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How do I find my mission statement?

July 2nd, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

I am an event and fine art photographer. My business is taking pictures and capturing beauty. What one sentence would you say really describes an event and fine art photographer?  I am almost finished reading your book, Thou Shall Prosper and think it is one of the best books in my library.

Please help me define what a photographer really does by taking images. I know there is a sentence that really get’s to the heart of the matter, but just cannot seem to just hit the nail on the head. I would love to hear from you.

∼ Mark L.L.

Answer:

Dear Mark,

You are trying to find the difference between engaging in drudgery and doing something valuable and lasting. At the beginning of the 20th century a person who made buggy whips and saw himself as a buggy whip maker, was soon going to be out of business. Someone who made buggy whips but saw himself as a transportation specialist could transition to the automobile market. In addition, the buggy whip maker judged his success by how many whips he sold. The transportation specialist’s focus was on how he could help people get where they needed to be. The second way of thinking is more fulfilling than the first.

Photography fulfills two spiritual human needs in that only humans exhibit a desire to retain memories and to surround themselves with beauty.  Perhaps following that line of thinking might help.

In the final analysis, however, we can’t answer your question for you. Pay attention to what type of pictures you do best and what areas are becoming your specialty. Do you help people capture fleeting moments  so that they can treasure them forever? Do you allow people to bring the beauty of nature into their homes? Do you reveal hidden depths through skillful photography? Do you offer sensitive interaction during potentially stressful events? Only you can find your own mission statement.

Start by asking what services you are offering to your customers that is different from the services they could get from other photographers. What does a satisfied customer say to you that thrills you and makes you feel that you fulfilled your purpose?

Let us know what you discover about yourself,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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