“Tough-way Terry” was the nickname grown-ups gave me as a kid… and I hated it at the time. It’s not that I chose to do things the hard way. Most of the time, I just didn’t know there WAS an “easier” way and the grown-ups in my life were just sadistic enough not to point them out.
Even now, folks aren’t exactly in a hurry to tell me there is an easier way. I chalk that up to the competitive nature of the human existence. Maybe it’s a natural throwback to survival of the fittest. Maybe it’s because people aren’t inclined to help anyone else get ahead if things are difficult for themselves at present. Maybe (and I hesitate to even think this, but it IS a possibility) some folks just don’t like to see anyone else succeed. *shrugs* I don’t know why people do what they do… but I DO know… I was aptly nicknamed and it’s appropriate even today.
In my defense: I’m a stickler for detail and “getting things right” the first time. I’ll go over and over a concept in my head many times, give it a trial “go” a few times… tweak this … change that… completely discard something else… before, eventually…. I give whatever-it-is-I’m-working-on my seal of approval.
But it’s tentative. The creative spirit never fails to remind me that there’s always a possibility that a better/faster/more efficient/more fun/less tedious/brighter/shinier/more-sparkly way will present itself and I’ll be behind the eight ball. Yanno!?
That’s when the brain steps in and says: “There are a million different ways to arrive at the same destination or result. There’s no ONE CORRECT way … there’s only the way that works best for you… or … for ME. ” And for the most part, the brain is successful in reigning in the creative spirit, getting it to agree with the brain, but not always.
For example: Over the past month; I’ve been working on a new direction for my photography business, fine-tuning things like: narrowing down my specialty, website design, editing software, workflow systems, systems for running my business etc. and it’s been a whirlwind of chaos. At the same time, as a brand-new-trying-to-do-it-all-by-myself business owner, there’s also the little matter of actually planning/scheduling/marketing/preparing advertising materials/keeping up with social media and oh… actually holding SESSIONS. I’m managing to hold it together pretty well so far, but it’s dare-I-say-it: “tough”.
There are a few people in my life who do everything they can to make things “easier” for “tough-way terry” though, namely friends and family but also online communities like Creative Live , which by their very existence, offer a myriad of ways to make my tough-way, easier.
Creative Live offers multiple channels of free “Live” training and continuing education on all aspects of business for creatives…including photographers… and presented by a whole host of expert, “real” instructors who know their stuff from experience and who aren’t the least bit stingy about sharing their knowledge. I often feel guilty because I can’t afford to purchase the courses and course materials yet. Some of these instructors learned the hard way and put their ALL into the classes they teach… many of which are worth their weight in GOLD for newbies like me. I’ll be forever indebted to ladies like Rachel Stevens , Susan Stripling and oh-my-gosh…. Sue Bryce.
Each one of these amazing presenters have a very different way to get where their vision wants them to go. Each one has a distinctive style, specific workflow, business systems… way-of-doing-things-that-works-for-them, and I’ve learned a TON from each and every lady listed including: posing for every shape and size, lighting options, how to deal with clients of every persuasion (difficult personalities, serial “deal-n-discount seekers”, control freaks etc.) technical stuff and creative stuff alike.
After an immense amount of inspiration, followed by trying a number of “free trials” (accounting systems, ordering systems, software designed to streamline my workflow or batch edit large groups of photos at once… etc.), and bogging my poor laptop down with “shiny-new-things-to-try”… I’ve learned something.
“Tough-way Terry’s” way MAY not be the easiest way, or quickest way or best way…
But it’s my way.
It works for me.
I understand how it works and I’m stickin’ to it. 🙂
(In an effort to pay-it-forward and be kinder to my fellow photog-business friends than the grown-ups were to me as a kid nicknamed “toughway terry”…. I WILL say this:
It was through a Creative Live series that I first heard of Millers Labs. In an effort to support local businesses; I used to use my local professional lab to process my prints, but they went out of business about a year ago. Since then I’ve been floating from one lab to another, not totally thrilled with any one of them… until Millers.
Yeah that’s the word.
Not ONLY are they head and shoulders above the others in terms of quality, product line AND customer service… but they’ve got some freebies built in which make my business life SO much smoother.
Namely, I’m talking about the automatic scheduler service, “BookM”. NOW anyone ready to book a session with me, can go to my website, find “Book Me!” find open dates for specific sessions and reserve their preference. The system allows me to customize everything about the service… the EASY way… and my clients can book their session, pay session fees and even get customized reminders, too.
Color me…THRILLED. )