Saturday, June 9, 2012

Some Inspiration from the Sandy Puc' Tour . . .

While I was working the NILMDTS table at Sandy Puc's seminar last night, she said something that made me smile and start thinking . . .

Sam was talking about photographers and comparing them to television characters . . . and she said:

"Did you ever notice that Wile E. Coyote has enough money to buy every known gadget from ACME, but apparently doesn't have enough sense to just buy dinner?"

Since the beginning of time, photographers have been gadget hounds. It's always amazing for me to hear the conversation at conventions about "how much I need x product" or "I would just love to have whatshisname's thingamajig" . . . and, I'm guilty of it as well. Almost every photographer has a shelf of things that they had great intentions of using often when they purchased it, but for whatever reason, never really put it into their routine.

Years ago I had a photographer who shot for me who constantly complained about not having enough money to buy a new lens he felt would truly improve his photography. I asked him how much he spent on cigarettes and we figured out that if he quit smoking for 6 weeks, he could have that lens. After that, puff away. (He never did do it . . . )

Then there's The Professor from Gilligan's Island; he's smart enough to be able to make a bicycle-powered washing machine, power the radio from a couple of coconuts and make enough stuff to help them survive, but he can't figure out how to fix a hole in the boat and get them off the island.

I once had a colleague who would invest hours into making studio accessories. Not props and backgrounds, but actual studio equipment. He once decided that instead of just buying a couple of studio lights, he would make a more powerful one himself . . . using parts from a local surplus store. Did it happen? Let's just say that hundreds of dollars (and many years) later, he was still trying to reinvent the wheel when we could have simply purchased one for a few dollars more. There is such a thing as being penny-wise and pound foolish.

Yup . . . I know a few photographers like that. Do you?

We all like shiny stuff. New stuff. Cool stuff. Expensive stuff. Stuff that may or may not make us money. We just need to make those important decisions as we run our businesses.

Will this investment help me make more money, or just add to my cool factor? Is it something I can utilize often enough to make it pay for itself in a short period of time, or is it going to end up having a "shelf-life", living in the back room and rarely seeing the light of day after the initial lustre has worn off? Am I wasting money in other areas that are preventing me from buying the things that I do need to help me grow my business?

Some people are truly daring. Think about the person who first looked at a chicken and said "I'm going to eat the next thing that comes out of that bird's behind!" We are risk-takers by nature . . . after all we decided to go into business for ourselves and walk away from the security of a job where someone else made the decisions and all we had to do was put in our time and collect a paycheck.

Now, we ARE the person who makes those decisions. And the paycheck we collect depends on how well we make them and how quickly we can adapt to change.

Perhaps Sam's best line of the evening was as she closed this segment. "After all, the road is full of flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision."

Don't become a flat squirrel!

(Thanks to Sandy Puc' for some great material!)

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