It's worth recognizing that there is no such thing as an overnight success.
You will do well to cultivate the resources in yourself that bring you happiness outside of success or failure.
The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive.
At that time, we turn around and say, yes, this is obviously where I was going all along.
It's a good idea to enjoy the scenery on the detours, because you'll probably take a few.
Over the weekend the quote above got me thinking about a group of photographers I hung out with at the MAP Getaway last week along with Beverly and Tim Walden. These artists were business owners from all over the country. They were at the Getaway to specifically learn, exchange ideas and build a stronger strategy for success. They were doing what Bill Waterson said in his quote - cultivating resources.
During the three day event, Beverly and Tim Walden shared some outstanding ideas about how they've built their business. They couldn't have been more honest in sharing the challenges in building their business along with so many creative tools they've discovered along the way. They set the standard for being passionate about imaging and as successful as they both are individually and as a couple, they never stop learning and changing up their game. They're not marketing but building relationships with each client. They listen to their subjects; analyze what's being said and then passionately fulfill the artistic needs they've identified.
Bev and Tim's presentation style is a volley back and forth between technology, creativity, reality, humility and always the love for the craft. They practice what they preach and have built a remarkable reputation for quality, excellence and jaw-dropping images.
I called Tim over the weekend to ask him what he'd say to people who think they're an "overnight success". I loved his response:
People only see us on the back side - they don't see that it was a long, long time to build our business.. Making decisions can be quick, but the execution takes time. No decision is ever dead on - you have to steer in the water you're in. You have to stay passionate, diligent and alert.
Success isn't overnight, but it does appear when you least expect it. However, if you're out looking for it all the time, you'll never hear the bell ring when it shows up at your door.
Take a trip to the Walden's website and you'll see just what I mean. As I was looking for images to share to show their work, even though one image would have been enough to make the point, I couldn't pick just one. In fact, I know this is off the topic, but the images to the right and below are from their senior gallery.
They never compromise on the quality of any image, but more to the point of this morning's post, they never compromise on the quality of their relationships with their subjects. They understand the trust each client has in their ability as artists. They do everything they can to make sure they meet the mindset of everybody who's in front of their cameras!
So many of you spend so much time waiting for success just to drop in your lap and, especially in photography; it doesn't work that way. Stop looking for success, but stay focused on all the ingredients in your skill set and communication skills to get you there. Stay happy and enjoy the "detours" along with the scenery and people you're going to meet along the way.
Images copyright Walden's Photography. All rights reserved.
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.