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The truth is, I have no idea what I’m talented at. As a psych major in college, we were always taking tests. The only result I can remember indicated I would be a good accountant. Meanwhile, I don’t even like balancing my checkbook.  (I have a daughter who is a successful accountant. She really enjoys it. Maybe my aptitude just skipped a generation.) So, I don’t know about talent. But what I am pretty sure about is the kind of things I enjoy doing. I wonder how many artists, writers, football players, or accountants excel in their professions and really hate doing them? I know a lot of average people who make a living doing an OK job, but without any real enthusiasm for the subject. I also know a few who have a hard time making a living but have a great life because they’re thrilled to be doing something they enjoy. But I’m a firm believer that you can do both — enjoy your profession and make money. Over the years, I’ve had different hobbies, including metal sculpture, leather work, painting, and cabinet making. Often my attempts would rise to the level of OK, but not great. Photography was the same. In the early days, it got the OK/not great rating. The difference was, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed everything from the equipment to the physical act of going somewhere and taking a photograph. I even liked the sound of the shutter on one camera better than another. I’d pick that one up first and put it down last. Each “twack” of the shutter was music to my ears. This may sound strange, but after traveling all over the globe and hitting six of the seven continents, I can say it was my camera that made it the most fun. If I couldn’t take a camera, I’d rather stay home and take pictures. Recent books and studies suggest that it takes 10,000 hours to become expert at something. That, in fact, you can be an expert at pretty much anything if you put the time in. Well if I’m going to put in a lot of time, I want to enjoy every moment. Fortunately, you don’t have to put in 10,000 hours before you get your first dollar. I’ve met workshop attendees who have made dollar one after about a week of concentrated effort — and they go on to make a lot more than that. Pretty much every day someone comes into my studio and says I have a “good eye.” I’m always tempted to say I’m just lucky. But the truth is, I’m lucky because I enjoy what I do. And because I enjoy it, I practice. And practice makes us all better. I’ll close by saying I’m glad I’m a photographer, and my daughter is delighted to be an accountant. Different strokes… [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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