by Skip Cohen
It’s just a quick and very direct concept this morning: Stop beating yourself up when something doesn’t work out as planned. Last week I ran into a photographer on line who was kicking herself for “failing”. She’s got some temporary health issues from working too hard, trying to please both her family and her business. She was beating herself up and calling herself a failure.
Whether my thoughts on the subject are the result of my years of experience as an executive in the photographic industry or just my experience kicking around on planet earth for a lot of years – here’s the point:
You’re only one person and you can only do the best you can. NEVER use the word failure, because nobody is a failure at anything. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has set backs and disappointments. Every project you tackle isn’t going to be a winner, but if you learn from everything you do, you’ll become an incredibly strong manager and artist.
And last on the list – stop thinking that everybody else out there has everything working as planned. I’ve repeatedly heard young photographers say, “Sure she can talk about her business that way. Look how successful she is!” Guess what gang – none of the industry icons made it to the top right at the start.
Here's a great example: John Sexton is one of the finest photographers in the world, known mostly for his stunning black and white landscapes. But John actually started out as a wedding photographer. He once told me a story about being fired from one of his early jobs, working for a wedding photographer. All he wanted to do was take a month off in peak season to attend a workshop by some photographer named Ansel Adams! In later years John became one of Ansel’s assistants and while it sounds so trite, the rest is history.
You know how to focus your camera, so let’s start a campaign to focus your career. The best way to stay on course is just do the best you can every day with every image and every client.
"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success."
"Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats." Og Mandino
I heard a great line once and it's perfect for the next time you get into that whoa-is-me rut and think you're the only one who's life is screwed up and not going as planned:
“Instead of “I’m okay, you’re okay,” it should be I’m not okay and you’re not okay either, but that’s okay!”
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.