed in her photography business, but she was busy being a mom.

So what is that thing? What is that “but” for you?

The Power of Changing Your Words

I want to change this for you. When you hear yourself saying “but” we’re going to change it to an “and”.

I want us to start accepting what’s coming at us and stop with the judging. So I want to do something together.

First thing I want you to do is grab your notebook and I want you to list the reasons you’ve been telling yourself that you haven’t started that next level of your business.

I want you to look at what is holding you back.

So instead of saying, “Juggling two jobs is hard,” we’re going to accept that. It’s true that juggling two jobs is hard. For us to pay the bills, put food on the table, and do all the things, I’m having to juggle two jobs and it’s hard.

Now we’re going to rewrite it, because we can’t change it.

We start changing it by accepting it and we say “and.”

“And” I can find time in my week to run my business.

“And” I can learn from my failures and do better.

“And” I can build my photography skills while I build my business.

I want you to go to the list that you made.

Read those things that are holding you back, and I really want you to find your “and”.

This is where the transformation starts, by seeing what’s stopping you and what’s in your way. And realize that you can go around it and it’s okay to be scared.

And you know what? We’re deciding to do it anyway.

You can do this! Keep replacing those “buts” for “ands” and believe that you can do this.

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This article was written by
Sarah Petty

Sarah is a New York Times best-selling author, highly-acclaimed speaker, author, MBA and coach who started her own boutique photography studio after working for Coca Cola for 20 years and then meeting the marketing goals of a top regional advertising agency’s clients. She attributes the rapid growth of her boutique photography studio, which was named one of the most profitable in the country within just five years in business by PPA, to the creation of her own strong brand. Click on Sarah's photograph to visit her blog.

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