An Old Man, a Boy and a Donkey…

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: April 17, 2012

Category: General

The other day I was reading a book called ‘Book Yourself Solid‘ by Michael Port; a superb book which does a great job of explaining all kinds of Marketing techniques.

In one of the chapters Michael Port talks about how with us all being individuals we’ll never please everyone in what we do and how we do it; he also goes on to cover how we can deal with it.

Now, the subject of ‘Style’ is one that’s often talked about and indeed it’s something I’ve covered quite a few times and have discussed with those who have been Guests here on the blog. How do I get a style? What style should I have? These kinds of questions come up all the time, and I’m sure they always will but there was one little story in the book that got me thinking…

The Story of the Old Man, a Boy and a Donkey

An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked beside him. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later, they passed some people who remarked, “What a shame! He makes that little boy walk.” They then decided they would both walk.

Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So they both rode the donkey.

Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal, and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story? If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.

None of us can and will please everybody and as Photographers/Artists this is something we need to keep in mind…if not just for our own well being.

•Remember: You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Catch you tomorrow 😉

•     •     •

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  1. Scot Baston

    Hi Glyn,

    I have to say I agree totally with this sentiment.. at the end of the day, your most important client is yourself. He is also your biggest critic!

    What is the point of being a photographer if you do not put a little of yourself into the image.

    ..and as for pleasing everyone else..

    “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”


  2. Michelle Lovegrove

    I love this Glyn and I couldn’t agree more. This is an ethos that I have really taken on board from Christa Meola. She says not everyone is your client and she is so right.
    It’s a waste of time and energy trying to have universal appeal.

  3. Kelley Simpson

    I laughed out loud when I got to the end of that story! It’s so true, I can’t and trust me when I tell you I’m always trying to please everyone…
    I reposted the link on our private “Chick Photographers” Facebook page. Too good not to share!
    All the best!

    • Glyn

      Glad you liked the post; the short story puts it so well huh 🙂

  4. Claudio von grubens

    Hi glyn,

    Really good point! If course the customer is important, but be true to yourself! And sometimes a NO is more attractive than “yes everything you like”

    Have a great day
    Cheers cvg


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