"The 3 C's in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the Choice, to take the Chance,
if you want anything in life to Change."
Typical of some Sunday mornings, I woke up and had no idea what to write about, but I knew I had to go off track a little from my usual. As I wandered through quotes on different topics the one above seemed to light up like a neon sign!
Tomorrow is my tenth anniversary of giving my notice to leave Rangefinder Magazine and WPPI. It was after the 2009 convention, and most of my friends and family thought I was nuts. After all, I had been part of the biggest convention in WPPI history, but very few people knew the whole story behind my decision to leave. Plus, the economy was horrible, and unemployment was at an all-time high - but it was still time to move on.
I had decided to stop living vicariously through many of you and see if I could walk the talk as an entrepreneur. My entire life I'd played it safe and always worked for other companies, but my internal clock was going off and screaming, "Go for it!" As it turns out, it's one of the best decisions I've ever made, and while I wish I had done it earlier in my life, the truth is I didn't have all the tools I needed.
So making the Choice to leave was easy, but actually taking a Chance was the tough part. That's where the importance of having a great partner came in, and Sheila was instrumental in helping me travel an entirely new path. But sometimes Change is the toughest component in those three "C"s" because change is constant.
Think about things you do in the way you run your business today versus a year or two ago. Consumer trends, technology, social media are all moving targets. Nothing is a constant and every day it seems like there's another paradigm shift. Just when we think we've found the perfect recipe for some aspect of success, something changes.
For example, that first summer of 2009, four months after leaving Rangefinder/WPPI, we launched Skip's Summer School with the talented team above. I thought we had the perfect program, with 350 people joining us in Las Vegas that summer. We stopped the program after 2013 when the market was flooded with educational opportunities both live and online. The SCU blog was founded that year as well and keeps changing with new podcasts, videos and better ways to share content. The business was changing and so was my focus.
And finally, here's my point. You can't grow in business today if you hate change. Our industry is changing continually. How we communicate and share images is a never-ending stream of expanded reach. We have to adapt to grow, and we're forced to make choices and take chances every day.
So as you dream about making a change in your life, but you're afraid to take that first step here are two of my favorite quotes, both from unknown authors.
"Stop calling it a dream. It's time to call it a plan!"
"Many people are afraid of the dark, but the real tragedy are those who are afraid of the light."
Wishing you a terrific Sunday, or Monday since many of you are on the other side of the world. Take a little time today to appreciate the potential for Change in front of you, while at the same time recognizing all the changes you see in your rearview mirror! Go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with the people who mean the most to you. They're the ones who will be by your side as you make the Choices, to take the Chances that lead to the Changes that help you grow and thrive!
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.