Thursday, May 10, 2012

7 Things My Mother Told Me That Can Help You With Your Business - and in your life

My late mother, Josephine T. Sammon, and my son, Marco C. Sammon.
Here are a few things my mother told me (when I was a kid) that can be applied to your business, as well as your activities in the photo community. They can also help you in life.

1) Someone is always watching.
This is great advice to keep in mind in designing and posting stuff on your web site/blog. You never know who is watching. Someone may be watching who needs exactly what you have to offer. He or she may be a millionaire and may have a few bucks to spend on you! 

Keep your site/blog up to date with the best you can offer. 

Also: know your audience. Post, write and design for your specific audience.

2) Always sandwich a criticism with compliments. 
If you feel as though you need to criticize another photographer's work, don't just jump in with criticism. Rather, try to encourage the person to do better - before and after you get to your point.

3) Never give up.
Every time I got a rejection letter or email, I thought about this quote. Sooooo glad I followed my mother's advice. 

I know it sounds easy, especially when you are down. However, don't let others get you down. Also remember that timing is everything. A "no" today could be a "yes" tomorrow.

4) To thine own self be true.
Ya know, I really did not like it when my mother used this quote. However, it's really good advice for photographers. Be true to yourself. Follow your heart. Photograph what you love. 

5) Sticks and stones can break your bones, but names can never hurt you.
Today, it's easy to hide behind fake names on the internet and post bad book, app and photo reviews. Ask my buddy Trey Ratcliff about it. And, check out his dramatic reading of his negative books reviews. 

Don't listen to what others say while hiding. In fact, don't listen to negative comments from folks who just set out to be mean. Their comments often say more about themselves than you!

6) Don't curse.
I vividly remember my mother washing out my mouth with a new, big and white bar of IVORY soap after I used a curse word. Well, I am not saying that today I am a saint, but I never use an inappropriate word on the web. I have dropped people from facebook and twitter for doing just that. I don't want to be associated with 'em. So, keep it clean and you will not offend anyone.

7) Be a good listener.
When I went on my first date, my mother told me to be a good listener. This was good advice, as I got a second date. :-)  

Today, we must be good listeners on twitter, facebook and in the comments section on our blogs. You can't just talk - you must listen. Get to know your audience.

Along the lines of being a good listener, remember this: There is always room for improvement.

Speaking of listening, if you have a mother's quote/advice you want to share, please post it here.

Thanks Mother (I always called her Mother),

P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!


Dienzo Designs said...

My mother taught me to always leave a place better than the way I found it.

nic - the auspicious squirrel said...

Thanks for this and the previous post. I'm currently taking a photography class that has taken me out of my comfort zone and thrown me for a loop. I've been feeling frustrated with myself. Little things like being reminded to be true to myself and photograph what I love, and to remember that the idea of the photograph is just as important, if not more important, that the rest of the stuff.

One Woman's Thoughts said...

Words of wisdom.

A very beautiful and endearing photograph.

Dru Stefan Stone said...

A wonderful, touching post and photograph! One of my favorites from my mother is that, "You will never find time, you must make the time." Mothers are quite wonderful!

Lyvon said...

I only remember the taste of that ivory was less filling!

An awe-inspiring photograph of your mother and that cute kid.

Claudia said...

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." If she only knew how important those words would become in this day and age!

Fabio said...

Thanks Rick! I just started my own photography blog and here you come with some great advice that I really found very helpful.

Laurie-B said...

What a beautiful portrait of a very wise lady. She was right.

Your family portraits have inspired me to start capturing my family and friends. It is very rewarding. Thank you Rick.

Kristian Kittelsaa said...

My grandmother used to say: "Don't complain, as there will always be people worse off than you!" At first I thought she was cynical, but over the years I've come to realize that true meaning of this. Yes, you might feel that everything is against you, but you still have your family and friends, your health and home, your equipment and money, or at least several of the above. There are people in the world that has none of this, so suck it up and be "a man". My gran gave almost 20% of all her (and gramps) income to charity every month, because she wanted to help the less fortunate.

My grampa had a saying as well: "We rich are blessed. You could offer me a million, and I still wouldn't be poor!" A silly thing to say perhaps, but it's got a deeper meaning. Money isn't everything... At least that's how I interpet it :)

Tracy Jane said...

Thank you Rick for sharing such a special piece of your life. I had tears in my eyes as I read this! Rick you surly are a product of your parents love. Thank you for your encouragment....

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise - that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life. ~Ephesians 6:1-3

Kevin Pepper said...

My mother always told me to wear clean underwear in case I got into an accident... LOL...

But she also told me to surround yourself with people that can be a positive influence on your life.

I bet thats a huge reason a lot of people read your blog and appreciate your advice... and appreciate you.

Frank said...

I don't know how we survive without our Mothers.
It seems they never really go away.Never.

Susan Candelario said...

Beautiful and tender photo along with some great advice, Rick! Thanks for always sharing so much.

Kevin Brown said...

One of my mom's favorite sayings..."You are only as good as your word"

Kevin Brown said...

One of mothers favorite sayings..."You are only as good as your word"