The Tougher the Challenges the Better Your Skill Set Will Become
Marketing Monday by Skip Cohen

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

sailors racing photoRacers sailing photo by Bob Coates Photography

It’s an old African proverb, but the more I read it, the more I’m in awe of how much these seven words say. They sure seem to fit everything we learned over the last few years about business.

Think about it. From a challenging economy to keeping up with technology, to social media and increased competition, you’re working harder than you’ve probably ever worked in your life.

What’s exciting to me is the new energy focused on marketing. Years ago we used to laugh because Don Blair would get a thousand people in a posing and lighting program with a few cute models and I’d get ten people in a marketing workshop and five of them were relatives! Today, every marketing, business, and workflow program is packed, and people are taking notes.

One thing I have noticed is those photographers who tell me they’re having a good year. They always add a comment of, “But I’ve never worked so hard in my life.” Further discussion always brings out new things they’re doing regarding diversity in their business, skill set, and the products/services offered.

Scuba diving is a major passion of mine, and I remember a dive when I first started, in horrible water. We had 6-foot swells, and we were in a small boat – I was diving with my buddy, Bob Nunn. The captain looked at us and said, “If you guys can dive in this you can dive in anything!” I came off the boat green, and Bob left breakfast a half mile off the Florida coast, but it did make us better divers. It also gave us something to laugh about.

Well, as an industry we’ve survived a roller coaster of challenges over the years, but the keyword is survived. The proverb says so much that to keep talking about it becomes trite. The point is we’ve all learned to sail in rough water, and as a result, we’re better sailors!

Give yourself a pat on the back – your passion for photography is alive and well, and you’ve got more tools to make this last quarter pretty remarkable. The goal is for you to THRIVE, not just survive!

skip cohen headshot
Skip Cohen has been involved in the photographic industry his entire career and previously served as President of Rangefinder/WPPI and earlier, Hasselblad USA. He founded in 2013. Skip is a co-host for “Mind Your Own Business” and “Beyond Technique,” webcasts through, writes for several publications including Shutter Magazine and is actively involved in several advisory boards for non-profit organizations.