Photographers self-sufficiency is another word for poverty

Nikon D2X, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/1600

Self-sufficiency is another word for poverty.

I read that and immediately bristled, but then as I listened more to Matt Ridley’s comment the more I realized he was right.

Listen to Matt here:


The more we work for each other the better off we are.

The key to how much work you get is directly dependent on how much networking you have done. What you learn from networking is two things that is extremely important to you being able to pursue your passion of photography.

What you do must benefit others

No matter how nice you are and how much you care no one cares. What matters is how those things which are inside you move you to action. You are measured by what you do and not by what you think.

I am reminded of the story where Jesus cursed the fig tree for not producing fruit [Mark 11:12-25]. That was the purpose of the tree.

People will not buy what you produce unless it benefits them.

David Wong wrote:

Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving, and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.

Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness — don’t those things matter? Of course. As long as they result in you doing things for people that they can’t get elsewhere.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/400

Sell the Dream

No matter how passionate you are about something, nobody cares about it simply because you do.

I love to watch Shark Tank the TV show. each week I hear many who have ideas that after you hear them they are not really marketable.

If you want clients or customers, you need to be concerned with why they should care about what you’re doing, even when you’re doing what you love. Don’t be so in love with your passion and busy doing it that you forget to look up and show others why they should care as much as you do.

Your challenge is to persuasively communicate the gift of your passion, your mission and your unique value.

Nothing succeeds like success

One of the best ways to get people to get excited about what you offer is to show them your success. This is how many NGOs get their support. Here is the problem and here is a success story where we have made a difference. They then will go on to show how there are many more to help and need your support.

Here is a great example that I helped Honduras Outreach produce this past year.

Summary: Don’t focus on being self-sufficient. Focus on being a service to your fellow man. The key to your success is to not just find your passion, but finding out how this benefits other people. Once you have this nugget you are well prepared to promote what you can do for others.