Have you ever had an epiphany? One of those “a-ha” moments where something just clicks for you? Maybe it’s something you’ve been struggling with for a long time, or maybe it was a piece of advice you learned from a friend. Whatever the source of our insight, it’s these moments that bring us to a deeper understanding of our world. The better understanding we have of life, the more we live in the truth.
Below are 15 of the most amazing life lessons can learn from professional photographers. We encourage you to share yours with us by leaving a comment below.
1. Be happy
We once heard someone say that if you are constantly striving to be happy, you’ll never achieve it. If there is always another goal, another “thing” needed to be truly happy, every time you get that “thing”, you’ll add something else to the list. This should completely change your mindset, and you should pretty much enjoy every day now and what it has to offer.
2. Be authentic
Have you ever met a “fake” person? They are hard to miss. They are always changing and acting in different ways, trying to fit in with the crowd. If you can’t accept yourself, how can you expect others to accept you? So the only way to do it is to march to the tune of your own drummer, and ask people to join your parade if they feel it too. With 7 billion people in the world, it should be fairly easy to get a few thousand to march along with you – and our theory has worked pretty well so far.
3. Be curious
How do things work? What makes people tick? For us, life is all about wondering what is happening around you. We pick up books, magazines, and surf the Internet every day because we truly want to find out what people are doing and thinking. Even one little “a-ha” moment a day can add up to big things over time.
4. Be adventurous
Remember being a kid? It was so much fun to head into the unknown. You didn’t really think about the consequences, so you just jumped. You tend to lose that ability by the time you are 16. Why? Isn’t it much better to attack everything, be daring and bold?
5. Be ever-changing
Who you were yesterday doesn’t mean you have to be the same person today. You can quit a job, sell a house, and start a new hobby any day you choose.
6. Be courageous
Wanting to do something and actually doing it are two different things. The bigger the change, the more courage you need. We’ve found the best way to deal with fear and trepidation is to just do it, one thing at a time. When you lay something out before your eyes, it helps you see what you’ve accomplished. And gives you courage to go to the next step.
7. Be at peace
Have you ever had so much going on in your life, you can’t sit still? The thoughts just keep tumbling around and around. Usually that is a sign of having your hands in too much. Before you take on a new project or activity, you should always ask yourself if this is something you can give 100 percent to. If not, chances are you’re too busy. If you can’t give it you all, we feel its better not to start. Take the time to start up a yoga class, or head out for a walk. Learn to accept quietness into your life, even for just a short period of time.
8. Be serendipitous
When was the last time you dropped everything to head out for lunch – two hours away? Or how about planning a mini-vacation – in just a few minutes time? Instead of thinking about things, and over-planning to death, why not live for the moment once in awhile? The definition of serendipity is finding something that you were not expecting. Its hard to find “something” if you stick to your own patterns. Change it up once in awhile, and see what happens – just for fun.
9. Be healthy
We think this one is the toughest, and also the one that matters the most. It’s easy to eat the bad stuff. It’s easy to sit on the couch. But in reality, it’s just as easy to eat the good stuff and head to the gym to watch your favorite show.
10. Be ready to take on the world
We each get a certain number of days on earth. And because we don’t know the number, it’s important to live each day to the fullest. Don’t wish for something in the future, or that day will never come. Don’t plan for tomorrow; instead find out what you can do today. They say one person can change the world. That’s true. But you have to be willing to jump off ledges and take BIG steps in order to make it all come true.
11. Set up expectations properly
Project managers are outstanding at creating expectations. Small business owners are not. The top pitfall? Not telling people what to expect and when to expect it. Give people accurate information and give them context for what you do. And don’t overestimate your ability. Build in wiggle room and over-deliver. People are more excited to hear it takes ten days and receive it in eight, than to hear it takes four days and receive it in seven! All too often, we’ve heard people talk about the benefits they conferred to their clients. Outperforming other studios. Beating prices. But did the client even know about the other studios or the great pricing they received? If not, then you haven’t given them something to value.
12. Be available
Not picking up your phone? Taking a day to answer your emails? Not good. Even if you can’t get to people, at least let them know when you will get back to them. It’s a 24/7 world, and though people will be patient, they won’t if they feel ignored. Making yourself available doesn’t mean you’ll find yourself at the receiving end of a huge time-suck. It means that people won’t have to worry, and probably won’t even take advantage of that fact.
13. Keep clients informed
People will forgive you if you’re running late. People will forgive you if you don’t hit the mark and things are stalled. As long as it’s the exception and not the rule. But not if you don’t keep them in the loop. No one likes being kept in the dark. It’s that feeling of being strung along. It’s an annoyance that gets under your skin.
14. Be predictable
Predictability gives comfort. Unpredictability creates tension. If you answer emails in one minute sometimes, five hours at other times, and two days occasionally, then there’s no routine clients can comfortably settle into. Give people a predictable, reliable experience.
15. Show that your clients matter
This is the key to everything. Because when you add it all up, what you really get is a picture of an organization that just doesn’t care. Everything comes as too little, too late. The experience is miserable. The concern is absent. And you just feel plain bad for dealing with them. Every experience you have with your clients in the past, not just the quality of your images, will determine how accepting they’ll be, how happy they’ll be, and what they’re willing to forgive. Make sure to show them that they matter, and they’ll respond in kind.