Photizo Insights Blog - Photizo Group
Triggered by my son’s pending college plans, I was thinking back to my own college days, and I am talking a pretty long time ago. One memory that occurred to me was that the Rolling Stones were in town back then, on what was rumored to be their farewell tour. Really?
Well, they are still playing, as far as I know. Maybe not on tour right now, but you never know—they just might hit the road again. You can’t rule out the possibility these days. And by the way, didn’t I read recently that Mick Jagger was about to become a great-grandfather? How would you like to see that family portrait?
More recently (about 7-8 years ago), I saw B.B. King in concert. By coincidence, that show was also billed as part of his final farewell tour. That billing was certainly more plausible, as he was over 80 years old back then. He had fun with that billing, claiming it was a misprint and that he had no intention of slowing down. Well, I just checked, and he is still touring—with 22 (!) concerts scheduled between now and May. The man is 88!
Really, why do they still bother? If you are old and rich, you surely don’t need life on the road. That B.B. King concert was in Europe, so the tour was not only throwing the usual stress at him, it also added weird foods, cultures, languages, and of course jet lag into the mix.
Sure, some old rockers need to get back on tour because they burned through all their cash. But why do the others do that to themselves, especially those that have enough money? And anyhow, what does all this have to do with our little industry? It’s common knowledge that some of those musicians are addicted to attention and fame, but the real answer is passion. They tour and they play because they love it. Evidently, they can’t picture life without it.
Hopefully you do what you do for the same reason. The printing and imaging market is certainly mature, but it is rarely boring. And don’t get me started on “commoditized.” By the way, as long as you are working the right pockets of opportunity, the business is also still profitable.
There are plenty of paths to pursue in life, but it only really makes sense if you are enthusiastic about your chosen field. And I think it’s fair to say that we have a lot of enthusiasts in this industry. Just think about your favorite blogger or analyst in the field. Where does he/she get that relentless energy and enthusiasm after all those years? And these folks are certainly not alone. If you talk with many industry veterans, you often get the same feeling: they love what they do. They know the world (customers, competitors, vendors), they have witnessed significant shifts in the technology, they know how to craft packages and manage the business…and they like to share those experiences. Given the opportunity, most people would probably like to have a private island somewhere warm. But in many cases, it’s fair to say these people in this field like what they do, or even love it, and that’s what keeps them going.
Now I don’t consider myself either old or a rocker, but I guess I’m both. Just like so many people I’ve met on several continents over the years, I’m proud of my experience, skill set, and achievements. Would I walk away from all this if I won the lottery tomorrow? Well, maybe—but only maybe. Lacking that windfall, many folks (myself included) really look forward to getting up in the morning and doing what we do. This is not unique to printing and imaging, and you want to hope that other industries have a lot of healthy enthusiasm as well. But amazingly, we probably have more than our fair share.
I spent a lot of time talking about the old boys, but the point is not actually about age, it’s about passion. Have it and keep it.
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