Episode 20: The Myth of Thinking “I Already Know That”

Episode 20: The Myth of Thinking “I Already Know That”


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard me say something and thought, “Sarah, I already know that.”

No hard feelings. I know you aren’t a “know it all,”  but be honest.

You’ve probably thought that before. 

Here’s the truth.

There’s a pretty big difference between knowing something in your brain and actually living it out.

You have to live out what you know to grow your photography business.

If your photography business isn’t where you want it to be, there’s a chance you’ve let yourself think “I already know that”. 

I ran across a past student the other day, who has been a part of the online photography business classes I’ve taught over the years.

She knows my systems.

She can recite the seven Bs of the first phone call or the 12 Ps of the IPS.

But her averages aren’t what they could be. 

She isn’t breezing through her photography business the way she wants.

When I gave her advice she told me, “But Sarah, I already know that.”

My question to her, and you, is  “Are you living out what you know?”

If you’ve been a student of mine over the years and you think, I learned this from Sarah, but I’m still not great at it, I’m not going to yell at you.

I know you know it, but just aren’t doing it. I learned this over many years as a business coach helping people grow their photography business. 

Knowing and doing are two different things when trying to grow your photography business.

After seeing this happen with several students I sat down and studied it.

I tried to figure out where they are now from where they started.

Mastery lives on a spectrum.

You aren’t terrible at something and then become awesome at it in a day.

You’re sitting somewhere along the spectrum.

At Joy of Marketing, we sat down and created five steps to boutique mastery. 


You want it, but you don’t know how to get there.

Maybe you’re the person who gets told that you should do photography for a living.

You start to think about how great it could be Then you go back to thinking about your miserable job that you will most likely end up staying at.

Step 2: SEEING IT.

This is when you realize that your dream could become a reality.

That there is actually a way.

Maybe you see others doing it and succeeding and you realize that this is a possibility.

Maybe you’ve seen me show what boutique pricing, selling, and marketing looks like.

It’s probably different from what you thought it was. 

The first time you realize that you can make money other than selling digitals for cash is big. 

You actually think about being able to make a living out of this.

That’s step two, seeing it.


This is where you invest in a photography business mentor to guide you.

You get systems.

You learn the ins and outs of what you need to do to achieve your dream.  

Here’s an example.

I have a five step selling system. students  spend years learning the boutique photography selling system, but this is where most stop.

They stop at knowing it. It feels like mastery because they don’t have questions.

They feel like they could teach it because they know the steps so well.

You might think, “I know the first step of the selling system. It’s the seven Bs.”

Knowing feels like mastery, but it’s not. This is where most photographers get stuck.

It is sort of like weight loss.

You think, I know how to live a beautiful healthy life, but are you living it?

Most of us aren’t.

Most of us still have to struggle with the scale going up and down.

There are people who live it flawlessly and have full control over their health and nutrition.

They live it.


Step four is the hard one because it’s where the head trash comes in.

Emotions and beliefs catch up to your logical understanding. Because when you believe it, that’s when you start to live it.

This step gets messy.

This is where the emotional meltdowns come in. Where you start telling yourself,

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I can’t do that.
  • I’m afraid of success.
  • I’m afraid of failure.”

You go back to the safety of knowing it.

Learning is not the same as doing.

Learning is safe and easy.

The hard part is making it happen.  

You have to get through the head trash and learn how to use failure to pick yourself up.

That is what happens in the believing step.


Step five is beautiful, effortless, enjoyable.

You’ve eliminated most emotional limitations. We can never say all, because the bigger you get, the bigger problems you have.

Luckily, you’re better at handling them. Most people give up before they reach this level in their boutique photography business.

There’s somewhere in your life that you’ve hopefully mastered.

You went from wanting it, to seeing it. Then from learning it to living it.

It’s like driving a car.

We’ve all gone somewhere while you’re daydreaming and then the next thing you know, you think, ‘how did I get here?’

You have no idea.

You’ve mastered it. You’re living it.

You know how to drive from your house to your work. You don’t have to use a map.

You’re living it. 

You Can Master and Grow Your Photography Business

I know you may be thinking, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know if that could ever be me.”

But it can be you.

Here’s the thing, to go from knowing it to living it, you’ve got to expect to have head trash, expect to fail, expect to doubt yourself.

Know that it is coming.

That’s why you need a photography business coach.  Your coach helps you figure out everything you don’t quite know yet.

Even if you do know it, they are there to prompt you. 

You might tell me you know the seven Bs of the first phone call, but I’m sure you’re not doing it effortlessly.

You got distracted and didn’t do it. That’s why we practice.

We have to have course correction, just like in sports.

To get to mastery, you’ve got to get through your own head trash.

I’ve had a coaching student who’s been in business for 20 years.

She used to have a thriving business.

She’s an excellent photographer.

Somewhere along the way she lost her confidence and lost her way. She’s been beating herself up.

Even though she did it back in the film days, times have changed. S

he built up a lot of head trash, and we’ve been working on it together.

She has had such an amazing breakthrough and is on her way to mastery.  

She is now ready to grow her photography business.

Your Photography Business is Worth It

Doesn’t it make you feel like this is all worth it? Business is worth the work and the hard times.

This is when business gets fun, because you don’t think about those skills. 

When you get to a point where you’ve mastered the business part of your business, it doesn’t mean it’s over and you’re a multimillionaire.

It means that you’re effortless about your days. It means you have the confidence to attract the right clients and serve them at the highest level.

You don’t beat yourself up because you can put your family first. Instead, you celebrate your business allowing you that opportunity.

You rarely have sleepless nights trying to solve problems. While you love to learn about how to solve challenges and problems, even solving those challenges become effortless and enjoyable. 

That is what happens when you grow your photography business

The Change You Want Comes From Your Actions

Hopefully you got some clarity around why you haven’t experienced the change you wanted yet.

Cut yourself some slack and realize what step of mastery you’re on.

Make a plan to move forward to the next step, instead of getting stuck at, “I already know that.”

Use these steps to grow your photography business.

The work becomes, how do I go from knowing it, to believing it, to living it?

It’s good news to know what you are doing. 

You are closer than you think.

Fill in the knowledge gap so you know what things to do. Then we can work together to get you there.

I want you to believe in yourself because I believe in you.

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