I know I've been knocking around this industry longer than many of you and very few of you know much about my background. While I often write about this being one of the most fun chapters of my career, it hasn't always been smooth sailing.
There was one year at Polaroid that I interviewed for 63 different jobs through their internal job-posting system. I was trying to get out of research and into a supervisory position. I was turned down for 62 of them! Then, when I finally landed what I thought was the perfect job, I was caught in a lay-off. I had seniority rights and luckily still had a job, but I had to bump back into the hourly ranks and start all over again.
Years later, I left the comfort and security as president of Hasselblad to be president of an Internet company, PhotoAlley.com. PhotoAlley collapsed when the owners couldn't get us in the black, even with over thirty million dollars in sales. I wound up on unemployment for two months prior to accepting the job at Rangefinder/WPPI.
To the outside world my career has been pretty terrific, but not without its share of disappointing moments. One thing I've learned is another old proverb about everything always working out for the better. Each challenge has in some way taught me something and made me a little stronger. Over and over again, each disappointment has added something to my skill set. For example, those 63 jobs I went after taught me everything about giving a good interview.
So, when I share a quote and I see it really hits home, you can count on there being a good possibility I know exactly what many of you might be going through with personal and business challenges.
He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.
So, what kind of sailor/photographer and business owner are you? Are you the conservative type who likes everything to be exactly right before you take a shot at something? Are you a major risk-taker, going “full steam ahead” without thinking about the consequences? Or, is your approach balanced, taking a few risks here and there, but still trying to plan ahead.
I think I've been a little of all three, but I've learned from each disappointment. Whether you make the right decisions every time or not doesn’t matter. If you make a mistake, it’s just that, nothing more than a mistake. Own it and move on – you can’t undo the past, but you can create a stronger foundation for your future.
Sheila’s got a little sign here at home that most of you have probably heard:
Dance as though no one is watching you, love as though you have never been hurt before,
sing as though no one can hear you, live as though heaven is on earth.
Here's one more from my good buddy, Scott Bourne...
Photograph as if each image you capture is the last image people will ever see of your work.
Photo Credit: © eduard - Fotolia.com
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