I wrote a post about this a few years ago, but it's one of those challenges that just doesn't change.
There’s a great anecdotal story and it's still so relevant today:
A child is watching her mother make a roast beef and she cuts off 3 inches of it and throws it away. “Why do you cook a roast beef that way Mom?” she asked. “Because that’s the way my mother taught me!” answered her mother. So, she went to the grandmother and asked the same question. The grandmother smiled and simply said, “That’s the way my mother taught me.” That took her to her great grandmother, who smiled and holding her hands about 10 inches apart said, “Because I only had a pan this big!”
How many times do you find yourself doing something, simply because it’s the way you’ve always done it? I’m willing to bet, like the majority of us, there’s at least something you’re managing by the exception. Something happened years ago and started you on a mission to avoid ever having the same problem again. Unfortunately with the economy and changes in technology all the paradigms have shifted. Nothing is the same, especially when it comes to your marketing plans. Times have changed, but have you?
I remember watching an old episode of 60 Minutes and Andy Rooney was attacking the airlines and their policies. “Because one bad terrorist tried to smuggle a bomb in his shoes, millions of us have to take off our shoes to go through security!” And going through Tampa Airport two weeks ago I was stopped by TSA because my liquids were in a gallon freezer bag instead of a 2 quart bag! Management by the exception.
As you embark on what's already starting to look like a great year for so many photographers, let's do a little house-cleaning. I'm not talking about your office or desk, but things in your head, bad habits. Let’s get rid of comments like, “We tried that already!” or anything close to “Been there done that!” Take a look at your workflow – is it all it really could be or better yet should be? Is your marketing plan and material hitting the target you really want or are there some new targets out there for you to consider? Do you have all the skills you need to be able to handle whatever assignments come through your door?
And at the risk of being accused of plugging my own program, get yourself to SCU in August. The reason so many people refer to it as life-changing has nothing to do with me, but the quality of people involved from the instructors to the attendees. This is about being part of a community of people who are focused, who care and who help each other and watch each others backs. It's about new ideas, new skills and new techniques.
Whether you can join us or not, most of important of all, let’s all stop looking back and making statements like “You know what I should have done?” In short, stop “shoulding” on yourself!
Photo Credit: kikkerdirk - Fotolia.com
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.