I am addressing this to not only my friends and clients, but to my fellow photographers as well.
For the last couple years, I have been encouraged (sometimes roughly) to come up with a mission statement. Disney has the best mission statement ever - "To Make People Happy". Simple, to the point. It's their "Why?", their reason for being.
So why is it so difficult for us photographers, car dealers, computer manufacturers, gift shops to come up with a mission statement that makes sense. You see, if we don't know why we are doing something other than "Earn a Living", how can we inspire others to either buy our product or place their belief in us. How can they trust that what we offer has, at its source, a belief or a calling that can bring forth trust?
As a stock photo agency, as well as a personal and commercial photographer - and a creator of Virtual Tours, it was a
major trial coming up with a unified "Why?", until I started reading a book called "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek, where the author explained that the decision making part of the brain, the part that deals with the whys, is non verbal!
Have you asked someone why their husband or wife is the "perfect" person for them? They will hem & haw, and say things like "She's funny, she makes me laugh, or he is so caring, witty, or some stuff like that that just as well fits untold thousands of other people... Sometimes they will say something like "She just feels right." Now, we are getting close to the truth.
This is the "following your gut" part, but in this case, the gut is really your brain.
If the Lymbic part of the brain, the decision maker, is non verbal, it makes perfect sense that we can't necessarily put into words what its reasoning is, but we should endeavor to make the effort to understand its non verbal reasoning - while realizing that we may never be able to accurately put it into words.
In photography, the most telling moments I've had were where a high school senior turned to her Grandmother, and said, "Gram, I really AM pretty!", or after creating a Virtual Tour, the owner of the property says "This shows why I'm so proud of this property."
We each are residents of our own little corner of the world. As a steward of my own corner, I work to leave my little space and circle of friends and acquaintances a little better than I found them, and feel a sense of pride in doing that, in whatever the particular task involves.
My goal, my "Why?" is for all those I touch, to be able to open their eyes to finally see their beauty and take pride in themselves. This applies to businesses, properties, portraits, web sites, my talks and classes, and my counterparts.
So, do YOU have a "Why?"
Tell me about it! I'd love to hear your interpretation of your non verbal brain's communication with you!