I've mentioned Melody Beattie's books a few times over the years. I try to hit one of her books at least 2-3 times a week, just to feed my soul with something other than photography. Ever notice how much fun it is when you get out to dinner with a friend who's NOT in our industry? You talk about other subjects and each time you grow a little. Well, feeding my brain with something other than our industry is the same thing.
Here's what she wrote for July 7 which hit home:
"Sometimes the Road Gets Rough"
Don't be dismayed when you come to pothole, a detour, a stretch of rough and rocky road. Don't be surprised. Slow down a little. Be patient. It's not the whole journey. It's not the way it'll always be. But it is part of your journey, too, part of your journey to your heart and soul. Even when we're living with joy and freedom, we continue to learn, grow, feel, experience. And the road can still get rough.
Happiness doesn't mean feeling gleeful all the time. Happiness doesn't mean the road we're traveling is always smooth. Happiness means feeling all we need to feel. And accepting each part of the journey, even the changes of course and direction."
Here's how that translates.
- You're going to see natural ups and down in the business cycle. They will ALWAYS be there. Don't be discouraged. Just ride them out, but keep working on quarterly promotions so you can even out the peaks and valleys.
- You're going to have ups and downs with your heart. Your heart has to be in everything you photograph, but there will be times when your heart isn't in it. That's okay. Sometimes life is just overwhelming. All of you are jugglers, some with more to handle than others. You wear multiple hats as spouses, parents, friends, business owners, artists, lovers and the list goes on and on. Life gets in the way now and then - just accept it and take time off when you need it.
- It's a daunting task to match the pace of growing your skill set with technology. You'll never win. Technology has millions of people pushing the envelope, and you're just you. So, pick the low-hanging fruit. Look for the changes that can bring you the greatest benefit in the shortest amount of time and then take the longer skills you need to master and just keep practicing.
Here's my closing point this morning. Remember that Algebra class you had to take in junior high or high school? I remember looking at the last chapter of the textbook on the first day of class and thinking how awful and hard the class was going to be. The truth is, by the time we got to that last chapter six months later, it was all understandable.
Building a business as a photographer is no different, and there's plenty of help along the way. Stop worrying about how much you have to learn and give yourself a big pat on the back for how far you've come!
Photo Credit: © antiksu