On Dec 31, 2008, we entered the “tip of the iceberg” in what we all can agree was a two-year introduction to a new and permanently changed economy for professional aspirations in commercial photography. Taking a twist on “Auld Lang Syne”, I enjoyed looking look back at how the steps I took in 2009 affected my 2010, and undoubtedly will determine my 2011.
2009 & 2010 Resolution: Start a Blog.
….well, with the caveat, only if I have something unique, niche, and identifiable to say with an audience of critical mass to devour it. I’m pleased that I thoughtfully dodged this potential distraction (relative to other initiatives) in 2009 and 2010…and I did so for the right reasons. Blogs, like Twitter, have become an unfortunate, and often poorly executed, excuse for marketing. When I am ready with an original concept, full of high quality and proprietary information, certainly, I’ll start a blog. And I hope like this entry, that you’ll read it.
2009 Resolution: Join Facebook.
After two years, I’m simply exhausted by this word. Twitter’s increasingly noisy distraction to my core daily business life has me reassessing social media’s impact upon my bottom line. These online clubs have produced many wonderful friends, unfortunately 99% of whom I’ll never meet. I may give some second thoughts to Facebook’s strategic influence in 2011. I learn a tremendous amount from these networks, but I am finding that the sharing is often irrelevant to my personal initiatives. At times, I feel like I’m watching one infomercial after another. I’ll look to divert some online “friending” in favor of more “face time” in 2011.
2010 Resolution: Learn Macro Economics.
The steps that I took to involve myself in matters of the global economy have been unparalleled in their influence upon my future business initiatives. I took control of my future finances, I asked questions, I took classes, I made new friends, and I empowered myself. It has turned out to be a significantly better use of my time as compared to say, starting a blog, or shooting more personal work at this time in my career.
2009 & 2010 Resolution: Learn about Microstock.
2009 was a terribly troubled year for full-time professionals in nearly every category of commercial photography. I learned about microstock, crowd-sourcing, new content strategies, and of course, where it’s all headed. Big big win here. Keep your friends close, but ahhhh yes, keep your competitive enemies even closer. Learn about your competition and let them learn about you! I stuck my neck out there and allowed it to be handed to me on a silver platter. Thankfully, more of this is certainly to come in 2011. I welcome it. I’ve grown more agile as a business because of it.
2010 Resolution: Digitize my Life
I have not one regret for document scanning my life and business into terabyte drives this year. In my file cabinet…you name it, I feed it at ten sheets a minute; 200 ppi. The reduction of mental baggage that this eradication of clutter has achieved has freed me up to be more strategically mobile. I’m more emotionally agile to take on more than my personal fill of future projects. Have doc scanner will travel. And please don’t send me any more paper junk mail in 2011.
Shannon Fagan rang in the New Year at 34,000 feet over the North Pacific, heading home to Beijing at 500 miles an hour. No confetti, no horns, no extra peanuts…but the sunrise over Siberia sure was breathtaking.