I was running towards the finish line.
Almost there. My first ever marathon. Yea!
My legs were sore, not yet giving up on me, but they were threatening to.
They started acting up about the 15KM mark into this 21 KM half-marathon.
But alas, I can see the finish line!
Even though I was slightly nervous the day before, thinking I may have bite off more than I could chew, I reached my goal.
Not an overwhelming success, but I made it. Well, almost there.
Not far to go as I rounded the corner, heading into the last stretch, people on either side cheering me on. They love me!
I felt a presence behind me, as one often does in these races, where you run with about 600 other runners.
The sound of feet hitting the pavement behind me, although an alien feeling to me until today, is something that helps urge me onwards.
Like a gazelle being stalked by a Cheetah.
I look over my shoulder, there is a young guy, looking like he’s running for the Olympic trials.
This guy was cruising. And working hard! Very focused. He zoomed right by me and headed to the finish. He was the first place runner in the 10 KM run…
I sauntered over the finish, feeling very good that I had accomplished what I set out to accomplish.
As I ran over the finish line, someone handed me my medal. Nice.
Another lady handed me a bottle of water. I stopped running and walked slowly, stretching my rubberized and stiff legs out.
About 20 feet away I saw the young runner who passed me, and a TV camera. Someone was about to interview him. Cool! Maybe we was running some sort of Olympic trial.
I heard him say in a worried tone, as he stood there panting, and covered with sweat:
“Is there snot all over my face?”
I had to smile, chuckle and share that with you. And it inspired me to write about it.
So, in honour of my first ever half-marathon and the young runner Olympian hopeful with snot all over his face, lessons on marketing your photography studio from the world of marathon running:
-*Lesson #1- Train hard. Yes, you all know this. Too many wannabees and hopefuls in photography think they have what it takes simply because they have some skills and a camera. Just because you know how to run, doesn’t mean you’re ready for a marathon. Study, train, practice and hone your skills. Especially your marketing skills, the most important skill for success.
-*Lesson #2- Give it all you got, and if you fail, learn. I admit I was nervous going into this. In retrospect, nervous for no real reason. I was up to the task. But I didn’t let the nerves slow me down or stop me. So what, I thought, if I couldn’t make it. I’ll learn from it. But, this is not an excuse for not giving it all you got. 100% in!
-*Lesson 3- Let outside forces inspire you and move you forward. When I hear footsteps behind me, I start running faster. It’s a competitive thing. It inspires and reminds me that others are running along as well. In business, we need to keep track of what the market trends are and innovate our own. If you stay old, rusty and stale, you’re doomed. More importantly and tied into this truth is staying plugged into what our clients want.
-*Lesson #4– Focus on your intentions and goal. It’s sometimes hard to stay focused on what we want to achieve. Too many, and too often, we only see what’s going on around us and react. This happens when we don’t have a personal goal vision and aim. Everything starts with you and where you want to go. Sadly, this is not something most of us learn in life or are exposed to. It’s all about being responsible for our own lives, passions, dreams and ambitions.
-*Lesson #5- Make sure you’re face isn’t covered in snot…being able to communicate is very, very important. If you’re face has boogers hanging from it, that’s all people will remember of you. So clean up. Play the game. Metaphorically, this means to put your best face forward.
In marketing, innovating and creating products, pitches and offers, in what your studio looks, smells and sounds like when clients show up for a shoot or to order images. It means selling yourself, putting your best foot forward, during sales sessions, during shoots, during any networking event in your town or city….on and on…..get it?
I could add to that any other “messes” in your life, be they physical, mental or emotional… all messes are bad for you. And they will drag you down like dead weight while floating in the ocean….
Yours in photography and success,