Just Shake It off

Just Shake It off

I published a big part of this post at the beginning of the year on my own blog. It was the start of the traditional “slow season,” and photographers were split down the middle – half worried about dealing with the business’s downturn and the other half wanting to kick back, relax, and start thinking about April.

Well, April never got here! In fact, not only did we not come out of the slow season, but the pandemic launched into challenges far more complicated and for many catastrophic. So, we’re in a new normal, and things aren’t going to change for a while, but that doesn’t mean business isn’t out there. It also doesn’t mean you can’t find alternatives to keeping your business alive and your presence in the community well known.

When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you!
Lolly Daskal

I want to ignore the pandemic, and for just a minute talk about my daily routine.

Every day starts the same when you have puppies – there’s this silent rush to get them outside. Sheila and I took on these two knuckleheads (term of endearment) as a team. They kick off our morning routine.

But I want to talk about my business routine – it’s become my standard, and it’s helped me focus in an unfocused world. The first stop is my in-box, followed by Facebook notifications. The tweet stream is next, then a quick look at my calendar for the day, a stop at my Platypod mailbox, and then I’m ready to start the day, usually with a post.

Instead of starting your day tomorrow with a level of frustration, because things aren’t changing in business fast enough – get yourself in a routine. Start following some of your imaging heroes a little closer – so many of them are sharing posts, new techniques, and applications that are pure inspiration.

And stop wasting time getting into arguments on Facebook. I’m an admin in several different forums, and this morning I had a complaint in my FB notifications. One photographer didn’t like the tone of what another artist wrote and decided to call in the big guns – us administrators. I kept the post, ignored the report, and chose not to respond to anybody.

Everyone’s emotional these days. Arguments come over every possible issue lately. We’re a country, no, a world in turmoil. What’s so amazing is that everyone is an expert on something, as they demonstrate their inability to listen to an opinion different from their own.

Things might be slow when it comes to producing revenue, but that doesn’t mean it’s slow for you to rebuild your business. Focus on what’s vital in the building blocks to make this year better than you expected. Stop bitching, moaning, and complaining about things that don’t matter! Stop being so sensitive. Give your peers the benefit of the doubt, remembering that the toughest way to express yourself is through the printed word.

If you don’t like what somebody said in a thread, unless it’s going to have an impact on some aspect of your business, your family, or your life, let it go! Start singing Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off” and move on. And if somebody doesn’t like one of your images, listen to their suggestions and then do whatever you think is right, always remembering what my good buddy Dean Collins used to say,

Beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder!

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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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