Ever had a morning where you wake up and just lie in bed and think about something totally random? Well, this morning I woke up and couldn't stop thinking about my career, right up to this very minute. I guess it's because I've got a BIG anniversary coming up on Monday - my first full time job in the photo industry, washing bottles in a research lab at Polaroid.
"Don't become something just because someone else wants you to,
or because it's easy; you won't be happy.
You have to do what you really, really, really, really want to do, even if it scares the shit out of you."
I'm feeling pretty reflective this morning, so you'll just have to put up with me. When I started out on this journey, so many years ago, I just wanted a job. I loved photography, had worked in a darkroom in high school for the local newspaper, but I hadn't thought about it as a career choice. I fell into it, but grew to love it more and more.
Many of my choices over the years have been very much in line with Kristen's Wiig's quote above, especially when I started my own company in 2009. I couldn't have been more afraid of failing, but the quest to be happy trumped all my fears. Even more important was having an amazing supportive partner, my wife Sheila.
So, here's my point this morning. This is trade show/convention season and so many of you are going to be at the upcoming conventions. At the same time, many of you are frustrated with the time it's taking to build your business and your skill set.
For just about everybody this is the slow season. It's the perfect time to consider all your options, redefine your future and take advantage of all the great vendors, artists and programming you have a chance to be involved with over the next two and half months. Each one represents another door to walk through on your quest for success and happiness.
Photography, in your images as well as your career, is an art form. Nothing is cast in concrete. Creativity never has boundaries. Even better, passion doesn't have a cap - there is no upper limit. Think about the trips you have coming up and make each convention an adventure. Attend at least one program at every convention that's outside your comfort zone. Build your network with new people you meet. Make it a point to meet at least one person on the staff of every company whose product or services you use in your business.
Plan each trip with a goal to grow...your network, your skill set and your level of happiness!
Many of you are long overdue in exploring your options and all the tools available to make you different from your competitors. It's time to start building brand awareness on a platform of being unique...even if it does "scare the shit out of you!"
Photo Credit: © Creativa - Fotolia.com
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.