Time for Change
So many business ideas seem so perfect in your mind at first when they're free from any negative factors or restriction, and that's not to say that anyone with an idea didn't think of the negative factors. The positive and exciting thoughts around that idea seem to always trump anything that can go wrong, or even worse, cause negative ripples to affect your current life as well as the lives of those around you. My business was a little different when I first thought about it. Yes, I had an idea, and it was to use what I thought was a skill or talent to make money. The thought of me failing didn't really cross my mind; I was more concerned with how I was going to convince people to believe me when I said I could provide a professional service knowing full well who I was, which at the time was anything but professional. From business names to logos to business cards, I thought I was clever and smart and couldn't fail. But I realized in my first year of business that I hadn't done any business and it was just all in my head. It was still just an idea, so I had to make some changes if I was going to succeed.
That was thirteen years ago (this August,) and there is a quote from a photographer being interviewed at the Las Vegas WPPI conference that I keep in mind when I think about people with great ideas and the confidence in themselves to make great decisions:
"How are you able to create all these great images and have all these great ideas?" He replies, "Two words: Good decisions." "Where do these good decisions come from?" "One word: experience." "And where did you get all this experience?" He replies, "Two words: Bad decisions."
I thought that was a perfect way to describe how I believe anyone gets anywhere in the business world. You have to make some mistakes and fall down before you know what decisions are the right ones, and that only comes from experience. I continue to make mistakes and although I have been fortunate to not have too many things go wrong, I have had to learn the hard way about a few things. Stolen equipment or accidents happening, knowing to have insurance to protect you, whether or not you should drink at the wedding reception you are working, or something as simple as consistency in appearance and workflow. I have learned some of these the hard way and some of these through witnessing the negative consequences of other business owners' "bad decisions."
2015 is going to be a year of change for me including a re-branding of my business and how I approach it. There were things that I knew needed to be done but I wasn't sure how to approach them. There were other things that came to light when I went to WPPI this year. I feel refreshed creatively and am eager to try out some of my new business ideas. I'm looking forward to 2015 being more of a breakout year than I've had in the last decade!
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