Alexander Nikon Rockefeller, aka "Rock" was our beloved English Bulldog for nearly thirteen years. Oh, the lessons we learned during that time that still encourage us.
I thought I would share THREE lessons from Rock that have carried us through the last decade.
ONE: Never, ever, ever give up!
Rock was persistent and determined and if he set his sights on something, he didn't give up until he had it.
Case in point: Rock loved water bottles and would spy any bottle we may have left lying around and then, try his hardest to get it, even if it was full of water and even if we said NO!
One day, I left my water bottle on the bathroom sink and went downstairs. Hours later, I realized I had not seen him for awhile and started looking for him. When I found him, I was astonished as he was sitting in the same place as when I left the bathroom hours before.He was staring at the water bottle which was out of his reach.
You can guess what happened. Though I told him NO when I left the bathroom originally, I decided he deserved to have it! What determination! What tenacity!
He didn't have to work for it and he never begged for it...he simply stared...and he was rewarded for his tenacity.
We call this theBulldog Stare and often remind ourselves of this story when we get frustrated with the condition of our industry today.
If there was ever the temptation to give up on this amazing business we are in, it would be now. The perfect storm of digital photography making it too easy to take decent pictures plus our phones getting better and better plus the consumer being ok with a "pic" on their phone they can share on social media vs a printed piece for their homes has created a lowering of standards that we never thought possible in our earlier days.
As that bar gets lower, consumers think they are "photographers." We often say the most dangerous person is the one who doesn't know what he doesn't know.
It reminds me of a commercial where the punch line is this, "Just OK is not OK!"
So now what?
We are in a new normal, much like after 9/11 happpend, there was a new normal. We cannot change it, but we can succeed in the midst of the storm by continuing our education with organizations like PPA or private coaching by those who are on the path you want to be on, by raising our standards and continually educating our clients. We must motivate ourselves through the support of peers in the business-join or form a small group for support, take a breath and get started!
We need each other, now more than ever!
TWO: Don't take your eye off the prize!
Back to the story about the bottle in my bathroom, we noticed that even though we called and called him, he never responded PLUS when we found him, he never took his eyes off the bottle to glance at us.
His eyes were intensely focused on the bottle the entire time. He could have easily looked away, but hedidn't.He never lost his focus and once he had the bottle, it was impossible to get it back!
If something that belongs to you gets in a bulldog’s mouth—don’t plan on getting it back! He’ll hold on, lock down and stand his ground much longer than you’ll want to hang around.
What is our prize? Why do we do what we do? What is our purpose? What do we want to hang onto and not let go?
If you don't know what you prize is, you may be tempted to let it go or lose your focus when things get tough.
THREE: Never RETREAT!
The very nature of a bulldog is aggressive, persistent, determined, tenacious, confident and commanding. They are continually reaching for the goal, whether it is a bone or a water bottle.
If you are not continually moving forward, you are in retreat or moving backward. Be like a bulldog with a grip that cannot be shaken off.
Take a moment and consider the following:
Are you maintaining or pursuing?
Are you holding the fort or taking new ground?
Are you settled into the status quo or reaching up to the next level?
Are you throwing in the towel or going in for the next round?
Are you settled in to what you already have or aggressively possessing all that is rightfully yours?
We must continue to move forward, success won’t just fall into our laps.
NEVER GIVE UP! Go over, go under, go around, go through, BUT NEVER GIVE UP!