Standing Ground


As part of the rebirth of my Empowering Connections Speaker Series, I revisited and reconnected with a core group of women who had always been cheerleaders to me and each other. The women of SJWN (South Jersey Women’s Network) meet every Wednesday morning at the Shore Diner in Egg Harbor Township.

As we went around and introduced ourselves and gave our 60 second commercial, my dear friend and fabulous photographer, Donna Andrews (Donna Andrews Photography), shared a lesson learned from her very busy and productive summer photography sessions.

Donna relayed the story of a client’s increasing requests for services that, had she provided, would have cut steeply into her profit margin and diminished her brand.

What we often don’t think about as consumers is the amount of work that goes into creating a finished product and that business owners create a set pricing schedule based on that total package.

In this case, Donna, who is an artist first, uses photography as her medium to express her art–whether it be Alaskan wildlife (where her love of photography was born) or the family portrait that captures the love and devotion shared by generations.

Her artistry doesn’t end when the camera stops clicking. And that is what, as consumers, we tend to overlook or downplay. The truth is, some of her most artistic and time consuming work comes as she works with the images to produce those timeless photos we can’t wait to display on our walls.

To ask her to just “put the photos on a CD and we’ll do the rest” is not what she offers. She offers the complete process that includes editing and enhancing the photos into those works of art to be hung on the wall.

Anything less is not what her brand represents. Asking her for less is not really negotiable.

But yet, as consumers, that’s just what we do. We constantly ask more for less, or in this case, just a portion of what the package includes.

She stood her ground and client was thrilled with the final result. Yes, they paid in full for it, but in the long run, the result was worth the price.

Donna stood her ground and stayed true to her brand.

As business professionals, are  you standing your ground, or are you letting the pressures of competition and the fear of lowered revenue, lesson your brand?

Think about it and then rethink your strategy.

You stand your ground and you perform your art. That’s what the artist does. The artist is about perfection-Mike Tyson


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