Today's interview is one that you're not going to want to miss. Especially if you are in search of the ultimate photo business, your best life, maybe even just being happy. Maybe you are finding yourself in a place of imposter syndrome. You doubt yourself a lot. You wonder if you're doing things right. You're comparing yourself to everyone else. This is common stuff in this industry.
So read on for wisdom from female empowerment coach Laura Belcher.
Even if you aren't a female, this is all about creating your dream business, creating your dream life, understanding how to be in the present, and understanding how fear holds us back in business and in life.
Natalie: Hi, Laura. Thank you so much for being here.
Laura: Thank you for having me, Natalie. It's my pleasure. Yeah, I'm so glad that we're doing this.
Natalie: I'd love to hear in your own words, what brought you to this space that you work in?
Laura: Thank you. First of all, thank you for letting me be in your space. I'm always very aware of that. I am a business mentor for women, especially my beautiful, dark, divine feminine, and I'm a photographer.
I always struggle to say what type of photographer I am. And naturally I've sort of always been fashion and I would say fast fashion. It was always people, women, location, that type of thing. I evolved into studio and I evolved into beauty.
And actually now I would definitely say, I'm a woman empowering photographer. And it's taken me a long time to get there and it's been quite recent. So yeah, I'm a women empowering photographer and a business mentor.
My sort of brief brief overview is that I'm 32 and I started business at 23 and I built a property company with another woman went through every challenge you could ever imagine. Was also working photography. It was my outlet. I loved it, my passion.
And then 2019 come about lots of stuff happened personally. I was just like questioning everything, you know? And I knew I always was meant to be aligned with business and I adored it, but I just wasn't happy anymore. You know, when you start becoming resentful and you don't want to show up and you're like, this is a bit of a concern when it's my business and I don't want to show up today.
Natalie: Oh, absolutely. I think that's a huge one. And I think there are so many folks that are unhappy in their business. And you, you said something actually just a second ago. It helped me to understand to say no too. I think that's a big issue with all sorts of folks, not just photographers.
And I think also you've kind of touched on this a little bit. There's this sort of sense that we're taught that we're going to arrive somewhere someday, you know, and think that that is.
Laura: It is. And I think for me personally, I I've realized after 10 years of doing this, that obviously that's not true, but also it really takes you out of the present moment when you're constantly, you know, spinning your wheels, trying to get somewhere. And, um, for every single person that's a different place.
You know, we're looking to everyone else, like, did I get there? Did I get there a hundred percent? You know, it's so, so true. And it is having those moments is why the biggest thing I did with my clients.
Before we even really like evolve their business strategy or where they're going or what they're doing and look at money and all those things, we start with mindset because actually, there's so much fulfillment and happiness in practicing gratitude every day.
And it's so underrated and, oh man, I wish I could teach this to every tiny child, like, and they knew it from a young age, but to really just look back at your day or your week or the last six months and almost have moments to level down.
We're constantly leveling up as human beings. We're constantly going “okay. Well, what do we want next? What next car can I buy? What next camera can I buy? What next thing do I need? What next job can I be to be better? Well, what do I want to burn? Okay, well what more money do I want?”
It's like one day you, you dream for the life you have now, and you forget that you forget to reflect on it and actually enjoy it. And the crazy part of happiness is I truly believe it comes from gratitude, happiness isn't given to you anywhere. You have to find it in what you've done. You know, you'll never arrive.
Natalie: Absolutely. In fact, I had a moment. I was doing a shoot a couple of days ago and it was crappy weather. It was just awful. It was stressful. Everyone was grumpy. And I've been trying to do this more and more just in those moments of just total, “I can't wait till this is over” kind of moments. And I just sort of like stopped closed my eyes, took a couple breaths and I was like, I can walk. I can see.
It's underrated and it is because that appreciation or gratitude for just things that are present in my life every day, just kind of tilts the lens a little bit. No pun intended.
Laura: It's actually, I think quite calming for a human being, but we actually feel quite centered there. And we actually, you know, when even there's so much anxiety within the human race and it is it's just because we're not designed to keep needing new things and keep going.
I really find there's a lot of blocks with people where you have the intention to want something, but you don't quite believe you can get it, or you don't quite believe you deserve it. You know, when we really are marvelous.
It's the imposter syndrome where you're like, I can't charge more. What if I don't get clients? What if I can't pay my rent? So it's the lack. It's the lack again, of the self identity. And it's hard.
I'm never saying that this is an easy thing. I've arrived at my purpose and I'm so aligned in it. I so know this is what I was, my soul was meant to serve the world, but it took like the rivers of vulnerability I've swum through.
I promise you guys, what I ask you to do, it's not like I've never done it myself. I have shown up thinking I can not do this shoot or I am under-qualified or I'm an imposter, or I should not be here.
That's the game of, then we go back to gratitude and it's like, when you do that conditioning daily, it's almost just as a place where you can ground yourself back in and just really have a moment of your present.
Natalie: I would love to, to move into some conversation around imposter syndrome, but first I'm curious if you have any simple exercises that you do at the end of the day, or when you wake up that you can recommend other than acknowledging it. Do you journal or is there anything that folks listening might want to try before we jump into imposter syndrome?
Laura: That's so good. So the biggest thing I would say is I'm always really transparent with my clients. I always try and tell you things that I've done in my journey that's helped me. So the biggest thing, as I said, to do is having a really good routine. I feel like you should never forget the gratitude, like, and you have to build it in and I'll tell you why, because when you need it, the most.
When you go on this journey of growth, you never graduate. You're always tested.
So 95% of our actions are in our subconscious. So that's why, you know, all of a sudden, when we're put through these heightened emotions, we feel overwhelm. And we feel scared and we want to back out, but actually it's because it's the world and it's a situation forcing us into the presence. So the more you can be comfortable in your own presence, which is allowing yourself to have time and not be distracted.
Everyone can make time for this is, [it is] so important for your brain, your body, your mind, and also as well. You know, there is, we have journeys with emotion. We have our mental journey and we have a physical journey. So when you go through something horrific, the stress, your stress response kicks off and you know, an adrenaline is going through the body.
You might have a revelation or a resolution and it's you understand it now in your mind? You're fine. We can move on, but the body still needs to finish. You know, and that is what being in the present does. So yoga breath, work, meditation affirmation, super important. S
So the first thing around building a good routine is, I would always say this to clients- never be overwhelmed by meditation. You know, I think some people get overwhelmed with it.
That's why guided meditation will help you more first because it's hard to be in your present. So, what I would say is if you're new to this, definitely build in that you can Google any that resonate with you on YouTube and Spotify.
Build it in and don't be forceful on yourself. You know, if you've got a really crazy morning and you know, you've overset your alarm, you think, “oh God, I haven't done the gratitude.”
Put it in your ears while you're getting ready. Have it playing out loud, put it on in the car.
Natalie: So I do think when you ask “what would make me happy?” You start to appreciate the things that you already have. And in you're like, “oh, actually I have a lot of stuff that makes me happy.”
Laura: And what I just want people to always know is that they should never be fear around that.
Never fear. You know, I think the biggest thing that stops people from trying and go in is the thought of it going wrong, but actually, the beauty and the learning is in the process and the outcome truly is just the outcome of anything we try. It's not a result of that. It's just the outcome. You can try a million more times, that's it. And you'll get better every time.
Natalie: And that's a really good segue into imposter syndrome. Speaking of fear, you know, people are really afraid of messing up or doing the wrong thing, or, you know, you talked about how's the lighting going to be? Am I going to screw this up? Am I qualified to do this?
Do you think that most of imposter syndrome comes from a place of fear?
Laura: I do, but I would go, I'd go a level further and I'd say, it actually comes down to a misalignment to ourself and self-worth, that's what it is.
When you actually look at every version of imposter syndrome, it's all about comparison. It's just a lack of, in a knowing of what your journey is and your higher purposes and the belief to believe you can get there and you deserve it and it will happen. And the fear part is the ego that protects us.
Natalie: Right. Well, and that's actually a great point to bring up is just that when your ego steps in, it's not trying to, it may seem like it's sabotaging the situation, but it's really built in to protect you. It's a survival thing, hundred percent.
And I think that remembering that and kind of knowing that it's okay to step out of that is sort of a really important step. Like, oh, it's just, just trying to protect me, but I, I know I'm safe here. I know that I can move forward and I'll be okay. A hundred percent. And do you know, it's funny actually, and that's an aid because leading on more exercises for people and not the meditation to bring into your daily routine, I think is brilliant around this subject.
We all have this past circuit. And that's our trauma line. That's just what we've always known. That's like what everybody said to us in the playground. That's what we've always heard. It could've come from conditioning in all different aspects, but it's basically who we are. So it's our conditioning, our beliefs, our morals. And that is just a constant pattern of our thoughts.
So what happens is say, if something goes wrong in that present moment, in that present day: so say if the light breaks you would go back on your old circuit and you go, “well, of course that's going to happen, always happens and it's going to happen.”
Or it could be like, well, “that's happened before. I'm not good enough anyway.” When actually that just happened. It just happened, right? Could have happened to anyone. I't s just the thing that happened. But what is incredible to bring into your daily routine and move out of this imposter syndrome, if you truly want to step forward into like that future, you is creating a future self.
A lot of people have really bad money blocks or money issues because, because they see the ceiling, right. You know, they live in their own little box, so they might've Googled one day, “what's a photographer meant to earn.” Well, what does that even mean? It's just what Google says.
Natalie: Imposter syndrome always been connected to comparison. And so, in photography, as you know, it's really bad. It's bad to the point where I noticed photographers, not really even being themselves, they're just copying what everybody else is doing. It's the times when I pick up my camera and do something that feels good, that feels exciting, that I'm inspired to do. That feels just aligned with my personality and what I'm drawn to– Always those images are the ones that are the most “successful” online, or that I am most excited about. And that, you know, ended up being the best things that I put out there, but it always starts with that alignment with yourself.
Laura: The more you can shut down that noise, the more successful you'll be, the more happier you'll be. And actually this is the crazy part of it all, the more money you'll make. You know, you really will. Google “affirmations for self-worth”, “affirmations, for self love,” “affirmations for financial deserving.”
It's incredible what you can achieve. The mind is the only thing that limits us. I promise you. So when it is just the mind, it's basically the circuit of who you've always been, you know, and that's why stepping into this higher purpose, this higher ground, it takes courage and it takes vulnerability. There has to be moments when you say actually, no, I'm not doing that job anymore.
And I know the world says I should be grateful because I get to do photography as a job but actually shooting a wedding isn't for me. And actually, if I do 10 weddings, I might as well just go and work at Walmart because this isn't for me anymore, because I feel the same feeling of burnout. I feel the same feeling of like, I'm not happy and this doesn't make me fulfilled.
And it all goes back to what you just said. You know, it's the moments when you are so in your creative zone and you're literally in this because it's exactly why you should be in it and why you adore it and why you're connected to it. And it's that moment for you that then fulfills you.
It's funny, the way that people say the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. I believe a lot of that's mindset, the rich thing, they can get richer. The poor just think they're always going to be poor, you know, in the macro, I'm not saying it's for everyone, but it really is that way.
Natalie: Well, and I also think that there is massive amounts of value in if you have the ability to do so, in surrounding yourself with folks that are smarter. Like not being the smartest person in the room, not being the wealthiest person in the room, not being the most experienced person in the room because those folks that are just day after day, like living in alignment, doing their thing really well, that's inspiring. And that's also going to lift you up.
Laura: Your army around you, the network around you is so important. I think when you start doing this future vision work, that's really important too.
Natalie: What is a quote or a piece of advice or something that you would like to leave folks with, whether a business thing or a personal thing or something that you turn to that's just really helped you, that keeps popping up for you that you'd like to share?
Laura: So do you know what Natalie, I'm always questioning the status quo. I'm always, always challenging it.
So. I think the biggest thing that I would say is that if you can truly understand that working out of a place of passion, will ultimately serve you the most and make you fulfilled. And I promise you money's the byproduct. And when you're working out of an intrinsic passion and that trigger, that thing that you have to talk about, or that thing, that when somebody brings it up, you want to be a part of it and you understand and trust that that's how you're going to make money. You're winning at life.
If you can figure that out and stick to it. You have to get in the river of vulnerability. You have to take those moments of the unknown. You have to start saying no and trust that what you truly want will come in.
And if you're not sure, just say no quick and keep moving forward. Like I actually think there's just such an incredible, there's such an incredible power in saying no.
“I'm good at this, but I don't love doing it, you know?” That's really powerful.
Laura Belcher- Women Empowering Photography and Mentor to Women in Business.
Laura was designed to build other people’s dreams whether that’s through capturing the most powerful image for a brand, a model or mentoring you in your business. As soon as she stood in her own power and believed she was enough when it came to her wisdom, experience and methods – true alignment happened. “I then realised that my past of navigating through all the rivers of vulnerability of starting and building a business, dealing with the entertainment industry and a craft self taught as a woman that only had dreams and an upbringing of limited money mindset, allowed me to help every woman and brand on their journey to attract the success and wealth they deserve.”
Laura envisions a world where women faced with today’s societal expectations and institutionalised biases have the tools early on to navigate and structure their everyday life in nowadays’ world , through their true identity and needs. Creating a path of fulfilment, deep-routed happiness and wealth.
Website – https://www.laurabelcher.com/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/laura_belcher_/
Follow Laura’s website to download FREE masterclasses or book a complimentary discovery call with Laura.