Failure is an interesting thing for me, while in the midst of it of course I feel despondent and defeated, and sometimes question why I bother trying; but thing of it is: Failure is a temporary condition; quitting is the only thing that makes it permanent. One of my favorite stories, and I’m not even sure it’s factual, but once someone asked Thomas Edison, “you failed at making the light bulb a thousand times, didn’t you just want to give up?” Thomas Edison replied “I didn’t fail a thousand times, I learned 1000 ways to not make a lightbulb.” I think that’s an important mentality to have, at least if you have the ambition to accomplish anything great. I know that it is easy to say, and easy to swallow when you aren’t in the midst of things crumbling, I have very slowly progressed to being able to change my perception of the circumstances and not succumbing to the woe-is-me persona… most of the time. I’m very lucky to also be surrounded by good people, in particular Michael Lark and Martha Helt, who do a fantastic job at keeping me grounded, and helping me to remain calm when we’re weathering the storms; personally and professionally.
I think when your career is something you are deeply passionate about it is harder to separate your personal hardships from business and “leave your baggage at the door” because emotion fills into our artistry; it’s kind of like my Grandmother always insisting that you don’t cook when you’re sad because you can taste it.
Aside from that the failures serve as milestones. When the next good thing happens, or the next accomplishment is reached it tastes a little sweeter, and you’ll start to realize that what you thought was an epic fail at the time was actually just you stumbling a little on the climb up, I’d rather stumble on the stepping stones, dust myself off and keep going, then get stuck in it, and miss reaching the milestones.
I know too that for me starting out, a big frustration was not having someone to go to when I had questions about anything from marketing, to business, to photography and lighting. It seemed that anyone on my level didn’t have the answers and anyone who did had no intention of sharing lest they train their competition. Unless you were paying a good amount of money for a seminar or class, no one was offering any help. Then I met Scott Bourne; who introduced me to Skip Cohen. Another worth mentioning is Dane Sanders, I had purchased his book and he graciously had signed it for me, simply, and inspirationally: “Lead Us” He said in his seminar the world has enough celebrities and rockstars, what we need is more Leaders… Skip and Scott are leaders. Their wealth of knowledge is invaluable, and they are 2 of the most generous people I have ever come across, with their knowledge and time, and Scott, he must give away 100s of 1000s of dollars in equipment, software and other gifts. The two of them founded GoingPro, you can get to their fb page from my fanpage favorites. They now have created PWSPI in collaboration with other industry leaders such as Bambi Cantrell and Jerry Ghionis, Clay Blackmore, Tamara Lackey, and Kevin Kabota. If you are looking for the best of the best their organization is it.
On another note, and in the humblest way I can offer it, I encourage you to contact me if you have questions or are struggling. From wedding planning to photography, to starting a business, whatever information I have I am happy to share. I am so lucky to see and know so many talented and promising people, and if anything I have learned or done in my three years of business can help accelerate your path to success I’d be sincerely happy and honored to help if I can, or at the very least to point you in the right direction to where the correct answers are.
Start now, you have Diem to Carpe.