Thursday, January 21, 2010

I have an announcement to make...

Well, you may have noticed it's been a little quite around this old blog for a while now. There is good reason for that, so I'll dig right in.

First of all, I am make a huge change in my career. Switching careers actually.

It's been something I've contemplated for almost two years now, and the decision has been a firm decision for about 6 months. Since this blog is linked to my facebook page, I couldn't really say much of it here, until I made sure that my co-workers all knew of the news. They now know, so I can officially go public.

February 28th will be my last day as an employee of G&S Airport Conveyor. March 1st will be my first day as a full time professional photographer! Huge leap isn't it! Scary? Yes. Wise? Time will tell. The right thing to do? I think so, and as such I am acting on it.

Until the last year or so, I've never ever in my life know what I wanted to be when I "grow up". I followed my dad's lead, became a Millwright, stuck with G&S for a while and the last 5 or so years I've been a Sr. Project Manager. It's a sweet job. It's for a sweet company. The people I work with I think are some of the best people in the world one could work with. I can go home for lunch, I've got huge flexibility in my schedule. Basically as long as the job gets done, it's up to me how I go about doing it. Why on earth would I give that up?

Well, there are several reasons, but the biggest is this. I don't have passion for what I do. I don't get excited to come to work every day. Being a project manager as you could imagine involves a huge amount of details. I am not a detail oriented person. I see big pictures. When there is a task at hand, all I care about is getting it done. How we go about getting done, or ever step along the way, is irrelevant to me. All I care is that we start moving. Now this is a good quality to have. However, when you're dealing with several million dollar projects, involving many different parties, and overseeing installation crews that can be as large as 8-10 men, you kind of need to have every little thing sorted out. If not, profits dwindle fast when you've got a large crew of men spinning their wheels on site. It takes great effort to force myself to do the detailed work required to be successful. It grates on me, and it's a chore the whole way through. Some people thrive on figuring every little thing out, documenting and organizing it all. Not me. I like to do as my dad always said while I was growing up, "head down, bum up". I like to just do stuff. Obviously there is a level of personal organization and keeping track of details that every person much posses to make it through life with any sort of success and have a decent reputation, but what I'm talking about is making sure that the 1,054 3/8" X 1" bolts that are being packed are going to be enough. Spread sheets, spread sheets spread sheets. Argh! They torture me!

Peter Drucker said that it is a waste of time to try and develop a weakness. I agree. We are all give different strengths. Those are what we must spend our time developing. If I were to classify myself, I would say that I am artistic more than anything. Some may argue with that, some may not, but that is how I see myself. The things that are important to me, music, writing, sculpture, photographs, design, are artistic. I once saw a dread-locked, chain dangling, black trench-coat wearing kid with a huge patch on the back of his coat that read, "Music is my religion". While I don't make that statement myself, I do identify with him in the power that music plays in my life. I obsess over creativity. I could spend my entire days looking at photographs and drawings. I have passion for that realm of society.

Based on this, I am taking a huge risk, sticking my neck out there, and I am daring to make a living doing something that I love. Photography.

Now, I understand that it's not a matter of taking a picture, put it up in the air and people will open their wallets and pay me massive amount for that photograph. No, I understand that primarily it is just like running any other business. In fact I've calculated that less than 5% of my work will actually be taking photos. I've put some very real numbers together, skewed them to be a little on the pessimistic side, and then decided that yes, I would indeed try and make this work. I've been putting legal documents together, registering my company, legalizing my basement studio, and working on all of the other details that are required to have a legitimate business. This has eaten up many of my evenings and weekends over the past while which is a huge part of why I haven't been blogging her much. I've been pouring my energy into this new venture. Most everything is in place, the hammer is cocked, and now I simply need to pull the trigger. March 1st baby! March 1st!

It is a huge challenge that I am diving into, with potential of huge reward. Imagine, a life spent doing what you love. The payoff is big enough for me to believe that it is worth the risk. Further to all of this, I am so incredibly excited to be doing this. I'm stoked. It always helps to have an excitement to give you the energy required to do the huge amount of work that is involved with starting a business. Excitement is oozing out of me right now! Let's go!


Pondero said...

I envy your sense of direction and courage. I've considered doing something similar, but never do it. I wish for you the greatest success!

coastkid said...

best of luck in your new venture...
be great doing something you have a passion for rather than `to keep the wolf from the door`...
post some pics up here too!

JPTwins said...

wow, congratulations! it's odd -- i only sort of know you in the blogosphere (sorry, for even using that word), but still happy to hear that you're making the change. I hope it works out for the best -- obviously you've heard of Russ Roca, the bicycling photographer. i like that twist, without it coming across as too, well, "crunchy".

take care,

Jerome said...

Thanks a lot for the encouragement. Most appreciated!


John Speare said...

wow. Good luck Jerome. I admire your courage. You'll do great.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Jerome, maybe you could do some work for Momentum *. A story on cycling in Calgary with some photos by you. Perhaps "accidentally" showing your shingle for your business. :-)


rsbeach said...


Good for you! Good luck! Your shots I've seen on-site are great.

On another topic: I already have links to your excellent site, and would appreciate your consideration of adding a reciprocal link to

BikeToledo is a non-commercial public service site with a mission of getting people out of their cars and onto bikes. The primary goals are attracting new cyclists and helping recreational and intermediate cyclists raise their level of biking activity. We have a strong section on getting started in biking, with lots of "how-to" and "where-to-find" information and a large touring section. We also feature recreational riding, utility riding, commuting and going car-free. While some of the information is topical to the Toledo region, most is universally applicable.

Please visit and consider a reciprocal link. Thanks.

-Bob Beach

Jerome said...

Bob, thanks for getting in touch. I'm all for promotion of cycing as a means to get around, as I believe it is one of the best. I've added a link to Bike Toledo, and I wish you great success!