"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
by Skip Cohen
Over the last few months, simply the result of being busy, I got away from weekly posts based on personal experiences. Well, it's a new year and time to get back on track.
Welcome to "Consider This," a series of short weekly posts with food for thought. My career continues to cover a wide variety of experiences, and I'm hoping this new feature helps you learn from my mistakes so you can make new ones of your own.
When I found the quote above I couldn't help but think about my own career path. The majority of my adult life I only worked for other companies. Yes, I was President of Hasselblad USA, PhotoAlley.com and Rangefinder Publishing/WPPI, but I always wanted to step out on my own, but was too afraid to make a change.
In 2009 after getting divorced, I decided to start my own company. Friends and family thought I was nuts. It was the worst economy in my lifetime. Inspired by so many of you, I wanted to know if I had learned enough in all my years in business to be able to walk the talk. I started Marketing Essentials International, essentially a consulting company and the foundation for my life morphing into a writer and blogger with SCU today.
As I was trying to get the nerve to leave the security of Rangefinder Magazine and WPPI, my now wife Sheila asked me, "What are you afraid of?" My answer was simple, "Failing!" With her help, I spent a long time analyzing my situation and finally took the plunge.
"You can't be that kid at the top of the water-slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute!"
And there it is - one big life lesson all summed up in a quote by Tina Fey. (It's hard to believe I even have an image to support her quote. That's me after letting a half-dozen people go ahead of me, including an 85 year old man, who screamed "Life is too short," as he jumped on the water-slide!)
Whether they're big decisions or small ones - learn to analyze risks relatively quickly and then make a decision. Utilize people in your network, especially those in the core group. These are the people closest to you, both personally and professionally.
So many of us spend so much time wanting to change situations, but instead, we procrastinate and never take steps to change our paths. Being in the photography industry is an amazing career choice and loaded with diverse opportunities. If you're not happy with what you're doing and feeling unfulfilled, don't lose yourself and your dreams by wasting time not taking some fresh steps in a new direction.
Consider this, as Sheila said to me in 2009, "What's the worse that can happen?"
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.