When good is near you…

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them.

(Author: Jonathan Fields)

Three years ago while a guest at a wedding I watched the photographer hired to document the couple’s wedding. I put my head close to my wife and whispered in her ear, “I would love to photograph weddings.”

Two years later I dug out and dusted off my camera. I purchased additional photo equipment and photographed my first wedding. I fell in love with my hobby, again.

Shortly after I photographed my first wedding I sat down and completed the paperwork to form my own DBA. I filed my business name, developed a website, purchased a logo and ordered business cards. I developed a business plan which I knew was clear. There was one necessary evil…my full-time job. Financially I needed to maintain the job. Three years later I find myself in the unenviable position of continuing to build my business as the country works its way out of the worst recession since the stock market crash of 1929. As a result I still need my full-time job.

I knew building a business would be difficult. I knew the days would be long and I would have to work days and hours I really didn’t want to work. I have accepted this fact. Of course it does not make the long days any easier. Consistent daily action is what helped me to achieve what I had already achieved in my social work career. I remain open to the unknown. This excites me. I grew up with parents who planned what they could but realistically there is only so much planning one can do. You cannot plan for every contingency.

I am fortunate and thankful I have several friends who want to see me succeed in this venture. They have hired me to photograph their corporate events as well as volunteer opportunities with organizations such as Make-A-Wish, Buffalo Hearing and Speech and Mikey’s Way. I see these as necessary evils. I do not mean that in a negative way. I love the opportunity to see the smiles on the faces of the kids and the family’s I photograph at these events and know my upbeat and charismatic attitude will only serve to further my business.

There is also the possibility I may be able to accept a part-time position with my present employer. If the salary allows my wife and I to live and make it in this economy…it is definitely an option and an opportunity I would examine.

I am thankful for my parents and the home in which I grew up. I have an innate understanding of diversity. I can see opportunities where others see only road blocks. My dad taught me to ask for help when it was needed but not to rely on others to accomplish the goals I had set to achieve.


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