Chase Jarvis recently posted a blog article titled 13 Things Crucial For Your Success [In Any Field]. I want to dwell on #11, Seek Out Good People. (Use the link to find out what the other 12 things are, and read the whole article.)
In particular, I want to talk a little about what it takes to access those good people. Who are they? How do you find them? How do you tap into their talents?
We're blessed to live in the wonderful age of the internet. Granted, there's a lot of garbage posted on line, and often erroneous and misleading information. Even the field of photography is no stranger to this fact. But there are also numerous, world class professionals and creative talents who regularly share their insights, skills, motivations and experiences with us. And (this is the amazing part) they do it for free.
(I'm not talking about forums or chat rooms. I don't need to be around complainers or put downs.)
The people I spend time with have websites and blogs they diligently update. They critique, advise, inform, instruct, challenge, provoke, and entertain. They sometimes rant. They don't whine. And they freely introduce us to their friends, mentors and associates.
Personally, I check in with more than a dozen bloggers on a daily basis to keep up with their postings. Even though most don't put somethings new online each day, I check in daily anyway with the hope a new gift has been left there for me.
Over a period of months my list of regulars might change a little, depending on where my interests are bringing me. But my habit of checking in each morning first thing after my computer boots up doesn't change. It's my morning ritual.
Here's the challenge, however. I have to limit myself. Otherwise, I can easily be online for hours tapping into many more dozens, if not hundreds, of them.
How did I get started? As with most relationships, I was introduced by a mutual friend. In the case of this virtual world, I started following one blog that seemed to address one of my passions, and connected with other bloggers when the first blog made reference to them and provided links.
One link led to another, and so forth. Now, I'm also a blogger. I put my interests, ideas, musings, insights, projects, etc. out there without the slightest notion of where they'll end up. I also borrow liberally from others, and try to conscientiously remember to give attribution and links back to my sources. And most of my sources are those good people I try to associate with each morning. Thus, the circle is completed. Others freely give, I ingest and digest, then I grow a little and give back.
Here, in no particular order of preference or priority, are the people I'm currently hanging out with in the virtual cafe of the internet:
David Hobby, Michael Reichmann, Guy Tal, Sean Kernan, John Paul Caponigro, the guys at Fstoppers.com, people at the PhotoShelter blog, David duChemin, Zack Arias, Peter Hurley, Chase Jarvis, Tim Ferriss, the folks at Feature Shoot, and a few others I check into with less frequency.
Click on each name and you'll be able to travel to their sites. Maybe you'll make some friends we'll have in common.