Lessons Along the Way
Part of the fun of living in Florida is there's always something in bloom. Last week the azaleas came to life.
I grabbed a LUMIX GX-85 for this morning's blog shot. f5.6 @ 1/80 ISO 500
"A flower doesn't compete with the flower next to it. It just blooms."
Sunday Morning Reflections couldn't be easier to write this morning. After getting back from WPPI this week, I know exactly what I want to write about.
It was nine years ago I resigned from Rangefinder/WPPI just a few weeks after the convention. I gave my notice on April 1, 2009, and by the middle of the month was packed up and headed to Ohio to start a new chapter and adventure. Why I threw in the towel at the time I did isn't important. But what I've learned since, is perfect for this morning's post.
The economy was in the tank when I decided to start my own business, but that didn't change my desire to stop living vicariously through so many of you and see if I had what it took to be an entrepreneur. Family and friends were convinced I was nuts, and looking back I'd have to agree.
I've written about this before, but it's so relevant to my thoughts this morning. I remember talking about my concern over leaving to Sheila. At that time we were dating, but already the very best of friends. She asked me, "What are you afraid of?" There wasn't a second of hesitation in my answer, "Failing!"
There are so many things we fail to do because we're afraid to take the risk. We're insecure about betting on our own hearts. Dreams of things we hope to do someday are delayed because it's safer to procrastinate.
"If you wait for all the lights to turn green, you'll never get started on your journey."
Walking the show floor at WPPI, I was reminded again and again of the entrepreneurial bond that holds us all together. Bumping into old friends and making new ones, I found myself thinking back to that first year in business for myself and the fear and insecurities I had in listening to my heart.
Sheila's response when I said "Failing!" was to remind me of things she knew I'd done already. She reminded me of the network I had in the industry and how much support I had going forward. She asked me questions about other things I'd done in my career before she was in my life. With each answer, I realized my timing for a career change was perfect.
And that brings me to a series of lessons that continue to be reinforced over and again:
Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. It's about who walked into your life
and said, "I'm here for you," and proved it.
It's been a fantastic journey thus far, thanks to so many of you. It's not always easy, and we stumble along the way, but what a kick to be a part of this community and have each other's support.
Oh, and one more thing I've learned. Sheila, after picking up the flu at IUSA decided not to go with me to WPPI this year. It was only the second time in nine years I was at a convention solo. I've learned that it's a lot tougher to remember people's names without her by my side. She's my "shill," and always steps in recognizing the signs when I'm talking to somebody whose name escapes me!
Wishing everybody a beautiful Sunday with lots of time to just kick back and reflect. I shared a quote on Twitter the other day that seems so appropriate.
"Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless"
So, make it a day without objectives and take the time to do something pointless, which in reality there is no such thing. Even being pointless has its rewards in the appreciation you enjoy having a day without a roadmap. And as always, make those eleven-second hugs part of the day with the people you care about most.
Happy Sunday Everybody!
3/4/2018 11:08:33 am
Skip, thank you for your post it always put what I’m thinking into perspective. I got really burned out last year and at one point decided I was done with wedding photography, I was going to find a regular job and just be normal. While I did find another job that I like a lot, I also realized that instead of leaving wedding photography I just needed to reorganize. I lost my focus on what was important and what I loved about about photography. I didn’t go to wppi this year because I didn’t want to do it when I should have been planning for it. But anyway because of my step back I have found new ways to move forward and this year I am making incredible changes and looking forward again!
3/4/2018 12:35:40 pm
Hi Skip, really enjoyed reading this today. My husband Jim and I saw you for a brief moment Monday at the trade show, but you were busy, so we didn’t stop to say hi. We have been coming to WPPI for many years, though now we just do the trade show. I will say we were disappointed this year, as so many vendors that we have relationships with were not there, and those that were there seemed lost in the building. I think you made the right choice in getting out when you did. I know things can’t stay the same, but us old timers miss what used to be in the industry.
3/4/2018 01:18:47 pm
Right on Skip! Thanks for sharing your journey and learnings!
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