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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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06.19.09         michael's insights  

Saying No to Great Ideas


Drove back to Selma today, took 9 hours- will be spending the next few days with Adam finishing the 580 Speedlite DVD. Everything I did in Florida was so much fun, I especially loved the workshops, meeting everyone and watching them learn and enjoy what we were doing. I spent much of the drive just thinking about everything I need to get done and am feeling a little overwhelmed. I have so many good ideas bouncing around my head right now, but I am also behind on current projects. I have more ideas than I think I will ever possibly be able to finish in my lifetime and I am going to try to get them done anyway. :)

As soon as the Speedlite DVD is finished, I will take one day off, and then start the next DVD, (The Canon T1i DVD) which I have already completed scripting (this means the lessons are all planned out and shooting schedule is ready to go, we expect to turn this around within a month). After that, I have the Wedding Crash Course DVD and Photography Business Crash Course DVD (both mostly scripted), followed by the Photography Lighting DVD, I would expect at that time the Canon 60D will be announced and I will have that DVD to start. Its like I see a never ending list of DVDs that need to be made. :)

In addition to all these projects, I have the following:

- New Lollipop Action "Grey Matter" in final Testing
- Testing 2 New Paintballer Presets
- Taking bids from programmers on 3 Top Secret (extremely cool) new products- Cant talk about them now, but...be VERY excited- These have to be planned and farmed out.
- Securing Jabookee.com which was having some issues this last week, looking into possibility of linking store with Jabookee.com (which means if you buy a DVD you can watch the lessons there immediately) but we need this to be automated- I think it would be a good value to add.
- Planning for the next 3 workshops, NC, PA, and NY.
- Editing 8 new "free" videos which have already been shot so I can post.
- Doing the 365, I think I am a few days behind, but I got some good ideas today for several. I have decided I wont do it unless its an original idea, Id rather wait a day or two and be more original, than do it just to do it- this was an option I made for myself when I started.
- Keeping up with the blog posts, forum, exercise and emails. (It usually takes me about 2 hours just to go through emails, sometimes I can try to answer them, but I will get more in that period in either break even or have more, so if you have photography questions for me, just know I wont answer you in email- ask in the forum (click the white "forum" button above)

....so...yes....sometimes I am feeling a little overwhelmed- but as I mentioned in another post, I believe all of my stress is self generated. Im finding myself quoting P90X: "Do your best, and forget the rest!" It actually takes a lot of stress off....I cant do better than my best! Nothing else matters!

I still get great ideas for other projects, but at this point I just have to write them down and say no. I feel very fortunate to have the new freedom I have gained over the last year or so, but most of it has come from not going after every idea, or even the "coolest" idea....just going after the most relevant ones and trying to stay on target. It seems that momentum is dissipated with all the little things, even if they are good little things.

Sometimes something "good" can prevent something "awesome" from happening, and this is a very hard lesson to learn, not all "good" things ARE. You cant catch the big game fish if you like to chase minnows. Forget the little stuff, stay on target, learn from mistakes, become more efficient.

As much as I would love to work on all these other projects, any attention I give them will just delays the ones that are almost finished. I cant even think about them for now. Im beginning to realize my ambition may be getting the best of me (ie I am biting off more than I can chew) but you know what? I wouldnt have it any other way. I want live life going all out and if I make mistakes because I am trying too hard, I can live with that more than being complacent or lazy.

BTW- Ive made some HUGE business mistakes in the last year, extremely costly. Im trying to get the nerve up to share them with you because they are such wonderful learning experiences, but to be honest I am embarrassed. I am learning from them and trying to do a better job at what I do best: Teaching Photography, I have other "good" talents, but this is probably my strongest and I need to focus on that.

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