Some things have occurred over the past few days throughout the photography and wedding industry that have me thinking a lot about how people act and the choices they make. I’m not going to get into any details, but the bottom line is this: Every day we’re each faced with what seems like a million choices in our lives, and when you become a business owner – that only multiples (by, like… 1 million). So naturally, as my business grows I’m constantly confronted with choices.
A bride contacts me for a date, I’m available, but her budget is just under my price range… What do I do? Someone who follows my blog writes me an extra long email asking every question under the sun about photography… what do I do? Someone says something inappropriate, judgmental or hurtful on a forum or blog… What do I do?
What I do is try my very best to follow my mottos. (Which isn’t always easy…) And today I’m going to talk about just one of those mottos (dare I say, the most important of the three). The other two I’ll touch on in more detail in my Photography for Business workshop.
During the development of my business over the past 3 years or so I’ve realized there are a few mottos that I always come back to and try my best to live by in both my personal and professional life (which usually feels like one in the same). When I’m confronted with a situation – I contemplate how to handle it, and during that contemplation I ask myself the following question: Does the way I’m thinking of handling this agree with two or more of my mottos? And if it does, then I move ahead with my decision. If something I’m contemplating doing doesn’t reflect 2 or more… then I don’t do it. Simple as that. I know that may sound like a crazy way of doing business, but thus far – it has worked for me over and over again. (*fingers crossed*)
And my main motto (that is in fact so simple you may laugh that I’m even writing a blog post about it) – – – is this:
BE KIND. (Yup, that’s it… BE. KIND.)
Since I’ve gone full time I’ve had the pleasure of watching Ellen in the background of my office at 3pm most days when I’m home and not out shooting. (I absolutely love her. Let’s not even talk about the fact that she makes me cry on a DAILY basis.) And one of the main reasons I love her is that at the end of every show she closes with, “Be kind to one another.”
And the more I think about it, the more I’m certain there is not enough kindness in this world. If before every decision you made you asked yourself – “Is what I’m contemplating doing kind?” – would you make 1/2 the decisions you make in a day? Is that comment you were going to post kind? Is rushing through a door while you watch a mother with a stroller struggle to get through kind? Is scrambling to snatch a bus seat before the person next to you kind? Is snapping at your partner because you had a tough day kind?
Please realize that I’m in no way saying I’m perfect. We all make mistakes. We all do not so kind things at times. But the point is to try to be aware of it. To pause. To think. Because I believe if we all asked ourselves that question more often the world would be a much better, happier, and nicer place to be. Don’t you? Obviously this is important in all aspects of life – across the board. If you hope to get anywhere in life, in your business, in your career, in your relationships… you should probably really start thinking about this (if you aren’t already).
To close I’ll share one of my favorite quotes ever (because I think and know it to be so true)…. In the words of Conan O’Brien (which I talked about in full here):
“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”
. . . . .
And because I can’t leave you without a picture – here’s a sneak peek of my nephew’s birthday party from yesterday!! 🙂 (Post coming Tuesday)
Now go ahead, get out there and BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.