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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seth Godin's Medicine Ball Workshop | Maris Ehlers Photography

Most of you know (because I can't seem to stop talking about it), that I am in New York for a three day seminar with 62 other people.  While that might not be so remarkable in and of itself, what makes is so remarkable is that the seminar is being led by none other than Seth Godin.

If you haven't heard of Seth Godin and you are doing anything to earn a living, you should get to know his work.  He has an incredible mind, and not only does he understand people, marketing, business, technology and the world in general, he believes in making a difference.

It has been humbling to be here, listening to him share himself , his knowledge and stories, but it's been fascinating to be here with people from all over the world and many different walks of life, too.  People from big companies like Google, to people doing their own thing like executive coaching, consulting, people who are educators, entrepreneurs, creators, developers, and everything in between.

At the end of the day yesterday I was complete mush.  My brain was on complete overload, and it felt fantastic.  However, it didn't make for a good night's sleep because so much of what he talked about challenged so much of what I already thought I had figured out.  And it was very unsettling.  In a good way, but unsettling nonetheless.  Seth says that if you want to succeed, you better be prepared to fail.

What? You better care enough to be willing to fail.  Be willing to throw yourself out in front of a bus for what you want to accomplish, achieve, believe.  Now that's drawing a line in the sand, isn't it?

During an exchange with him he pushed me to tell him who it is that my business story is for, and why it is that people come to me when they can go anywhere for photography. That's a daunting question to be asked, especially in front of a crowd, and I think we all know I'm not speechless very often.  

And at the end of the day, while I'd like to think it's because of my art, or my ability as a photographer, that's not entirely true.  It's because I care about documenting lives, and I want to tell your stories, whatever they may be.

Everyone does have a story, and that is my mission as a photographer: To tell stories. It's not to be Shutterfly, a designer, or photograph as many people in Minnesota as is humanly possible.  It is to engage with you, discover your story, and tell it in a way that is both meaningful and priceless to you.

Because as we say, "Everyone has a story.  Let me tell yours."

Hellat's story?  That she is a beautiful, loved and cherished little girl.  That she is more than her diagnosis. That she is perfect.  Just as she is.

1 comment:

Kristine said...

Thanks for sharing your personal insight's from Seth's workshop. Can't wait to hear more about it!