Who would have thought that one of the hardest yet most important things for me to do would be to say no. I’m still learning how to do it, but I’m here to remind you all that being a “yes man” all the time can catch up to you and bite you where the sun doesn't shine.
I’m just recovering from some sort of virus that landed me in the hospital. It was almost like my body simply told me, "Hey, take it easy on me!” Between the stress of selling a home, purchasing another one, and running a busy photography business while managing to keep all of my clients, friends, and family happy, I was starting to feel the effects of spreading myself too thin, both mentally and physically.
This whole virus thing I was fighting forced me to take time to really think about the work I’ve been doing and examine whether or not I really enjoy all of it. You see, as a businessman, it’s hard to turn down a financially rewarding opportunity. As a creative, some of those financial opportunities don’t always jive with what it is that my creative demons need to feed on. On top of it all, if you’re good at what you do and you aren’t careful, you could create all sorts of demand for something you’re not completely willing to supply by taking on jobs you're not interested in. Don’t want to be stuck shooting birthday parties for the rest of your career? Consider referring those opportunities to someone else.
The takeaway here is say yes to the things you enjoy and at least consider saying no to the jobs you don’t love. Chances are, there’s another photographer out there willing to pick up the jobs that don’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Are there any genres of photography you consciously avoid? Why? Share in the comments below.