Ask James – Why Did You Stop Taking Clients?

Hi James,

I’ve read a few times on your site that you stopped taking clients. Must be nice! Would you mind going into more detail on why you did this, and how you’re able to make a living without that form of income?Marty P

For whatever reason, I have a history of jumping in over my head and swimming to the surface. I seem to thrive in this “sink or swim” environment, where I have to figure out how to make something work.

So yes, around mid 2013 I made the decision to stop advertising client work. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but it wasn’t a shot in the dark either. I had started making a decent percentage of my income online already, through selling eBooks and video courses and presets through my online store, as well as working with a few photography companies here and there. So I knew that if I could grow that aspect of my business and really focus on it, I had a chance at making this whole “no client” thing a reality.

So far, around two years after making that decision, it’s worked. I’ve built up my newsletter to 16,000+ subscribers with an open rate that’s over double the industry average. Between that, the workshops I teach and the deals I run throughout the year with other websites, I’ve been able to make it work. And not just “scraping by” either, the past two years have been the most successful years of my photography business by far. I can’t explain it really. It’s just been a lot of hard work, dedication, trusting in God’s plan for our family and putting in the time needed to allow that plan to unfold. I believe God has great things in store for all of us, but it’s up to us go out and make it happen. He won’t just do it for us while we sit back and wait.

The main reason I’m able to do what I do is because of you, the folks reading this post. You open my newsletters, purchase my educational materials and sign up for my workshops. I’d be nothing without your support and trust, and it’s something I will never take for granted.

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