When I first started out in photography, or in any business for that matter, I always thought that more is more and less is less. And I’m not talking about in terms of photos per blog post – less is more type of deal. I really mean it.

A fellow photographer Brian Adams emailed me an article about a donut store in Chicago called, “Doughnut Vault.”

Being a foodie, I clicked. It was really interesting…

I’ve been following their Twitter account and they sell about 400 donuts a day. And when they’re out by 10AM, they’re out.

doughnut vault
Doughnut Vault / Photo: Jeremy Bolen

Logically speaking, if your donuts taste so good, why not fry more dough? Equally speaking, if you’re free in December, why not book another photo session?

1. Scarcity Lends Value

So, the obvious strategy is scarcity, yet there are so many businesses that do not apply it. Perplexing isn’t it?

Scarcity isn’t only about limiting the number of items you sell or sessions you book. The strategy could be repurposed to a whole slew of ways to create value.

For example, limit the number of hours you offer for photography. However, over deliver by staying longer. Clients will appreciate it a lot. It’s the same thing if you offered the extra hours to begin with, but the feeling is different.

Fun stuff, eh?

2. Scarcity Lends Freedom

In addition to value, scarcity lends time – a luxury that we take for granted.

I was at a mall buying a new watch when a friend brought up an interesting revelation. “When we were younger, we had lots of time, but no money. Now that we have money, we don’t have time.”

When you have free time [to reflect], you’ll actually gain more clarity in decision making. Ergo, you’ll actually be more successful in business with better executions. And luckily, photography lends that luxury that many seek.

Freedom to live.

3. Scarcity Lends Happiness

With the spare time gained, share your craft.

“Everyone’s given an art. Use it to make the world better. And as an unintentional result, you’ll feel happier.”
-A local middle school orchestra teacher

We’re all photographers. Share your craft – even if for free. Whenever I travel, I’d gladly take photos for others with my camera and send the high resolution when I get to my hotel. They’re always thrilled.

I’m not supporting Liberty Mutual in any way, but their commercial epitomized how paying it forward makes everyone happier.

  • How do you use this luxury? Comment below.
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Lawrence Chan

P.S. My buddy, Kenny Kim, just published his second book. I wrote a review here.

P.P.S. Some nice reviews of my pricing and packaging e-book!