Economic Freedom

The thoughts below are my own observations and opinions, based on living a fairly long life, and paying attention to what I see. Some of my opinions may not be to your liking or they may even be viewed as politically incorrect. It is not my goal to be contrary to accepted viewpoints, but only to tell you what I think.

Economic freedom, whether that be for individuals or families, is what most people view as the prize at the end of the rainbow.

People generally want what other people have. Just the same, they  tend to think that those who already have it, are bad, greedy people for having it. Of course, they often believe they would be completely different if it was they that had it.  The obscene amounts of wealth we see with some individuals in much of the world, is viewed as being greedy, dishonest and selfish. I’ve never met anyone who holds that previous opinion, who would turn down that money if it was offered to them.

The road to success is almost never as easy as we would like to think. I once had a boss that worked seven days a week for almost two years. He was there at 5 a.m., and was generally there at 9 p.m. It is a misnomer that everybody who succeeds in life has had it easy, or knows somebody. Sometimes they have done what we were unwilling to do. He never was rewarded with the top promotion that he sought.

Certainly people who have amassed huge amounts of money, are worth  being suspicious of. Everybody didn’t make it just by hard work. Just the same, it is those people, throughout history, who have put this country to work. I don’t know how many people you have created jobs for, but the best way for me to count mine, is to count my fingers with my fist closed.

All people are different. Most men are different from most women. Most of the day jobs I have held in my life have had precious few women doing the same thing as me. There have been some, and they were always paid the same as me. I had a woman boss for a while, and she was a good one. She was fair but tough. She was placed in management because there were no women in those positions with that company, and they felt that looked bad. Yes I was told that by her boss after she quit.  I never minded the reason they gave her the position because she did her job and did it well. My number one observation of some natural differences between men in women, is most women, when confronted with the opportunity for a better paying job, or an advancement into management, weigh their considerations on how this will affect their quality of life. Yes it will pay more, but is that worth another 20 hours a week? Yes it would be nice to be a supervisor, but will I constantly be caught between upper management and those I supervise? Will eventually everybody hate me? I made my decisions just like most women I have seen. I decided my life would suffer from my promotion, so I refused it. Remember I had no children to support. Quality of life is much underrated. Most men I have known, will go wherever the money is. They may last only two days on the job, and I have seen that happen, but they will go for the money. They will also go for power whenever possible. With power often comes money and vice a versa.  You can take my view on men and women in the work place as you wish, but it is an honest observation.

The billionaires of this world may well be headed for a seat in hell when their time here is done, but that’s not my problem or my call. I only know that I have worked many day jobs in my life, and somebody other than I, created those jobs.  I chose to be happy for the job, rather than whine about the one who created it.

Then there is the photography business. Not many billionaires there. If there are, they made it elsewhere. I have written many times before, about the truth of all of those full-time professional photographers that you see on the internet, and how they are mostly being supported by other money. Just the same, some manage to make it, so let’s examine how.

I am no longer an expert on this subject, but for outdoor/nature photographers, even if they specialize in the fine art market, they earn their living teaching workshops. You just need to “friend” these guys and galls on social media and you will see how the true full-timers earn their living. Actually, I figured that out in 1990 and began marketing workshops and slide show seminars, featuring them from 2005-2010.

Selling stock photography was once a major money-maker and you can still make good money at it if you began down that road a long time ago and have kept your relationship with editors alive and healthy. They are a surprisingly loyal bunch considering so many photographers are literally giving their work away today.  You better stay “good” friends with those editors.  Take care of them (with your pictures and your service) and they will take care of you.

You can make a living at photo journalism, but if you think you can do that as a free lancer, you’d better be a writer too and a good one. Otherwise, the numbers of those individuals earning a living has dropped significantly from previous eras.

Fashions photographers, and commercial food and product photographers can make a handsome living at it, but you better have a big name. If you are on the road up to that point, you’d better have a spouse who earns a living, have an inheritance in the bank, or a big pension, just like most so-called professional outdoor photographers do.

I imagine we can all agree that photography of any sort, won’t net you a self financed run at the presidency.  You might try real estate.

Freedom always comes at a price, and financial freedom is no different. While I am quite sure I never had what it takes to create true financial freedom, I never really wanted to invest myself in the pursuit of money anyway. Planning my life, to accommodate all things born of wealth, was never my idea of living.  I also haven’t spent my life complaining about those who did.

One of the greatest benefits of having lived a lot of life, is we (should) know ourselves really well, and be able to plan our lives’ with an understanding of who we are, and what we will actually do. In other words, will we really ever use that expensive earth tiller we saw for sale yesterday, and are we actually going go out on a cold winter’s day and spend it on the back of that expensive snowmobile. Grown-ups need to know who they are. If we know we will never be rich, we should plan life accordingly. That knowledge doesn’t make life a lesser experience in the sense that we will never get any cool stuff, or do anything interesting. It means that your time will be well spent in keeping with who and what you really are. You will be all the “richer” for it.

I know……not very much about photography today. For the next five days (slow internet connection) the amount of pictures that will be published here, will be quite low.

“water over the dam!”Grantfalls3And2more

God Bless,                                                                                                                                         Wayne


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