by Skip Cohen
I always have something I want to post each morning. Sometimes it's something in the pipeline, other times it's related to something I've read on another blog. This morning the cupboard is bare, but I just did a tweet that might seem strange to some of you and it deserves an explanation.
@alzassociation @caregiverforum @alzheimerssoc Sun morn-a gr8 time 2 listen 2 the new podcast 4 caregivers. ow.ly/j5ne4
It's got absolutely nothing to do with photography. My mother has Alzheimer's and every Thursday for over a year my Dad and I have gone to a caregiver's support group here in Sarasota at the Friendship Centers. Paula Falk is the moderator and has been doing this for fifteen years. Well, I had an idea to talk them into doing a short weekly podcast, similar to what I've been doing here on the SCU site. They had no budget and had never done anything like this.
I wanted to launch "Ten Minutes with Paula", short advice segments for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. The idea would be a new tip every ten days, just to help caregivers stay focused on their own health and well-being. You won't be any good taking care of a loved one if you're not taking care of yourself.
So, this became my way of giving back and thanking them for everything they've done to help my family deal with the challenges of my mother's illness. What's been a kick is how it's taken off, with each podcast getting more and more listeners. I've also loved being involved in something outside my core business.
And here's how this all connects to your business:
So many of you are looking for ways to give back and tie into your community, but it doesn't always have to involve your skill set as a photographer. You just need to find something that contributes to the community and at the same time makes you feel good about doing it.
"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." Helen Keller
Well, I can't top Helen Keller's quote. Doing the podcasts and working with the staff at the Sarasota Friendship Centers simply makes me happy. It keeps my battery charged and in turn gets me out of the cycle of being a "one trick pony" and only focused on the photography industry. Plus, it's testing things I've learned in my career about marketing, branding, reach and social media.
There's no such thing as any project in your community being too small or not worthy of your time if it involves some level of giving back and puts a smile o.
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.