Through Failure, What Have I Learned?

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post.

For the most part in business, reading books is bullshit. Everyone nods their heads and tells themselves that they will not do those mistakes and they end up doing them and costing them, heartache and monetarily. The amazing thing about everything is that once that lesson(s) is learned the person usually comes out of it better.

I have a couple of examples for you to think about.

Example #1: Selling Art to Brother

A couple of weeks ago I called one of my brothers up and asked if he would like to buy some of my latest photographs. He didn’t seem interested, but I still pushed on. I kept on asking and texting him and he finally asked me what was the matter. I told him everything was fine, I was just trying to sell some photographs.

Lesson: Being disparate is a strong scent for people to smell. I just wanted to get the sell so badly that I would be the typical salesmen that everyone runs away from or the homeless guy that no one wants to make eye contact with. If I had more confidence in myself to sell to my brother and didn’t look like I needed the money so badly, I would have probably gotten the sale or at least I would show dignity for myself.

Example #2: The Restaurant Owner

While I was about to eat my dinner a couple of weeks ago with my fiancee I brought out my camera to show her some of the photographs I took moments ago of a person I interviewed a couple of months prior. The chef saw me with my camera and quickly appeared a smile on his face and he went back to the kitchen to dress up the food.

The chef asked me if I was a photographer and was wondering what type of photography I do. I mentioned it to him and instantly he gave me a card and said he was the owner of this establishment and another restaurant and another. My eyes opened up and was ready to pitch him and to give him some banging photographs.

He didn’t go into much detail, but said that he was dissatisfied with his current photographs and was also looking for a web designer. Later that night I went online to check out the images and knew that I could do a better job. I gave him a call a couple of days later and didn’t get anything. I left an email and no response. I think I called once again and typed up a followup email and just left it at that. I was down and felt like shit and my fiancee suggested that I just show up at the restaurant and show him what I can do for him. I did and the chef wasn’t in sight. I left my contact information and was hoping for the best and nothing came out of it.

I guess he had a bad experience with photographers and didn’t feel like paying another one. I’m going to try one more angle: which is to take a couple of photographs, write a small note and mail it to his establishment. That is it.

Lesson: I’m always beating myself over the head with not making a connection. But I kept at it in a not-so-annoying way. I think me waiting to call and leaving messages was the right way to handle that type of situation.

Example #3: The Favor in Business

I was gearing up to pitch this job. I was ready and determined. I called multiple times and knew that he was interested. He finally told me to come to his office to get the assignment. I looked it over that night and told him first what my quote was. He low-balled me bad. He asked for my second price and he wouldn’t budge. We finally ended on his price, which was close to sweat shop salaries. I thought about what just happened, I talked it over with a couple of people and knew that I just got had. I was pissed and knew that I could do the job, but it would be tons of work. The next thing I did was educate myself more on the job and felt determined to get the price that I knew I was worth.

I realize that I was setting myself up short for this type of work and the guy was taking advantage. The only way for me to get out of it was to not do the job. So I called the guy and told him that I wasn’t able to do the job because it was well below market cost and I would be losing money. He freaked out. He said how much would I take. We went back and forth and I told him that I would take my original offer. He called me the next day and said that he didn’t realize the job cost that much. Throughout this whole process of negotiations I was educating him on what was involved in the work and didn’t budge on my price.

Lesson: It was one of the best victories I ever got. I didn’t get the job, but I didn’t lose money and dignity. I learned that I have to educate people on what I do and the type of service they are getting in return. Many people think just because you like taking photographs it shouldn’t cost much money. Teaching people helps them to realize all of the work you provide them and to build trust.

I’m Still Learning and Failing

This is a learning process. It is hard work. I see why most of the world just works for somebody else. It is easier that way and with the way it is all set up the hardest thing a person has to do is wake up in the morning. What I have also realized is that business isn’t for everyone. There are days that I think that I’m there. Most of the time I’m wondering if I’m making the right decision. But the excitement and heartache drives me to want to do it more.

Why Do You Want to Be Free?

Being free from regular job is extremely important to me because I will be able to make my own decisions when I want to. I can travel where I want to. And I can produce more with the extra time away from a 9-5. That’s just talk for right now, I have to get back to failing more, learning from it all so that I can start to get successes in this type of business.

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