"You know you're on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it."
I tweeted this quote a short time ago, but it got me thinking about my career and especially catching up with so many old friends during this past trade show and convention season.
So many times people would say something like, "You look so happy!" Think about it for a second. It's a funny expression. We all understand it, but it's kind of like somebody saying to you at your job, "Why do you look so nice today?" as if you look like a train wreck all the other days.
Well, to answer the question, I look so happy because I love my "job" and my life. I love what I do for a living. I'm proud of what my friends have helped me build, and I'm simply happy. As sappy as it might sound to some of you, I love this industry. Sure we all hit the wall now and then, but the trick is to "fall seven times and get up eight!"
Then there's the partnership I have with my wife, Sheila. She's working every convention right along side me and a lot of good ideas have come out of her non-photographic head! LOL Coming out of the administrative side of the healthcare industry, she's constantly asking me why I do things a certain way. Now and then I realize the way I'm doing something defies logic and thanks to her; it's back to the drawing board.
But there's something else I'm finding that's become very important. At every convention, I now make it a point to catch up with friends. I refuse to be victimized by my schedule. I'll make the time for some new friends over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whatever time management skills I have, which aren't much, will be running on all eight cylinders and it continues through the rest of the year via the phone and social media when I'm home.
I've written a lot about networking and the importance of attending conventions, but it goes deeper than that. Great relationships help recharge your battery and stimulate creativity. But, you can't have great relationships if you're always making contact on the fly. You've got to make a conscious effort to make the time for old and new friends.
So when it comes to defining success, while being able to afford more than macaroni and cheese every night is an obvious part of it, the real success comes when you realize you dive out of bed every morning with a smile on your face!
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.