by Skip Cohen
A few times in my career I've been described as one of the luckiest guys in photography. I love this industry and have worked with some of the finest photographers in the world. While I'm very grateful and do feel really lucky as opposed to unlucky, luck hasn't always had a lot to do with it.
The truth is, I've spent my entire career totally enamored with this industry and especially with all of you, the professional photographers. I've watched many of you struggle with the economy, new technology and the daily challenges of running a business. You never give up! I continue to learn from each of your mistakes and accomplishments, as well as my own.
I had a quote, an old Chinese proverb, up on Facebook and Twitter a few years ago that seems so appropriate right now:
"Learn from the mistakes of others because you won't have time to make them all yourself!"
My Grandmother used to say, "Be careful of the company you keep!" My Grandfather taught me the meaning of a good hand shake and my Dad always said, "You're judged by the quality of your friends!" So, if I've been lucky at all, it was in having some great role models in my family and later in life with some very special friends.
If my career has gone in the right direction it's because of the wisdom and quality of some very special people. It's because more than once they've said, "Are you sure you want to do that?" We all watch each others backs.
I've had people tell me I have so many great friends. "Friend" is one of the most abused words in the English language. So, let's kill that myth right now, because we're all in the same boat. I have a lot of people who I like and admire and enjoy being with. Yes, they're friends, but I honestly have very few "great" friends. I'm willing to bet you're in the same boat.
"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." Oprah
Think about all the people you consider friends and ask yourself how many of them are there to help you get up when you fall no matter what it takes? How many of them would give up a kidney for you? How many of them watch your back to such a point that they spend more time looking out for you than they do for themselves? There's the definition of a truly great friend.
Your journey is based on so many different ingredients. Success is about your mindset and the support from the people in your network. It's about your patience and belief in yourself and surrounding yourself with positive people, all topics I've written about over the last few years.
"Luck" is an ingredient, but I also believe things happen for a reason and here's another one...everything really does always work out for the better. (See this month's article in Shutter Magazine.) It won't seem like it when your pain is the greatest, but over and over again I've waited out the storm and been surprised at the path it's taken me down.
I guess I'm lucky, but more than that I'm grateful!
It's a new week - what are you going to do to make this week the best one of the year so far?