4 Ways to Think to Hit $10k Months with Photography






Today’s episode is another kind of a sneak peek behind the scenes at a coaching call I did with our Marketing School students. Normally in this calls, we do hot seats where students can ask questions and we can dig in to what’s going on in their business, which I absolutely love doing. But every once in a while, I see a recurring theme with students that I will prepare a training for. That is what I did for this coaching call and I wanted to share a bit of that episode with you here today.

4 Ways to Think to Hit $10k Months with Photography


I prepared a little bit of a training for you guys, because what I have seen in this course is like I can teach you guys the strategies, I can teach you guys what to do, but if you’re not thinking like a successful business owner – not pointing any fingers, all of us have these like hang ups in our head – but the mindset stuff is so important.

And I know that sometimes we hear mindset and it’s like, “(eye roll) Yeah, yeah. I know mindset is important,” but it’s so true that if you don’t have these things dialed in, it makes all the difference with how you show up in your business and what you do. So many things come back to mindset. So I want to chat with you guys about the mindset of a 6-figure business owner.

I thought about this a bunch of different ways, like how to hit 10k months. We talk about how to hit 10k months a lot. And like I said, I can give you strategies. I can give you ideas, but if you don’t have the mindset of somebody hitting 10k months, if you don’t have the mindset of a 6-figure studio owner, a lot of this stuff just isn’t going to work as effectively as if you’re doing these things that we’re going to talk about here today.

They’re CONFIDENT in their service

For all of you, that’s delivering beautiful birth images. How confident are you in your ability to deliver a phenomenal birth gallery to your clients? On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being super confident, one being not confident at all, how confident are you?

If you’re less than like an 8, this is where I would like for you to start, because if you’re insecure in your own work, that’s going to show in how you put yourself out there. If you’re not a hundred percent confident, even if you don’t realize that you’re doing it, there’s going to be something happening in the back of your head that you’re kind of putting out there like that.

Like once you have a product dialed in and you’re like, “This is amazing and I know that anyone who hires me is going to get phenomenal photos,” and you’re that confident to say that, that’s when shifts will start to happen and things will start to change.

So that’s step number one. And you guys, it took me a solid, probably two or three years before I felt confident enough to say like I’m a 10, that I can give people a phenomenal service 100% of the time. It took time, it took experience.

They make decisions like a 6-figure studio owner before they are one

We’re going to talk about in detail what this means, and I’m going to have you guys do a little exercise. So if you’re in a place where you can get a notebook, please do that because I want to walk through a little exercise with you guys that I did that was really, really helpful for me.

So we talked about this in your kickoff call about Be – Do – Have, and if we want to have a 6-figure studio, then we have to start being that person before we have that thing. And I know that that can get a little bit confused in my brain, but this exercise will help you:

  • What is a goal you have right now? What is something that you want in business right now?

  • Are those goals intimidating and scary?

    So I want these goals to be like #goals. I want these goals to be like, if this happened, I would be freaking out. I would be posting in the Facebook group with all caps, all the emojis, exclamation marks, because I’d be like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this happened.”

    So I want you to think of this thing and I want it to be hairy, scary. I want it to be like a big thing that you want to achieve in your business, something that you want.

  • Imagine the person who already has this thing that you want

    If you’re in a place where you can do this, I want you to close your eyes and I want you to imagine the person who already has this thing that you want. Imagine the business owner who already has this thing that you want, maybe it’s you in the future. Maybe it’s someone that you know or maybe she is kind of made up. There’s no right or wrong. Don’t overthink this. Just think of the person who has the thing that you want right now. Once you have her in your mind, I want you to think about…
    • What is she doing every day?
    • What kind of house does she live in?
    • What does she do for fun?
    • Does she have a family?
    • Who is she as a person? If you were going to go hang out with her, what would your time together be like?

  • Characteristics of a 6-figure business owner

    So this is where I want you to get your piece of paper and pen. And I want you to write down five characteristics that this person has.

    • What I wrote down about this person is she’s giving, she’s friendly, she is open, kind, generous, effortless, which I thought was interesting thing that came to mind for me. Conscious, intentional and surrendering.

      So now that you have this list of who this person is, this is who you’re going to be.

  • How can you be this person now?

    When you have a question about your business or how to find clients or whatever you’re struggling with right now, like what would that version of you or that person do?

    So write these characteristics on like a post-it note, keep it on your desk, and you can filter every decision that you need to make about your business through these characteristics. Like how would this person show up on social? This is exactly how you start being the 6-figure studio owner before you’re a six figure studio owner. You start acting this way before you have those things instead of have-do-be, you’re now being, so then you’ll do, so then you’ll have.



So I hope that this exercise is helpful. It was hugely helpful for me. Anytime I have a question about my business or what I should do about something, like instead of, you know, we talk a lot about like, what would your ICA do? What would your ICA say? And that is important, but also what would this six-figure version of you think and do and say about this problem or this situation?

They BELIEVE they can do what they haven’t done yet

And they really believe it. It’s not this like affirmation that you write and say to yourself, but don’t really believe, but say it to yourself anyway. But you have to find a way to really believe that it’s going to happen. And I’m going to give you some ways to do that.

First of all, you’re going to decide if it’s even something you should be doing.

So the 6-figure studio owner version of you is going to decide, is this even something that I should be doing? And then does it feel impossible or does it feel possible?

So let’s, let’s actually run through this with an example. Can somebody type in the chat, something on your goal list that you haven’t done yet? It can be from the previous example or it can be new. What’s something you have on your goal list that you haven’t done yet? Can be business-related or income related.


Offering a new service / product

Student: Family films.

Tavia: So first of all, do you think that this is possible for you?

Student: Yes.

Tavia: Can you be more specific with what you mean by family films?

Student: Like family lifestyle documentary films.

Tavia: Okay, perfect. So if you believe that you can do it and you haven’t done it yet, then I think that you’ve completed this one. You believe that you can do it, you just haven’t done it yet. So then my question for you would be what has kept you from doing it?

Student: I’m still practicing with film and I just haven’t had the time to market it yet.

Tavia: Okay, great. But you believe that you can do it?

Student: Yes.

Tavia: Okay, great. Check! You believe you can do what you haven’t done.


Working on your business full-time

Student 2: Making my business full-time. Quit my day job.

Tavia: Well, hasn’t so your brain is like, Okay, you haven’t done this before. Then our brains start looking for examples of other people that have done this that we might know, our brains are trying to figure out is this even possible?

So then they’re going, Okay. Has anybody else ever done this before? So if you don’t personally know someone or even hear of someone that has done this before, your brain can start to dismiss it. Do you believe that you can do this?

Student 2: Yeah.

Tavia: Okay. What are your thoughts around doing this?

Student 2: Trying to juggle full-time jobs, single momhood, while making that happen.

Tavia: Okay. What has stopped you from doing that before?

Student 2: All the things that I just said. So like I’m a single mom, somebody’s got to pay the bills. So I have to keep that full-time job for now. And I feel like I’m well, on my way, so like it’s happening. It’s just happening slower than I would like it to.

Tavia: Do you have proof of someone in your life who has done this thing that you want to do?

Student 2: Not really.

Tavia: See here’s what our brains try to do whenever we’re doing something that we’ve never done before. First, our brains are like, “Okay, is this possible? Have you done this before?” I know that you’ve done a lot of this work already, but it can be easy for our brains to start to dismiss it.

Well, you’ve never done it before. You don’t even know if anybody’s done it before. And so in an effort to keep ourselves safe, our brain is like, “This is going to be too hard. It’s impossible. Don’t do this. It’s new. It’s scary. It’s impossible.” So it can be easy at that point to kind of be like, “Well, I can’t do this.”

But what I would encourage each of you to do is go back to your life and think, okay, have I ever done anything – like what’s a goal that you’ve already achieved?

Student 2: Becoming a birth photographer, becoming a certified birth photographer, becoming a doula.

Tavia: Did those things feel hard and impossible before you did them?

Student 2: They did before I started actually like making things happen. So when it was an idea, it was an idea for a lot of years. And I was like, “No, there’s no way that I can do that, I’m a single mom. I’m working full time.” So when I actually started doing it, I feel like it kind of snowballed and was a lot easier I guess.

Tavia: Awesome. So what I would like for you to do is find a place in your life where you achieved, what you set out to do, and maybe something that felt hard or something that you always wanted, or always wished that you could have…

…and now you have it and use that as evidence for your brain to be like, “I can do things that are hard. No, I’ve never done this one thing. No, I don’t know anybody else who’s done this one thing, but I have done other things that once I thought were going to be really difficult and then I did them.”


And even though it’s something different or for you it’s in the same realm, but like you can use that as proof to your brain that you can do this thing. Does that make sense?

Student 2: Yeah, totally.

Tavia: Okay, cool. This was big for me you guys. Being able to sit down and go, “Okay, there’s this thing I’ve never done before.” So like I said, our brain starts to go, “Ah, I can’t do this!” But a goal that I have achieved that I thought was going to be like crazy hard or impossible was retiring my husband. That was like a 5 or 10-year plan that we thought like, “Oh my gosh, it’d be so great if someday this could happen.”

And then once it did, it’s like, okay. So I have proven to myself and to my brain, who’s trying to keep me safe, that I can do difficult things. And so I can go back to that, even if my goal is something I’ve never done and I don’t know anybody who’s done it, I can go back to that to my brain and be like, “No brain! I’ve done hard things before,” and use that as my affirmation and my beliefs that it really can happen because that’s where these affirmations that we talk about have to come from.

Affirmations have to come from a place of true belief.

Otherwise, you’re just kind of reciting things, and it is helpful, but it’s just not the same as if it’s rooted in something that you know is the truth. Hopefully that makes sense to you guys.

The 6-figure studio owner looks at failure as an opportunity to learn

And this has been so huge for me, you guys, because I am somebody who previously did not like to fail because I made failure in my business or whatever it was that I was doing mean that I was a failure.

What am I even doing if I can’t do this right the first time? Who has ever done something perfectly right the first time? Literally, very few people do things right the first time.

Failure is just a way to learn.

It’s just a way to go. Well that didn’t work. What about that that didn’t work? How can I improve next time?

I’ve shared this story with you guys: the first time that I ran mini sessions, this was like in 2012, I saw everybody else doing mini sessions, and so I was like, “I’m going to do mini sessions. They’re going to sell out. They’re going to be so cheap. People can’t resist them. This is going to be amazing.” I put this whole thing together on Photoshop because there was no Canva or anything like that, and it took forever. I used my brand colors, all this stuff. I posted a blog post and I was like, “Boom, this thing’s going to blow up,” posted it on my blog and then posted it on Facebook…

…and a big fat nothing happened, not even an inquiry. Not only did nobody book, nobody even inquired about it.

And so in my head, I made that mean I can’t do mini sessions. I tried it and it didn’t work. And man, I wish that I had just looked back at that and thought, “Okay, so this didn’t work. What about this didn’t work? How can I make it better for next time?”

And looking back, I’m like, “Tavia, you posted on Facebook one time. Probably like 12 people even saw it.” So of course I know that now, but looking back, I thought I did everything right and I failed. And because I didn’t have a growth mindset of “how can I make this better,” I’m just like, “Well, I failed. So I have to quit doing this.”

So think about something that you feel like you failed at lately and ask yourself, “What am I supposed to learn?”

Does anybody have anything pop-up right away for you that you want to share of I had this terrible thing happened or even if it’s not a huge deal, even if it’s something small. I bet there’s so much to learn. I mean, obviously that’s not awesome, but I just mean like there’s so much great opportunity to learn in those like terribly difficult moments.


Some of the hardest times of my life, I’ve learned the most and grown the most, because I looked at that and I became a different person because of it.

But man, what a tragedy to endure all of that and not learn, and then you just suffer for nothing and you don’t even learn anything from it. Instead of looking at this as like, “Okay, well marriage didn’t go like I thought, so what do I need to learn from this? And obviously in marriage, there’s another person that you can’t control.

So that’s a little bit part of it, but also, there’s always going to be pieces of everything that we can’t control. Like if you’re doing your model call and you only get, you know, one inquiry, you can blame it on the people that saw it, “They don’t value me. They don’t appreciate what I do. They don’t want to pay my prices,” or you can look at yourself and take some personal responsibility and go like, “Okay. So where did I fall short in that? And how can I improve next time?” So good.


Take Action

So hopefully those four things:

  1. Confident in your service

  2. Make decisions like a 6-figure business owner before you are one (AKA the be in be-do-have). How are you being that person and that’s all the characteristics we wrote down

  3. You believe that you can do what you haven’t done yet, and not in an affirmation-y kind of way, but in an affirmation that I actually, truly, deeply believe.

  4. If you do something and “fail,” and I quote fail, because I don’t really think it’s failing. I think it’s just, it didn’t go like you wanted. Basically, it’s just an opportunity for learning and the opportunity for growing. So you’re not stopping at failure. You’re looking at that failure as, how can I learn from this and grow from it?

    I heard that the girl who owns Spanx, her dad used to ask her at the dinner table every night how she failed that day. And I love that because growing up, I had such a hard time trying something, unless I knew I was going to be really good at it. I wouldn’t try new things because I wanted to only do things I was going to be really good at.

    And I wish that I had failed more growing up, like try things and been crappy at them so I could know what that felt like and didn’t have to wait until I was an adult to feel that feeling.

I would love for you to post your post-its or however, you’re going to put up these characteristics that you want to embody as a six-figure studio owner, snap a photo and post it in the group.


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