With the exception of when I'm traveling I post a quote on Twitter every morning at 7:30. I rarely load up social media in advance because I like starting the day with a few inspirational quotes. It's sort of like warming up before you jog. I came across this one a few minutes ago:
"Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like
slashing your other three tires because you got a flat!"
Last week I taught four different presentations at ClickCon in Chicago, including a three-hour evening program called "Midnight Madness." The Heart of ClickCon planning committee put together an outstanding schedule of classes, one of which has never been done before.
They put together a day of workshops before the conference kicked off, for the models, stylists and makeup artists. They're always behind the scenes and so important to a successful photography conference. At the same time, each one of them is a small business owner and need the kind of help each of you need as photographers.
Between all the photographers who were new to the business and the models/makeup artists, there were a lot of people I met who were on the edge of being frustrated because they "haven't made it yet." That's what got me thinking about today's quote.
Here are a couple of the most important things I've learned in my career: The definition of success is a moving target, and you NEVER give up on your dreams.
Success: My definition of success today is all about loving what I'm doing. Waking up with a smile on my face, excited about the day ahead has priority over everything else in terms of business. That definition has also changed over the years. The younger I was, the more important my income was. But that doesn't change how much I wish I'd realized how important good old happiness was. I would never have changed my goals, just the path I might have been on at times.
Dreams: Another quote I found says it all. While it might seem easy for me to say as the old guy here, I have plenty of dreams still left in my stash. We're all work in progress, and I'm no exception. I never lose focus on my dreams - just change the routing of my journey when it's necessary.
If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire to you to help them build theirs.
Tony Gaskins Jr.
The key to staying focused on your dreams is a combination of listening to your heart and surrounding yourself with positive people. Listen to everybody's advice when it comes your way, but then give your heart the final vote. Living your dream is an investment of time and patience, but at the same time, you have to recognize your growth.
So, for those of you frustrated because you haven't "made it yet," look back a year ago and recognize how far you've come! As small business owners, regardless of whether you're a photographer or not, you can't create things that tug at people's heartstrings if your own heart isn't in the game!
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.