Last Minute Panic Syndrome

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Imposter Syndrome and how to deal with it. This got me to thinking, there are many shared conditions that we may well go through at different times and like Bob Hoskins said, It’s Good to Talk. Just knowing someone else has experienced similar feelings makes us feel calmer about most tricky situations.

Since starting Photography Farm this time two years ago, we have helped many photographers either launch their businesses or regenerate existing ones. In that time, I have lost count of the amount last minute panicked messages I have had from one of them saying they had been merrily beavering away on a new brand identity, a new website or blog and then right as it was all ready to launch, they think they have completely gone off it or think its just not good enough.

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This is very common and just a normal part of the creative process. When you have spent a long time working on something, you can get so close and focused on the project that when it does actually come together you have lost sight of your original vision. How many times have you heard a bride say, in the days before her wedding that she has totally gone off her wedding dress and doesn’t think she likes it anymore? Planning a wedding starts with the dream of what it could be and for most of us, we picture that pivotal moment where we walk down the aisle to meet our beloved. But the reality of planning the whole day can be overwhelming. It is not surprising that brides often have last minute visions that their day will be disastrous or they will be doing that walk in a dress they hate. It is all too easy to get lost in the planning process and lose focus on that initial dream. It can be the same in business.

You might start out thinking you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from your brand, your site or your project but the process of getting it all together can be so laborious or complicated that you lose sight of what you originally wanted. Last minute nerves about anything big is again all part of the process and the excitement. Before you let it get in the way of finishing what you started, let’s look at some ideas that might help.

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~ A good thing to do is let a close friend look at it for you, ideally someone you trust to give an honest opinion. They may well spot any huge mistakes that you have made or their fresh eyes might be able to give you that final sparkle that you need to elevate the project into something special.

~ Take a few days away from the project, even away from work altogether. When you really cannot see the wood for the trees, it’s time to exit the forest. A couple of days off, relaxing and getting away from it all will refresh your mind as well as your body. Then take a renewed look at everything and you may have a clearer vision of what works and what needs to go.

~ Refer back to any notes you made at the start of the project and pick out three words that define your intention when you first started. Do you think you have incorporated those words into the final product?

~ Finally, know when to quit faffing about with it and just put it out there. So what if it is not totally perfect? Something I picked up from the inimitable Blogcademy is just Launch and Learn. When there are lots of pairs of eyes on your precious project, yes the cracks may show but you can always fill them in and paper over the top. Far too many great ideas or brands never get off the ground through too much procrastination. Can you believe that when I launched my website a couple of years ago, I had forgotten to link to any of the wedding content on the home page? It was easily fixed and I still feel the site is evolving.

Right now, I am on the brink of launching The Barn which is the online resource section of Photography Farm. It has been a year in the making and I very much doubt I would ever have got this far on it without a lot of help and support from Richard at FX Media. Yes, right at the last minute, I am panicking that it may all be not good enough. However I am going to launch, I most certainly will learn and you know what? I’m excited and terrified in equal measures. If you are having a last minute panic about your latest project, then let me know and we can take a big deep breath together….
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