It obviously nice that people like what I do, but sometimes it seems they don’t appreciate what it took to get there..
Often it seems that people assume that because you’re good at something “it comes naturally” or you just have “the knack”. How often have you heard someone say something like “well it’s easy for you..” as if you just magically woke up one morning with the skill and talent to do something? Worse still, it’s usually said in the context that they would like you to do something for them, because they can’t do it themselves (or can’t be bothered to try) and you can, so they’d like you to do it for them “as a favour”.
So, lets stop to consider for a moment just why I might be able to so something which you can’t, or don’t want to, do yourself.
I didn’t just magically figure out how to take a decent photo. I learned how. I have invested thousands of hours of my time in reading, asking questions, practicing etc. I’ve invested thousands of pounds in equipment and training, and I’m still continuing to do so today.
The reason I know how to use Photoshop is because I’ve spent night after night up until gone 2am learning how, reading books, trawling through website tutorials etc. and actually practising this stuff.
Why then should you get the benefit of that for nothing if you’re not prepared to do so yourself?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to help people out and will occasionally do someone a favour with some photos or help with their graphic design or web projects etc. But when I do, it would at least be nice to feel they appreciated just what had gone into that. Remember, what might take me two hours, would probably take you two days, or even two weeks. Now how valuable is my time?
So, why the rant now?
Well basically there have just been too many occasions recently when people have been taking advantage of my good nature, and I’ve been guilty of putting myself out way too much for other people who really don’t appreciate it. Yes, of course I understand that different people have different skill sets, and I’m flattered that people think enough of some of mine that they want my help or advice, but also there comes a point when I’ve got to draw a line under it as I’m spending way too much time and energy on sorting out *other peoples stuff* and not enough time on my own projects so it’s come to the point I’ve simply got to switch those priorities around.
When it comes to my to-do list my order of priorities will be:
- Paying clients
- Collaborations with mutual benefit (i.e. TF model shoots)
- Personal Projects
- Favours for other people
So, if you’re #4 on the list, please remember that I’m doing you a favour, in my own time, for nothing. I’m afraid that means you’ll just plain have to wait. If I can do something, I’ll do it when I’ve got the time. That might be a few days, or it might be a few weeks. I can’t make any promises.
If your ‘favour’ is urgent then I’d argue that it’s not actually something you should be relying on favours for in the first place. Obviously if you want me to make you a priority you have the option jump right to the top of the queue and be a #1, but otherwise you need to remember the holy trinity of getting things done:
How do you want it done? Good, Fast or Cheap?
Back in my former life as a software developer, there was the classic ‘development trilogy’. i.e. How do you want it done, good, fast or cheap?
You can pick any two out of three.