One Self-Employed Success Measurement


These days, one of the tasks I relish is when former students who are now in the workforce (as self-employed individuals), reach out to me for advice. They are finally experiencing what I mentioned in a class lecture. At the time they may not have listened well enough or perhaps it had little relevance for them at the time. But boy do it ring bells now!

One such story I wish to relate here: that of a former student and recent graduate of Brooks Institute who was lamenting how she was a “complete bust” (her words, not mine) on a self-assigned ski photography shoot. I wrote back to her with this note of support: (more or less)

“Even though you say the ski photographer gig was a complete bust, in fact it wasn’t. It’s not uncommon for folks new to being self-employed to focus only on a narrow range of how success is defined. You may not realize it yet but you learned a tremendous amount about yourself, your perceived value in the marketplace, how you interact with people and how they respond to your professional presentation.

This information is in your head, now it is up to you to retrieve it and use the information efficiently. I spent quite a lot of time training myself in this discipline and I can tell you the rewards are invaluable. But you must train to get to this state of mind.

It’s hard being self-employed, it even harder to make money being self-employed and the hardest of all is doing it for decades while supporting a family. Talk about tough.

Don’t get discouraged, success will come if you truly want it and are single-minded in succeeding, no matter what curve life throws and it will throw all kinds of junk at you.

Good luck.


Michael Stern

My work depicts, appreciates and honors the people who build. Their specialized equipment and stunning challenges are marvels I behold and get paid to interpret. Hope you enjoy this site.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Stern,

    Loved the post and appreciate the Bull Fighter picture that goes with it … great visual. You are so riight that being self employed and supporting a family for years from the business income is tough! I know first hand. Having a positive perspective and clear focus is absolutely critical.

    I am interested in learning more about the training you mention. I am always looking for ways to improve my knowledge of what it takes to be disciplined in business focus and analysis.

    Thanks for the post! I hope you reply.

  2. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I will blog a new post about the training methods I devised for myself and how they did and did not work. I sprinkle some of these ideas in most if not all my posts.

    Stay tuned.

    PS: glad you liked the photo, I thought it was appropriate. I’ve been looking for a reason to show off some of my bullfight images!

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