Have you ever met someone who can’t see the forest for the trees?

I often say this phrase a lot.

“People truly amaze the sh*t out of me.”

Safe to say that when I use this phrase, I’m usually talking about the people who can’t see the BIGGER picture if it hit them smack dab in the forehead. Maybe I’m being a little bit too sarcastic on this post, but hey, have I got a great story to back this one up.

One of my many side hustle adventures involved writing articles for my local community magazines where I interviewed cool entrepreneurs and shared their stories. Definitely my happy place. Much like what I do now in life where I interview them on my Success over Struggle live panel and podcast, this was all in written form. And with articles comes the need for stellar photography that captures the essence of the subject. I’m not a photographer but know a good handful I wanted to work with, including a gentleman I admired who was exceptional at his craft.

I was contracted to write a new article each month and brought the photographer into work alongside me, giving him the direction that I only needed three photos at most to accompany a one-page article. The bonus? The magazine was looking for a photographer to contract to not only take photos for my article but every single paper and magazine they were publishing, which was roughly around 20+ each month. Can you imagine being the lead photographer on this gig?

He was delighted to work with me on the project. I gave him the budget provided to me by the magazine and sent him on his way.

Days later, I received a call from my contact at the publication. She was extremely perplexed and told me she received my photographer’s invoice. It wasn’t for the budgeted amount I provided him that he agreed to, more like double.

When I confronted him, he said, “I took a lot more photos, which took up more of my time and someone needs to pay for the time I invested.”

I was quick to explain to him again that the project only called for a few photos to accompany the article and the “need to exceed” was more his doing than what was approved for in the project scope. I noticed he tended to get a little “shot happy” often giving me 300 photos to peruse through to find a good few.

I then reminded him that this was a golden opportunity for his business to get even more photography work because they really liked his style and wanted to use him for more projects in the future.

And then, the most unthinkable, unimaginable thing happened that still shocks me to this very day.

He told me he will accept the budgeted amount, even though it was he who did way more work than he needed to for this project and said, “Tisha, never call me ever again. We’re through working together.”

Can you say wtf moment??!?

I was stunned.

He gave up an incredible opportunity to do exactly what he loves and get paid, which I’m pretty sure all entrepreneurs are looking for, have a byline in every magazine and paper they published providing him even more awareness for his business and he passed it up for a measly $150?!?

Not to mention, he trashed our relationship when all I did was try to support him by giving him more work through a referral. It wasn’t me that was paying him. He was directly contracted with the publisher.

I still don’t get it. We never talked again. In fact, he unfriended/unfollowed me as soon as this transpired. And in end, I learned a lot about his character and who I definitely do not need to surround myself with.

Sad that sometimes we meet a person thinking they are the greatest human being out there, then they show you their true colors. So disappointing.

I say this with the utmost respect if you find you are the type of person that can’t see the bigger picture.

Open up your mind.

Look at how one opportunity, even it if appears to be small to start, can truly blossom into something so much bigger.

Take a moment to really evaluate the situation before you make a sudden move that cannot only directly and negatively affect your business, but your reputation, too.

You’ve only got one shot at this. Make it good.


Rule of Life Lesson #96:

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