Don't Burn Bridges - You May Just Need To Walk Across Them One More Time

Growing up as a kid, my dad bestowed a lot of wisdom unto me with his little one-liners and pithy anecdotes. Now, there were quite a few of them but one in particular really stood out for me: “Don’t ever burn your bridges”

For the past month or so, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster; a veritable whirlwind all rolled up into one for me. I quit my full time corporate job after 12 ½ years with the same company to pursue my passion, my love of photography. Scary as hell but I have a great support system in place in my family, my friends and my former colleagues, which to be honest I didn’t fully expect but it has been an incredibly pleasant surprise.

It wasn’t that I expected people to be pissed off with me or not be happy for me but I didn’t expect them to be as supportive as they have been, and it has been amazing to say the least.  When I handed in my resignation, my boss said he knew this was coming and he was one of the most supportive people out of everybody. He was totally 100% happy for me, unhappy to see me go but in my corner and wanted to help in any way he could.  He helped in more ways than one and I am incredibly appreciative for his help.

It’s a little embarrassing to admit but I was a little taken aback by the offers of help from the different people at work. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it ALL, more than words could ever express!  It was just a little unexpected. The outpouring of support from people was incredibly supportive and kind. It made me a little emotional reading some of them to be honest but moreover it made me feel especially good and supported.

I had partners at the firm approaching me and calling me to wish me luck in my future endeavours, asking for my contact info and offering their help. I even had one partner from the firm tell me to USE the network I have built there, ask for help. More often than not, people are willing to help out, you just have to ask!

I spent a lot of years at my job, met and worked with a lot of amazing people.  I made a lot of friends and forged some great relationships. So the “old man” was on to something.  You should never ever burn your bridges.  It’s always good to keep your relationships in good standing because you never know when you might need help from someone. Thanks for the words of advice Dad, they certainly came in handy!

The Learning Curve - Hard Lessons

I have learned quite a few lessons along the way with my photography business however the toughest is pricing my work. I know I wrote a blog post a month or so ago about pricing but this animal has reared its ugly head to me yet again

I have had some work on display for an extended period of time. I put my framed images on display at this location, set my pricing for each piece and walked away. I even have two different sized images on display. Someone that works at said place let me know that there was a lot of positive feedback about the pieces but one constant was about how high the pricing was. I took this into consideration and decided after much agonizing and self debate, I should drop the prices. I was told by a very wise person, it is better to sell some work at a lower price than to sell NO work at high prices.

A month or so had passed and I received more feedback about how much people loved my photography but again this pricing conundrum has popped up. This time I was told that my work was neither original nor was I a “known” artist therefore nobody in their right mind was going to pay the kind of money I was asking people to pay for my artwork. I will agree withthe latter, I am not a known artist “YET”. As far as not producing original artwork, I can only assume the person meant my artwork wasn’t signed or numbered

Lesson learned this time... ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS sign and number your artwork if you plan on selling your artwork to the general public. This has been a very hard and somewhat expensive lesson for me to learn. I now realize that I probably can’t ask the prices I was originally asking due to the fact the works aren’t signed and numbered. All has not been lost here, I can walk away from
this experience saying I will definitely remember to sign and number any pieces going forward.

Image courtesy of thelearningcurve.com