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A story about giving up and quitting.

A few years ago my friend Tracey invited me and my kids to the local 4th of July Parade. I asked if her husband was going and she said “Just me, Mark gave up parades for his 45th birthday”


She then went on to explain that every year on his birthday her husband got to pick one thing he didn’t want to do again in his lifetime. One year it was cleaning rain gutters. One year it was cleaning windows. And when he turned 45 he gave up going to parades. I thought it was the freaking most genius thing I had ever heard. Learning to say no had always been hard for me, and this idea of a Birthday Dispensation was everything I craved; a reason to say no on a day people don’t want to deny you things. I immediately gave up Christmas Cards for my next birthday. That was 6 years ago, and I have not regretted it. I hate making them out, I hate sending them and I could honestly give a crap about getting them. (I do admire the few tenacious people who still have me on their list, though) In the following years I gave up socks, magazine drives, baby showers, cleaning ceiling fans, and trimming my dogs nails (I no longer feel guilt for that $20 mani-pedi I pay the vet every few months).

Almost every single time I did something in my business that I didn’t want to do, something that I could not figure out how to say “no” to I regretted it.  You know what I am talking about.  Doing that discounted shoot for your “friend” from high school that you haven’t seen in 12 years who expects you do to everything for even more of a discount.  Giving a sympathy discount to a bride who cries poor only to arrive at her wedding and find out that she has 2 Stretch Hummers rented for her bridal party of 24.

But yet I continued to do it? Why?  Because I rationalized needing the money and not turning away business. Because I rationalized that that extra $200 would “pay my light bill” when it really wasn’t $200 after taxes and paying myself and expenses. Learning more about my business empowered me to say “no” more often.  It was really HARD to turn away business when things were tight, but as soon as I stood my ground I lost clients I didn’t want anyway, and gained ones that I did want. Now it seems like a small change that had a huge impact on my business.  That tiny change to learn to say no that took me YEARS to implement could have changed the course of my business years before.

If you’re feeling this way then please take a peek at Joy Vertz’s new class Photo Biz Recharge and see if empowering yourself to make these kind of changes that Joy calls the 80/20 Rule will make a huge difference quickly.

This 6-week series is designed to give you ideas you can implement affordably and immediately. You won’t have to wait until week 6 for your business to take off – you’ll make things happen starting in week 1!

This class makes it easy to get advice that will help YOUR business:

– 16 video lessons filled with solid, actionable advice on bringing in clients, pricing, sales, workflow, and time management

– Quick-turnaround ideas, designed to be put into action that day

– Worksheets and downloads that help you organize your thoughts and plans

– Stellar support, with participants’ questions answered through recorded Q&As and a private Facebook group


This is a first time class and is being offered at a special price so get on it!

Be the change! Quit the things you want to quit!

Stay Sane Happy and Profitable,


P.S. My birthday is Oct 7 and I’m torn between giving up vacuuming and cleaning the bathtub this year. What would you like to give up?



  1. But, but, but some of that stuff needs to get done:-)

    I’m not sure what I would give up. There isn’t anything I really hate doing so much that I would pay someone else to do it. That goes for chores around the house and for photography. Sure in the middle processing the images from a big job with changing lighting I might say “I don’t want to figure out the white balance for these pictures any more” but if I don’t it will not happen and no one will buy pictures of their dancer with bright greeny blue skin. :-)

  2. I absolutely LOVE this idea!!! Not only for personal but in how we run our businesses. Learning to say “no” is hard to do… I’d give up cleaning the bathtub. I find vacuuming therapeutic (yes, I’m crazy)

  3. Hey Kim,

    It’s funny how many of us do give up, instead of looking at it as just a little speed bump in the road. Nothing wrong in saying NO either :-)

    Great Article!!


    Christopher Pontine

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