In early October, I saw something completely new with this business. It was the chance to give back. I was in a spot financially to donate money to various people and it felt good. But, then you get to meet the people and get to sort of know them and their story and it's life changing. It's way more than any one person could donate and it's just special. It's powerful and every time is different, but at the same time the same emotion pops up that calls me to do it again. Over time, and the more I think about it, giving back has become one of the, if not most important goals with running this business.
I run a business where I'm supposed to make people look good. However, I've been running it like a business where I intend to make people feel good. I really have no idea where this business is going to take me, but I hope and pray that it becomes something much larger than photography. Here are my goals with photography.
#2. Maintain a high work ethic and be as interested in learning and experimenting as if I was just learning the trade, even when I feel I've mastered everything. There is always something new to learn.
#3. Show a genuine love towards those that are/become my clients and those that are/do not. Life is infinitely greater than myself, business is more than about making money, and photography is way more than skill and creativity. It's OK to show emotion. Don't be afraid of it. Build and maintain those friendships and exercise step four as often as your can for them..
#4. Give freely to those in need and to those that are not; every ounce of energy, through blood, sweat, and tears. Expect nothing in return, but be thankful for the times when you are repaid. Make this a habit.
#5. Turn Brandon Michael Lee Photography into something far greater than just providing photographic services and products. You may not know what it is yet, but follow your heart.
#6. Remain patient, have faith. You'll get to where you need (not want) to be, you'll become who you need (not want) to become, and you'll eventually get what you need (not want.) Stay on the straight and narrow, follow the path your meant to follow, and you'll accomplish everything you need (not want) in due time.
#7. Along the way, inspire others. Do this enthusiastically with nothing held back. Be open and sincere with people. Again, do this without expecting anything in return and be thankful for when you are repaid.
#8. Do not ever be fearful with where this business/life takes me. Remain strong and confident and know that I won't be put into any situation that God knows I can't handle. You are here for a reason and yes, you most certainly have all the talent and ability to accomplish what is before you.
Again, I'm not sure where this business takes me. So far, its shown me more about myself than any thing I've ever experienced. This is just the tip of the iceberg and I have this feeling that I'm on this path for a reason.