It's six years today that I stopped living your dreams vicariously and started chasing my own! May 3, 2009 I incorporated my company in Ohio. I had no idea what I was going to be doing, just knew I needed to leave the nest of a lifetime of corporate security, always working for other people. At that point my career was seven years at Rangefinder/WPPI, two and a half with PhotoAlley, twelve with Hasselblad USA and 17 1/2 with Polaroid. Total it all and it's 39 years working for other companies.
So, it's a Sunday morning and as usual I'm kicking back in a reflective mode and thinking about how much I've learned. Truthfully, as much as I've always learned a lot in every position I ever held, it's these last six that have contributed the most.
- I was hesitant to start the journey and I remember Sheila saying to me, 'What are you afraid of?" My answer was simple, "Failing!" We all have many of the same fears, yet we all fail to recognize we're not alone and don't draw enough from friends and people in our network who support and often share our dreams.
- Technology is constantly changing and I've learned to delegate to the experts when I'm in over my head. In the beginning I didn't want to ask for help on my blog/site and figured I could somehow mimic enough HTML code to make minor changes, only to have the experts come back and help me clean up my mess. Twice I completely shut down my blog with an attitude of "How tough can it be to just make one small change?" LOL
- Scott Bourne re-entered my life that Summer of 2009 at the first Skip's Summer School. To this very day, even thought he's retired, I'll often attack a challenge saying to myself, "What would Scott do?" Scott is a visionary and had the 104th website in the world, back when all of us were thinking the Internet was just a fad. I learned so much from him. With his help I developed a reach that ten years ago only magazines and newspapers had.
- Summer School, starting in 2009 with the first one, faculty pictured below, brought me closer to so many photographers who simply needed help. We would do four more of them over the next summers, finishing with the last one in Chicago. They paved the way for a better exchange of information and support for each other. While there hasn't been one scheduled for 2014 or 2015, what I learned in each one, has helped me with ShutterFest, SPTV, Weekend Wisdom and Mind Your Own Business, all programs that I so appreciate being involved in today.
- Then there are all of you and the biggest most important lessons all these years...never lose focus on your dreams. Each one of you have played a role in the things I do today. Each one of you have taught me something about dreaming, staying focused and striving to be the very best. Each story you've shared, each image you've shown in a quest to be better and each challenge you've asked for help with, has created an incredible foundation to help build a stronger industry - one artist at a time!
So, on this gorgeous Sunday anniversary-of-my-business morning, it's a big thanks to everybody who's played a role, even a couple of trolls here and there. I've quoted Tenneson a few times over the years with, "I am a part of all that I have met!" Well, gang, you're all a part of me and the reasons why I love what I do, along with this amazing industry.
Wishing everybody a wonderful Sunday - and as always a day filled with family, friends, spirituality and hugs for people special in your life. Thanks for your support, your encouragement and most of all your friendship!