Intro by Skip Cohen

I love this post from Sara Petty recently. It’s very different from the usual marketing and business posts we share. But it’s right on target for helping you build a stronger foundation for your business – starting with your own mindset.

Why are you in business? Why are you working so hard to be an outstanding artist? What’s the inspiration behind your “why?”

Every now and then, usually during a day that’s been more difficult than normal, I find I need to step away from the business. I’ll change my environment and take the time to remember my “why.” It’s not about money directly, but about my family – Sheila and two pups. 

To Sara’s point – I work to create a life for us…a life that’s filled with memory-making moments all the time. I don’t have a picture in my wallet like she suggests, but I’ve got one of my favorite family shots as my wallpaper on my computer and my laptop. I’m constantly reminded of my “why.”

So, what’s your “why?”


Many years ago I went to a funeral, and when I left I got a remembrance card. I remember someone telling me, “Keep that remembrance card with you. It’s like a little angel. It keeps you safe”.  And that always stuck with me.

What a beautiful thought, right? Now, whenever I go to a celebration of life or a funeral, I keep those remembrance cards. 

But a few years ago, I got a remembrance card that changed everything for me… 

One of my favorite humans passed away. He was a close family friend who was like a second dad to me. When I left his celebration of life, they gave me a laminated photo of him – one that I had taken. Of course, I loved it, so I stuck it in my wallet. 

The next few times I opened my wallet, I was surprised to see the photo! It made me so happy to see him smiling back at me. But it was even deeper than that… 

When I saw that photo and recalled who he was as a person, it made me ask myself, 

Am I living the way I should be?

Am I being a good person?

Am I taking care of other people?

Am I living a bigger life?” 

Because that’s what he did!! He led the biggest life ever, even though he couldn’t do a lot of things. He was injured when he fought in the war and his whole left side was paralyzed. 

But in my mind, I didn’t see him that way. I saw him as bigger than life! 

We open our wallets a lot, don’t we? Whenever we’re paying for groceries, clothes, a cup of tea at Starbucks… anything!  And I know so many of us have guilt and shame about spending. Money can have an emotional chokehold on us. 

Let’s get rid of that!! 

Inspired by my amazing second dad “Mr. T” (that’s what I called him), the mantra that I want you to start adopting is: “Money allows me to build a life I love and put my family first”. 

This is such a powerful shift! So powerful, that I want you to get your wallet out and put a picture of your “why” in there.

Why is it important for you, every time you’re pulling out your money, to remember that making money, taking money, spending money, and giving money is GOOD? 

Maybe it’s a picture of someone who inspires you or a picture of your kiddos… whatever it is that pushes you to live a BIGGER life. To be more, do more, and have more. 

Every time you’re paying bills, I want you to know that you are doing something to make your family better. Every time you’re buying groceries, I want you to know that you are feeding your family and that’s amazing! 

Money doesn’t control you, it’s just a thing. 

We have got to let go of the guilt and shame if we’re going to be boutique photographers and build a bigger life!