I have been so fortunate to be given many great opportunities which have helped me to find my passion and has opened doors I never could have imagined. I have wonderful clients who took a chance on me when I was just starting out and an amazing family and friends support system. I try to make gratitude my attitude to show people how thankful I am to them, and I truly believe that paying it forward is the only way good things will continue to come along. What goes around comes around, right?
I am sharing this with all of you because I have found that while there is a lot of giving going on in our business, there is an awful lot of taking as well. Not a ground breaking experience- you probably knew that, but what have you personally done about it? We only get one chance or two to handle things with grace and good judgment. How you handle the fortune that is brought to you leaves a lasting impression. My client Bob and Dawn Davis have taught me a lot about this through their example and I am humbled by them.
Putting your hand out and taking, but not giving back does the following:
1. burns bridges 2. gives you a bad wrap 3. alienates vendors 4. Will result in a loss of referrals
I’d like to point out a specific instance that I feel gets overlooked quite a bit. A great photographer can take fabulous images of an amazing event, but then turn around and get all the public credit for this event since the images are their property. However has the photographer considered that they wouldn’t have been able to shoot such a stunning and well produced event if it weren’t for the other vendors involved? (the floral designer, the wedding planner, stationery, lighting, rentals, specialty catering companies etc.. )They wouldn’t have the proof of the work to show and proudly submit to attract more business. Therefore, as a photographer, have you given these people the appropriate extension of gratitude? Perhaps send them a lovely note, refer them future business, and at the very least get them some images so they can leverage them for their own business? Wedding planners often get the short end of the stick it seems. They can refer like crazy but often times are not as quickly referred. It does go both ways and I would like to point out that if it weren’t for the phenomenal photographers who so wonderfully capture the day, planners wouldn’t have what they need to produce more business and promote themselves either.
How about when a vendor is submitting work to a blog or a magazine? Do you all remember to include the others who helped on the collaboration? Or if you decide to blog or tweet something that “you” discovered. Did you really discover it on your own? OR did you read about it on someone else’s blog or tweet and then conveniently forget to mention that source? I’ve seen it time and time again. Why do we do this? What are we afraid of? Giving credit where its due? Thanking others for inspiring us? The more you support them, the more you will get supported. AND lets not forget that “You just Being You” as I wrote about in last week’s Tuesday Tips, is the only way to go!
What are we doing for one another that allows the goodness to continue? Personally I have helped numerous people that aren’t clients of mine just because I want to help kind hearted people. I don’t expect anything in return-except maybe for them to be nice back? maybe send a thank you note? offer to buy me a cupcake (red velvet please)? This is not a post about what people do or don’t do for me, but an example of what we need to be doing for each other. May I ask: Are you treating your staff right? Paying them what they should be paid and thanking them for all that they do? There is no way we could run a business with out them. I am the first to admit that i couldn’t do what I do without my team (Kellee, Brittany, Holly)! When you are twittering, updating your facebook status, or blogging about your own accomplishments are you also mentioning the people who have helped you achieve this? This matters. I promise. Those that collaborated with you and support you will follow your successes. This is a very high emotion industry. As vendors we give everything to what we do and often times too much of ourselves. It’s exhausting to give and give and not receive. So, yes people can get easily hurt or offended when they are left out of something or not given credit where its due.
At some point, one of us out there is given a great chance to prove themselves, one we may have received prematurely, or never thought would happen. If you want good opportunities to help grow your business, to make friends, or to receive any goodness in your direction: You have to make “gratitude your attitude”!
How do you say thank you?
*image credit: Palomas Nest