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3 Reasons NOT to take money from your husband or parents for your business

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husbandcamerasm Dear Female Photographer,

You need a new camera. Your web hosting bills are due for the year. And you also need to pay your quarterly payment for your business insurance. And you need to do it all this month.

The problem is, you currently don't have any money with which to cover these expenses. If you find yourself in such a spot, there's no need to beat yourself up. It's simply evidence that you need to do some re-evaluating of your business.

You know that you should have enough money ready to cover business expenses in your business account. But you don't. So now what? What if your husband offers to buy you the new camera as a little gift? He knows you need it and he wants to help. Or, how about if the bank of Mom floats you over some cash to get caught up. That would be AMAZING, right?! Wrong. Here are three good reasons why.

  1. This is YOUR business. And it's … well … a BUSINESS. If you're a hobbyist and your husband wants to make a gift out of a camera, that's a whole other story. But if you're running a business, then the business covers your expenses. Your husband or Mom mean well. They want to see you succeed. But how will you ever succeed if you don't learn how to run a business that actually generates enough money? And how will you ever learn if people keep bailing you out? Those freebies might help you out for a moment … but in the long run, they're doing you a disservice.

  2. It's been proven that people are more creative when given some constraints. Go to the bank and receive a loan for a big chunk of money and suddenly you'll feel free. You've got cash in hand and can easily try out some marketing ideas. Maybe print up some brochures. Hire a web designer. Go to a photography retreat. Maybe those things will work. But honestly, how hard will you try to make those ideas work? How creative will you be? Will you really pour your heart and soul out into those brochures?But what if you had NO MONEY in your pocket and had to find a way to grow your business --- and do it fast in order to get caught up on bills. How creative would you HAVE to be? Very. And it just so happens that those creative ideas you come up with during the tough moments of constraint can be some of the most creative ones you'll ever dream up. 

  3. You might miss out on the chance to fail. Failure can be an integral part of eventual success. The sooner you can come to the realization that something isn't working well -- and yes, not being able to cover the costs of your business means it's not working well -- the sooner you will move towards … a). the tweaks needed to fix the problems. b). a new endeavor that will be a better fit for you. Wait, did I really just say that you might want to find a different job? Yes. The very beautiful thing about throwing in the towel on a project that isn't working is that you will be free to move on to a new effort. It may be something completely different than photography. Or it may be a re-birth of your photography business. But when all the signs are pointing towards the end of the road, bail-outs only delay the inevitable.

So, thank your hubby. He means well. But say "no". And if you REALLY do need that upgraded camera for a wedding or other upcoming shoot, rent or borrow. I do it all the time. Equipment is expensive … and sometimes it's just NOT the time to plunk down lots of zeros on gear. 

Warmly,
Kate

 

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