It's Sunday morning and I really wasn't going to post anything except a "Weekend Short", but an event last night still has me smiling. A blog is supposed to reveal something personal now and then. If you've followed me for even the shortest amount of time, you already know I rarely hold anything back. So, let's talk about an event that got me thinking about the real definition of success.
Let's set the stage just a little...Michele Celentano has been involved in a lot of different projects with me over the last ten years and when launching SCU, there was no way I wasn't going to ask her to be part of this. As I've said a few dozen times, she's proof that hyper-active kids grow up and get jobs! She's got a never-ending passion for the craft, teaching and helping as many people as possible raise the bar on their quality and focus, not just with their camera but with their life.
Well, she invited Sheila and I to a book signing party here in Phoenix, which was last night and we were ecstatic to say "yes" when we figured out how to get away with so much going on in our lives. The party was actually hosted by Terri and Craig, close friends from the community and that leads right up to my first new definition of success.
Terri, Craig and family photographed by Michele.
The evening started with a dinner for 36 in Terri and Craig's back yard followed by a hundred or so friends from the community and there's one definition of success: when people can't wait to tell you how they know somebody! Every person we met last night had somehow been involved with Michele from a business perspective before morphing into a friend. And every friend took the relationship with Michele and her family very seriously.
There's that old line about friends who would "give you the shirt of their back"...well, these were friends who would go far beyond that. A lot of them would donate a kidney if Michele needed it. In ten years she's built up a relationship with her community. We heard story after story last night about things Michele had done that often created the launch pad for what would later become an amazing friendship.
And it wasn't just about photography...at least half the crowd last night was from the fitness world. It's Michele's favorite past time, staying in shape. Here's another definition of success, finding a way to blend other passions in your life with your career. In fact, the truest definition might be you're a success when you can put in just as much passion to your personal interests as your business. It's about finding balance.
Michele moved to Phoenix ten years ago and it was obvious last night that she's followed Scott Bourne's favorite piece of advice, "Own your own zip code!" Only when Scott talks about it, it's from the business perspective not about everyone's heart in the community.
This post is going full circle and right back to all of Michele's family, friends, clients and associates. There's nothing any of them wouldn't do for Michele. Last night wasn't just a tribute to a great photographer and her first book, but a tribute to passion, friendship and family and for Shiela and I, we couldn't be more proud to have been included!
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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.