A considerable part of my career has been spent "talking" with photographers. "Talking" by definition these days includes email, Twitter, IM's, Facebook, Linkedin, the phone and face to face at the various conventions. Lately, so many of you seem overly focused on your quest to be successful.
I get that the "slow season" is coming to a close and you're looking for the business to ramp up into the Spring. I also know with Mother's Day, graduation, proms and Father's Day we're close to the year's second-biggest stretch of seasonality, but here's my point.
"Success" no matter what your definition - being incoming revenue or just waking up happy every day doesn't show up without effort. It's not a lottery and winning is entirely dependent on your train of thought.
One thing I've noticed about those people in our industry who we all consider at the top of their game is their success has been created with a unique ingredient in their attitude. They work hard. They have incredible technical and creative talent. But when it comes to looking for success, they just aren't worried about it. They trust the hard work is going to pay off.
On the other hand, I've talked with so many young photographers and even more established photographers who had a hard time over the last few years, and everyone is so preoccupied with making it. I can't help but feel they're all looking too hard.
My old buddy Don Blair set a great example. "Big Daddy" just loved to teach. It's what he did best, and it was second only to the love he had for his family and friends. While other photographers his age seemed to worry about being forgotten or were trying to reinvent themselves, Don just took it one day at a time. He did what he loved the most and just kept teaching. He never looked for work - it came to him.
It's the start of a new week, and a great time to ponder a little. For those of you who stay awake at night worrying about your business or wondering when the Success Fairy is going to tap you on the shoulder - relax and keep working hard. Keep building your network. Keep fine-tuning your skills. Stay focused on your marketing...but stop worrying about success.
If I've learned nothing else after all these years in the photographic industry and being on this planet, I've learned great things happen when you least expect them, and everything always works out for the better.
John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach is quoted as saying:
"Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. "
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.