Dear Preston: Should I Give Up?
December 20, 2011
I’m in yet another city: today I’m writing from London, where I’ll soon be making an important client presentation. After I left Hong Kong but before I came to London, I flew to Beijing to speak at The 2011 International Wedding Forum. The very talented and charismatic speaker, David Beahm, also attended. Every time I have the chance to spend time with David, I always know we’re going to have fun; he’s one of those wonderful people who you meet and immediately want to be friends with.
Because photography is such a huge component of Chinese weddings, David and I also presented with some incredibly talented photographers. My long-time friend Denis Reggie, who is an internationally recognized wedding photographer was there, and it was great see him and catch up. I also met Beverly Hills wedding photographer Joe Buissink, who was so good-natured and charming.
Our host at the wedding forum was Mr. Han Shuo, who is a true visionary; he pulled out all the stops — In fact, there were so many celebrities at the press conference that I started to think I was at something like the Beijing Oscars!
Hundreds of folks who make their living in the wedding industry attended, and it was amazing to see how much our industry is growing in China. When I finished giving my presentation, I couldn’t believe how many hands shot up. I had never seen so many people so eager to ask questions! In my Dear Preston column today, I’d like to share one of those questions:
Dear Preston, I think I have talent as a florist, but I am having a lot of trouble getting my business off the ground. How will I know when it’s time to quit and accept that maybe I don’t have the talent I thought I did?
As I listened to this woman speak, I found myself humbled. I gave her a very raw and honest answer; I told her that once upon a time, I had the same doubts, and they plagued me for many years. I think that lots of artists doubt themselves. Only we forget that others are going through something similar, because we so rarely vocalize our fears.
But is there ever a time when you should give up? Should we ever accept that maybe we just aren’t good enough for the profession we’ve chosen? I know that even in my darkest hour when I was filled with the most doubts about my talent, I still had tremendous passion for what I was doing. Of course, I also had absolutely no other skills; if I had quit, what else would I have done? Perhaps it was a blessing that I had nothing to fall back on!
Dear Readers, have you ever felt like quitting this tricky industry we’re in? What has kept you going? Please share your thoughts.